Society & Culture

Campaigning for Narcissists

On even-numbered years, particularly the ones coinciding with a presidential midterm, my Deep South home county undergoes the grotesque onslaught of local elections.  For a few months in the spring and summer (and also in the fall, although this is tempered somewhat by Alabama being a “Red State,” which usually means the winner of the Republican primary takes all), we swat mosquitoes, cut grass, host and attend barbecues, and wade through oceans of self-promoting politicians and their signs, ads, bluster, and egos.

The office seekers and office maintainers scour highways and county roads, looking for a pristine spot of lush green hillside at a busy intersection to impale the ground with their campaign signs.  (Obviously, the bigger, the better.)  They geographically color-coordinate their signs to correspond with that area’s high-school team colors.  That way each community knows that said candidate supports their Wildcats or their Cubs or their Tigers or whatever else they hold dear that might persuade those particular citizens to vote for the candidate.

The public presence of the candidates ratchets higher along with the temperature, the sale of ice cream, and the crime statistics.  It becomes unsafe for the average citizen to venture out, as the vultures and their minions haunt the parking lots, the entryways, the exits, the foyers, the stands of athletic events, the bread store,...

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