Eschewing the normative methods of attracting voters (e.g. rallies, photo ops, talk show appearances), U.S. Rep. Byron Lamont Jackson (R-MS) has issued a puzzling statement to his constituents.
“I dare y’all to vote for the other guy. Go ahead. I double dare ya! See what that does,” proclaimed Jackson, clutching an unidentified electronic device with a big red button on it. “I’d just love to show y’all what I mean.”
The device, apparently not a mobile phone given its lack of cable ports and the fact that it has exactly one button, has been in the two-term incumbent’s hands since a recent poll placed him second behind challenger Lloyd Farmington. Jackson’s public appearances have tapered off in the midst of the heated race which is expected, as he has been quoted, “to once and for all determine the fate of the soul of our state’s 4th Congressional District, as well as the lives of every human being on this planet.”
Remarking on the unorthodox tactics being undertaken by the Jackson campaign, political strategist Janet LeMay pointed out, “Usually candidates debate policy initiatives, banter about who’s more qualified, things like that. Jackson is taking a different approach by bragging about having his own personal fallout shelter and issuing veiled threats to the voters of Mississippi.” Jackson himself has commented on the novelty of his methods, saying, “I don’t need to campaign. I just need y’all to understand that a vote for me is a vote for your life. I don’t believe y’all want me to use this thing.”
Jackson’s campaign staff has reportedly suffered from high turnover lately, as some have taken underground jobs in the private sector and several made the switch to NORAD, CENTCOM and various other agencies that have nuclear bunkers secured with blast-proof doors. The reasons given for this migration away from the beleaguered candidate have ranged from somewhat cryptic to positively unsettling.
“Just vote for Jackson. Please, for the sake of your life and the lives of everyone within 150 miles of any significant population center. Oh, good Lord, just vote for him,” pleaded Jake Gelman, Jackson’s former chief of staff. When pressed for clarification on his comment, Gelman backed away slowly, shaking his head while not once breaking eye contact, until he turned and sped off on his Segway.
Suggesting a specific impetus for her resignation, Jackson’s former head of canvassing, Marcia Cummings, revealed, “I just don’t wanna be around when that thing goes off.” As speculation abounds over what “that thing” may allude to, some have chosen to ascribe a relatively benign meaning to the uncertain reference. Jackson’s wife, Harriet, has claimed, “‘That thing’ is what he calls his… uh, his temper. That’s it. He has a bad temper.”
How Jackson’s unusual campaign strategy will ultimately influence the outcome of the election still remains to be seen, though many voters are of the opinion that it’s working well. Garth Samuels, lifelong Democrat and owner of Biloxi Fresh Crawfish & Discount Gas, stated, “Normally I vote blue, but there’s something real compelling about [Jackson’s] tone. Maybe it’s just the specter of global thermonuclear war… but you’d be hard-pressed to get me to vote for someone who doesn’t have such clear convictions, or that big red button he’s been talking to.”