You’ve probably noticed that our country is holding elections this November. Fellow citizens are competing for offices from which to represent ... us.

It’s either exciting stuff or boring, incomprehensible, awful television.

And there’s a certain sameness to it, imposed by custom and the fact that, after all, people haven’t evolved much during the 240 years the USA has existed.

Here’s an expert from my book “The Curmudgeon Chronicles.”

Horse racing

Just about every pundit, politico, columnist, egghead and talking head seems to agree with the proposition that presidential political campaigns should present carefully articulated, clearly detailed, insightful points of view and propose directions toward which the country should move. Most Americans concur.

Presidential campaigns, nearly everyone says, shouldn’t be run as horse races are run. Naturally, that’s the way they are conducted. Here comes Buchanan, coming up from Iowa to New Hampshire towards Arizona and South Carolina, thundering up the well-worn and muddy track, catching up to nose out Dole, who faded in the stretch. Alexander a possible third, but only lengths ahead of Forbes. Then comes Keys and Lugar. Far behind is Dornan, clearly outclassed. Gramm was a scratch. And then there’s Beedlebhaum ... in ... the ... rear.

Handicappers and oddsmakers are clearly confused. Lots of early foot was shown, some staying power, a few good mudders, much fancy grooming, and quite a bit of jostling and interference. Foul claims galore. A few contestants headed completely in the wrong direction.

Yes, a funny way to choose the person to be president, the commander-in-chief, the one who can press the button and nuke us all back to the last extinction, the inspirational leader of the nation, most powerful person in the most powerful nation in the world.

Anybody laughing?

Vote for Elvis

We citizens of these United States are led to understand — by the media, of course, that multidimensional mob referred to in the singular — that we’re supposed to be pleased that a person who aspires to be president simply doesn’t have a shot if he/she:

• Doesn’t have congressional back-up;

• Can’t get past various state protocols which restrict ours to a two-party ochlocracy; and/or

• Just doesn’t have enough time left before November to achieve name recognition.

Little boys used to be told they could grow up to be president. For all I know — and hope — little girls are told they can, too, except perhaps in Utah. (And, naturally, the South.) My father told me, “Anybody can be president of these United States.” He never once mentioned the above restrictions. He talked to me about hard work and ability and talents and beliefs. Inconsequential things like those. This was before charisma had been invented. Pop never once mentioned charisma.

No, I don’t think my father actually believed his number-two son would become president. He had a pretty informed and suspicious view of politics. But I do think he believed it could actually happen, in the United States. In America. Without being backed up by a strong organization in Georgia or Oregon.

Would Pop have believed that we U.S. citizens have more of an opportunity, in 19-and-92, to vote unrestricted, free, in a triumph of our franchise and our freedoms, for an Elvis postage stamp than to vote for president?

You know, he probably would. He read history.

Field Notes: Headed toward August and one can sense a subtle shift and emphasis among the wild things. Responsibilities shift from procreation to mature behaviors and survival, at least that’s the way I feel about it. How is your sentiment?

Bert Raynes writes weekly on whatever suits his fancy with a dash of news on nature and its many ways. Contact him via

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