Want to relive your past? Run for political office

If you’re thinking of running for political office, here’s a warning: get ready to relive your past. If you didHuckabee
anything wrong, your opponents will dig it up and use it against you. So you’d better be prepared to explain yourself if you did any of the following:  (1) Used a racial epithet; (2) Slept with a woman other than your wife; (3) Expressed a ridiculous opinion; (4) Cheated in Monopoly; (5) Picked your nose in public; (6)Wet your bed as a toddler; (7) Asked Michael Vick for his autograph; (8) Prayed to the wrong god; (8) Drove under the influence; (10) Allowed your children to watch South Park.

Almost anything in your past is fair game, almost anything can come back to haunt you. Did you fire a rubber band into a girl’s face in fourth grade? How can we trust you with nuclear weapons? Did you have trouble balancing your checking account in college? How can we trust you to balance the budget? Did you volunteer in a soup kitchen, feeding the poor? How can we trust you to give tax breaks to the rich?

The road to the White House is littered with flawed candidates and the skeletons they couldn’t keep in their closets. Mike Huckabee, a Republican candidate who’s currently surging in the polls, probably wishes he could keep his son in the closet. Almost a decade ago, David Huckabee was involved in the hanging of a stray dog (I’m not sure if he was sick or just trying to impress Vick). His father, the then-governor of Arkansas, allegedly tried to hush it up — and it could come back to bite him in the butt. But that’s not all Mike Huckabee has to worry about.  Back in 1992, he stated that people with HIV/AIDS should be isolated from the public. He should have known better, of course. It was quite clear by then that the disease could not be spread by casual contact and, while Huckabee was making his unfounded statement, much smarter people were giving hugs to Magic Johnson.

So if you happen to be driving toward Washington D.C. and see a few skeletons on the side of the highway, along with the muddied figure of a former candidate, say a prayer if you wish, but don’t take your foot off the gas pedal. If you give the scoundrel a ride, it might come back to haunt you.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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