Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lessons From My Father: Number X+2 or 3 or 438

During every election cycle that I pay attention to, I remember the 1988 elections. I remember watching the Democratic National Convention during sweltering heat in an A-frame house in Wisconsin while my brothers had fun outside because I thought we were required by law to watch these things.

I remember wondering who the shit are all these old men and why isn't Jesse Jackson speaking more? Jesse Jackson was the only person I had heard of before that night.

I remember wondering, how does the rest of the country survive through this interminable extravaganza? Damn it was boring, but I was worried I would get arrested if I didn't watch it.

I also remember my father's briefcase. He had a soft-sided, tan briefcase that he carried to work in Bucharest. I went looking through it once, because I was hoping to find nuclear materials or Romanian state secrets or something cool like James Bond in that briefcase. Instead, I found a bumper sticker stuck to the unpocketed-side of the briefcase. That bumper sticker read, "Lick Bush." I remember thinking this was rather underwhelming. Being the age at which American children read a lot of old-timey but timeless novels like Tom Sawyer, I thought nothing of this sticker although I did wonder why it was on the inside of the briefcase. I had learned that summer that Republicans exist and are the problem and support George HW Bush, so I figured that maybe they wouldn't like my father's proud admission that he would make Bush say, "uncle" or something.

When I was voting for the first time, I remembered this bumper sticker and laughed out lout while I was standing in the booth. Two little old ladies shuffled over and asked if I was ok. Just proud of my dad, that's all.


Kathleen said...

that is hilarious!

the first thing I remember about politics is my mom yelling at my dad for voting for Jesse Jackson in the primary.

Chuckles said...

My dad has this fantastic picture of him sitting on one of our couches in the house in the Congo. On the couch next to him is a man I didn't recognize at first, but in a double take I recognized him, Jesse Jackson. My mom's reaction was, "Oh yeah, he was very nice and unfailingly polite. He stayed in your room, Genius."

So Jesse Jackson slept in my bed. HAHA!

Anonymous said...

in 1992 I voted for Perot (I-Blame my older brother)

in 1996 I voted for Clinton (D-Incumbent)

in 2000 I voted for Nader (G-Glass House)

in 2004 I voted for Kerry (D-My State)

in 2008 I'm voting for Obama (D-Nazareth)

Anonymous said...

mdh - at least you're learning from your mistakes. :)

David said...

I remember voting for Mondale in an elementary school "election". I think my parents sent me to school with a Mondale sticker, and I had bragging rights since he won by a landslide. When the real election was over that night, I couldn't believe that Mondale didn't win for real.

Chuckles said...

I remember thinking Mondale's name was funny.

Kathleen said...

"as Middleville Elementary's 2nd grade class goes, so goes the nation."

Anonymous said...

I remember liking Bush because I thought he was related to Anheuser-Busch. I also cast a blatantly affirmative action vote for him in a school election because, at the time, I thought it was unfair that no black person had been president. Looking back, I realize that all political discussions are designed to help 10 year olds know which adjective to use for which candidate.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

My first vote was cast in a grade school class for.... Nixon. I was happy when he won, because "I " won.

Years later, I'm still ashamed.

After my vote counted, it was Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Clinton, Gore, and Kerry. Bet you can't guess who I'm planning to vote for.

Over the week, I had the chance to see some ads from Mondale and Dukakis. Sweet living fuck, those were some bad candidates.