Wednesday, May 2, 2012
On the one hand we've got the incumbent who has all the charisma of the average full blooded Vulcan. On the other side there's the improbably named Mitt Romney, who looks like he majored in Smug Bastardry in college. Both are about as appealing as a rectal exam.
No one can deny that the electoral system in this country is severely broken. The paltry few citizens who do vote do so on the pretense that their choice determines the winner, when in actuality it's decided by a Golbergian system of electoral votes, based on an arcane formula that only professors who wear tweed jackets with elbow patches and sit in stuffy offices full of moldy books understands.
Our votes don't count, folks. It's common knowledge (or would be if anyone paid attention to such things) that it's entirely possible for a candidate to win the so-called popular vote but still lose the election. That's the sort of thing that's supposed to happen in North Korea and Iran, not in the good ol' U.S. of A.
Maybe it's just as well the popular vote doesn't count. No one votes based on the candidate's platform anymore. Hell, most people couldn't list one item from either hopeful's list of dubious promises if their lives and the lives of their families and pets depended on it.
The sad fact is, candidates are nominated and/or elected based on how unusual their name is. If you sport an atypical name that can momentarily pierce the stupefying veil of dance shows and reality TV that occludes the mind of the average voter and lodges tentatively in their dim consciousness, then you're a shoe-in. Don't believe me? Messrs. Barack Hussein Obama, Willard Mitt Romney and Newton Leroy Gingrich would beg to differ.
That's why a guy like John Edwards never had a chance (even without the salacious affair). He might as well have been named Blandy Blandington.
And even if the public could pry their attention away from the antics of the Kardashians long enough to weigh the candidate's platforms, it wouldn't matter one whit, because they have no earthly intention of keeping any of the unlikely promises they've made. Heck, the candidates themselves probably don't know what they stand for. Their positions and stances and even the color of their ties are carefully calculated by teams of speechwriters, image consultants and wranglers.
Then of course there's the fact that whoever's elected spends approximately one, maybe one and a half years of his four year term actually governing. The rest of his term is spent campaigning for reelection. There will be no decisions of note made during that period, believe you me.
So at long last I come to the point of my rant:
Do we even need a president?
Seriously. Can we just forget about electing one this year and go on with our daily lives as we try to stretch our meager paychecks and make ends meet? Think of the billions of dollars wasted on these ridiculous campaigns. Money that could be used to buy food, shelter and blankets with sleeves for the homeless. It makes me want to plotz.
I'd be very willing to give it a shot. And if it turns out that yes, we actually do need a president, then fair enough. We can start it all back up in 2016. I say we ought to try it.
The button, by the way, was drawn in InDesign.