Politicians should be on the march

>Hear the drums?

Hear the horns?

That’s the band.

What’s it mean?

What else: The Amherst July 4 parade, and it’s almost here.

This should be as interesting a parade as ever there was because, after all, this is a pretty interesting election year, and as longtime Amherst July 4 parade ob­servers know, if you’re running for office, you’d better line up to march.

So, who can we expect?

It’s impossible to say, but we’re will­ing to bet that Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Gov. Maggie Hassan will be here. They will probably square off in the race for U.S. Senate in November, barring something really odd happening in our September primary. Ayotte does have some interest­ing GOP challengers, but she’s still pretty popular despite her decision to not en­dorse Donald Trump but to support him, whatever distinction there is there. A dis­tinction without a difference?

There will be state House candidates, of course, and some gubernatorial candi­dates, but dare we hope?

Is it at all possible that Hillary Clin­ton and/or Donald Trump will march? It seems unlikely given that their respec­tive conventions are just a couple of weeks away, but one can hope.

You see, we never understand why poli­ticians don’t march in the Amherst July 4 parade and the Milford Labor Day pa­rade. Both draw huge crowds, both give folks a chance to at least see prospective office-holders and sometimes even to speak with them, if only for a few seconds.

Oh, sure, there are cynics who say what you see at a parade isn’t what you get, that all the political waving and smiling and glad-handing and shout-outs and point­ing fingers to make you feel important ("Look, she pointed at ME!") is just phony baloney politicking, but so what? It might not be real, but it’s fun.

And for the politicians, it should be im­portant.

First of all, just take the days:

Fourth of July.

Labor Day.

All right, most politicians are lawyers, so they aren’t what we’d normally consid­er laborers, but they work. At least until they get elected, but even then, some of them work. Except when they go home for a month at a clip so they can raise money so they can get re-elected so they can go home for a month at a clip to raise money so … you get it.

Still, the least they can do is show up at a parade designed to honor people who do work. If they don’t, what does that say about them?

And July 4 should be a no-brainer. It’s Independence Day, for crying out loud, and even if you’re a die-hard party loy­alist, you can at least acknowledge inde­pendence. And it is your nation’s history, you know. Oh, sure, it was a long time ago and those people can’t vote, but still. (For whom would George Washington vote?)

All we can say is, we hope to see po­liticos there and we hope they won’t just march and split. We hope they’ll stay to chat with folks and maybe answer a ques­tion or two. It’ll do them no harm. And it might do them some good.

And this year, July 4 is on a Monday, so it’s a real three-day weekend, not one constructed for the convenience of people who just so desperately deserve three-day weekends.