FISHING FOR VOTES
Dad was a fisherman. My brothers and I have some happy memories from fishing with him on a lake.
|Row boats are fun for fishing|
“Careful there!” Dad would urge caution when I moved to toss my line off the other side of the boat. I wasn’t a great fisherman, but I could bait my own hook and remove my own fish. I even ate the bony things, but I always refused to clean them.
I once wrote a story about fishing for votes, but I never shared it. Since another national deadline is nearly here, the story seems suitable. Here it is:
Political fishermen move about casting lines for a prize-winning catch by season’s end. Some troll the waters with negative ads and generalities abound. But once in a while there’s a feeding frenzy as voting fish grab a line and swim with it. “Time for a change,” they say, and go for the bait, oblivious of danger.
Change may be needed, but so is caution. Our political boat with its freedom of choice has left the shore, fished for votes and returned with its catch for over two hundred years.
Plenty of people have rocked the boat, but time after time cautious voices urged balance. “Careful there. Don’t jump up and change without warning. What’s your plan?”
But while caution was urged in the boat, a similar scene played under water.
|Fish are aware of the bait|
Fish are wily creatures. Bait can dangle off a hook in many appealing ways, but rarely does a fisherman cast his line and get an immediate response.
Unseen fish warily circle around. Prize fish are not easily hooked. They can live with the intrusion of bait in their waters, biting only when they are ready.
Their choice is the fisherman’s unknown. All he can do is bait and wait while the fish circle around to determine the real from the fake.
Can a fish rock the boat? He can if he strikes the line of a comfortable fisherman who sees only calm waters. He may be staring toward shore through colored glasses, dreaming of his big catch.
Under water, however, the fish may be comparing notes and bragging about the bait they have learned to ignore.
|Uncle Sam and Citizen Sam admire their catch|
In political fishing season some say they feel like a little fish in a big pond, but to the people fishing for votes each fish has value.
Count yourself as important, too. Instead of avoiding political waters, become a registered voter and freely circle the bait with a wary eye.
When it’s time, grab a line. You are an essential part of someone's catch.