Sunday, June 01, 2008

Bad News for McCain and Dem's Too ...

Last night, my wife and I visited one of our usual haunts, a diner on Tulsa's near Northside that features live music and a little dance floor (sort of). Frick and Frack were doing their usual pretty good job of having a good time with their music and helping other people do the same. There wasn't much of a crowd, just a couple of tables of regulars and about thirty people in one party for a family reunion of some sort. I was surprised when the one I call Frick, the keyboard player decided to tell joke. This is the story he told:

John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama were all in an airplane traveling across the country. While they were passing over a small city, McCain spoke up and said, "I could throw a thousand dollar bill out of the plane right now and make somebody down there very happy." Not to be outdone, Hillary said, "I could throw ten hundred dollar bills out of the plane right now and make several people happy." Sensing a movement for change, Obama piped in: "I could throw a hundred ten dollar bills out of the plane and make a lot people a little happier." The two flight attendants had been listening at a respectful distance. After a moment one of them whispered to the other, "Yeah, and we could throw all three of these losers out of the plane and make the whole country happy."

There was a roar of laughter and then small conversations broke out among the tables. I distinctly heard one blue collar lady say that she was going to have to do a write in or something this year. I didn't feel like intruding to tell her that a write in in Oklahoma invalidates your ballot.

The place where this story was told is definitely blue collar in a neighborhood where folks have a lot more to worry about than politics. When politics are discussed in places like this, there are usually pretty solid party line divisions. But last night, in this place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, there was a profound cynicism toward the whole electoral process that is unusual in people of that social and economic class.

I am afraid that this is indicative of real troubles ahead in the next presidential election. We may have an election that is decided by party activists alone because the political parties have, by default or design, fielded such a poor a selection of candidates that nobody, even Joe Sixpack, is willing to vote for them.


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