usually avoid discussing politics in my columns, mainly because I
would rather not be disowned by family members, unfriended by friends,
or doused with milkshakes and other beverages by complete strangers
at the local Whataburger. This time, though, I just can't help getting
out my big ol' stir-up-sumpin' stick.
I'll begin by announcing that I recently cast (as in chucked, lobbed
or hurled) my vote for President of the United States of 'Merica.
I decided to vote early so I could avoid the airborne particles of
other humans on Election Day-I thought. To my dismay, when I arrived
at my early-voting location, a shabby community center built during
the make-every-structure-look-like-a-doctor's-office period of architecture,
the line of voters wound around the inside of the building as if I
was awaiting my turn to discombobulate my innards on the Space Mountain
ride at Disney World.
Unfortunately, my innards still felt discombobulated, but not because
of a thrilling roller coaster ride. Instead, the building had no air
conditioning and smelled like a massive, well-used cat litter box.
(And since my three teen daughters are philosophically opposed to
caring for their own pets, I would know.)
Rather than filter out the odor, my COVID-19 face mask trapped it
in my defenseless nostrils. By the time I reached the voting kiosk,
I was so overcome by the heat and stench that I feared I might face-plant
on the touch screen and accidentally place a write-in vote for the
late Wilford Brimley-which might not be such a bad option.
Speaking of my three daughters, even though none of them are old enough
to vote, I felt like it was important to engage them in the vital
subject of national politics during an election year so that they,
too, could make an informed argument about which presidential candidate
has the most humiliating dance moves.
On a recent evening while we were digesting our tacos around the dinner
table, I asked each of my daughters to offer their opinions about
President Trump and Joe Biden.
My eldest and most expensive daughter replied that both of the candidates
are too "creepy" for her. She longs for a viable third-party candidate
who would pledge to place a cap on the price of a Venti Double-Shot
Espresso on ice with two pumps of caramel-classic syrup and almond
milk at Starbucks.
My middle daughter had to admit that she knows very little about the
candidates, and she doesn't care much about politics. She did declare
that both leading candidates seem "old and crusty," and she wishes
she could find a way to get her current boyfriend on the ballot.
My youngest daughter didn't hear the question because she was too
engrossed in her iPhone-watching a YouTube star explain how to dress
up your pet as a Russian babushka . (You think I'm kidding.)
After this initial round of discussion, we proceeded to take an online
political survey designed to determine which presidential candidate
would most closely match our values and beliefs as a family. We chose
answers to questions ranging from our views on immigration to our
feelings about eating our Thanksgiving dinner via slingshot due to
the COVID-19 pandemic. We were only slightly disappointed to discover
that we would be most satisfied with Baby Yoda as President.
On another evening, we all gathered in the living room to watch the
musical "Hamilton" on Disney+. In today's divisive political atmosphere,
it was refreshing to revisit the time of our Founding Fathers-when
politics were more harmonious, everyone knew how to rap, and political
disagreements could be settled with an old-fashioned shooting.
Whatever the outcome of this year's election, it's important to remember
that we are all Americans, and our devotion to our country should
overcome our political differences. Most of all, when disagreements
do arise, we should resist the temptation to douse one another with
our favorite fast-food beverages.