It was primary day in the forest and so Goldilocks told her mother she was going to go vote. Goldilocks was a Democrat and she was terrified at the terrible condition of her country. Her vote today mattered a great deal to both her and her country.
She left her home and went down the path to the local library where the voting booths were all set up. The kind young man at the welcome counter had her sign her name in the register and gave her a voting card to take into the poll booth.
When Goldilocks had pulled the curtain closed behind her and sat down on the stool in the voting booth, she was surprised at what she saw. Instead of a computer screen with a touch pad, there was a counter with a slot for her voting card in the side and three porcelain mugs resting on top. Each mug had the face of a different candidate on it.
Goldilocks impulsively picked up the Barack Obama mug. She had heard so much “buzz” about him. Below his picture were the words, “It’s not about me; it’s about you.” Goldilocks wondered why, then, it wasn’t her face on the mug. Then she looked at what was in the mug, and much to her disappointment, the mug was empty. At the bottom of the empty mug, she read the words, “The people are thirsty for change.” Goldilocks did not know what to make of this mug. She was thirsty, but the mug was empty. She set it down. “There’s nothing there,” she said to herself.
Then she picked up the mug with Hillary Clinton’s face on it. Below Hillary’s face were the words, “I have 35 years experience making change!” Goldilocks twirled her golden tresses absently. “If that’s so,” she thought, “why have things only gotten worse during that time and why are you only now finding your ‘voice’?” Goldilocks could feel by the weight of the mug that there was something in this one, but it felt like the same old, same old. She looked in, hesitant to take a sip. The mug was filled with murky water, indeed, like it had been sitting around for quite too long. She could only imagine what it would look like under a microscope. At the bottom of the mug, she thought she could make out the words, “Paid for by Rupert Murdoch.” She shuddered and put the mug quickly down.
What was left? In the middle was the mug with John Edwards’ face on it. Below his face were the words, “You can’t play nice with corporations!” Goldilocks nodded with approval, thinking, “Now that I understand!” She looked at what was in the mug and to her great relief there was clear sparkling water filling it to the brim. At the bottom of the mug she could easily read the words, “We have to fight for our democratic principles!” Without another thought, Goldilocks tipped the mug to her lips and drained it in a single draft. “Ahhh!” she exclaimed. “Now that’s just right!”
She set the Edwards mug down and when she did something in the counter punched her ballot for Edwards and a light in the booth signaled to her that her vote had been properly counted. She exited the voting booth, full of fine thoughts. She liked this new voting system.
At home, her mother asked her if she enjoyed voting and Goldilocks replied, “Well, the first candidate offered only hot air. The second candidate offered something stale and impure. But the third candidate offered his heart, his intelligence, and his integrity, and that flowed clear and cool like a rushing fountain in a country stricken by drought.”
“Goldilocks!” her mother cried, “I didn’t know you had so much sophistication and poetry inside you!”
“That’s what a real candidate can do for the people, Momma,” she said. “That’s what a real candidate will do.”
“And I thought this was a fairytale,” her mother cried, tears literally coming to her eyes. “Let me get my coat; I’ve got to go vote for John Edwards!”
Hank Edson is an author, activist and attorney based in San Francisco. His blog, “MP3—My Politics and Progressive Perspective,” can be found at: hankedson.squarespace.com.