Sunday, September 14, 2008
Vote Choate Dowdy
I think I should have run for President.
My friends from way back know of my executive experience beginning with a term as President of the Lincoln Elementary Student Council in 6th Grade.
I am pretty sure the speech I made in 5th grade on November 22, 1963, put me in running. The title was, “Why Totalitarianism is Inferior to Democracy.” It was my first major foreign policy address, given in Miss Worley’s 5th grade.
The papers didn’t cover it, but if they did, they would have noted that I was wearing a green and white checked dress with an emerald rhinestone circle pin.
My fellow students were allowed to ask follow up questions and a discussion ensued about the nature of democracy and communism. Shortly afterwards, we read our Weekly Reader which highlighted the election of the new German Chancellor, Ludwig Erhard.
If the above isn’t enough to show my foreign policy credentials, let me add that I lived less than twenty miles from the Canadian border and remind the reader that the French had settled Detroit in colonial times.
After lunch, on the day of my now famous address, we heard the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated. We worried briefly that the totalitarian Russian Communists might have been behind it.
By the time the next student council presidential election came up, the speech had propelled me on a path to victory.
In my tenure as president, I oversaw a great Lincoln Day Celebration in which I won the essay contest. I was also the emcee of the program. My leadership credentials were honed as I made frequent announcements on the public address system.
Upon arrival at Lincoln Junior High, I began eyeing the presidency of the junior high student council. I researched the path of the sitting president. She had been a 7th grade class representative, served as secretary in 8th grade, and then was elected president in 9th grade. I followed her strategy.
It was a tight race between me, a greaser, and a jock. In my speech, I touted experience as the key to a great student council presidency. My female greaser opponent played a very interesting gender card. I remember she strutted up to the microphone and said in a very sexy voice, “Some people say the student council president should be a guy, but I say ‘hey, what’s wrong with girls?’” This brought howls from the boys on the football team who should have been cheering on their teammate who wore his letter sweater for his speech.
My faculty sponsor said the greaser girl would probably be "going down with troops tonight." I didn't know what she meant, but thought it probably wasn't a very nice thing to say.
The press didn’t report this, but if they had, they would have noted that I wore an orange sleeveless shift with a large yellow and orange metallic sunburst broach.
The dress was classic Aunt Sadie Arbuckle.
I prevailed in a close election and served as student council president in the volatile 67-68 school year.
That year my essay, on the rising tide of Stokely Charmicheal and violence in the civil rights movement, was presented weeks before the assassination of the Martin Luther King, Jr.
Okay, so maybe I didn’t make editor of the Harvard Law Review or have a best seller, but I know for sure that the teachers passed it around the teacher’s lounge.
In 1968, I got my first passport and headed to Europe, hitting Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, and England on tour with the Metropolitan Detroit Youth Chorus.
While I was there Joan Baez led an anti-war rally against the US involvement in the Vietnam War interrupting our choir’s activities in Frankfurt Germany.
I would have visited the troops there, but I didn’t want to be seen as too political.
Space will not allow me to list all the achievements of that year, but suffice it to say, I said thanks but not thanks continuing to that expensive trip to Edgewater Amusement Park in spring and replaced it with a field day on campus.
These two terms as a student council president gave me an executive resume, foreign policy panache, and a fire in my bones for politics.
So what happened after this mercurial rise? Well let’s just say that the politics of personal destruction were a bit much for me. I moved to another school and found out that sometimes people can just be real, real, ugly to you and it—well-it just hurt my feelings.
So, I have taken a brief 40 year hiatus from politics, but as I examine the current state of the election, I now say--write me in.
I am ready.