top of page
Words by Ryan Croker      Art by Jacob VanDyke
mockinbird K_1.png

This is Why I Don't Trust Politicians

I’ve always taken pride in our country and I’ve been a consistent voter ever since I became eligible. For the most part, I stick to the middle, party-wise, voting for people from either side if I like what they have to say. It worked for me for years. Until it didn’t. You see, lately, politicians have been doing something that impacts me personally and it has made me disillusioned by the entire political process.


Ever since Bill Clinton started playing Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinkin’ About Tomorrow” at his campaign rallies, big politicians have had some pop song as a theme. Sometimes they get permission, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes artists complain, and when that happens, they stop using the song.


I’m not a musician, so I didn’t think this would apply to me, but for the last three months, every single major presidential candidate from both parties has been playing the audio version of my children’s book, “Jeff and the Beakers” at their rallies.


I wrote the book five years ago and it tells the story of Jeff, a toucan who worries that his beak will fall off, so he visits all the other birds to see what kinds of beak alternatives there are out there. I don’t know what it has to do with politics, but I turned on CNN the other day, and there was Bernie Sanders, walking on stage to ear-splitting cheers while the narrator talked about Jeff’s visit to the penguins.


Then, I clicked past Fox News, and a Trump rally was doing the same thing, only someone had slapped some light piano music under the narration. While this was happening, people at the rally were going crazy, holding up signs, throwing signs, stealing signs from each other, and otherwise reaching a frenzy of political excitement.


I did not give either candidate permission to use my book. Nor did I give it to Tulsi Gabbard, Joe Walsh, Kamala Harris, or any of the others who keep using it at every single rally. Every time I see it, it cuts me to know that Jeff is being used for this sort of tawdry thing. Attempts to send a cease-and-desist letter have been ignored, although a Trump tweet did refer to me as “Convoflated.”


And it’s not like sales of my book have gone up because of this. In fact, I think these politicians are all using the same CD of the audiobook and are just passing it back and forth to each other.


I feel helpless and worried every day that I might see Jeff on a campaign poster. My life is utter misery, and it’s all thanks to these wretched politicians.

bottom of page