Skip to main content

The Elephant in the Room -- Writer's Poke #117

For Writers:

I was seven years old when Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election. Like most kids my age, I'm sure, I followed the election very closely.

Even though I was only in first grade, this was the first election that I got to vote in, thanks to Weekly Reader. And when the results came back, grade schoolers across the nation gave Reagan a clear mandate.

Actually, most kids probably did not follow the election as closely as I did, but they heard who their parents supported, and the Weekly Reader results turned out to be a good indicator of how adults would vote on the "real" election day.

On election night, it became clear pretty early in the evening that Carter was going to be defeated. And after Carter's concession speech, his own band played Happy Days Are Here Again. Even then I found it odd that Carter didn't have a more appropriate (at least from his perspective) song lined up, but maybe he never thought an old Hollywood B-actor could actually beat him.

Although my political views and philosophies have shifted greatly from my "first" election, I still consider myself to be a Republican. I've tried to remove the label, but unlike Reagan, I'm apparently not made from Teflon.

Being a Republican is "my elephant in the room." What's yours?

"My roommate got a pet elephant. Then it got lost. It's in the apartment somewhere." -- Steven Wright


Popular posts from this blog

Summer Day Trip #1: Caledonia, Minnesota

The Wired Rooster Coffee Shoppe -- Caledonia, Minnesota

I've lived in Minnesota for over ten years, sure, but that doesn't mean I've actually seen much of the state. Like most people, I know what I know, and I go where I go. And that's the extent of it. But once I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to make it to Alaska this summer, it occurred to me that I had plenty of sites to explore in the immediate region.

First stop: Caledonia, Minnesota. Where's that? It's a small town in the southeast corner of the state. Before I opened my Rand McNally Road Atlas, I had never heard of it, and before I punched the town name into Trip Advisor, I didn't know if there was anything there worth visiting.

Distance from home: About 75 miles.

Challenge #1: Leaving by 6:30 a.m.

Challenge #2: Taking my dog, Atticus.

Actually, Atticus is a good dog on a road trip, but the forecast indicated that it was going to get into the 90s. I wanted to leave early in the …

Summer Day Trip #3: Jackson, Minnesota

Some time ago in the spring, I found out that David Ellefson, bass player and co-founder of Megadeth, was rebranding the coffee shop in Jackson, Minnesota. Every so often I would tell Linda that I planned to drive over there to check it out, but the morning that I actually decided to drive over there to check it out, I think I surprised her. I’m not sure she thought I would ever do it.
“What else are you going to do over there?”
“Oh, that’s it. Just drive over there, order a cup of coffee, and drive home.”
I had checked out Jackson on Tripadvisor, and honestly, Jackson seemed like it didn’t have much going on. My mind map of southwestern Minnesota was mainly a blank. I knew that I-90 drove through, but I thought perhaps the interstate was a metaphor: Beware ye who enter here, lest ye be on your way to somewhere else.
When I told Tavi we were driving two hours to visit a coffee shop, the idea didn’t seem far-fetched to her. She only had one question, “Do they serve hot cocoa?” I promised …