Only 13 more months until we get to choose a successor to Wild Bill Clinton. Anticipation among the regular folk runs high; that is, until they realize that if he’s no longer living in the White House, he’ll have to live somewhere. And so, we have the latest round of the “NIMBY” syndrome (“not in my back yard”), which is a reaction that has heretofore been limited to objectionable items such as nuclear plants and radioactive waste. Now, however, it will likely be extended to include certain former presidents.

What will America be like without Larry Flynt’s poster boy? Rumor has it that he will join Hugh Hefner as the new political editor for Playboy. He undoubtedly will also hit the lecture circuit, speaking to clubs throughout the land, including Lake Highlands’ very own PT’s Gentlemen’s Club in conjunction with a performance by Miss Cherry Sundae and Her Hot Fudge Revue (likely to be a slow night at Braum’s and Baskin-Robbins).

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With the departure of the (alleged) father (of many) of our country, it will soon be time to vote for his replacement. There is already a great deal of political posturing taking place. Candidates are spending almost all of their time in Iowa and New Hampshire, in hopes of scoring early victories. Iowa recently conducted its traditional “straw poll,” in which each candidate competes to see how many straws he can stack before they all collapse.

Most Lake Highlanders don’t know that we used to be home to one of the more important early preference polls in the race for the White House. Flagpole Hill actually was originally known as “Flagpole” Hill and was named for this traditional four-year event, which brought national attention to Lake Highlands.

From 1800 to 1932, Lake Highlanders used to make their way to Flagpole Hill to deliver speeches and cast votes for their favorite candidate. Many presidential campaign slogans actually originated at these events. Who can forget: “He Bought Louisiana For How Much?” by opponents of Thomas Jefferson; “Don’t Vote For Some Guy Named Millard” by opponents of Millard Fillmore; “Lay Off the Dumplings, Big Boy” by opponents of William Howard Taft; “He Can’t Make Decisions in a Vacuum” by opponents of Herbert Hoover (and his running-mate, the Oreck upright).

Hundreds of people would attend, turning Lake Highlands into a lively display of democracy in action. Instead of stacking straws, supporters would indicate their preference by waving flags for their candidate – hence, the “flag poll.” On only one occasion did the Lake Highlands flag poll winner actually become president, which is probably because the perennial choice in Lake Highlands was “Boss” Moss, who ran the political machine in Lake Highlands and for whom all the Moss streets and parks are named.

I think we should revive the Lake Highlands presidential flag poll and make our voices heard alongside Ames, Iowa, and Concord, New Hampshire. After all, we’ve shown our political wisdom in continuing to support our stalwart strip joint PT’s, as well as our political vision in permitting the displacement of the beloved Knights of Columbus site by a DART light rail station. Who could possibly question our intelligence?