It is the year of national elections (2020) and we have received our mail-in absentee ballots. There are five options for president on the document, each representing a particular party: Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green and Constitutional.

Political parties are, according to Wikipedia, “organized group[s] of people who have the same ideology or who otherwise have the same political positions.” Their candidates “thereby implement their agenda.”

But why name them parties? The main definition for “party” is “a social gathering of invited guests, typically involving eating, drinking, and entertainment.” A secondary meaning is “a formally constituted political group, typically operation on a national basis, that contests elections and attempts to form or take part in a government.”

Although our elections often seem to favor the primary meaning, “involving eating, drinking and entertainment,” we will assume that the secondary meaning is what is in mind for the ballots we just received. 

But what happens if there is no party that presents a candidate that we like? In this case there is a box we can check for a “write-in” vote, generally understood as one that is wasted. There is no record of anyone winning as a “voto escrito,” even if they spoke Spanish.

The problem, as we see it, is that the “parties” are not truly representative of our great American nation and cultures. We believe that we need another party, one that truly represents our once-great American nation, and that it should be the VEGETARIAN party. You will soon realize why once I outline our platform.

Every party has a platform, which is a “raised level surface on which people or things can stand.” In this case it will be “things,” although vegetables are alive and have feelings. Haven’t you ever been “rotten as a tomato,” or “bright as a peach”?

A plank is “a long, thin, flat piece of timber” that is the fundamental point of a political party. It is often used as the side-walls for raised gardens, which brings me to our first Vegetarian (get used to saying that word) promise:

  1. We promise that every home will have a vegetable garden. America was built on topsoil and it is the most underused and overpriced ingredient sold at stores like Walmart. We promise that gardens will become so common that future generations will have to be told the meaning of words like “cement” and “asphalt.” Two of our slogans will be “It takes a garden to raise a vegetable” and “no vegetable left behind.”
  2. We promise that every vegetable will be represented and that minority ones like kale, rutabaga and spinach will be given every opportunity to grow to their full potential and be sold. Of course, staples like potatoes and corn will always be a solid plank on the Vegetarian platform and symbolize the great vegetable farmers on our planet. The same goes for beans and cabbage—their explosive nature will be dramatized by scenes of cows eating them.
  3. We promise that our children will receive free copies of “Veggie Tales” and that they will be given free apples and turnips at school. But “why turnips?” you may ask. Turnips are one of the most neglected of all vegetables, except perhaps for beetroot, pole beans and sour cabbage. Children will learn to love turnips because we will put a small gummie in each one given out at school.
  4. We promise that we will allow vegetables to grow sideways. Our culture has learned to grow them upside down and right side up, but not sideways. However, it has been proven by psychologists that some vegetables prefer to grow differently than the prescribed, standard way, and that we should let them grow however they wish.
  5. We promise to abolish all greenhouses. These veritable prisons cook the skins and wilt the leaves of many vegetables. It is undemocratic and unconstitutional to imprison any vegetable in such hothouses. We also promise to recycle the glass from greenhouses.
  6. We promise universal care for any ailing vegetable, including free transportation in government owned wheelbarrows to bulb, stem, leaf and tuber hospitals that will be established within a mile of any garden. Infusions of broccoli juice, as well as soybean vitamins will be available. No vegetable with a preexisting condition—like that of mushrooms, okra or pumpkin—will be without affordable medical care.
  7. We promise to promote raw vegetable consumption and digestion. It has been proven by science and Reader’s Digest that cooking a vegetable changes its essence—the very core beliefs that are inherent in its structure.
  8. We promise that the very soul of our civilization—vegetable growth and care—will be re-established throughout our nation. Edible flowers will be optional, but available to plant along the border of any garden. All vegetables will be equal, although, as someone once said, “some will be more equal than others.” In addition, we promise that all vegetables will be allowed to carry vegetable peelers for protection.
  9. We promise that in the next 20 years we will grow vegetables on the moon and Mars. Our platform includes a new “Vegetables in Space” floorboard which will allow all future immigrants and aliens to eat aloft without needing Greencards or Visas. Immigrant vegetables, like Irish potatoes and Dutch stamppot are part of our tradition.
  10. Finally, Vegetarians promise to develop a vaccine that will make the sight of meat revolting. Animals will be safe to grow freely and roam anywhere, except in gardens. One exception may be cats, which seem to be natural predators of vegetables.

Earl Framklin, chairperson,

The Vegetarian National Committee
Waco (sometimes pronounced Wack-o), Texas
October, 2020

Note: no actual vegetable has been harmed in the writing of this essay.