This campaign season brings Ralph to mind. He was a family member who sprung surprises on many friends and acquaintances.
Ralph taught and coached in high school. He led a quiet life. Lived under the radar. Enjoyed a few beers and low-key discussions about what was going on in the world.
Out of the blue, in the middle of a chat about school taxes, he would calmly say, “I think I’ll run this year. I will.”
You’ll run? In a marathon?
“No. I’m gonna run for president this year.”
President, eh? Of what? The school board, maybe?
“The presidency. You know, of the U.S. I’m running for the presidency. I’m going to be President of the United States.”
Some guys fantasize the Bills will take home the Super Bowl rings. Or Congress will wipe out the national debt. Or the world will end Jan. 1. Or the Savior will descend upon us this year or next. Ralph figured he would be moving his family into the White House.
“I’ve got a good chance this year. I mean, just consider the field …” He regaled us with details of his upcoming campaign. He tested out campaign slogans with us. And positions on various issues. He was deadly serious up to the day when he was seriously dead.
He deserved sympathy for his mental illness. For that was surely his affliction, a delusional disorder. But I do wish he had lived long enough to have entered this year’s campaign.
Ralph could have tossed his hat in the ring. And followed it. Without anyone knowing whether he belonged in the ring or under the hat or not.
I imagine him showing up for the first debate between 20 Democratic candidates.
“Hi, I’m Ralph Snodgrass, running for president. Which podium is mine?”
Oh, right over here, sir. Fourth one from the end.
I mean, who in hell would have known? Nobody is going to remember all 20 of these birds who are running, plus the three who didn’t make the debate stage. He could have participated in the first debate without anyone in the audience twigging.
None of the TV viewers would have noticed. “Ralph Snodgrass? He’s the mayor of …
He would have garnered a few nods of approval from big media — merely by being a Democrat. New York Times editorials would have declared Ralph was too soft on climate change but sound as a rock on health care. Especially when he out-promised Joe Biden —by claiming his administration would snuff out all heart conditions, bad livers, athlete’s foot, diabetes, acne, and cancer.
Trump would have pinned a nickname on him — Randy Ralph. Because he told the debate moderator she looked good in red.
The other candidates would have attacked him and agreed with him. If they do this with six or seven candidates, imagine what they would have done with 20. “I agree with my fellow candidate Ralph on abortion. But he goes too far when he suggests that …”
Big media would have done their bit. They love to create stories out of thin air just for fun. “Sources tell us that underdog Ralph Snodgrass may have a secret weapon to wield in his campaign. Following his surprise remarks in last night’s debate, Snodgrass reportedly advised his campaign staff …”
Ralph, I’m sorry you are gone. You would have fit right in. I know that you belong under the care of a psychiatrist, which is why you would have fit right in. I would have voted for you.
I wonder what that denotes. Now, now, be charitable.
From Tom…as in Morgan.
Tom Morgan writes about political, financial, and other subjects from his home in upstate New York. Contact him at email@example.com, read more of his writing at tomasinmorgan.com, or find him on Facebook.