“We need to amend our constitution against any more of these winter meetings,” huffed Holger Danske as he stomped across the floor of the former Bohemian Hall for a special meeting of the Community Homeland Security Committee called in haste by Chairperson Ork Dorken.
Most of the town’s 14 electors were already huddled under the large south windows in the unheated cavernous hall, hoping that the bright sun would skim the chill off the air. Someone in the group gave Holger a “yah, that’s for sure” as he sat down.
“What’s this all about?” Holger asked impertinently.
“If we are going to have a say in them political caucuses, we need to do it now because the conventions will be nominating presidential candidates soon,” explained Ork.
“Well, I thought it was up to the Democrats and Republicans to have caucuses,” interjected Orville Jordan, the retired railroad depot agent who stayed after the railroad left.
“We don’t have enough people for two caucuses so I thought we could meet as one group and discuss the candidates,” Ork explained.
“Who’s running?” asked Josh Dvorchak.
“Well, as of this morning it looks like four candidates are still in the game,” Chief Alert Officer Garvey Erfald explained. “It’s Sanitorum, Romney, Paul and Ginrich.”
“From what I know, Sanitorum is Catholic and the Catholics haven’t had a president for 60 years so it’s their turn,” reported Madeleine Morgan. She would favor a Unitarian candidate herself if there was one.
“Well, the Mormons have never ever had a president so it seems that Romney should get a chance,” Old Sievert argued.
“I heard some good things about the old wizened guy -this Paul fellah from Texas,” Lars Torvald added. “I think he’s running on the Whig platform.”
“And his slogan is: ‘If you can remember anything, remember the Alamo,'” Josh inserted with a malicious snicker.
“I suppose he wants to conquer the rest of Mexico,” Lars offered. “You know, if we gave Mexico back all the land we stole from them we wouldn’t have an immigration problem.”
“Nobody has mentioned Noot Ginrich,” Holger said. “I’m not much for him myself because he’s had more than his share of wives. If he can’t handle domestic relations I don’t think he can handle foreign relations.”
“I don’t think religion has any effect on politics,” Madeleine observed.
“Well, they’re certainly making a big deal about who’s the best Christian,” Old Sievert remarked. “And then they get into the dirtiest mud-slinging campaign you ever saw. There’s obviously no connection between Christianity and candidates no matter what they say.”
“One man’s mud is another man’s issue,” Garvey philosophized.
“Mud is in the eye of the beholder, I guess,” Josh suggested.
“Are you saying that ‘Christian politician’ is an oxymoron?” Little Jimmy asked.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if one of these candidates claimed to have the endorsement of the Apostle Paul before the next primary election,” Lars speculated.
“By the end of the campaign, at least one will claim the blessing of the Lord Himself,” Madeleine added cynically.
“Instead of political caucuses, maybe we should just draw straws until one person is left and let ’em be president,” posited Little Jimmy, the town’s online student now majoring in theology for the third time.
“That would be the end of dirty campaigns and name-calling,” agreed Garvey as he rose from his cold steel chair, pulled up his collar, and started a stampede toward the door.
“Call CNN,” he shouted to Ork as he pulled on his sheepskin mittens. “Maybe Wolf Blitzer will furnish the straws.”
Omdahl is a UND professor emeritus in political science and a former lieutenant governor of North Dakota.
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