Electioneering

November is an interesting month.  It’s the time when fall transitions into winter.  It’s the time when you start thinking about stuffing your face full of turkey and mashed potatoes.  It’s the time when you start to think about the Christmas season.  It’s the time when businesses decide to shove Christmas advertisements down your throat as soon as Halloween ends.  (Why, oh, why, am I watching people dance around to Christmas carols in the snow with shopping bags?  ‘Tis not the season.)  But forget all that.  Those are the unimportant parts of November.  What, you may ask, is the most important part of November?  Elections.  Elections are the most important.

It has been interesting to see how elections play out in Kentucky.  The campaign signs are sometimes worth a look.  A lot of people who are running for office like to let everyone know their nickname.  Vote for Bud.  Vote for Old Smokey.  Vote for Four-Fingered Fred.  There are a lot people who run for jailer.  I don’t think I’ve ever voted for a jailer…I didn’t know that they needed to be elected.  I also don’t think I’ve ever seen so many campaign signs for write-in candidates.  It’s kind of like saying “Hello, I was too lazy to sign up in time, but vote for me anyway.”  Or, “I hated the people that were running for this office so much that I decided that I really needed to run.”  Another interesting fact:  Kentucky has no school on election day.  Apparently those kids need the day off so that they can get out there and vote for governor.  Elections are such a daunting task.  But anyway, these are not the most important elections.  What, you may ask, are the most important elections?  Fourth grade elections.  Fourth grade elections are the most important.

I was lucky enough to get to be a part of two fourth grade elections at Whitley City Elementary.  There were several offices that the kids were running for:  President (the fearless leader), Vice President (that’s probably the person who has no official duties), Secretary (handles the paperwork), Treasurer (handles all the monies), and the Department of Defense (performs defensively defensive duties).  The kids made election posters and wrote speeches.  I love student election speeches.  They’re so full of impossible promises.  But that, I suppose, is not all that different from grown-up elections.

Some highlights:  One of the kids who was running for president went all out.  He brought a tie with him, which he put on right before he gave his well-prepared speech.  At the end of the speech, he switched on the cd player, which played his campaign theme music.  Having set the mood with a little bit of music, he then threw some confetti into the air.  Classic.  Then, of course, there were the kids with the impossible promises.  “I will fight for your right to party.”  “We will have more candy and parties at the end of the week.”  “I will throw the president in jail.”  “You will have more money if you vote for me.”  The funniest part is watching the kids in the audience as they listen to these promises.  They get these grins on their faces and then they turn around and look at the teacher with this “Can we really?” look.  I love fourth graders.  They’re awesome.

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