As you’re reading this, I’m making final arrangements to be cryogenically frozen until after the election. The only remaining decision I have to make is at what date in the future I should be thawed.
Should I wake up when a final result is in or would it be more interesting to wait 50 or 100 years to see what shape our country is in? Considering how long the 2020 vote count could take, I’m at high risk for freezer burn.
If I’m thawed out only to find everything else is frozen, then I’ll know the Lions finally won a Super Bowl.
With an epic election just a few weeks away, I recall a fond quasi-political moment from my past. My son and daughter were assigned to portray presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, respectively, for a third-grade classroom presentation. My kids shared the same teacher and assignment, albeit four years apart.
They dressed up as their Commander-in-Chief and shared details of their policies and personalities during their time in office. My wife and I attended their classroom presentations and let me say, we were a very proud First Family.
Their teacher has since retired, but can you imagine the challenge in today’s raging, politically divisive environment of trying to prepare a third-grade student for such a presentation? Would it surprise you in the least if some parents objected to their child portraying a leader of a particular party or candidate?
For the last 30 years, I’ve written unrestrained but respectful political satire and parody for radio and print. It’s always been even-handed, equal opportunity, bipartisan humor during a time when people still had the ability to laugh at each other and themselves.
But four years ago, prior to our last presidential election, in this very newspaper, I begrudgingly started offering what was essentially a disclaimer for my “humorous” political musings. In the Oct. 6, 2016, JN I said: “I’ve noticed folks are a having a tougher time laughing at political humor, but I hope you enjoyed what I considered a little bipartisan humor.” It was as if I had the need to apologize in advance, which is really a speed bump on the road to creativity.
I found some solace and hope in a Sept. 20 op-ed for the Washington Post by U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, who wrote about the unique and enduring relationship between his father, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“The two justices had central roles in addressing some of the most divisive issues of the day, including cases on abortion, same-sex marriage and who would be president,” wrote Eugene Scalia. “Not for a moment did one think the other should be condemned or ostracized. More than that, they believed that what they were doing — arriving at their own opinions thoughtfully and advancing them vigorously — was essential to the national good.”
I would like to think I can continue to write humorously with that same freedom of expression.
In the meantime, as for my impending cryogenically frozen journey, I have only one wish upon my revival — that I wake up to a country at peace — with itself.
Pardon me, I do have a second wish. I hope upon reawakening I don’t go down in the record books as the first person to come out of suspended animation showing a weight gain.