Hello? Is anyone there?

The Onion, Feb 4, 2016, Plows Working Around Clock...

From The Onion, 2/4/2016, “Plows Working Around Clock to Keep NH Roads Clear of Campaign Signs”

The news spread quickly through our small town Facebook page – a large black SUV with New York plates and tinted windows was making its way slowly down Rollercoaster Road. Any other time, such an occurrence would be suspicious, but I live in New Hampshire. The apparent mystery was quickly dispelled – Bernie Sanders volunteers were canvassing elusive Strafford voters house by house, which in our enclave takes some searching as most homes are nearly invisible behind a dense veil of snow-laced trees.

Our little village has about 4,000 residents and not a single stop light. Statewide, NH’s approximately 800,000 voters are a mere one-half of one percent of the 150 million voters nationwide.  By the way, about 45% of NH voters are registered independents, the better to court by both parties. The nearest city boasts all of 30,000 residents, about the same as our previous town of O’Fallon, IL, a former farming community. Incidentally, Illinois has nearly ten times the number of registered voters as our current state. None of that matters when you consider that we have the first presidential primary.  With all the candidates running this year, it’s hard to avoid a campaign bus or yet another town hall. I believe if we lined all the candidates up equidistantly across the state, they would be able to see each other, mountains and valleys notwithstanding.

Just as our small lake community’s population swells in the summer, so does the population of NH in the months before the primary. With the influx of out-of-town campaign staff, volunteers, and every conceivable media outlet with all their people and equipment, it feels like our diminutive and quiet New England state has become downright corpulent, raucously swelling well beyond the propriety of its borders. Not only are campaign signs and workers everywhere, diners are doing a bustling political breakfast business, and competing campaign events are common. Some residents relish in the energy and attention; we are largely staying out of the fray and letting our endlessly ringing phone go straight to voicemail.

Finally, thankfully, the primary is this Tuesday; I will do my civic duty and vote, and, yes, I will be waiting and watching for the results. Beyond all the hype, I do care about the future of our country, but I won’t be sorry to see the busses, the breakfast events, and the candidates go elsewhere. We’re almost out of eggs.