To simplify the process, candidates were nominated by other class members. We discussed what characteristics these candidates should possess. Among the many nominations that came in, Jamie and Delia were chosen to run for the top spot. The class had done a good job in their selections. Both candidates were good kids. I thought James might have an advantage because his parents gave him lots of support and attention. Delia was a sweet, very attractive little girl, but I could not remember ever seeing her mother.
On the day they were to make their speeches James went first. He had specific ideas about how to make the class a better place. He told us we should all cooperate more with the teacher, do our homework carefully every day, volunteer to answer questions in class. Do extra research at the public library when possible, and ask the teacher for special help if we didn't understand an assignment, He also suggested each of us should contribute part of our allowance to a Field-Trip Fund, so we could go to museums of natural history and art, and nature centers to learn more about history and biology. He also suggested we start a Gift Fund so we could buy our teacher a really nice present at the end of the year to show our appreciation for all she had done. He ended by promising to do his very best to see that this all came about. Everyone applauded.
Then, James sat down and Delia came to the podium. Her speech was brief and asked no effort from anyone. She said, "If you vote for me, I will give you ice cream." She sat down. The class went wild. "Yes! Yes! We want ice cream."
Surely she could have said more? She did not have to. A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn't sure. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it? She didn't know. The class really didn't care. All they were thinking about was ice cream. James was forgotten. Delia won by a landslide.
Every time Barack Obama opened his mouth he offered "ice cream" and fifty-two percent of the people reacted like nine year olds. They want ice cream.
The other forty-eight percent of us know we're going to have to feed the cow, milk the cow, process the milk, and muck out the barn every day and likely pay for veterinary services now and then, or not only will we have no ice cream, well have no milk, cream, butter, yoghurt, or sour cream --- and not even a cow ---, if we don't take proper care of the animal.