It seems the twitterverse is all ablaze with the news of the Wisconsin recall elections. Many people feel that this election is the most important election we have ever faced as a nation.
It kind of reminds me the first election I participated in – (cue appropriate flashback sound & graphics)
I had just turned 18, and as soon as I awoke from my slumber and concluded my daily ablutions, I rushed out and registered to vote. As I recollect folks were very apprehensive about the direction the country was heading, there was undeniable angst about the future and what changes were on the horizon.
The Ice Age was just ending and the mammoths were dying in droves due to global warming. (Ahem, I mean catastrophic climate change) Agriculture was beginning to take hold as an alternative to hunting and gathering yet the desire to maintain the accustomed economic model of nomadic foraging was persistent. Resistance to permanent settlements led to social unrest. Controversies over traditional hunting practices versus innovations in animal husbandry contributed to a national dialog that was destructive to domestic cohesion.
In this atmosphere of upheaval and turbulence, presidential candidates Ogg and Egog were fighting an extremely antagonistic negative campaign. The country was hopeless divided on the issues of government subsidies to the flint knapping industry and the possible job losses due to a new discovery called copper.
Copper opponents cited statistics on the negative impact of the new technology on the fragile economy. Trepidations over rampant unemployment and massive layoffs prompted demands of government intervention and increased financing to the floundering flint industry.
Rumors that incumbent President Ogg was in the pocket of big stone, prompted accusations of corruption and cronyism. In an aggressive attempt to suppress mounting voter dissatisfaction with the administration’s economic policies, Ogg’s political machine disseminated messages that cutting government appropriations to the faltering stone industry would cause economic collapse. In order to subdue the intensifying public outcries against the flint and stone industry’s influence, the Ogg campaign directed a strategy that exploited national concerns of prolonged financial instability.
Copper advocates led by Egog, focused on the new technology facilitating increased productivity and new opportunities. The Egog campaign explained that decreased labor demands in the flint knapping industry would allow people to branch out and embrace new careers, such as painting pretty pictures on cave walls. Egog’s backers also denounced government advocacy of specific industries over authentic market demand, which they claimed inhibited commerce and economic growth.
Despite massive spending and an endorsement by the International Brotherhood of Stone Chippers and Flint Knappers, Egog defeated Ogg soundly in the election.
While big stone was politically entrenched and a cornerstone of the economy for as long as anyone could remember, copper was really, really shiny. In the end we just couldn’t withstand the allure of shiny objects.
(This post has no real purpose other to illustrate that I am exceedingly old)