March 4, 2008

Summary of My Discontent: Courting the imbecile vote

With the U.S. presidential election drawing near (only 241 more days to go!), many people have already decided how they’ll vote. And with the election season in its 850th week, it’s easy to see why. As polls have conclusively shown, most voters have made their final decision as a group, be they young, old, African Americans, women, Latinos, Pacific Islanders, wiccans, “Lost” viewers, Grand Theft Auto enthusiasts, pro-lifers, pro-deathers, environmentalists, evangelicals, Flash developers, restless-leg-syndrome sufferers or the pathologically greedy.*True, there are many people within those demographic groups who remain undecided, but we in the media are not allowed to mention them. However, there is one key undecided bloc the candidates will spend the spring and summer courting: idiots. Because we live in a democracy, we let our stupidest voters cast the winning votes (or, in some elections, the losing votes, which are later converted into winning votes by the Supreme Court). This election’s knucklehead-wooing season kicked off during a debate last May, when, despite Tim Russert’s drop-dead resemblance to an owl, several Republicans said they don’t believe in evolution (and a couple had deep misgivings about gravity). Sensing the dialog had become too highbrow, debate moderators subsequently spent countless debate-hours probing the candidates on such important issues as UFOs and diamonds vs. pearls (most popular: briefs). In recent weeks, we’ve seen the meathead-wooing ramp up, with attacks on Barack Obama’s patriotism. One photo that purports to show Obama refusing to salute the flag has become widely popular among imbeciles dexterous enough to open e-mail. Another photo popular among cretins shows Obama wearing Somali clothing, which is seen as proof that the senator is just biding his time until he can become president, whereupon he’ll fly a plane into a building. Of course, the mother of all idiot pandering is the ubiquitous pledge to solve big problems like healthcare, the energy crisis and global warming without citizens having to lift a finger. The last president who asked Americans to roll up their sleeves and pitch in was Jimmy Carter, who promptly got hit with a barrage of spitwads collectively known as the Reagan revolution. But most Americans are willing to sacrifice (if by “sacrifice” you mean eating the Jumbo Coconut Shrimp platter at Red Lobster instead of meat on Fridays during Lent). The Texas primary campaign was a great opportunity to witness idiocy in its natural habitat. The Lone Star State (a net exporter of imbeciles) imposes a two-step voting process that includes primaries and caucuses. Any registered voter could vote in either party but not both, leaving the state’s imbeciles confused and frustrated, which they overcame by going home and cleaning their weapons. Which brings me to my personal favorite stunt in every election, that glorious ’tard-pandering moment when the candidates do something like dress up in camo, grab a rifle, head out to the boonies (with dozens of reporters and camera crews) and blast fowl out of the sky. Who could forget that classic moment in American political history when John Kerry went goose hunting in Ohio in 2004? The Kerry campaign was desperately reaching out to imbeciles, saying, “Hey, after a tough week of reforming Social Security and balancing the budget, John Kerry likes to wind down by windsurfing on a lake of imported caviar on Martha’s Vineyard. But after that, he totally relaxes further by shooting the feathers off passing geese.” I can’t wait for this year’s hunting photo op. Obama, Clinton and McCain would all look awesome in camo, packing a rifle across a frigid Ohio cornfield. Hillary’s already fired off a couple of rounds, fondly telling Wisconsin imbeciles about blasting a banded duck out of the sky on a cold winter morning when she was Arkansas’ First Huntswoman. What message will resonate with imbeciles this year? Which candidate will capture the idiot vote? Will the coveted addlepated voter be able to find his or her polling place? Will one of the candidates accidentally shoot a friend in the face? It’s too early to answer those questions, but one thing’s for sure: We can anticipate 241 more days of completely retarded campaigning. *Also Kentucky Rep. Jim Gooch, who forms his own demographic. Contact the writer at jimwelp@gmail.com