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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
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Politics for the People

Why is everything more fun in Mexico?

I’ve been following their recent presidential election aftermath with great interest. I’ve never been interested at all in politics, but what’s not to like? Claims of voting fraud, rioting, a losing candidate saying, ‘Screw your results; I’ll rule from the streets!‘ It’s a veritable soap opera; I feel like I’m watching The OC, with less boobs and more burritos.

“Any politician who can forgo spewing hot air for a full ten minutes while they stuff their gob full of chow is a-okay in my book.”

We had our chance a few years back. There was a close election between that guy twho made up his own words, and the other guy who claimed he invented the cathode ray tube. That came down to six votes or something, but did they riot in the streets? Thumb-wrestle for the job, best two out of three? Stage a dance-off with lithe and limber celebrity partners?

No. They sat quietly with their legs together and their hands folded on their laps, and took it to the Supreme Court. And the stodgy old coots told everyone to go home and git offa their lawn. Boooooo-ring.

If American politics ever wants to be compelling, to capture the hearts and minds of its people, then there are going to have to be some changes. Here are some improvements I’m proposing for the upcoming election season. Maybe if we practice for a couple of years on the piddly elections, we’ll have it rdown pat when the big one rolls around again.

Town Meeting Dunk Tanks — You know those publicity stunts important dialogues that high-level candidates sometimes stage with paid ringers regular concerned citizens about pre-selected carefully screened topics whatever’s foremost on their minds? Yawn.

But how about this — before the event, go out and pull a panel of nobodies and chuckleheads off the streets, and give them each a box of baseballs. Prop the candidates on a platform over a water tank, and now you’ve got meaningful discourse. You duck a question — you take a bath. Utter a faux pas — bon voyage, baby. Ignore the poor, outrage minorities, or offend women — hope you can swim.

As an added bonus, if you find a candidate who can retain their dignity and electability after pulling themselves cold and dripping out of the water, then you’ve got yourself a bona fide politico. (See Kennedy, Ted.)

Runoff Eating Contests — So you’ve got a bunch of candidates for the same job, and you don’t know how to choose between them fairly. Well, boo fricking hoo. The Nathan’s hot dog people figured it out ninety years ago: have them eat their way into office. Maybe it doesn’t address the hot-button issues or advance their political agenda, but it definitely shows grit, staying power, and most of all, guts. Literally. Any politician who can forgo spewing hot air for a full ten minutes while they stuff their gob full of chow is a-okay in my book.

I wouldn’t recommend hot dogs in the deciding contest, though. It’s too patriotic — the rhetoric before and after would be unbearable. Plus, the winner will have plenty enough time to suck buns once he or she is in office. Instead, I think the hopefuls should hork down slabs of bacon. Canadian bacon. Not only because it’s more challenging to eat, but also for the international perspective it might lend to the proceedings. And they can eat it right out of their very own pork barrels. It’s good practice for later on.

Candidate Roll Call — This would be especially useful in the primary elections, when every schmoe and their grandmother signs up to run for office. Or for the first session of Congress after each election, to introduce the freshman Senators and Representatives. But I’m not interested in some dry, boring name, rank, and political agenda bullshit. I want those boys and girls to do it playground-style. For instance:

“My name’s Santorum. *clap clap*

I’m from the Penn state. *clap clap*

Voters, I adore ’em *clap clap*

I’m here to leg-i-slate.” *clap clap*

Or how about:

Up here on Cap’ Hill. *clap clap*

They call me Obama. *clap clap*

You veto my bill. *clap clap*

And I’ll dis yo’ mama.” *clap clap*

Extra credit if they can chant during a Double Dutch routine with a rapid-fire finale where they say:

My. Mother. Told. Me. Taking. Kickbacks. From. Big. Oil. Is. Wrong!

Barnum ‘n’ Bailey Democracy — And finally, a new rule for political advertising. In any form of campaign propaganda — TV ads, flyers, radio spots, those billions of crapass lawn signs that sprout up every year — the candidate must be protrayed as a clown. I don’t mean ridiculed for their clearly misguided fiscal policies; I mean they have to appear in full clown makeup and costume. And they must speak in a high-pitched, squeaky voice. If necessary, helium balloons will be provided by a bipartisan committee, for those candidates unable to squeak under their own power.

I figure if nothing else, this measure would keep the opponent-bashing mudslinging ads to a minimum. It’s awfully hard to come down on your rival when you’re wearing a rainbow wig, a big red nose, and the ad includes the credit ‘Candidate’s Wardrobe Provided by Ringling Bros.

Now, naysayers might point out that the eventual election winners will have donned the clown getups, too, and so might lose the respect of the electorate. In the worst case, our leaders could even be ridiculed and parodied by the other nations on the world stage.

Right. And your point is?

Hopefully, the powers that be — or more importantly, the powers that want to be — will implement a few of these ideas. At least before the next presidential election. Anything to make the process more palatable to those of us who really don’t give a shit which rich old white guy gets to host the Easter egg hunt on Pennsylvania Avenue. They all look pretty much the same from here.

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “Politics for the People”

  1. Chris says:

    You go Charlie! I detected what I almost thought was a political rant there! Give ’em hell!

  2. kerry says:

    LOL! i love it! now, how do we get them to impliment this?

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