Barack Obama’s re-election has me feeling politically nostalgic.
I’ve written on this blog before about my own electoral failings. During my time at Mahopac Junior High and High School, I ran for student government five times—and never won. Not once.
In seventh grade, I ran for class president against Jerry Tesler and, I believe, received 30 of 300 votes. In the ensuing years I lost again and again and again.
However, as a senior I saw genuine hope. For the first time, I was going to run an aggressive, forward-thinking campaign. No more meek nonsense about third lunch lines and student unity and happy times. No, no, no. This time I would break the heat. Fuck the world! Thug life! Gangsta til I die!
I ran for the highly coveted position of student representative. Every candidate had to give a speech in front of the entire class, inside the gymnasium. I wrote my speech shortly after reading up on Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. It featured a recurring theme/line—”I’m tired of …”
I’m tired of this.
I’m tired of that.
About four weeks before the event, I handed my speech to a history teacher, George Maloney, who had to approve or disapprove. He disapproved. “You need to tone this down,” he said.
I nodded—and ignored him.
On campaign day, I soared. I stood there, in jeans and a T-shirt, and just ripped away. “I’m tired of awful class trips! I’m tired of the vending machine not having soda! I’m tired of lines that take forever!”
The place went crazy. C-R-A-Z-Y. Were they mocking me? Looking back, I’d have to say, undeniably, yes. In a major way. But there was also genuine energy. Everyone knew I was the Lyndon LaRouche of Mahopac High—a perennial election loser with a dollop of insanity. But sometimes people side with the insane guy. For the first time, i genuinely knew I was going to win. It was my destiny. No way, after that speech, would I be rejected yet again.
No possible way.