The political scene today — abuzz with an abundance of enthusiastic candidates eager to eliminate an incumbent seen as incompetent and mendacious — resembles a wildlife refuge, doesn’t it? Animals of different stripes and ages perpetually roam and growl as they obey the law of this jungle: be gentle with one another while preparing to attack the chief predator.
“And I have to wonder,” says Brady, the adorable yet sardonic family dog who “talks” to me, “is there a keeper of this asylum?”
“A keeper?” I respond. “Like a zoo keeper?”
“If a wildlife refuge has one,” he said, “then one is needed in the political wilds.”
As they did in the 2016 presidential race, Bucks and Montgomery County voters will play a key role in 2020 — holding the electorate power to determine Pennsylvania’s winner and influence the national tabulation. Many of the nearly two dozen candidates will visit the area in the coming months, touting their ability to win back the White House. Voters, however, have the tough job: play “keeper,” feeding and caring for hungry candidates in the jungle. They must pay attention, ask questions and seek the truth always in a rain forest of opponent lies.
“Maybe the public can draw inspiration, too, from events like when the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was part of an oil-drilling controversy,” suggested Brady. “Or maybe find motivation watching movies like ‘Jeremiah Johnson,’ ‘The Wild’ or ‘Zookeeper.’”
Or maybe voters can check out this local event and learn how to handle a political field.
“Meet the Keeper” is set for 10 a.m. May 4 at Upper Schuylkill Valley Park in Royersford, where visitors will “go behind the scenes and help prepare the diets and feed some of your favorite animals.” There’s a May 1 deadline to register to be a keeper. Call 610-948-5170.
“Come and learn what it’s like to be keeper at a wildlife refuge,” according to the Montgomery County public affairs department. “See what’s involved in caring for the park’s animals and exhibits.”
If the political scene is a wildlife sanctuary, this might be the best method to prepare for it.