It’s an election year, which means I am forced to dislike people I’ve never met for bothering me with their nonsense while I’m trying to work or relax. I should start by saying I’m not a naturally ornery person. I’m even happy to chat with the people when they stop by the farm looking for converts to their respective beliefs, but political ads get me all sorts of annoyed.
I don’t think we’ve seen local network television in our house since shortly after our old TVs couldn’t make sense of the new digital signals. We were supposed to buy a separate device to help our elderly electronics cope with the change. Turned out, we enjoyed whatever we could find on the internet to watch instead and didn’t really miss all the advertisements plaguing network television, especially political ads. Unfortunately, those dirty political advertising folks caught up to us, and I can no longer watch YouTube videos about motorcycles, botany or rock climbing in peace while we clean up dinner and wash dishes. Instead, we hear about how our representative isn’t doing the sheriff’s job and how our senator isn’t doing the job private businesses are doing. It’s very impressive how many logical fallacies one political action committee can fit into an ad, but that’s where my interest in their nonsense ends.
I know we could pay extra to skip the ads on many entertainment services; although, I’m sure that respite would be short lived as it seems there is almost no way to escape the political campaign machine. Turning on the radio in the tractor when my headphones ran low on battery was a mistake. After hearing about where I could find jewelry like usual, the ominous music started, and I heard about how terrible some political candidate is. I don’t think they ever got around to playing an actual song before I shut the radio off and decided the tractor exhaust noise and my thoughts were good enough for entertainment.
It’s not even possible to avoid being assaulted while walking around our farm. I was walking up from the barn the other week when two guys drove in the driveway. One man jumped out of the car and literally ran up to me with a card then ran back to the car shouting something about candidates over his shoulder before they drove back out the driveway without another word. Turns out it was a flier with all the candidates for one party printed on it in case I wanted to just vote for everyone in one party without any actual regard to whether they represent my interests. Unsurprisingly, there was no information about what they would or wouldn’t do if elected on the card.
As annoying as I find all the lead up to elections, I definitely am not in favor of the alternative to elections and the surrounding circus that accompanies them. Voting for who represents our interests in local and all the way up to national government is what makes our country great. I’d argue folks need to quit treating it like a football game and cheering on their chosen team regardless of who’s on the roster. In this, and every, election, the candidates should be scrutinized as thoroughly as we do bulls and seed varieties in the dairy farming world. Brand loyalty is fine, but we don’t breed our best cows to some bull without looking carefully over his proofs just because the company selling it gave us a nice hat last Christmas. Let’s all do the same diligence in our voting selections.
Until next time, keep living the dream, and maybe take up listening to the classical music station while milking for a few months. It’s nice, calming music most of the time, and I don’t recall ever hearing a political ad on there.
Tim Zweber farms with his wife, Emily, their three children and his parents, Jon and Lisa, near Elko, Minnesota.