It’s taken over 200 years, but American politics is finally evolving into a mature process that reflects the inherent nature of her people. This experiment in Democracy has taken innumerable turns and tumbles over the years, most often relying on the dominant presence of an elite ruling class to steady the ship of state. Despite the egalitarian ring of our founding principles, a nation “of the people, by the people, for the people,” still seemed more obeisant to the privileged. But no more.
A new breed of populism has spread like a rash across the land. Its mission is to dismantle the doctrine of elitism and advance the rule of the common man and/or woman. This crusade promises to forever alter the complexion of American government and deserves a closer examination.
|First and foremost, anyone who purports to be a leader in this environment, must be an avid consumer of beer. This is important to establish one’s credentials as a down to earth representative of commonality and humility. It is also necessary so that voters have a way of indicating their preference for drinking companions.|
|Education is a key component in this new paradigm. It is absolutely critical that you not have too much of it. And never, ever use the word paradigm. Once the American people get the impression that you know more than they do about issues like economics or foreign policy, you’re disqualified from service. Achievement and expertise only spotlight how different you are from ordinary Americans.|
|A show of strength will give any candidate a boost. You must not be timid about threatening enemies, advocating torture, or bombing busy population centers of third world countries. And once having taken a position, it is political suicide to change it, regardless of changing circumstances. Americans demand stubborn certitude from their barely educated leaders.|
|A vocal commitment to family values is mandatory. Not an actual commitment, mind you. Just a vocal one. Speaking frequently of the sanctity of marriage, no matter how many times you have violated it, will shield you from any detrimental impact. Conversely, life-long faithfulness holds no advantage unless accompanied by a virulent denunciation of same-sex marriage.|
|It is easy to be distracted by trivialities when engaged in a competitive campaign. But you must not let the appeal of junk food politics knock you off course. Stay focused on the issues that matter most to the people and you will always prevail. Those issues include flag lapel pins, ex-pastors, and quail hunting.|
|Two words: Go bowling. [Note: Take a few practice frames first]
Two more words: Don’t windsurf.
|Immigration has taken a prominent role in public policy. No issue inflames the emotions of citizens like who gets to be a citizen. The Statue of Liberty notwithstanding, America is an exclusive club that can’t let just anybody in. Even the most disadvantaged, undereducated alien represents a risk to American workers, whom we’ve already established have a low regard for education, lest it turn them into the elite.|
|Finally, a foundation of faith is required of any seeker of high office. Submission to an unseen authority may be the single best evidence of a candidate’s refusal to be submissive. So long as you pronounce your allegiance to God, all of your other pronouncements are divinely inspired. Unless, of course, you are Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, or Allah forbid, Muslim. You may also want to steer clear of quirky, ethnic Baptist’s.|
Yes, it’s taken over 200 years, but American politics is finally evolving into a mature process that honors the mediocrity of its people. In doing so it has laid the groundwork for electoral victory for anyone who understands and respects the new reality
George W. Bush understands, and he has provided a working model for success: You don’t have to be like ordinary Americans, you just have to be able to pretend you’re like them. How else could this son of Connecticut aristocracy; this progeny of senators and presidents; this oil baron and sports magnate, pass himself off as Texas bumpkin who enjoys clearing brush? This inarticulate, draft-dodging, C-, dynastic runt actually validates the American dream. As the first remedial president he has proven that you can grow up to be the Commander-in-Chief, in America, no matter how stupid you are. What other country can say that?
The presidential campaign of 2008 is shaping up as a testament to Elitistism: the practice of discriminating against those who are, or are perceived to be, elite. The goal of Elitistism (aka Simpsonism) is to drive from public life anyone who diverges from the sacred visage of American Averagism.
From an electoral perspective, the highest attainable ambition is ordinariness. Of the three remaining candidates we have:
- A millionaire lawyer/senator, who is married to a former president, with decades on the government teat.
- Another millionaire son of Admirals with a trophy wife and even more decades of being supported by the public.
- A mixed-race child of a single mother who has spent years as a community activist and organizer.
For the record, number three is regarded by the media as the Elitist. Go figure.