Something here doesn’t make sense. Each of the two major presidential candidates just raised and spent nine hundred million dollars in quest of a job that pays……$400,000! You ponder on that for a moment. And then tell me what I’m missing. Does somebody high up in the political parties know something we don’t? Is there some kind of gigantic kickback coming for all the money that is laid out? This mystery is as stupefying as the Stonehenge or that Hanging Garden of Babylon or what happened to Detroit in the recent World Series.
There is just no accounting for the things a man will do to be able to salute like they are in charge when they step off a helicopter. I’m sure marching into a room to the strands of “Hail to the Chief” must be invigorating. And sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom would awaken even the most casual heart as to the awesomeness of our great history.
But my goodness, putting in $900,000,000 to get back $400,000 is a little like Jesse James passing on the Federal First National Mining Company Bank with all the gold bullion and miners’ payroll and robbing the tiny Bailey Savings and Loan across the street. It’s like having your pick of any car on the lot and you select the Ford Pinto over the Lamborghini. You show up at the Thanksgiving dinner salivating over the turkey breast, giblet gravy and dressing……and you end up gnawing on nothing but a cold chicken neck.
And sure, we’re all aware of the “perks of the office” and the “presidential prestige” that goes along with the job. But people, as God is my witness, there is not $800,600,000 dollars worth of perks in any job on this earth!
And one of the parties spent $900,000,000……and lost. I’d shoot myself.
How much do you reckon eighteen hundred million is? We never got that high in grade school math. To be completely truthful, we didn’t know there was that much money in the world! We talked in nickels and dimes. We aimed high for the time; which meant a quarter for the picture show and a bag of popcorn. Two dollars would take me and Billie Jean out to eat and then to the dance in style. We didn’t even think “twenty dollar bill” or “fifty”, and a “hundred” was as foreign to us as a NC-17 movie.
I threw away enough paper “vote for me” epistles the last week of the campaign to warm every house in America this winter. And I bet you if we had given 1.8 billion dollars to some worthy food bank they could have fed hungry people in this country well into the next election cycle. Instead of talking us to death on TV, radio, internet, etc, I wish the candidates had pooled their money and put it into social security, Medicare and job raising enterprises. How about taking Dave Ramsey’s advice and paying off our debt with the first sizable sum we can get our hands on!
In 1964 I went to work for Tommie Hill down at his DX Service Station. I came in right after daylight and worked till the station closed late in the afternoon. He agreed to pay me five dollars a day. I was grateful as all get out to have the job. I showed up early and eagerly did whatever was asked of me. Mr. Tommie pulled me aside the first week and suggested I buy a green “station” work shirt so I would represent the business in a professional manner when I went out to pump gas in Mr. Roe Alexander’s big Cadillac.
I was willing to do anything to keep this job. Then I found out those heavy duty “DX Boron” shirts cost seven dollars a piece! And management thought I ought to buy at least two so I’d have a clean one each day. NO WAY! I was young, gullible, stupid and not the least bit worldly, but I wasn’t going to squander a day and a half’s pay for one lousy shirt. The economics wasn’t right!
I borrowed a light blue chambray shirt from Leon and thought that it added some much needed color to offset Mr. Tommie’s drab green. I was spending my hard earned money on Dr. Pepper’s, French fries, baseball cards and Ricky Gene Stafford’s pretty cousin from Memphis.
One local U.S. House of Representatives candidate listed his campaign contributions at over a million dollars. That sounds like chicken feed……until you realize there are 438 of them running for office. And consider that each has an opponent that raises comparable funds….. then, you throw in one third of the U. S. Senators who are up for re-election…..well, you do the math!
We’ve been shanghaied by our own candidates! Will Rogers was trying to be funny back in the 1920’s when he declared, “We’ve got the best congress money can buy”. But let’s try to see the glass half full. Let’s hope and pray that everyone we’ve elected will be the best we’ve ever had!
But you can’t help shaking your head over the cost of doing “election business” in this country. We talk about shortfalls and lack of funds and social security running out—but come office seeking time we mysteriously seem to have more money than we do sense. You can see how this voting season takes me back to the Tommie Hill days, “The economics wasn’t right!”