Mary Pitt: Political Facts Of Life
Political Facts Of Life
by Mary Pitt
"Granny, are we goin' to one of them parties?"
"What parties is that, Child?"
"Teacher says that they're gonna have two big parties, one in Boston, Mattachewsits, and one in Noo Yawk City. Granny, I ain't never been to a real big party. Can we go?"
"No, Child, those are just for the rich folks. And those places are away off, too far for us to go."
"But, Granny, they are supposed to be NATIONAL parties!! Teacher says they're for everybody and I want to go!"
"Sit down, Darling, and I will try to explain things for you. You're about old enough to be able to understand about these things. First, these are POLITICAL parties; they're rich people with influence that are giving us a big show to convince us that each side is the one we want to run our country for the next four years. When it's all over, they will tell us who our new President should be and we're supposed to decide which one we want. Then we might get him unless the Supreme Court decides that we made a mistake."
"But, Granny, this is supposed to be a DEE-mocracy and the leaders are supposed to be picked by the people!"
"Well, that's the way it used to work, but it just doesn't any more. There are two political parties and this time they picked out who it was going to be before most people even had a chance to vote. They think that people won't vote for the ones they decide we should have and so they make the decision and then tell us who it is going to be. These parties are just a big show to entertain the poor folks and get us all excited about it."
"Didn't the poor people have anything to say about it?"
"Not this time. There were some elections, away early in the spring and there were lots of people who wanted to be President that gave speeches and politicked in several states and it looked like the people might have a real chance to elect somebody good, but they started showing phony pictures on the teevee and people saying bad things about the ones the people wanted and, pretty soon. they decided that this one guy was the one we were supposed to want."
"Well, Granny, how about the other Party?"
"Child, the other party is the one that has the guy who is President now, you know, the one that started the war where your Uncle Robbie was killed. (I know, Dear, you miss your Uncle Robbie, and so do I, but he had to do his duty. Please don't start squawlin' again.) Anyway, his party wants him to be President again".
"But they're havin' a big party, too, and Teacher says that this party is where they pick out the guys we get to vote for!?"
"That's the way it's supposed to be, Dear, but they like it better this way. This party is just to celebrate the fact that they get to start their campaigns and try to convince us that one or the other of these men is going to make things better for us."
"But, Granny, why can't they invite us to the party? Isn't this supposed to be like they write in the history books, government of the people, by the people, and for the people?"
"Not any more, Sweetheart. It's more like the old picture shows that you sneak up late at night to watch on the teevee when your Mama and Daddy are asleep. The rich people have these big parties and they pick out some poor people, the pretty ones, and let them come to the party to sing and dance and show off, but the poor people stand around outside. Away back where it's dark so the rich people don't have to look at them, and we can watch, They are even going to let us hear some of the speeches, the important ones and hear how much better they want us to think our lives will be if we all vote for that man."
"And then what, Granny?"
"Well, I guess, when they finish their party and start walking off, all drunk and happy, We can all come out of the shadows and sing "In The Evening By the Moonlight" and they can go home to bed and we can go back to work, cleaning up their mess."
Mary Pitt is a septuagenarian Kansan who is self-employed and active in the political arena. Having three generations of descendants, she feels obligated to leave them with the same rights and freedoms which she has so enjoyed.