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Election ennui

Agriculture.com Staff 09/22/2008 @ 8:05am

We Americans are in the midst of yet another election cycle. This whole election experience can be replicated whenever you want by simply standing behind a full manure spreader and hollering, "OK, let 'er rip!"

Like many of you, I am disgusted by the increasing levels of gunk we have to endure during each election season. Much of this disgust stems from a proverb that seems to have been etched into the brains of politicians, an adage that goes, "If you can't say anything nice about a person, put it in a TV commercial and run it about 50,000 times."

If only our political candidates could forget that maxim as easily as they forget their campaign promises! Things would become a lot more civil and much more quiet on the political front. Some candidates would be totally silenced.

Many have suggested that we do away with our current system for selecting presidents, the so-called Electoral College. It's easy to see why, as this system is quite confusing. Indeed, I have it on excellent authority that the Electoral College has nothing at all to do with educating our next generation of electricians!

The Electoral College uses some sort of unbelievably complicated formula to determine the number of electors allocated to each state. It goes something like this: Take the state's total population and divide it by the cosine of the gerrymander. Multiply the resulting number by pi R squared, then subtract the number of words in Abraham Lincoln's so-called "Gettysburg Address".

Clear as mud, right? This system was obviously concocted by the government; no normal person could ever imagine anything so dunderheaded.

But if we were to abolish the Electoral College what would take its place? I'm glad you asked, because this is where things become really interesting!

One of the easiest and most obvious mechanisms would be to have the candidates participate in a duel. The sticky wicket would be deciding exactly what kind of duel.

Pistols at 20 paces has a certain amount of charm, but there are some glaring flaws inherent in that system. For instance, what if one candidate happens to be severely myopic? Would he or she be allowed to use corrective lenses? Might that be interpreted in such a way that it would include a high-powered scope mounted on his or her firearm?

Perhaps the best way to select our next president would be to hold a series of contests that are based on actual farm activities. This is because farming is a very "down-to-earth" occupation, and candidates nowadays are frantically slinging mud in an effort to prove just how down-to-earth they are.

We would start with fencing. And no, I don't mean that weenie kind of fencing that involves those skinny swords.

Each candidate would be required to hand-drill a series of fence post holes. Points would be deducted for any crookedness in the resulting fence, as every farmer knows that a crooked fence is the hallmark of a Machiavellian personality. Extra points would be awarded to candidates who succeed in getting their teenaged children to help dig the post holes.

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