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Hunter: The Political Season

11/02/10 7:55AM By Edith Hunter
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(HOST)  Despite her relief that the political season is nearly over, commentator Edith Hunter can't help feeling a little bit nostalgic.

(HUNTER)  Ours has always been a political family, especially son William.  At six, he marched in a torchlight parade. We were living in New Hampshire then, and, like most of New Hampshire (times have changed) he was a Republican. We still have a red, white and blue collapsible yardstick which he was given by the Norris Cotton campaign.
In 1963, when William was 10 and Charles was 5, William began campaigning. We had given over a room next to the kitchen, for a playroom. William and Charles had taken it over and built an entire town, Bilton, made out of milk cartons and blocks. William was the mayor/president/emperor, and was constantly running for office. He had a microphone and a tape recorder. Will would carry the microphone and Charles would follow along behind carrying the tape recorder. In reviewing this bit of history with Charles recently he reminded me that he was also in charge of generating applause and cheering. We still have one of the tapes.
They wandered around the house campaigning, and asking how we planned to vote. They visited Dad and me, Elizabeth and Graham, but best of all, they visited my mother, Granfanny, in her apartment in one wing of the house. Mother had been an elementary teacher and knew how to listen to children and enter into their world.
William, under the name of Bill Meritox, was the perpetual candidate. Charles, as the candidate's brother Jo, was the entourage. Will had learned a great deal from listening to political debates on the radio. There were three planks in his platform - higher taxes, unnecessary big dams, and wasteful spending. His opponent always promised lower taxes, high paying jobs, and  a balanced budget. Somehow William always won.
Everyone in our family is reminded of William's platform when we listen to today's politicians. There are certain themes that run through all the speeches: high paying jobs, improved roads and bridges, and lower taxes. And they all speak of  "going forward."
Did you ever know anyone who wanted to "go backwards"? William should have added "going backward" to his platform.

I do not want the promise of lower taxes. Taxes are the way we pay to have many of our common needs met. Sometimes this calls for higher taxes. And jobs? Of course we need jobs - actually low paying jobs as well as high paying ones.

May the best people win in the coming election. I kind of wish that Bill Meritox were running. He'd get my vote.
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