uncle jerry's

Irreverent Thoughts on the life YA


Absolutely Ambiguous

Updated: Sep 4, 2018

Candidates . . . in a democratic state, require many resources, concrete promises and catchy campaign slogans to convince the population at large to vote for them.


Peace and joy, Camper, and welcome once again to Your Uncle Jerry’s Smoke-Filled Room.

In running for office, Uncle Jerry faces two existential dilemmas. (Or maybe they’re ontological dilemmas. Uncle Jerry doesn’t waste himself on philosophy; philosophy is subtle and time-consuming. Not much in demand. Although he could totally handle it; he's a genius. Really the smartest guy he knows.)

One of these dilemmas is which office Uncle Jerry should run for. During a recent kerfuffle at the temporary campaign headquarters, Mrs. Jerry made it quite clear that she wouldn’t vote for Uncle Jerry even for Dog Catcher. So running for Dog Catcher is now off the table. In addition, it seems that Dog Catcher is not an elected office at all—stray dogs are handled by the so called “animal control” unit of the police. Uncle Jerry would love to see this unit control Fang, his neighbor’s feral Yorkshire Terrier, who visits the yard in the dark of night to leave wet nuggets of canine opinion on the direction of Uncle Jerry’s campaign.

More important than office is the question of the campaign slogan. Here is an update.

The choice of a slogan, as you would know, Camper, if you had Uncle Jerry's intuition and years of wisdom, which you don't—because if you did, it would be you running for office and not Uncle Jerry. The choice of a slogan is the most important choice a candidate can make. It must set the tone for the campaign. It must strum the string that will vibrate in the withered, hopeless heart of the voter. The perfect slogan will convey a clear and simple message into which the voter can read their own darkest socio-political biases, yet at the same time it will provide ample room for plausible deniability should the campaign ever be accused of taking a real position. Finding a slogan is a tricky business, Camper, one for professionals. Don't try this at home.

Uncle Jerry’s campaign manager, after meeting with certain consultants whose country of origin is currently unknown, has recommended two possibilities:

  • “They are Killing Us All!”

  • “We must Kill Them All!”

These are usefully absolute, yet with the needed ambiguity. On these options, however, Fang registered a stronger negative opinion than usual. Almost a double negative—though it’s not clear that Fang knows what double negative means, and in any case, he may have thought we were still considering Dog Catcher.

Mrs. Jerry, bless her heart, loves the sort of positive, optimistic talk that was popular during the Michelle Obama Era. She is suggesting:

  • “There’s Always Hope!”

  • “Children are the Future!”

  • “If We Just Work Together, Write Some Jokes, and Maybe Do Another March or Two, We Can Totally Persuade the Radical Right to Return to the Founding Principles of the Republic, Which They Also Love but Have Abandoned for Unknown Reasons—Principles Like: We Are All Created Equal, Separation of Powers, and Due Process!”

After consideration of this last one, Fang buried Mrs. Jerry’s triple-certified travel mug somewhere in the back yard.

Uncle Jerry’s three sisters offered their ideas, as well:

  • “I Guess, If You Want To”

  • “Doesn’t Really Matter to Me”

  • “Whatever You Like is Fine”

Finally, Grandpa Jerry, who has lived a long life of defensive fatalism, sent in two pithy suggestions:

  • “Yeah, I’m Thinking No”

  • "Won't Matter Anyway"

Both strong contenders.

I know what you're thinking, Camper, but if you haven't sent your suggestions already, it is now too late. The window for public comment has closed. However, rest assured that the campaign committee will give due thought to every slogan suggestion we have received. So watch this space. You’re going to love the one we choose. It will be terrific, the best, and we’ll be releasing it over the coming weeks. Next on the agenda: Developing an agenda.

This just in. Fang appears to be organizing a rump group of agitators who are putting his name forward to challenge Uncle Jerry as standard bearer for the campaign. More later.

Joy and Peace.

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