I don't know if you've been following along, but there's this thing 58 percent of Americans do the first Tuesday of November. And no, it's not check the mailbox for a welfare check as some might have you believe. It's called it an election, although some people refer to them as train wrecks. The last election should have been sponsored by Burlington Northern.
In 2016, 27 percent of eligible voters decided who our current president would be. Compare that to Russia where 68 percent of eligible citizens not surreptitiously poisoned to death on a park bench voted. Putin received nearly 77 percent of the tally. Because he's a brilliant campaigner. He was so good, even his opponents voted for him.
In America, where Republicans now control all three branches of government-the Nina, the Pinta and the Titanic-Democrats, a.k.a. "The Mob" are hoping to wrest away control of at least one legislative house in the interest of checks and balances, a.k.a. "Armageddon", to Republicans.
In order to prepare you for this year's election, I, in conjunction with Trump University, a 12-pack of Grain Belt and Rob Port's Thesaurus (great band name), have put together a pre-election quiz to help you exercise your right as an American citizen unless you are a Native American.
1. Why is Kevin Cramer refusing to reschedule a public television and radio debate? a. Taking campaign advice from Rick Berg b. Doesn't have a very high tolerance for pain c. Heidi Heitkamp armwrestling commercial scared him. d. Too busy being accessible to be accessible
2. What did Kanye West and President Trump discuss in the Oval Office? a. Elvis and Nixon b Tupac and Biggie c. Salt-N-Pepa d. Josie and the Pussycats
3. Why are oil companies so interested in defeating Measure 1-the ethics bill? a. Ethics are a gateway to functioning democracy. b. Involves too much bookkeeping c. Lobbyist/legislator transactions should be confidential under the law. d. Heroically standing up for the First Amendment because journalists are our friends
4. Why you should oppose recreational marijuana in North Dakota: a. It's a known contributor to cardiac distress among cranky old white guys. b. Causes extreme mellowness in laboratory animals. c. Look at Kanye. d. How can you hold down three jobs if you're busy doing recreation?
5. Statistically, 27 percent of Americans under the age of 65 have this: a. A buzz b. Scurvy c. A bad attitude d. A pre-existing condition
6. How much of the $3.8 trillion dollar tax cut passed in the U.S. House would the average American get? a. About as much as you did last time b. Another day older and deeper in debt c. All of the coming recession d. Inconsequential-we're building up your tolerance for pain.
7. It's a very scary time for men in America because: a. You could be accused of something you did. b. It's Halloween. c. Mobs of snowflakes are everywhere. d. Climate change
8. Most redeeming quality of Mitch McConnell: a. You can hide Easter eggs in his chins. b. Once gave Ted Cruz a wedgie c. Never convicted of stealing from the poor to give to the rich d. Always puts the seat down.
9. A good reason you should vote Republican on November 6: a. Benghazi b. Bengay c. Benihana d. Benny and the Jets
10. The Clintons have announced a speaking tour because: a. Bill's not tired of hearing himself talk yet. b. They're giving all the proceeds to charity. Kidding. c. Tone deafness is a thing. d. Groundswell of support from Chelsea.
Bonus: A real news headline: a. Elizabeth Warren really does have Indian blood. b. Sarah Huckabee Sanders drinks the blood of virgins c. Nikki Haley emerges from administration unscathed. d. NFL kicker makes two in a row
Answers: 1. d; 2. d; 3. a; 4. a; 5. c; 6. b; 7. a; 8. a; 9. c; 10. d. Grading: 9-11 correct: Forget about voting, you should run for office. 6-8 correct: Smarter than the average bear. 3-5 correct: Are you even trying? 0-2 correct: You think debate has something to do with fishing, right?
Bender publishes North Dakota weekly newspapers in Wishek and Ashley. He is a regular contributor to The Forum’s opinion pages.