While walking down the street one day, a presidential candidate is tragically hit by a car and dies.
His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.
“Welcome to heaven,” says St. Peter. “Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high-ranking official around these parts, you see, so we’re not sure what to do with you.”
“No problem, just let me in,” says the politician.
“Well, I’d like to, but I have orders from the higher-ups. What we’ll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.”
“Really? I’ve made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,” says the politician.
“I’m sorry, but we have our rules.”
And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.
The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse, and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.
Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had getting rich at the expense of the people. They then dine on lobster, caviar and the finest Champagne.
Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy and who is having a good time dancing and telling jokes.
They are all having such a good time that before the politician realizes it, it is time to go.
Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.
The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him. “Now it’s time to visit heaven …”
So, 24 hours pass with the politician joining a group of contented souls, moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.
“Well, then, you’ve spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.”
The politician reflects for a minute, then he answers: “Well, I would never have said it before — I mean heaven has been delightful — but I think I would be better off in hell.”
So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell …
Now the doors of the elevator open and he’s in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls to the ground.
The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders.
“I don’t understand,” stammers the politician. “Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank Champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there’s just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?”
The devil smiles at him and says, “Yesterday we were campaigning, Today, you voted.”