Keep on smiling…

Bill the Cat

Bill the Cat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She was the sort of woman who kept a parrot.” ~Mark Twain

One of my parrot friends has the quote above on her email header. I have no idea what Twain meant by that comment, however, I am sure it was humorous. He loved poking fun at his fellow Americans. Many of his comments were well deserved.

I was thinking about the sense of humour found among many Americans and came to the realization that having a sense of humour unites us and saves our Democracy. I must have a sense of humour. I haven’t voted for the guy who won the presidency in over two decades (the last five elections). In fact, I have only voted for the guy who won the office once in the past 30+ years.

The last time I voted for the guy who won the office of president, I voted for Jimmy Carter (the first time). I didn’t make that mistake again. No, I didn’t vote for Reagan, but I did vote for John Anderson. Regan won, but I voted for Mondale the second time Reagan ran.  I have only met one person in my life time who voted for John Anderson. Most people don’t even know who he is. The guy I met who knew Anderson had worked in his campaign. He was a co-worker who kept a sign next to his desk that showed Bill the Cat and read:

“I’ve got one nerve left in my body, and you are standing on it.” 

I don’t know that the guy who lost the election in any of the past few decades could have done a better job than the guy who won, but then none of us knows what might have been. Hence, I cut the guy in office some slack and keep a sense of humour.

The one thing you deduce when you sit on the sidelines after the person for whom you voted loses his or her election, is that the person in office often does things that you think are stupid. For example, I recall my neighbor beseeching me to vote for Obama, “because he will get us out of Iraq.” He didn’t tell me that he would immediately get us into Afghanistan full time. And, of course we left Iraq rather ignominiously. We are about to do the same thing in Afghanistan, having suffered more casualties in that country under Obama than we did in Iraq under Bush (NYT this week). And for what?

Although the British held Afghanistan for 200 years, you will often hear folks say, “Nobody has ever been able to conquer Afghanistan.” Perhaps what they should say is nobody wants it after they have it for a while?


Simply holding a democratic election is not Democracy. Democracy is governing in a democratic and inclusive fashion. Hitler was elected democratically (sort of) but he became a dictator.  

Smiling can imply a sense of humour and a stat...

Smiling can imply a sense of humour and a state of amusement, as in this painting of Falstaff by Eduard von Grützner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Governing from the center is the only way to govern democratically. After all, no one gets their way all the time, or maybe not even most of the time. I haven’t had my way politically in a long time, but I retain a sense of humor.  




9 thoughts on “Keep on smiling…

  1. We are in the midst of a giant brouhaha here over our elected mayor. And I voted for that unprintable. All his friends are urging that he resign, but the headlines in today’s paper quote him as saying, “I need help.” Guck.


  2. “Perhaps what they should say is nobody wants it after they have it for a while?” From the sentence above, I think we would be better off if politicos asked for your observations as they attempted to govern. Enjoyed this post on humor as a necessity for sanity regarding the political arena.


  3. Perhaps they should use you in the opinion polls? Whoever you plan to vote for is sure to lose.

    Sense of humour is the best thing to have, it makes you into everybody’s favourite companion and makes your own life and the world we live in bearable.


  4. I remember John Anderson. 1980. I knew a couple of people who voted for him b/c they were disappointed in Carter but couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Reagan. I voted for Carter who in retrospect was a nice guy, an honorable person … and a lousy president. Anyway, I did those people one better. I voted for Ross Perot. (But don’t be too hard on me; it didn’t seem like such as bad idea at the time.)


    • I think I might have voted for Bill Clinton when Ross Perot ran. I should have voted for GB senior, but was still a somewhat loyal Democrat back then. I stopped being one a few years back when Obama ran. I did not vote for Clinton a second time. The Monica thing really got to me, and Robert Dole is a fabulous guy.


  5. I voted for McGovern, but Nixon won. That election hurt me the most, as I was so against our involvement in the Vietnam War. The US should stay out of civil wars.


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