There are many reasons not to forget the day of Saturday, Nov. 6, 1971. What happened, you ask? Why, on that frigid day on the Amchitka Island in Alaska, Operation Grommet was a go. Code-named Project Cannikin, the U.S. tested a 5-megaton thermonuclear warhead — the largest underground U.S. detonation ever.

Another reason why one should not forget the day Nov. 6, 1971? One of Cher’s one-hit wonders (I know, she has a few of ‘em) reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for two consecutive weeks. It soon reached No. 1 in Canada and the top 10 in various European countries. In fact, the song “Gypsys (sic), Tramps & Thieves” became the No. 1-selling single of 1971, selling more than 9 million copies worldwide.

What’s so great about this particular song of hers? She’s made a ton of ‘em. “I Got You Babe” resounds in my head whenever I see Bill Murray. Just hearing “Believe” while simultaneously catching a whiff of cigarette smoke and/or marijuana takes me to the days of my youth, riding the roller-coasters of Lagoon.

Today I found a whole new meaning for the words “gypsies, tramps and thieves.” Whenever I hear those ruddy infomercials promoting CDs with choice songs from past decades and I am forced to listen to Cher’s rather manly voice (I still can’t distinguish her voice from Sonny’s in “I Got You Babe”) singing about a girl being “born in the wagon of a traveling show” and how her father would do “whatever he could — preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of Dr. Good,” I can’t help but think of our public servants.

No, no, certainly not all of them. There are many politicians — in both parties, in local, state and federal positions — who are levelheaded and want to serve and represent their respective citizens. Some, however, crave power and go to bitter extremes to quench an insatiable desire for dominance.

The thieves: These are the politicians who bow down to large companies and other special-interest groups who unload their pockets into campaigns in exchange for political favors. A loophole there, some vague wording there, and the politician has allowed his/her preoccupation of re-election determine where the loyalty lies, robbing citizens of their trust.

The tramps: Before the song was released, “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” was really “Gypsys, Tramps & White Trash.” So, I’ll go ahead qualify our tramp-ish and white-trash lawmakers — simply put, those who can’t see beyond their own noses. Not classy.

The gypsies: These non-statesmen and non-stateswomen are loose with their common sense and genitalia and indulge themselves in inappropriate behavior. As politicians visit the hordes of crowds, it has become increasingly less common for politicians to see children in the crowd that they haven’t sired.

Primaries have passed; only final voting remains. Do our country a favor: Go vote. Register to vote by mail if it’s simpler for you. Be determined to discern the candidates’ stances and vote accordingly. Vote for the statesmen and women, those who will be strong and lead us in these times that warrant such leadership and governance.

 

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