Some people might call it being an evil mastermind, but I prefer to call my success political genius. The position of Band President (the band member who would be elected to represent the marching, symphonic, jazz, and pep bands) had been my goal since my freshman year. Unfortunately for me, it was also the goal of two of my closest friends. Taking a lesson from President Teddy Roosevelt and his Bull Moose Party, I knew that multiple candidates from the same (or in his case, very similar) parties would be a political disaster, splitting votes among my friends’ and my would-be-supporters, handing victory to the rival. My first step to achieving political success would be to eliminate my friends from the competition. All three of us coming from the same group of music-loving self-proclaimed Band Geeks, I figured that if I had the popular support from our circle, I could easily ‘‘persuade’’ the other two into dropping out of the race. Thus, mirroring the United States’ political process, I set up a nominating convention. In a Facebook message to all of our friends, we each provided a platform and campaigned for the nomination. After the voting took place, our party had selected its official candidate: me. From one of my friends-turned-opponent came the calls of corruption. Because my best friend had tallied the votes, wouldn’t he of course throw the numbers in my direction? And not everyone had voted! We couldn’t possibly be sure it was a reliable vote without 100% voter turnout (as he failed to recognize that in the US, voter turnout is considered good if it reaches above 60%). He was easily hushed by the criticisms directed at him: ‘‘sore loser’’ and ‘‘trouble raiser,’’ among others. With the support of my ‘‘party’’ guiding me further, I then went on to the presidential election. I had two opponents in the race. One, I knew I could easily beat, but the other would be much tougher. I would need to campaign, but secretly. If there’s anything that turns a high school election voter off more, it’s someone that tries too hard. My opponent was popular. He had previously been our Spirit Chairman (in charge of getting the band excited and raising morale), and was known by the band. He was the star in school plays and cofounded the (surprisingly) popular Table Tennis Club. My supporters began to go around, building up my reputation among the band members. Now taking lessons from President Obama, I used the internet to my advantage. I began talking to people individually. ‘‘What would you like to happen in the band program?’’ ‘‘What should a President do?’’ Everybody I talked to had things to say, and knowing what they wanted to hear, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. My final presidential lesson comes from Andrew Jackson: the spoils system. If I promised people (meaningless) ‘‘positions’’ within my regime, they would vote for me! Could it really be that easy? Yes. ‘‘Oh. You can be the Head of the Committee Regarding Activities to Occur on a Thursday between the Hours of Three and Five PM.’’ Standing in front of the band, I gave my speech, parroting their words back at them. Please don’t misunderstand. I wasn’t lying to them. I was merely voicing the opinions of my would-be-constituency and making it my platform. It worked. Today: the band program. Tomorrow: the world. (If only it were that easy).