With the election season upon us and a number of you weighing in on your dearly cherished views, I know that, at some point in your life, you may have gotten the urge to enter politics.
Unless you are Donald Trump, Steve Forbes, H. Ross Perot or a bunch of forgettable (or soon to be forgettable) characters, you cannot afford to start your career in politics at the top by running for President of the United States. Yet the very thought of kissing a million gooey babies, shaking a zillion hands and spending your weekday nights on the rubber chicken circuit sends you screaming away in revulsion. Happily, after all these years, I have finally decoded the method for avoiding these unpleasant events and getting that coveted first step in election glamour – being elected Soil and Water Commissioner.
First, having a good name helps. Suppose you must choose one of the following for Soil and Water Commissioner:
- John Adams
- Osama Bin Laden II
- Wojceich Postrzyzyny Przbrz.
Now it does the unfortunately named Bin Laden II no good that he is a pacifist, a poet and a Samaritan and is not related in any way, shape or form to the other nasty guy. Nor does it aid mister unpronounceable, vowel-deprived Przbrz in the fact that he was a former freedom fighter and an experienced hydrologist. John Adams may be a stew bum and a derelict but he will get your vote every time. Of course, if you are in a heavily Polish-American voting district, then Mr. Przbrz is your choice even if he is a stew bum.
Second, placement is key. Get your name placed as close to the top of the list as possible. Let me use another example. Vote for two of the following for Soil and Water Commissioner:
- Bill Blake
- Nancy Jones
- John Adams
- Tim Madison
- Tom Davis
Now Mr. Adams is in trouble. We might spend some time on President, Senator, Congressman or County Executive, but Soil and Water Commissioner? Aren’t we going to pick the first two reasonable sounding names and go on? I have had some discussion with friends on this theory. There are those who pick anybody but the first two names out of contrariness. There are others who work from the bottom up and still others who pick every other name. I still insist that being first on the list gives you an advantage.
Third, have a plethora of signs before the election. While I have not yet found a study that makes a correlation between the number of “vote for me” signs and the effectiveness of the candidate, it certainly must mean something for someone to go through all that trouble to mar major and minor highways with signs asking you to vote for them. Now you might make the case that a really good Commissioner would not deface the countryside with an endless stream of “vote for me” signs and only put up a few but, psychologically, don’t we correlate the number of signs with the strength of the candidate?
So that’s the plan – good name, key placement in the list and tons and tons of election signs. When you use my foolproof technique and get elected as the next Soil and Water Commissioner, you can decode the mystery I haven’t solved over all these years – what does a Soil and Water Commissioner do?