Monday, February 11, 2008

Politics is the Best Reality TV

So far, the networks in their infinite pursuit of viewership have failed to get me to watch Reality TV. I don't care about Big Brother. I think Survivor would be a lot more interesting if they dumped everyone in the jungle with a Leatherman, a roll of Duct Tape, and a cigarette lighter, and said "You eat what you kill, We won't be coming back to get you. And, by the way, between you and freedom is a tribe of xenophobic hunters that are deadly with a blowgun." That I'd watch, just for the Arnold Rimmer's of the show find a way to sell poison darts to the tribesmen.

That being said, this election has me completely enthralled. I find myself rooting for the underdogs (Obama and McCain, until Super Tuesday) booing the villains -take your pick between Hillary, Romney, Giuliani, and really, just about everyone who doesn't qualify as a nutjob, which leaves us with Ron Paul, the Eddie the Eagle of American Politics. I really can't get enough of it.

Which brings me to my point, which for reasons of something passing for literary standards I refuse to call "A Modest Proposal." The 2012 campaign should be run as a reality TV show. We'd start out sometime in 2011 with the "Man in the Street" section, where a bunch of yokels whose previous experience involves describing how the tornado sounded just like a freight train describe how they would solve world problems. Think Miss Teen South Carolina without the ballgowns or, in fact, the intelligence. We'd then, from that group of hopefuls, pick a handful to go on and meet the candidates who are entering the race the normal way (graft, corruption, blind idealism, and downright hubris). Instead of doing something constructive, they would do something silly like try to sell lemonade in the middle of a Minnesota winter or some other such silly task designed to make the "real" candidates look stupid and the anonymous everymen look brilliant.

Eventually that would run it's course, and we'd have to get down to real voting. I think the logical solution is to have a call-in number on the last debate before the start of the primary season. You would have to call 1-900- something or another to keep your candidate alive for the primaries, which would start with New Hampshire and Iowa, and then be 6 states a week for the next two months. In the end, the Republican and Democratic Parties would install the nominee they were already going to nominate anyway. Do not pass go, Do not get any sense of participation in the electoral process.

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