Milestones: Tyranny of the nonreluctant minority

I want to hear from the people who are not running for office. No, I don’t want to hear from the people who can’t run, so if you’re under 18, a convicted felon, a noncitizen or a nonhuman, stop reading now.

I know why I’m not running: I’m not electable. As my high school guidance counselor said on my third-to-last day of high school, “Nobody likes a smartass, Miles. You’ll never amount to anything.” He was wrong about one thing. People do like me. But, heck, if my Henderson privileges can’t survive speaking my mind on our local blog, two years in city office would probably revive our fine old tradition of tarring, feathering and running out of town on a rail. So we’re not talking about me.

I’m talking to YOU, Mr., Ms. and Mrs. Henderson! I’m talking to our Garden Club members, our Optimist Club members, our churchgoing, patriotic, freedom-loving Henderson Citizens in Good Standing. I’m talking to Hendersonians who are sons and daughters of Hendersonians, to the people whose people were, are and ever shall be Henderson people.

I know what you’re thinking, Henderson. There are so many other important things going on. There’s the war in Iraq. There’s the economy, inflation, abortion and steroids in major-league baseball. Who cares about the politics of one little rural town?

You’re right, Henderson. Those are important things. But there’s no war going on here, unless you count the war on drugs, on crime, on ignorance and on poverty. Are the feds going to fight that one for us? Do we want them to? The economy? The economy we should be worrying about is our economy, right here in Henderson, where we do our daily business and live our lives. Abortion? That’s an issue we can solve on the most local of all levels: in our homes with our loved ones. And steroids? Oh, please! How, when, where and how much it costs to collect the rubbish is more important than a steroid case with a club. So why haven’t you filed?

You’re too busy? Are you sure? What’s really taking up your time? Hey, I like watching television as much as the next person, but I’d turn off the set forever for the opportunity to make a real difference. And you can, Hendersonians. It could be YOU.

What’s that, Henderson? It doesn’t matter who all’s in office? Nothing is ever going to change? Maybe so, Henderson, but then again, maybe not. It could change without you, and all change is not necessarily for the better. I’m no Rod Serling, but imagine, if you will …

It’s five minutes to zero hour at the Vance County Board of Elections. A reverend in a flashy suit waits on the steps, nervously consulting his watch. At one minute ’til, he rushes inside, pulling out his papers, and files for mayor, the only one who filed, and he filed just in time …

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