My Political Machine

The real political landscape has been such a train wreck of late that it is nearly impossible to turn away. My ideal version of politics doesn’t have staunch opinions, sound platforms, or cohesive arguments as much as it has snark and sarcasm. Over the weekend I made a couple of political observations that received some funny feedback:

I saw a news clip where some demented knucklehead was already talking about assassination and I thought, wow… it took me 49 years to notice that the word assassinate has ass in it twice.

Say what you want about the women’s march, their determination is impressive. If men planned a march we would never choose a cold Saturday in January. We would loosely plan a brief, warm-weather protest that didn’t interfere with football, March Madness, or hunting season. Perhaps something of a global toast during a commercial break.

One of my friends suggested I should run for office. I know it was tongue-in-cheek, but that will never happen because it pseudo-happened once before and the results were disastrous.

Thirty years ago – a young buck, arrived in the big city with pristine ideals and a shimmering view of how things should be. Untainted by the sludgy dregs of political gruel, he set out to make his way in the world. Quickly entrenched in party activism, his work ethic, potential, and shockingly white teeth were spotted and he was raised up as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives – or possibly someone with the exact same name as him was, my memory is weak on that point.


And this is just one of a myriad of reasons why I would make a lousy politician – my memory is so bad that I’ve whitewashed it over the years. I am sure I wouldn’t get too far into an election cycle before some dirty little secret from deep in the past would be paraded across the evening news and my handlers would ask, “Is that true?” And there I would be, staring blankly at the screen thinking, “Uh… she looks vaguely familiar.”

But seriously, with everyone holding cameras 24-7, I wonder who will ever be able to run for office again? There is too much film, too many potentially compromising selfies, too many texts for anyone to be clean. Fault and moral weakness can be found in everyone if we dig into their piles of digital information. Then, I remember who just won the highest office in the land…

Strange world we live in.

The truth – a young buck, fresh from college and not concerned about much beyond the weekend in a big city notices that a guy with his exact name was running for congress. He collected his quarters for gas (making sure he didn’t tap into the Friday night fund) and goes down to the party headquarters to volunteer. Signing in as John McClane, he stuffs three envelopes before sneaking out with every yard sign and bumper sticker he can carry, throws them into his jalopy and drives off with the little party manager in his too-short tie chasing after himt

I still remember seeing him in the rearview mirror yelling pitifully, “John? Where are you going, John?”


I put those signs and stickers everywhere and told my family that I was running for office. And here is where I learned I had no future in politics. My grandmother immediately said,

“I wouldn’t vote for you. You are way too young and you’ve already made too many dubious choices.”

And there you have it. If you can’t get your grandmother to vote for you, you should never run!


(Bonus points if you recognized my assumed name)

Photo Credit: JD Hancock

25 thoughts on “My Political Machine

    1. Yes, I am constantly thankful there were no camera phones on me “back in the day”. I can recall a few scenes in my mind’s eye that I would want no one to see.

  1. “I still remember seeing him in the rearview mirror yelling pitifully, “John? Where are you going, John?””

    L.O.V.E. this one! Thank you! 🙂

    1. I know! And dubious choices of words especially. Strange days we live in. I was thinking of Gary Hart whose campaign was completely derailed by an affair. I’m not condoning it, but that is so mild comparatively.

  2. i’d vote for you too, on the ‘trial and error but with the best of intentions’ platrform. i marched last weekend and i was gobsmacked by the kindness i encountered from people of every ilk.

  3. How do politicians get to be “Old & Wise”, if they didn’t survive “Young & Stoopid”… I just wanna know.
    I wouldn’t be near so smart as I am today, had I not verified all sorts of stuff when I was young and immortal and teflon-coated… 😉

  4. Laughed at the Chris Farley imagery of the man trying to chase you down. 🙂 Wasn’t John McClane Bruce Wilis’ character in “Die Hard”?

  5. Oops…meant Bruce *Willis’ character. Pardon the spelling mistake. And I had had never noticed before that “assassinate” had 2 of the word “ass” in it! 🙂 Hahaha!

  6. I have a friend who ran for office one time.He said he learned so much running, he decided to never run again and instead just hang out at the capitol and make sure they get it right. Truth is politics needs some truly Godly men and women. Loved the story and enjoyed it as I always do Mark.

    Peace Mark

    1. In all seriousness, I don’t think I could stand the campaign. I’d bust out like the Hulk and start yelling, I fear. The process is really broken. But I’m not fit to lead anyway. Peace to you, Tom.

      1. We will pray and intercede for our country. We need those that still pray man. I agree I still have passions the Holy Spirit is perfecting Mark.

  7. Mark,
    So many things, politically, are happening so fast. Many things are so disturbing. I am not very politically minded but a strong advocate for Childhood Cancer. I am loud & strong in this area!
    I agree, it is very hard to find honorable people to run, for many reasons. While, I know you have no political aspirations, I believe I would vote for you! Reading your blog, having read your book, seeing you with your wife & girls, knowing your commitment to childhood cancer to honor the memory of your Kylie while helping current families fight Cancer, I believe many would vote for you. You are honorable something that is missing in the current climate!

  8. This world we live in today seems kind of surreal, similar to what it feels when you are living without your child- I am still hoping to wake up I guess…

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