The dead have always been very active in politics.
Cemeteries swayed election results for eons, from Arkansas to Chicago to Quebec.
In 2006, the London Free Press found 90,000 dead people on Ontario’s civic election list. Who knows how many of them voted, since no one was checking ID at polling stations.
There is more gravy than grave about Toronto politics, though many of our leaders are effectively dead from the neck up.
But in the States, 1.8 million totally dead people were registered to vote in 2012, according to the Pew Research Center. Talk about your silent majority.
Five cadavers have been elected to the U.S. Congress, not counting Strom Thurmond.
Now, the dearly departed are haunting the U.S. presidential race in other ways. Perhaps this does not surprise you, since the increasingly bizarre campaign is quickly putting American politics six feet under.
Donald Trump scares the Republican Party to death and the Democrats are self-destructing under front-runner Hillary Clinton.
Retired nurse Mary Anne Noland, of Virginia, can’t stand either candidate. Or, I should say, she couldn’t stand them. Mary Anne died of cancer last weekend, at age 68.
“Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, (Ms Noland) chose instead to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15,” her obituary reads.
So Mary Anne chose “none of the above.” But in the hereafter she will join partisan spirits, such as Pittsburgh chiropractor Jeffrey Cohen, who died at 70. His obit pleaded:
“Jeffrey would ask that, in lieu of flowers, please do not vote for Donald Trump.”
A week earlier, Massachusetts meat packer Carl Crocetti offered a rebuttal as he, too, checked out, at age 62. His obit said: “Carl requested in lieu of flowers that people elect NOT to vote for Hillary Clinton ... in November.” His son, Carlo, tells the website Brockton (Mass.) Patch that his father was a Trump fan and “was fed up with the direction of this country that gave him so much.”
Elaine Fydrych, of New Jersey, who died at 63 of lung cancer, chimed in earlier. Reportedly, the Benghazi debacle had turned the registered Democrat against former secretary of state Clinton. Fydrych’s obit said:
“In lieu of flowers, please do not vote for Hillary Clinton.”
Add florists to the list of big losers in this campaign.
It’s a long list: Common sense, decorum, chivalry, honesty, decency, fairness ...
Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln must be rolling in their graves.
But backroom politics, the establishment, lefty media bias and other dusty relics of democracy have also been whacked upside the head.
Win or lose, by the time Trump is done with American politics, you may not recognize it, which is not a bad thing.
If I were American I’d see an opening for the U.S. Libertarian Party or another third force that embraces the best of both mainstream parties and rejects the worst. In other words:
Give me libertarian, or give me death.