American elections season. It doesn’t get better than that. Of course, on paper, we follow the race to make an informed decision of who is going to better lead us into the bright future, provide economic stability and ensure security.
But really, it’s the excitement we care about: who looks better, or is more memorable; who has a catchier sound bite. Is it Colgate Palmolive or Johnson & Johnson you prefer? Some, I for one, think Palmolive has a better jingle if not a better product.
For a president it is who could be a bosom beer buddy (male demand, explains George W. Bush), can he/she “understand my pain” (female demand, explains Bill Clinton) or does he/she know how to fit a message into 140 twitter characters (explains Barack Obama).
Does Hillary Clinton have any of these fine leadership attributes? In her presidential candidate announcement she promised to be people’s “champion” because “the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top.” Given her, let’s be honest, un-winning personality, and the fact that she is the top of “those at the top” (never mind her bizarre claim that the Clintons were “dead broke” when they left the White House in 2000), I don’t hold my breath.
I will never cross my party lines, so in the next year I will have to hope that my people–the democrats–come up with more diversity or at least a more exciting option, Martin O’Malley of Maryland, maybe.
So far, our imagination has failed, the Democratic National Committee shop sells nondescript gray products and promote the current POTUS, the Boss. I like gray in fashion, but I don’t want to be gray in politics. True, Barack Obama’s popularity is holding in its high forties, but more colors, in our products as well as in our candidates would serve us well.
Take Dick Cheney, their true Boss … ahem Dick. After all the US has gone through since W. and his vice-in-charge were elected in 2000 the Republicans still love Cheney more than life itself.
Unrelentingly he initiated the War on Terror to “protect” America at the expense of civil liberties and human rights. Surely, the US “homeland” has not been attacked since 9/11. But while we live “safely” in our homeland with drones flying and NSA spying, Afghanistan is now almost a failed state and at least one-third of Iraq has been taken over by ISIS; these outcomes are largely products of Cheney’s thinking.
For these stunning achievements the Republican National Committee offers his officially signed cowboy hat–as a symbolic head of the country–as a must have for a good republican. Isn’t it W., the 43 president, who is supposed to be a cowboy? But no, Bush only gets to promote a t-shirt, while his father George H.W. Bush, the 41, settles for a pair of the GOP lowly socks, his noble Greenwich CT origins notwithstanding. Must be a reference to the family leadership capacity, or lack thereof–somewhere around the ankles.
God has a sense of humor!
That God, the God of Absurd, does seem to be on the Republican side. They surely offer much greater entertainment. Even Mitt Romney, boring as he is, has provided some comic relief–his five wholesome-same-looking sons in blue shirts and khaki pants appear to have just come out of the Stepford wives, well, Stepford boys.
All in all, the GOP knows how to be absurd, the best part of any politics. And they are diverse in this absurdity as well, already counting three presidential contenders vs. our lonely one. If the NJ governor Chris Christie gathers his courage, it will provide for an even more delightful twist–Tony Soprano running for the White House.
Their current choices are not too shabby either: Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and, my favorite, a Canadian-born Texan Ted Cruz, once a National Debating Champion. Highly educated at Princeton and Harvard, he actually pretends that he is a brainless Sarah Palin, who memorably stunned the world with an ignorant claim that she sees Russia from her Alaska backyard.
True, Marco Rubio hasn’t done anything very ridiculous yet, although his famous drinking water when delivering the Republican State Of The Union Response in 2013 inspires much hope for his future contribution to the elections silly season.
I hate to admit it but it seems that Jeb Bush, another Floridian, would make most common sense in this elections on the Republican side, even though he, too, like Clinton is the top of “those at the top.” As many have noted, Clinton vs. Bush is a delightfully absurd 1992 deja-vu. Yet Jeb may have escaped what NYU’s Mark Crispin Miller called the Bush Dyslexicon. As a successful two-term governor of Florida, he was a seasoned manager. And snaps for him–he fully embraced his Mexican wife’s Latino heritage. For such a white American royalty guy over 60, not a small feat.
To add to the weird crisscrossing of American politics, today it is Mrs. Clinton, not Jeb Bush, who considers Bush the father a role model, which makes her an even more difficult choice for people like me.
Will I really have to cross the party lines this time in order to elect a president whom I actually like, and a Bush no less?