A Child’s Primer On Presidential Elections

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Photo by Keith Jenkins

Satirist Paul Krassner died on July 21 at 87. He lived a full life and deserves far more appreciation than he is getting. Most media outlets are emphasizing his role in the Yippies, when what he did in alternative media, including in support of abortion (and by running an underground referral service), was far more consequential.

Krassner was quite an inspiration back in 2016. I wrote several pieces that used templates he had used when he launched and published The Realist, which was a pioneering humor and freethought alternative media publication of the 1960s.

In fact, what Krassner used was a form that appeared in Mad magazine. I liked the simplicity so I, too, borrowed this form to help me gain some experience writing and publishing satire. The piece I wrote was about U.S. presidential elections and appeared here.

It was alright, but as part of a celebration of Paul Krassner, I think I can improve upon my past work. So, here’s an updated “Child’s Primer On Presidential Elections.”


See the president. He has a slice of pizza. He is watching clips of his rally on TV. He wants people to help him win re-election again. That means he was already elected once. Little children like you cannot vote.

See the challengers. They are politicians. They think they can beat the president. That means win months from now when voting happens. They need time to prove they can win. If they cannot win, voters won’t vote for them. Nobody votes for losers.

See the news anchor. She greets the politicians running against the president. She knows winning is important to voters. Some seem more capable of winning than others. She asks the others if they can win. They prepared answers. “If people vote for me, I will win.” Her job is done.

See the pollster. He knows who really can win. He added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided all the numbers. The numbers are from voters. The numbers do not lie. Lying would be bad. You know not to lie, child.

See the chief of staff. She looks over the numbers. The numbers tell her whether the person she works for can win. If the person she works for cannot win, she is wasting her time. Do you think it is good to waste time? Time is precious.

See the speechwriter. This is his last chance to convince voters their candidate can win. Why? Because he tried to make voters like this person, and it is not working. It is not his fault. Not everyone should run for president. You aren’t thinking of running for president, are you, child?

See the business executive. He does not care what the president’s challengers say. He has heard it all before. He is fine with the president. As long as money buys what his business needs. Then his business can keep growing. Like little children, who eat their carrots like good boys and girls.

See the crowd of supporters. The president told them to hate the others. They do what the president says. They believe the others will make the country worse.

See the protest. It is full of banners and signs. The signs indicate why people are upset. They did not win. But they had their chance and lost. They must wait for their next chance to win. That is why we have elections.

See the president.

Journalist. Writes about politics. Managing editor of Shadowproof.com. Twitter: @kgosztola

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