I'm Right Again Dot Com

                             A new commentary every Wednesday — May 18, 2016


    Is there anyone who does not recognize this face: Mad Magazine's coverboy?  Whether you do or not, I have to admit to have suffered a flight of fancy this week after fearing that I was still going to be in a deep quandary when I find myself standing in front of a voting device in a few months—still unable to make up what a trusted political analyst termed a "Centrist" mind.

    I believe it was Confucius who said, "Those who straddle fence often get stuck." 

    I admit to being an independent ballot hopper when it comes to any election, and particularly in regard to the people heading the ticket of each of the two major parties every four years. My win-loss record is not substantial either. I have helped elect only six out of the last twelve presidents. Still, if it was baseball, batting .500 would be outstanding.

    Yes, I know that failing to vote for either presidential candidate (The "None of the Above" option), means giving a possible one vote advantage to a nominee some other voter favors.  In that case, one is still able to exercise "The Lesser of Two Evils" option. My experience is that this results in a near-fatal dilemma. No matter what you do, it leads to dissatisfaction for at least four long years.   

   I feel there are many who feel as I do. And then it struck me. Just for fun, if we could write someone in, even a fictitious person whom you believe would make a great president—who would it be? 

    It might have been the pollen that has kept my adenoids inflamed for weeks or the continual diet of OTC antihistamines—but one non-candidate came to mind: the aforementioned Alfred E. Neuman. I did a personal survey of his attributes.  At 60, a little aged for the job, but none the worse for wear. His honest, upbeat  character has remained unblemished by any intrigue or corruption and little changed in personal appearance since he was first introduced by Mad Magazine's founder, Harvey Kurtzman, in 1956.  He would be in good company. Washington was 57, Adams-60, Harrison-68, Taylor-64, Reagen,69 and George Herbert Walker Bush-68, when they took over the desk in the Oval Office.

    Don't be fooled by first impressions. Who would have believed that Lyndon Johnson would have been such a great leader in the cause of racial justice or that Bush, the Elder would have voted to raise taxes after his many "Read My Lips—No New Taxes" promises?

    Mad Magazine prints an example of Mr. Neuman's sagacity in each issue. Here are a few of the latest: 

    "These days, medical insurance is what allows us to be ill at ease."

    "Hindsight is never over-rated."

    "It takes one to know one, and visa versa." 

     Yes, Mad Magazine is still available. $19.99 for six issues (Publishd Bi-Monthly).  What could be so bad about that?  We're going to need something to smile about between now and this time next year.


   -Phil Richardson, Observer of the human condition and storyteller. "He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself." - Joseph L. Menchen


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