By Grant McGee: Local columnist
Tuesday is election day in Clovis.
I sure am glad there are folks who will step up to the plate and run for political office. It ain’t my cup o’ tea.
I could make up a list of all kinds of reasons why politics doesn’t interest me: the meetings, trying to keep campaign promises in the face of reality, the meetings, losing time at home, the meetings, making decisions you know will tick some people off and a bunch of other reasons including having to go to meetings.
There was a time I thought I’d run for office. Shoot! Once after meeting a congressman I thought, “I can do that!”
I had a forewarning that politics wasn’t for me after my attempt at running for student-body president in high school. It was my senior year and I had grown tired of the boring stuff our student-body president was saying at assemblies.
“I can do better than that,” I told friends. These would be fateful words … like comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s joke that the last words of rednecks are, “Hey, watch this!”
My campaign slogan was “We’ll Have Fun And Get The Job Done.”
I took pictures of rock stars of the day and slathered them on campaign posters with sayings like, “If Eric Clapton went to school here he’d probably vote for Grant McGee.”
I didn’t campaign, I hung out with my friends and waited to win.
Well, I lost. My English teacher told me not to feel down; it was a close three-way race and I came in last. It wasn’t a total loss, though. I made new friends who had helped me with the posters and stuff. I even got a girlfriend out of the deal.
Years later I was approached by the head honchos of the local political party to run for county treasurer (this wasn’t around here). I was flattered. Then I did some research. The incumbent was well-liked, so much so that no one from the opposing party had stepped up to run against him. The opposing party didn’t want to just hand the election to the guy so they went looking for a warm body to put on the ballot. I don’t know how many people they visited with before they got to me but I know I wasn’t at the top of the list.
Then I found out if I accepted their proposal I’d have to resign from my job.
“Don’t worry, we’ll find something for you to do until the election,” they said.
These were not confidence-inspiring words. I declined the offer.
A friend of mine told me I really didn’t want to get involved in politics anyway. He was the prosecuting attorney in the county and decided to not seek re-election after serving one term. He told me that besides having to deal with the opposing party and the voters, I wouldn’t believe the politics that go on inside the party itself — that the people ripping down your campaign signs may be from your own party. He went on to describe other behind-the-scenes stuff that made politics sound like a hockey fight.
“You’re not a political guy,” he said. “Stay out of politics; it’ll break your heart.”
So I decided to take my friend’s advice.
Besides, there are all those meetings.
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org