Thursday, June 12, 2008

Basic Civics: Public Service Announcement

This is a public service announcement.

[Camera Zooms in on old Distinguished Politician talking to one of the newly elected]

[Old Pol]
Boy, Ah say Boy, come on over heah. We need to talk.

[Young Pol]
Yes Sir?

[Old Pol]
Son, Ah need your help on a bill. Can Ah count on your support at the vote?

[Young Pol timidly]
I don't know Sir, my constituants are not really for this issue....

[Zoom out and focus on the Old Pols pained, but indulgent expression as he strikes a pose]

[Old Pol]
Son, you have no worries. Your constituents won't remember this vote. That's why it was timed to take place when the new freshmen were sworn in. Let me tell you the facts of life in Congress.

[Old Pol continues] First thing you need to know is that we incumbents get reelected 96 percent of the time. So, by breaking in, your job is secure pretty much no matter what you do.

[Young Pol]
But, the uh voters in my district...

[Old Pol]
Son, don't sweat the voters. Look out of 100 folks back home that are entitled to vote only 46 Percent will actually register and vote. So you can ignore 54 people altogether. Those are the sheep that will bleat when we herd em. But they don't amount to nothing. Now, out of those 46 folks, about 20 percent are ignorant and don't even pay attention. That leaves 36 folks. Out of them, you can write off about half to party line or single issues. So, all you really need to look out for is 18 out of every hundred folks.

[Young Pol]
Wow. I had no idea. So it is all about numbers?

[Old Pol]
Yep. And as a bonus, we get the media. Folks are conditioned to get their news in thirty second increments. So, if you make your press releases right, you can control how the info is spun. But, since you are going to help me with the bill.... Ah will be around to keep you afloat till you learn how this river runs. Fair 'nuff?

[Young Pol with relief evident on his face]
Yes Sir. I'm with you. Thanks.

[Old Pol]
No sweat son. Let's get out of this back room and into some sunshine. The cigar smoke is killin me. About that committee appointment, we've got big plans for you.....

[Zoom out as the pair exit the room]

This has been a public service announcement.

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