South Dakota, home of the world-famous mashed potato wrestling contest, recently made news the other day when Democrats conducted 3 “feeds” at their campaign rallies. Chilli and bread were served at the rallies. Afterwards, some of the “feeders” were transported to voting stations where they were encouraged to cast their votes in the state’s election. South Dakota is one of 32 states (plus the District of Columbia) that permit early voting in the state’s election.
Republicans learned of these “feeds” and accused the Democrats of “dirty tactics”.
Erin Mc Carrack, the Executive Director of the State Democratic Party, justified their actions by saying ,”This is way of breaking bread together. It is a way to connect with the community”.
However, if you think about it, when free food and/or drink is offered, the legitimacy of anything is up for question. Food is an incentive – pure and simple. The better the food, the better the incentive and the more likely the better the result for whoever is supplying the food.
How many times have you been lured to an event or meeting simply because of the promise of free food and drink?
Weddings, Bar mitzvahs, Birthday Party’s, Christenings are not always attended simply to bless your beloved but quite often the guests are there to enjoy the lovely spread you have ordered for them.
Wedding at The Four Seasons? I’m there.
Christening at Ruby Tuesdays? Hmmm…I think I am busy that day.
I can’t tell you how many of my single girlfriends, who would privately never dared been seen in public with a particular fellow, went on dates with them, simply because of the promise of 6 course tasting meals at Jean Georges or the like.
Almost every meeting involves some sort of food or beverage, whether its meeting for coffee, a glass of water during a job interview, lunch with work colleagues or drinks with friends. There is something comforting about holding that mug or fork.
Sooooo, while food is a great way, in the words of Erin Mc Carrack to “break bread together”, is it the politically correct thing to do at a pre-voting campaign rally?
As much as I would like to side with my fellow Democrats, I would have to say that free food and/or drink should probably not be an incentive to attend a rally and should be not provided. Today it was just chilli and bread but tomorrow it may be Chateaubriand and champagne and if that was the case, even myself, a loyal Democrat may be curious to check out the other side.
Chow for now!