Super Tuesday is only a day away, and if there is one thing I have learned from the months – months? it seems like years – of political campaigning, it is that we voters like a good magic act.
“Ladies and gentlemen, to amaze you and to amuse you, I will now make your credulity disappear. Now you see it, now you don’t. Abracadabra!”
While saying these mysterious words, the candidate – any candidate, every candidate – will mesmerize us into voting for him by … removing his necktie!
That’s all it takes for someone to make us believe he is one of us. They all do it, all the parties. It’s a one-size-fits-all maneuver that works flawlessly – without smoke and mirrors.
Each one travels around, eating, shaking hands, talking. He has been too busy to work. Still, he sports a nice suit and snazzy tie. With a flick of the wrist, though, he will loosen the knot around his neck, slip in a finger and pull.
Shazam! The tie is gone. The dress shirt is open at the neck. The candidate is one of us, even if we wear a blue collar or a dress.
“I don’t know why I didn’t see this before,” we think, “but he’s just plain folks after all.”
Sometimes, when too many candidates are walking around with open collars, we lose interest, and so one of them will raise the ante. Bam! He shows up for a fundraiser in blue jeans.Blue jeans! On the leader, or the next leader, of the free world? What could be more American than a piece of work clothing invented right here in America? Don’t you know everyone in Russia is seething with envy?
Even if everyone else on the stage is dressed up, including the candidate’s wife, we can see that he is a man of the people. The common clay. We begin yearning for that voting booth.
Just when we think we’ve seen it all, just when we are sure our minds are made up, one candidate will go the extra mile. Faster than the human eye, he rolls up his sleeves!
Nothing implies hard work more than rolled-up shirt sleeves. Look, he’s not afraid of backbreaking labor if it will save this country. Bare arms mean he is just a hop, skip and a jump from picking up a hammer or a shovel – or maybe even his political opponent and shaking some sense into that rascal.
Yes, elections have become the political equivalent of casual Friday. They are a mix of vaudeville, chautauqua and Houdini – with a bit of striptease thrown in along the campaign trail. Still, have you seen what some other countries have to offer on election day? Not much.
Will I see you at the polls Tuesday? The candidates have put in the hours, so it’s not asking too much for us to get out and vote for them.
Like campaigning, voting is hard work, and I’m already laying out my wardrobe: My best jeans. A shirt, but no tie. And I’m already rolling up my sleeves.