Friday, April 07, 2006

We Take Politics Seriously Around Here

When I was in the sixth grade, my fourth-grade sister ran for Treasurer of our school’s Student Council Association (SCA). She didn’t win, and it’s all my fault: I didn’t vote for her. I didn’t think she was the best candidate. Sure I was torn, but not because of any loyalty to my sister or any faith in her ability to keep track of money.

As I recall there were three students vying for the envious position of SCA Treasurer: a kid named Melvin who had the hots for my sister, my sister, and the kid who won. Melvin’s campaign speech centered around the dubious statement, “I like to keep money.” Even as an eleven-year-old I knew that treasurers aren’t supposed to keep money, they’re just supposed to count it. So obviously I couldn’t vote for Melvin. I had it narrowed down to two candidates and, well, the other kid’s speech was just a little bit better than my sister’s. He sort of made me feel like he was qualified to do the job in a way that my sister wasn’t. But it wasn’t as easy to reject my sister’s candidacy as it had been with Melvin. I struggled with the decision, and in the end I voted for the candidate I thought would make the best treasurer: the other kid.

I thought I had done the right thing. I remember announcing this at the dinner table shortly after the votes had been counted and my guy had been declared the winner. I got grounded. For like a long time. I distinctly recall my father inquiring as to how I thought President Reagan would feel if his own sister hadn’t voted for him. I distinctly recall trying to explain to my father that if President Reagan’s sister didn’t think he was the right man for the job she shouldn’t vote for him. It didn’t go over well.

In retrospect I should have voted for my sister. She would have made a kick-ass SCA Treasurer. That girl can manage money like nobody’s business. Plus it was freakin’ SCA Treasurer -- how much control would she really have had over the coffers of Fairfield Elementary School?

But you know what? I stand by my decision not to vote for my sister based on the sole qualification of her being my sister. If she ran for public office now there’s no way in hell I’d vote for her. I love my sis, but I can’t think of a single political issue we agree on. She wouldn’t vote for me either. I guess President Reagan would ground us both.

1 comment:

Brian said...

"...but they took their politics seriously, and that night at the concert hall, as the audience watched deliriously, they had a free-for-all..."