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Thursday, October 13, 2011


I'm not talking about the Occupy X movement, or the 99%, or any of the other current examples on the national (or international) stage here. I'm talking about a stubborn-but-fairly-honest little girl named Abigail, nearly nine years old, in the third grade. She has glasses, freckles, missing teeth, unruly hair, and a sweet nature. She has a love of the paranormal on a school-child level, and problems with reading fluency but a huge spoken vocabulary. She has a developing sense of humor - even about herself from time to time - and a tendency toward pedantic speech. She's popular with her peers and thought her bid for Female Class Representative to the Student Council was a fairly sure thing.

But it wasn't.

She's not heartbroken, not at all. I think it was the idea of being the representative more than the job itself that attracted her. But she's a little baffled and terribly indignant that the girl who did get voted in got it because she asked for votes. Out loud and in person and right to people's faces. Abby thinks this is cheating; one should apparently only ask for votes if there is reciprocity. I tried to explain that this is not how voting works - that it's perfectly normal to ask for votes and there's not actually anything wrong about the other little girl doing so - but she has it so firmly entrenched in her eight-year-old everything-must-be-fair brain that there is no moving her on the topic.

So I thought about it, and all I could come up with was this: Wouldn't we all be better off if all politicians were as honest and, well, as basically nice as Abby?

Yes. Yes we would.

"An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere." ~Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad