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Secretary of Energy and Aggie Rick Perry weighs in on...a student election

Republican National Convention: Day One Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

You don’t get to be the Governor of Texas for 14 years without owing some favors on the back end. Wearing custom suits and cowboy boots while hobnobbing with billionaires rich from being born on the right dirt comes at a price. Come shoot an exotic zebra on my ranch in South Texas and drink all the Johnny Walker Blue you can handle. Remember me when you see those hippies chained to trees in Austin calling for your head.

Civil service used to be a thankless, noble calling primarily for people who couldn’t hack it in the private sector. The pay was grim, but your title gave you access into society’s elite circles in exchange for bribes campaign financing and legislative influence. Chris Christie doesn’t sit in Jerry Jones’ box because they were in a college improv troupe together.

The truth is, we’ve created a culture where anyone can be a perceived star with enough gumption and soul (or body) solicitation on Snapchat and Fox News. Politicians and reality TV starlets included. Bonus if you can somehow check both boxes. Don’t forget to thank your luxurious hair and designer eye frames.

A&M entered the broader news cycle a few weeks back when it was announced Bobby Brooks was the winner of the Student Body President election. Only newsworthy because Brooks is openly gay and won a democratic vote at a school that historically leans harder right than Luby’s at 4:00 PM by Second Baptist (Katy campus). A nice accomplishment for what seems like a good guy who loves A&M. Positive overall story. He’s qualified for this gig. His peers voted accordingly. We’re done here, right?

Of course not. Stirrings of foul play among the kid legislators triggered the fussing of a collegiate popularity contest to escalate to the desk of the United States Secretary of Energy. If you’re ever wary of top-heavy government bloat, let this be a reminder that these are very busy, important individuals solving real issues.

Rick Perry wrote an op-ed to the Houston Chronicle about the United States’ role and responsibility as the world’s energy leader student election drama. It’s a yarn straight out of the writers’ room of Saved by the Bell. Pay no mind to the detail that the loser of the election is the son of a powerful Republican fundraiser. Coincidental, obviously.

I have no idea who the Student Body President was when I was at A&M. I’m guessing he was affable in a non-threatening way with pleated pants and predictable Fish Camp stories. Almost positive he wouldn’t read Good Bull Hunting. Unbeknownst to many Aggies, no other school takes these elections seriously. Student Body President is a nice thing on the resume when applying for that first accounting job out of school. HR stiffs love extracurriculars.

The role of the Student Body President is to represent his or her peers in the boardrooms with the suits when big decisions are made. “I MOTION THAT ALL FOOTBALL TICKETS FOR STUDENTS BE FREE AND A LAZY RIVER AT EVERY DORM.” It’s an adorable construct. The old people chuckle, tousle the President’s hair, and get back to important matters like driving the university customer base north of 60,000 while federally-backed credit is still loose for 17 year olds. Also, more chandeliers on the suite level at Kyle. Thanks.

Perry wrote 1,000 words to express how “deeply troubled” he was by how the election unfolded. Grave seriousness that can only be feigned when you owe the bankroll a solid. Usually these kinds of favors are called upon after a DWI driving home from RodeoHouston. To each his own in their time of need.

To put a point on just how serious this scandal is, note that the linchpin that swung the presidency was a lack of financial transparency on the purchase of glow sticks for a campaign video. BYOmolly. It’s easy to see how a Dancing with the Stars contestant would feel empathy. After all, it was tax evasion that brought down Capone.

Time will tell if Perry’s public plea will change anything. For now, one can only yearn for a time when our political figures were like smoke alarms - unnoticeable, quiet unless shit is actually on fire, and batteries changed every couple years. Gig ‘em.