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An American Child’s Primer For The US Presidential Election

See the Republican. Voters are angry. He feeds off their anger. Voters are scared. He feeds off their fear. He watches himself on television. This would make a good television show.

See the Democrat. She is not the Republican. When she wakes up in the morning, she is not the Republican. At bedtime, she is not the Republican. She takes a knife and cuts a juicy steak for dinner. It oozes. Would the steak ooze like that for a Republican?

See the presidential candidates, who are not Republican or Democrat. They wait in line at grocery stores. They park their own cars. They give speeches on sidewalks near train stations. Passengers walk by without noticing them. “Vote for me.” Sorry, I don’t know you, one man replies.

See the news anchor. He thinks something about the Republican is interesting today. It is more interesting than what the Democrat said yesterday. Is it interesting and shocking? If it is shocking, he could be the star of a viral news video seen by everyone. He has the hairdresser comb his hair again.

See the pollster. He adds and subtracts some numbers. Then he divides and multiplies those numbers. He sits in a chair, sips some coffee, and talks about these numbers for the television. Today’s numbers show voters will vote one way. Tomorrow’s numbers may show voters are voting a different way. A business executive stops him afterward. “Should we be worried?” No, wait for the new numbers. They’re much better.

See the lobbyist. She buys a latte. Lattes help her focus when talking about money. Her phone rings. Go back to the hotel, her boss says. She just met a person who is a friend of a friend of the Republican candidate. She now has to meet a friend of a friend of the Republican candidate. In that same hotel.

See the super volunteer. It is a hot day but not hot enough to stop him. He studied the campaign’s website. He knocks on a door. He lists off what his candidate will do because he studied the website. The list is memorized from the website. It is always the same. But it is different from what the campaign says to lobbyists.

See the panhandler. He would like some food to eat. On a patch of grass in the city, he sits. A jacket is pulled over his head. At one time, he was asked if he was registered to vote. He was wearing the same jacket he wears today. Then his jacket got dirty. Nobody asks if he is registered to vote anymore.

See the poll worker. The machine is broken, and the air conditioning stopped working. A line forms because the machines are not working. She gives voters a phone number to call and lodge complaints about the broken machines. She does not know how to fix the machines. If a campaign needs these voters to win, the machines will be fixed before lunchtime.

See the voter. She planned her schedule. Drop off the children at school then go to the retirement center. Then head to work at the superstore. But the line to vote is really long, and she has to work at the superstore. No one at the superstore told her there were others beside the president to vote for today. She has not clocked in at the superstore yet, but she is still exhausted. She gets back in her car and drives away. Someone on the radio announced who will win.

See the Democrat.

Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein speaks to a crowd at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Photo by Dave Rosenblum
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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."