Election season in South Dakota means time for political circus

Chris Briddick

Chris Briddick

The four horsemen of the apocalypse are approaching faster than a reality television character can disrobe in a hot tub. It’s election season!

The Janklow fiasco and national conservative antics aimed at taking down Tom Daschle have all eyes focused on South Dakota elections. Prepare for the frenzy and national media circus erupting soon in our tranquil state:

*Plaid. The candidates will sport enough of it to kilt the entire cast of Braveheart II.

*Months of “prairie values” rhetoric. Nobody else in the world has a work ethic, centric attitudes or cares about their families except us. We don’t want to be lumped in with those Godless “rural values” folk in Minnesota or the Children of the Corn demographic from Iowa.

*Lots of outside money. After November, though, it goes back to being called “pork.”

*Right Field, Left Field zealots. I have a great collection of their previous election brochures but I have my own brochures ready to give them this year.

*Herseth. She is back! First name pronounced “President” as in “President Herseth,” but she’s gotta start somewhere.

*Local news anchor identity crises. Radical changes in clothing, hair styles and hair colors will abound in an American Idolesque scramble for national recognition.

*Finger pointing accusatory ads. Bring on, or rather sling on, the mud! Ordinary citizen testimonial ads. More suck-up per second than an eight-pound Orek.

*Media interviews of the general public.

*Working Man/Woman interviews. If C-Span or Fox hijacks you leaving the feedlot, two requests: 1) get out of your truck and 2) pull your jeans out of your rubber knee-boots.

*Expert Interviews. Academics, please leave the bow ties at home. Worked for the late Senator Simon, isn’t working for Tucker Carlson.

Women experts, just do what it is you do best regardless of what you wear. Get in there and keep the good ol’ boys honest. Thanks for smartening things up.

*Student involvement. College students, it is a great time to coat-tail a politician so you can get a taste of real power. Try to avoid the use of taboo words such as: “dude,” “sucks,” “totally,” “ain’t” or particularly the word “party” used as a verb in your conversations with the power elite.

Such words give pundits hives and lead those in charge to feel that you aren’t mature enough to inherit their mess. Vote.

I leave you with a generic commentary we can all memorize just in case any one of us is selected to speak on behalf of we, the people.

Play to the camera as it pans back, a tear forming at the edge of your eye.

Look out across the open field and say, “It doesn’t matter who gets elected because as a new day dawns over this prairie, life goes on. People go on.”

Peer back into the camera. “We, (opening your arms in a sweeping gesture) South Dakota goes on.”

And we will.

Let the games begin.

YEEEEAAAAHHH! (with apologies to Howard Dean).

Chris Briddick teaches in the College Education and Counseling. Comments on “Faculty Corner” may be sent to [email protected].