If you’ve ever wondered just how crazy is the US, check out the dates below for routine bureaucratic tasks:
If you want to vote in the General Election via absentee ballot in the state of Alaska, your Absentee Ballot Return must be postmarked by Sat Oct 8, 2016.
If you want to vote in the General Election via absentee ballot in the state of Rhode Island, your request must be postmarked by Tue Oct 18, 2016.
If you want to vote in the General Election via absentee ballot in the state of New York, your request must be postmarked by Tue Nov 1, 2016.
In other words, time’s a-wastin’ for all of us to get the word out about how to vote!
Consequently, this blog will suspend publication of articles devoted strictly to France, French history, or French-American relations for the next five weeks, in order to post a series of fables about the American presidential election of 2016. The five political fables of “The Pit Bull who would be President” are inspired by the work of 17th-c courtier, Jean de LaFontaine. The first fable will be posted on August 26, and for the next four Fridays thereafter.
If you have any doubts about your willingness to walk down to your local polling station on that fateful Tuesday, November 8, remember what Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote, so long ago, “Born a citizen of a free state, and a member of the sovereign, the right to vote there is enough to impose on me the duty of learning about public affairs, no matter how feeble the influence of my voice may be” (Social Contract, trans. C. Kelly, 4:131).
Here is a list of the fables to come, and their inspiration from LaFontaine, Fables. For you, to guess who is who…
August 26: “The Pup from Indiana”
(“Le geai paré des plumes du paon”—The Jay in the Feathers of a Peacock)
September 3: “The Weasel who would be an Elephant”
(“La grenouille qui se veut aussi grosse que le boeuf”—The Frog that Wished to be as Big as the Ox)
September 10: “The Pit Bull, the Bear, and a Mouse”
(“Les deux taureaux et une grenouille”—The Two Bulls and a Frog)
September 17: “The Old Lion”
(“Le lion devenu vieux”—The Lion Grown Old)
September 24: “The Poodle and the Pit Bull”
(“Le lièvre et la tortue”—The Hare and the Tortoise)