This has been a tough year for American electoral politics.
Half of the country's liberals are convinced machine party politics guaranteed that one candidate couldn't be stopped. Half the country's conservatives are pissed that the party machine didn't stop the guy they wound up with.
Everyone's got a bad taste in their mouth, and it's not even September.
We offer this news story as a restorative tonic. Duke, the nine-year-old Great Pyrenees mayor of Cormorant Township has been re-elected to a third term in office.
Duke's service as mayor has helped put Cormorant Township (pop. 1,032) on the map. Indeed, if most people outside a 10-mile radius of that municipality have ever heard of Cormorant even once, it's because of Duke.
This fame is, we assume, what one local was talking about when she told WDAZ that Duke deserved reelection.
"I don't know who would run against him, 'cuz he's done such great things for the community," said Sharon Nelson, offering a brief paws from the pun-happy WDAZ reporter's stream of puppy puns.
Duke's third straight victory was decided during this past weekend's Cormorant Daze festival. According to one local, Duke is the only dog mayor in America, a claim that the residents of several dilapidated and corrupt cities would like to contest.
Owner David Rick says Duke's reign started as an "accident," with Duke winning on a write-in campaign. This year his only competition came from his girlfirend, Lassie, who received one vote before bumping up against a glass ceiling we didn't even know existed.
As of this week, Duke's mayoral duties take a backseat to his work on a nearby farm, a humble existence that surely keeps him grounded in the kind of regular American life with which most candidates have lost touch.What's more, no one seems less impressed with Duke's success than the dog himself: He just puts on his little mayor's hat, does some panting, yawns, and receives pets from his supporters. Later, we predict a nap.
It's like Duke didn't even know he was campaigning. That's the best part.