Looking Forward

A Fool In NH Column Heading

I am looking forward to the next campaign season despite it all.
It used to be, in years past, I was the only one running for governor from the Flatlander Party. It wasn’t a difficult choice, being there were only a handful of us back in those early days. (Actually, it came down to a coin toss and I lost.)
As the years went by, it was just assumed that I would be the perennial candidate since I already had some experience in campaigning. I was becoming quick on my feet answering questions by giving answers that meant nothing at all, an important part in being a politician.
Ironically, my campaigns for governor only helped to increase the membership in the Party as more and more Flatlanders, once afraid to declare themselves as such, became emboldened and jumped on the wagon.
Lets’ face it, when I moved to New Hampshire from New York in 1985, relations between Flatlanders and natives were pretty bad.
Who doesn’t remember the famous “Dump Day Massacre” of 1972 when a group of natives attacked some well-intentioned Flatlanders who were trying to throw stuff away at the dump instead of bringing junk home. Traffic was backed up for miles and the police were called in when the Flatlanders were chased into the road by the natives who had picked up any rusty old piece of metal they could find, of which there were many.
When I announced the formation of The Flatlander Party as well as my intention to run for governor, I knew there would be backlash. Though we Flatlanders were tolerated here in the Granite State, we weren’t truly accepted. As long as we stayed in the background everything would be alright.
There were protesters at that first news conference when I made my announcement. It was a small group of natives there to loudly protest. Of course, the New Hampshire media portrayed them as speaking for every native, but I knew better.
That first election was dismal as far as votes for me, but I knew it would be tough. Still, the Flatlander Party had made its mark and was here to stay.
Things improved slightly over the years as I ran for governor over and over. We picked up support from more Flatlanders who were getting frustrated with the selection of candidates and decided to take a chance.
Still, it was never quite enough. I knew that in order to increase my support I would have to reach across the aisle and try to gain the support of some natives on election day. There was no way we would have a chance otherwise.
I did all I could to mend fences. I attended bean hole bean suppers, a few Bingo games at the local grange and even hung around at some country stores pretending to understand the conversations.
Of course, I was never about to get the support of a lot of the older natives, they are a tough bunch to sway, but I did make some headway in bringing around some of the younger ones in seeing that we weren’t really the threat the media made us out to be. (New Hampshire’s television news has never been kind to us Flatlanders.)
Of course, there were the significant number of Flatlanders who were under the illusion they were actually natives since they had lived here so long. It took a little while, but I finally brought many of them over to our side.
So, where did all my hard work get me?
Well, the party is bigger now and new factions have sprouted their wings from within, including those who feel I have been too kind to the natives.
So, this next election cycle for the governor, I will first have to fight those from inside my own party in order to be on the ticket next year.
Some thanks for all my hard work.
I used to be able to coast through the summer months every two years, not worrying about being on the ticket, only kicking it into gear after Labor Day as far as campaigning goes.
Still, I’m looking forward to campaigning for what is rightly mine. I am ready to take my message to the people.
I will do whatever needs to be done to get the nomination, even beyond the empty smiles, tedious handshakes and soon-to-be broken promises that are requirements of anyone running for office.
I will be claiming what is rightly mine.
Let the games begin.

Join me as “Real Stories North Of Concord” hosts a StorySlam at the Franklin Opera House on Saturday, Sept. 9th. Up to twelve storytellers will be picked to tell their 6-minute story based on the theme “Odd Jobs” The slam starts at 7:00 and admission is $5 with all net proceeds going to benefit the Opera House.