In the heartland of America, when the wind abates, the birds grow silent and a huge thunderhead appears on the horizon, and everyone knows that something loud and sweeping is about to happen. It will not be quiet for long.
The primary election is over, and the candidates are taking a breath while their contributors are getting out their wallets. It is slightly peaceful, but we know that the ceasefire will be shattered soon.
Our phone is recharging after heavy use listening to “personal” calls from famous people we have never met. The mailbox is being shored up to take on the delivery of glossy fliers touting or condemning this person or that. We wait.
This is not a time of great expectancy, such as for an impending birth or a new job offer.
It is more like lying exposed in the anteroom at the hospital waiting to undergo a hemorrhoidectomy. We know something will happen — and we are dreading it.
In countries that have a strong monarchy, they do not expose themselves to such suffering. They just wait for one despot to leave and another to arrive. The king is dead; long live the king.
In a dictatorship, there is no campaigning, although there may be a riot or two. It is not a matter of which dictator the people want. It is more about who they can tolerate the longest.
In the words of my ancestors: “It could be worse.” This meant that while our political system is flawed, there are others that we would like even less.
At the present, we might not think there is a worse one, yet we accept the lull before the next round of machine-generated phone calls and four-color fliers.
In general, most of us who vote already know who we are voting for and who we are voting against. At this point, we are running on passion, not information.
This is the game we have agreed upon, so we must suck it up and prepare for the fall campaign. We steel ourselves for the impending political tripe and trash.
The reports are already coming in regarding the huge amount of money that is going to be spent. While not rivaling the national debt, it is larger than the economies of many countries. Folks will spend an amount equal to what it would cost to make a substantial dent in the problem of hunger.
Believe me, as one who writes for a newspaper, the media needs the swag. Yet, it seems like each candidate could just mail me a check directly, and I’d still vote the way I was going to in the first place.
The amount of money spent on elections in the United States seems repugnant. It may be a free country, but getting a chance to boss it costs everyone dearly.
• Mike McLellan can be contacted by calling and leaving a message at 830-4231 or emailing him at DrMikeM@sbcglobal.net.