The late country comedian Jerry Clower’s most famous story was his coon huntin’ story told about the time he and his Mississippi friends made an evening of hunting that evolved into an entanglement with a lynx up a tree. There was a whole lot of humor expounded by the comedian in the story before they reached the point where “great American” John Eubanks climbed the tree to get whatever was in the tree out that had been run up there by the hounds. Those on the ground hollered, “Knock’em out, John,” up to John as he took a sharp stick to poke what he thought was a raccoon. However, to John’s surprise, the raccoon turned out to be a lynx, better known as a souped up bobcat in Mississippi, which immediately took on John in somewhat of a man verses beast fight.
To those standing on the ground they couldn’t figure out what was going on up in the tree and just kept calling up for John to “knock’em out.” Finally, John screams back for someone to shoot up in the tree amongst him and the lynx. Of course, those on the ground didn’t want to do that for fear they would accidently hit John. But John hollers back, “Shoot up here amongst us, because one of us needs some relief!”
Just like John in Clower’s story, I’m about to suggest the same thing when it comes to the current election ads that keep appearing on my TV and the phone calls that are giving my telephone a major workout. I can’t believe I’m starting to miss all the lawyer ads on how to become rich after an 18 wheeler runs all over you. At least they are sort of believable.
If I see one more large shiny postcard in my mailbox with a picture of a person running for a state office holding hands with the President, who wouldn’t even know the President if he walked up and offered to buy him lunch, I’m sending it back with postage due. And, is it not amazing how ugly pictures can be made to put your opponents in the wrong image? I think I’m renaming Election Day to “Knock’em Out Day” and I’m not talking about the candidates. With this entire electronic media we now have, campaign staffs have lost common decency and have gone the way of anything goes.
The other night, I watched once again the old black and white movie made in 1939, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. That movie came out the same time as Gone With The Wind and both of them still get a lot of playing time. As I sat there listening to Jimmy Stewart talk about freedom, I wondered if a movie like Mr. Smith could even be made anymore. Politics is still pretty tough like the Taylor machine in the movie, but now it seems we allow all the fancy media to do our thinking for us rather than attempt to study the issues and make a decision on what counts instead of who has the most yard signs or the slickest commercials. A lot of the problems we have we could also blame ourselves for by doing little more than just making a decision on voting for someone based on a TV commercial or what party they belong to.
In the movie Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Jefferson Smith while talking to senator aid Saunders about his boys club says, “You see, boys forget what their country means by just reading The Land of the Free in history books. Then they get to be men they forget even more. Liberty’s too precious a thing to be buried in books, Miss Saunders. Men should hold it up in front of them every single day of their lives and say: I’m free to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn’t, I can, and my children will. Boys ought to grow up remembering that.” And, Smith was right way back in 1939 and the same is so true today. When we vote or even consider a candidate, we often never really think about the freedom we have and what we do enjoy compared to other places around this world. Voting is a serious right we all have and we should take it very seriously when we make our decisions on who we want to represent us in whatever office that is at stake. Because, it is our freedoms that we really are voting to protect and not who had the best yard sign.
Come November 2, go to the polls and vote, because one of us needs some relief.