anildash (anildash) wrote,
anildash
anildash

On Vox: QotD: Happy President's Day!

Ever run for office?  (School, club, organization, politics, etc.)  Did you get elected?

I ran for a buncha different things when I was in school. I don't remember if I just ran or was actually elected to student council when I was in middle school, but that year our class elected a special ed kid to student council as a joke that (I felt, at least) was largely at his expense. I found that whole episode so disturbing and typical that I never ran for any of our class offices again.

But! I did participate pretty actively in the Model Legislature program run by the YMCA. It's different than the (better-known, I think) Model U.N. program that a lot of schools do, though I participated in that as well. In Model Legislature, we played the role of legislators for our state, so kids from all over Pennsylvania, where I grew up, all came to Harrisburg and we even got to sit in the actual seats of the state capitol. There were a lot of really good kids in the program, and it was one of my favorite experiences from high school, but I'll just share the anecdotes you would all appreciate.

  • My sophomore year of high school, the Model Legislature program introduced lobbyists for the first time. I immediately signed up to be one, representing women's issues. (Seriously!) Yes, I was the first influence-peddling, silver-tongued perverter of the democratic process in the history of that state's august faux-legislative body. And I did it for the chicks.
  • At the end of my junior year, I ran for Governor, a term I would have served as a senior if I had won. I think there were four or five serious candidates, including one guy whom I was friends with (I forget his name; it's been 15 years) who was actually the son of a real-life state legislator. He and I both lost (my performance in the final debate was unimpressive, since I'd almost completely lost my voice campaigning) but my friend Hans was the Editor-in-Chief of the Model Newspaper, which oversaw the elections, and I think he told me I placed third or fourth. NOT LAST! :)
  • Since I wasn't Governor, I was eligible to run for a different office my senior year. That time, I killed. I ran for Speaker of the House against four or five other candidates. Instead of a debate, we each had a few minutes to present the case for our candidacies, and for the closing line of my speech, I stepped from behind the podium I was standing at and said, "and my final qualification is that I'm not just wearing purple pants, I'm purple on the inside." I won in a landslide.
  • There were a lot of weird scheduling problems that year, so I ended up having to kill time in the actual chambers of the Pennsylvania Capitol in front of a few hundred high school kids all in formal dress, growing increasingly restless. I had a gavel, which was largely ineffective, but being way up high on the speaker's podium made it really easy to command everyone's attention. So, during the course of the long weekend, I carried out the duties of my office by singing my acapella rendition of the introduction to Whitney Houston's cover of Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman", having the congressional pages deliver notes to my then-girlfriend, and having everyone wave their hands in the air while chanting "Hip hop hooray, hoooo, heeeey, hoooo" because Naughty By Nature was very popular back then.

I'm pretty sure nobody's elected me to anything since then.

Originally posted on anil.vox.com

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