New Blood is Needed!
By Patrick F. Cannon
I live in Illinois’ Seventh Congressional District, a classic of Gerrymandering (look it up). Danny Davis is the current congressman. I’ve met him a couple of times, and he is a courtly and affable fellow, and is known for excellent constituent service. He is, however, 81 years old. Although I’m not sure, I think he will probably run for re-election in 2024. Frankly, I think it’s time for some younger blood, so I’m seriously thinking about running against him.
“Wait!” you might say. You’re even older than he is! Strictly speaking, you would be correct. But I have decided to be 32-years-old when I run. How could this be possible? In this great country of ours, one is not bound by one’s birth certificate. If you can change your sex on an official document, why not your age? Thirty-two seems a good age to me. The minimum age is 25, but that seems a bit young. While you might well have graduated from college – and even graduate school – by then, it doesn’t suggest much real experience in the world. That extra seven years could make all the difference.
“But see here,” you could respond, “the jig would be up when they see you. You might pass for 75, but no one’s going to believe an old codger like you is 32!” I have to agree, but I plan to hire an actor to handle the public campaigning. As you may know, Chicago is a major center for live theatre, and there are always plenty of out-of-work actors looking for a juicy role. I’m thinking a clean-cut fellow, whose skin has just a hint of brownness. That way, it would seem believable when I claim that I have both distant African-American and Hispanic ancestors.
As to educational background, mine is perfectly acceptable, but it lacks a bit of exotic cachet. You may recall that former President Bill Clinton had Georgetown, Yale and Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar) on his resume. Alas, there are several Rhodes Scholars in Congress, so claiming one for myself might cause a problem. But I very much doubt that there are any graduates of the Institute National du Service Public (INSP) in Paris, which has trained numerous French presidents and prime ministers. My French is a bit rusty, but I could stipulate that my stand-in actor has some French. Problem solved!
What, you may ask, did you do for that seven years between getting your advanced degree at INSP and today? Well, I could claim to have been a deal maker for Goldman Sachs, but that’s a bit overdone. Instead, how about a stint digging water wells in Equatorial Guinea? No one really knows where it is, but it sounds needy and exotic. And maybe followed by several years teaching Bangladeshi women how to start their own fabric businesses? And how about working with a new generation of Juan Valdezes to establish organic coffee plantations in remote areas of Columbia? Finding time to start a homeless shelter in Lake Forest should make up the rest of those seven years!
Of course, I’ll eventually be exposed, just like that George Santos fellow, but so what? With such a divided Congress, they’ll need my vote. And if they try to get rid of me, I’ll claim age discrimination!
Copyright 2023, Patrick F, Cannon