I’m proud of my son Gideon for doing his civic duty and casting a vote for the first time.
(This comes mere months after he did his civic duty and signed up for Selective Service. And, would you believe it, not one of the candidates for dogcatcher was remotely prepared to answer his questions about their position on reinstating the draft! What has become of the true statesmen???)
It was an especially meaningful milestone because local early voting takes place at the multi-use building that formerly housed my first elementary school. I got to regale Gideon with stories of those familiar emergency drills where we had to hide under our desks to practice surviving Redcoat cannonballs.
Oh, and the morning assemblies when we recited the Pledge of Allegiance. (“I pledge allegiance to the...Betsy, would you hurry up sewing that flag???”)
Ah, yes, it was a time when “woke” meant “Mrs. Shelton, Johnny is eating library paste instead of taking his nap.”
I’m just sorry that Gideon had to wait until October. His summer classes interfered with voting in the primary election. Odd thing about the primaries: they’re supposed to thin out the herd, but the amount of bovine excrement is just as plentiful in the general election.
Gideon was conscientious enough to vote for the right reasons. Don’t get me started on the people who showed up at the polls only because they misunderstood campaign rhetoric. Someone described the election as being like “Jim Crow 2.0” and they heard “Jim Beam 2.0.”
My wife deigns to dabble in politics only on rare occasions (and then only pertaining to the infrastructure considerations of hell freezing over), but Gideon has been paying attention to talk radio since he was six years old.
This has kept him abreast of current events, but it has not exactly helped with his engineering courses. (“Tut tut. No need for equations. The answer to this problem is...invest in gold bullion.”)
All three of us had to do some quick thinking when we learned there were multiple amendments to the state constitution on the ballot. Wordy amendments with side effects such as “We no longer have a state tree because we had to chop them all down to print these ballots.”
Don’t you hate amendments that you just assumed were already state law? You know, like “No male person of good moral character shall be compelled to unionize dodo birds.”
Somehow or another, Gideon managed the arduous tasks of pulling his photo ID out of his wallet and signing his name. (If only he weren’t so exhausted, he could probably have walked and chewed gum at the same time.)
Gideon looked quite spiffy with his “I Voted” sticker on his t-shirt. I understand that some voters had a less pleasant experience. (“This sticker really clashes with my shroud. Worst fashion mistake since I accepted that stovepipe hat from Honest A–, er, Honest Bill Clinton.”)
I hope Gideon never becomes disillusioned with our system (although after having pollsters interrupt supper for the 4,000th time, pulling a sword out of a stone sounds awfully inviting), but I must admit to my own bouts with cynicism.
Again, I ask, what has become of the true statesmen? And what has become of my front yard? Mr. Dogcatcher Elect, you need to worry less about fleeing to Canada and more about stray dogs!
Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at email@example.com and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”