Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The Chosen One
Content Warning: I have a lot of trouble taking anything too seriously, so know beforehand that even though this may be an important election, I am unlikely to treat it as such, at least within the boundaries of these pages.
Election time is rolling near, and those of us who aren't poor African-Americans just trying to get an ACORN prepare to vote in a contest that will determine our future to an even greater extent than the results of American Idol. Barack "The Insane in the Membrane Hussein" Obama looks as if he will be the next president of the United States, barring a last second collapse of the kind that only the Chicago Cubs and the Democrats are capable of producing. John "No Pa(l)in, No" McCain appears to be headed back home, even if they have to chop him up into several pieces so that he can occupy all those residences concurrently. So, although it may be too soon to assume the race is over, for our purposes we will declare a winner and proceed to analyze the how and the why of this cycle's assumed results.
Why will Barack Obama win? Because he is dead sexy. In the past, once we have pared down the field to a mere two contestants, the uglier candidate is the one who will be voted off the electoral island. Surely we cannot be such a shallow land? Elections for the most important office in the nation must be decided by carefully regarding the issues and weighing the views of the candidates. To some extent this point is well-taken. The majority of voters do approach the process seriously, even if they are extraordinarily uninformed. Races aren't decided by these folks in reality, though. The so-called issue voters generally fall evenly on each side of the aisle and end up countering the totals of the other side, resulting in a stalemate. Who is left to break this sister-kissing tie? The idiots, who, according to NOFX, are taking over.
The best of the rest are a conglomeration of people who just can't seem to make up their minds between two parties that could not be more different (granted you could easily disagree with both groups of imbeciles). These folks definitely have no clue about the issues and they sure as hell aren't going through the trouble of finding out. What do they base their choice on then? The way the candidate looks and the way they present themselves.
Sounds like I am spouting off at the mouth again without any evidence to back up my claims, eh? Let's look at the presidential showdowns dating back to the first televised debates and you will see what I mean. Occasionally, the race comes down to two ugly white men, and the nation has to use other factors to make the decision.
1960 - Tricky Dick vs JFK (just fucking kidding). Nixon could not have been more qualified for the nation's top office. He had already governed the state of California, whose GDP back then equaled the entire continent of Africa's. In addition, tricky Dick had been the Vice President under Dwight Eisenhower the past eight years. His opponent was the youngest in history, John F. Kennedy, a World War II hero with only ten years spent in Congress. JFK won of course, since he is considered the hottest man ever to sit in the Oval Office. How do I know his beauty did the trick? Check out this fact: those who watched the two debate on TV said that JFK was the better debater by a landslide over the sweaty, pasty-faced Nixon. Those that heard their clash on radio claimed that Nixon had won. *Counter-argument: Everyone knows that thousands of dead people (thanks to the unlikely coalition of George Romero and Richard Daley) voted JFK over the top in Illinois, thus handing him the victory.
1964- LBJ (loathes Bob Jones) vs Goldilockswater. These guys were pretty much a toss up in the ugly department. LBJ fooled the voters with some brutal commercials pertaining to Goldwater's nuclear policy. Johnson was never scared to be a bastard when he felt the time was ripe. Check out this vignette about LBJ's first race for a State House seat back in Texas. Going negative can be effective as long as you don't try the strategy against a pretty boy-type.
1968 - Tricky Dick Returns vs Humphrey Dumpty. These fellows tied for the league lead in mirrors broken per day or MBPD's. Humphrey inherited the Vietnam War from LBJ and lost mainly because the party was split in half over whether to support the war. Nixon won by claiming he would end the fighting, although being Nixon he was probably lying due to the fact that he always was. If Tricky Dick had one of those Pinocchio noses, we would never run out of building materials. Humphrey got a dome named after him as a consolation prize.
1972 - Tricky Dick vs. Photo Not Available. There aren't any pictures of George McGovern available to tell us what he looked like. My friend Mark claims he was a fetching young lad, but McGovern's biographers are all dead, so we may never know. George was from South Dakota, which I am not sure is even a state. He may even still be alive. No one knows. No one even knew who he was then. He lost, quite badly. Hunter Thompson wrote a book about the race, read that instead of my jibber-jabber.
1976 - Impeachment Replacement vs. Peanut Farmer. Former football star (from before the invention of the forward pass - ask McCain if you are unsure about any rules from this era) Gerald Ford came in off the bench to replace Spiro Agnew after he was forced to resign and then became president when Nixon followed suite. The tawdry shenanigans of Watergate along with the fact that Ford had been hit in the head too often spelled his doom. Jimmy Carter, the well-spoken Governor of Georgia managed to bring the Dems back to the presidency for the first time since LBJ proving that smart ugly men can defeat dumb ugly men.
1980 - The Teflon Ron vs. Peanut Farmer. The gipper was able to win one from the peanut farmer by using his theatrical skills to great effect. A Hollywood actor for many years, Ronnie had starred alongside such great actors as Jane Wyman and Bonzo the Chimp. With a bottle of "Formula 44" always in his hip pocket to defeat the onslaught of greying hair, Reagan was able to portray himself as attractive and well-spoken rather than a senile old man consulting astrologists before he made important decisions. The former governor of California proved that dumb attractive white men can win against smart ugly white men. I think this concept is like rock-paper-scissors, but with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.
1984 - The Teflon Ron vs. Garrison Keillor. Reagan's opponent during his re-election bid of 1984 was actually a Minnesotan named Walter Mondale. More people probably know who Minnesotan Garrison Keillor is, or maybe Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Either one could have attained more electoral votes than Mondale, whose brief moment in the political spotlight didn't even garner him the honor of having a dome named after him. The poor guy just got a lake, which, according to the license plates I have been reading lately, there are 10,000 of in Minnesota. Kind of like having a cornfield named after you in Iowa. Mondale's true claim to fame was his VP nominee, Geraldine Ferraro, who was the first and so far only non-retarded woman to run for the nation's second highest office.
1988 - The Prudent One vs. Zorba the Greek. Reagan's VP, George HW Bush was able to continue the Republican legacy by defeating a Massachusetts Liberal named Michael Dukakis by portraying his opponent as weak on crime and not manly enough to be our President. A slight bit of the racism was used via the Willie Horton ad, in order to freak out the white peeps and send them scurrying into the protecting arms of their right wing daddies. Bush was accused during his years in office of being a mediocre chief executive, lacking in vision. Now that we have experienced eight years with his son as our leader Bush Sr. seems worthy of having his visage chiseled into Mount Rushmore. Palin has made Quayle look like a boy genius as well. Strange how time changes our perspective on things, eh?
1992 - The Arkansas Horny Toad vs. The Prudent One vs Utter Gibberish. Bill Clinton was a poor Arkansas boy who raised himself up from nothing to become governor of his state. When he first entered the presidential race, everyone figured that Bush Sr.'s reelection was fait accompli. Things changed all of sudden when the economy began to collapse and Bush broke his lip reader's promise not to raise taxes. The race was further livened by the entry of an eccentric Texas billionaire named Ross Perot. While the other two candidates kept Dana Carvey busy, Clinton managed to become the second coming of Beatle mania, driving the ladies into a frenzy and drawing in the Branford Marsalis crowd with his sexy saxophonic stylings.
1996 - The Arkansas Horny Toad vs. The Third Person. World War II veteran and long time Kansan legislator Bob Dole was the next to take on the lascivious lady killer. The campaign was a hopeless endeavor for the challenger, who was the first non-athlete to adopt the hideous habit of speaking about Bob Dole in the third person when he was, in fact, Bob Dole. America was enjoying an impressive run of prosperity under Clinton, and saw no need to change sex-mad horses in midstream. Bob Dole went on to a successful career as a rep for a pfarmaceutical company selling boner pfills for pfogies.
2000 - Dubya vs. Al Bore. Al Bore defeated the eldest son of George HW Bush in a tight race. Rainbows graced the sky, global warming was ended, there was no 911, no WMDs, no needless war in Iraq, and someone in the White House actually noticed the arrival of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Alas, 2000 was the year that our corporate masters chose to change the system, and instead of our votes counting, the Supreme Court was allowed to pick the President. They chose Dubya, a downhome folksy guy from Texas who understood the average American (billioniare). Well that is what we were told, and the strategy was bought hook, line, and sinker by much of the nation. Al Bore was smart, and perhaps could even be termed an intellectual. He was also incredibly boring and easy to make fun of, so he never had a chance, except that he won. Isn't all of this very confusing?
2004 - Dubya vs. Frankenkerry. The Democrats in their infinite wisdom thought to nominate another Massachusetts liberal to represent their party, since that plan had worked so well the first time (see Zorba the Greek). John Kerry had the kind of charisma normally only seen in inanimate objects. At least he was a military hero, but once the Swift-Boat mafia was done with Frankenkerry, you would have thought the Vietnam avoiding, occasional National Guardsman was the true hero, protecting America from the traitorous Democrat.