Simply mention the word “politics” around any group of people and I am fairly positive it will elicit a myriad of reactions, ranging from some people simply leaving your company, other’s eyes glazing over, all the way to some rather emotional responses based upon those individual’s political beliefs. There will no doubt be people who will rant about this, that, or the other; which is a pretty remarkable feat, considering the fact that it is a rather simple and innocuous word, that has no relation to those “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” that George Carlin spoke about – hmm, maybe “politics” should be added to that list?
Based upon those myriad of reactions the word “politics” causes in people I think it would be a safe assumption to make that there are many, many people who do not think too highly of those people who choose politics as their source of livelihood; otherwise known as politicians. I suppose it could be argued, rather successfully, that the collective disdain for politicians is a not so insubstantial reason why America doesn’t have spectacular voter turnout for its elections. I believe it goes beyond apathy, and way past jaded, all the way to full blown resignation that regardless of which politician we vote for it isn’t going to really change anything, so why even bother participating in the process, which many of those people believe is now simply a charade.
Well, despite all of those negative reactions to politics and politicians there is a tiny little town in Alaska called Talkeetna, population 900 strong, that decided to take back their town from those charading politicos, reclaim democracy, and more importantly send a message, especially to the other would be politicians. Fifteen years ago, this town, just south of Denali National Park, was offered what have become the standard two choices of politicians for mayor of their town and the people didn’t like either of them. So instead of holding their noses and voting for the lesser of two evils, which is how many of us actually vote, they chose instead to get together and find a suitable write-in candidate. They eventually found who they were looking for, and his name was/is Stubbs. The thing about Stubbs though is that he is a cat. As I said at the beginning of this paragraph they wanted to send a message, a rather humorous one to be sure, but a message nonetheless, that the status quo just wasn’t good enough anymore. The thing is though, what was supposed to be a lark and a protest vote, Stubbs actually won the election and has been mayor of Talkeetna ever since. Obviously it is purely a ceremonial title, because he is a cat after all, but based on this quote from Talkeetna resident Skye Farrar, “I’m very confident that Talkeetna will be A-OK, as long as we have Stubbs around;” speaks volumes. To be fair she is referring to the added tourism revenue that having Stubbs the cat as mayor has brought in, but maybe there is deeper meaning in there too? Like good government is so easy that a cat can do it; which is the direct opposite of what all of those human politicians tell us, hmm…
Obviously I am not advocating that we as a country band together and elect a cat, or a dog for that matter. Instead I am simply saying that if you are one of those who are way past jaded and deep in the territory of resignation, when it comes to politics, politicians, and voting, then maybe it is time that all of you/us get together and send a national message that we too find the status quo just isn’t good enough anymore. So, instead of not voting, or holding our noses and voting for whoever we feel is the lesser of two evils, which by the way is still evil (the word “evil” just so happens to be the 666th word in this article) how about voting for the third party candidate, if for no other reason than to serve as a protest vote?