November 6th cannot get here fast enough for those of us accosted by the national media about the acclaimed virtues of their favorite candidates and the attributed evils of those they dislike. But there is another group of citizens who will be even more grateful when the election is over, that is the candidates themselves. Having been a candidate myself I feel their pain. And the winners will have suffered as much as the losers; although victory may somewhat assuage the pain of the campaign. However, the elation from an election night win may soon crash on the reality of actually filling a public office and the nagging dread that another campaign may soon be required.
Political campaigns remind me of Jerry Clowers’ most famous story. You may recall Clowers who was a standup comedian known as the “Mouth of the South”. Clowers was born in Liberty, Mississippi in 1926 and died in Jackson, Mississippi in 1998. He told many humorous stories of southern culture, some of which might fall through the cracks of today’s political correctness. His Coon Hunting routine brings up the feelings many political candidates experience. You may know the story which involves a Mississippi coon hunter who climbs a tree to confront what he thinks is a raccoon and finds himself in a battle with an unamused lynx.
As the hunter is suffering claws and teeth he calls for his fellow coon hunter to shoot up in the tree. His friend yells back he is afraid to fire his gun as he might hit the treed hunter. The hunter in the tree yells back, “Fire anyway, one of us has to have some relief!”
When it comes to political races often candidates are so amazed and chagrined by the experience they get the same feeling. “Just get it over, I’ll worry about who wins later.” On the other hand, those of us on the ground, as it were, can receive the benefits of the effort of those who seek to serve us without any sacrifice on our part.
So, on behalf of those of us on the sidelines allow me to say thank you to the candidates and as another famous candidate said, “We feel your pain”, but it will soon be mercifully over for all of us.