My family and friends know that I never watch the news, rarely read a newspaper, and ever since the radio died in my car, I don’t even get my news that way. No, all my knowledge of current events comes from word of mouth and the bombardment of various snippets on social media. Even my own children know more about what’s going on in the world than I do. However, there are some things that there is just no getting away from. Let’s just say that I would have to completely disconnect from the world to get away from the political stage of the USA.
Now before anyone goes running and screaming, this is not another post about the antics of the Donald or Hillary. I would never presume to go that far. However, I’ll gladly admit that the idea of Donald Trump becoming President does scare me. That man is unhinged, but at least he’s a true American politician: evasive, not afraid to flaunt money and dances completely around the topics at hand.
I seem to remember a little song from one of my favorite musicals about politicians and their evasive nature. Tell me if these words sound familiar:
Fellow Texans, I am proudly standing here to humbly say.
I assure you, and I mean it—
Now, who says I don’t speak out as plain as day?
And, fellow Texans, I’m for progress and the flag—long may it fly.
I’m a poor boy, come to greatness.
So, it follows that I cannot tell a lie.
Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep,
now they see me, now they don’t— I’ve come and gone
and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step,
cut a little swathe and lead the people on.
(Sidestep, from Best Little Whorehouse in Texas)
So many politicians dance to this little ditty; the Donald and Hillary are dancing right along with the rest of them. However, I don’t think any of them have the same brilliant, twinkling steps that Charles Durning did.
So, with all the rumors flying around, and all the sidestep dancing going on, it’s not hard to see that this year’s US presidential elections have become a complete farce.
However, I’ve had fun watching some of the other candidates. There are so many who are SOOOO serious. But hey… As my mother told me time and time again while I was growing up, don’t take life too seriously: you’re not getting out alive anyway. (I’ll let you just think about that one for a moment…)
So much limelight has been shining down on the Donald and Hillary, that many of the others have been relegated to the background. It’s time we recognize those politicians who seem to just enjoy life.
Take for example that Independent one who wears a gumboot on his head… No joke. I thought I was seeing things when I first saw these pictures, but nope… He’s the real deal. Vermin Supreme. I’m sorry, but even his name cracks me up. He’s just a Vermin on the Supreme level. (Meanwhile, I’m giggling and trying to type at the same time.)
Then you have that Libertarian who decided that the Libertarian conference needed a little striptease action… Even that still shot from the YouTube video below just makes me want to shudder. Good on him for doing what he did, but I SOOOO did not need to see that on live TV. Hilarious though.
But the craziness of US politics has not been limited to just this year. I mean, come on… You elect an actor to the White House and what else can you expect but all the Bonzo jokes to come out of the woodwork.
However, there’s another actor/politician that instantly comes to mind and makes me laugh just as much, but for entirely different reasons.
In 1993, Demolition Man, staring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes, made us all cringe and laugh when Sandra Bullock mentioned that after Arnold Schwarzenegger’s popularity as the Governor of California, the 61st Amendment of the Constitution allowed for a person not born a US citizen to become President. While it is highly unlikely that The Terminator will ever become President, I was still laughing my head off when he was voted as Governor of California in 2003. (Sorry, but every time I heard any of his political speeches, I kept waiting for the classic line, “I’ll be back,” or “Hasta la vista, baby.” I’m sure he said it at least once, just because he could.)
But who am I to criticize American politicians. I don’t live in the US. No, I live in New Zealand, where we have our own brand of crazy politics.
Let’s start with Tim Shadbolt, the Mayor of Invercargill. We Kiwis just love Tim’s attitude towards life. “I don’t care where, as long as I’m mayor.” Yep… That was his campain slogan in 1993, after he lost the mayoral seat of Waitemata City in 1989. The number of ads I saw as a teen… “I don’t care where, as long as I’m mayor.” Even now, that slogan sticks in our fond memories. But in all fairness to Timmy-boy, he has done some great things for Invercargill. It’s no longer seen as the city farthest south. Well, it is the city farthest south, but it’s now a city where the youth actually want head for their tertiary education.
But no parliamentary election would be complete without the folks from the McGillicuddy Serious Party. You think that the politician with a gumboot on his head is insane?
Although my favorite political party has been quiet over the last few years, there is always someone that steps forward to propose some of the best political policies that one could ever hear:
- We should send out intelligence agents around the world to wipe New Zealand off published maps, thus ensuring that no one could invade the country.
- We need to link the North Island and the South Island by bulldozing the Southern Alps into the Cook Strait.
- Limit the speed of light to 100 km/hr, but 50 km/hr in Mt Roskill (Auckland’s Bible Belt), because folks there preferred to stay less enlightened.
- Full employment by carpeting the national highways. This would also save wear and tear on tires.
And here’s some of their more noted policies that might actually work:
- Restrict the vote to minors, i.e. ONLY those under 18 years of age can vote. (Given how we adults have voted, I don’t see how the children can do any worse.)
- Abandon male suffrage, i.e. ONLY women can vote. (FYI, New Zealand was the first country in the world to achieve women’s suffrage in 1893.)
- Post-natal abortion: making abortion illegal, but any mother can kill her child up to the age of 18, provided she did it with her own hands. (The party had designed this policy to offend all sides in the abortion debate.)
- Free castration.
- Abolish money in favor of chocolate fish.
But my personal favorite is for good weather — but only if voters behave. (So, is this why Hurricane Matthew decided to rip through the east coast of the USA? Because voters refuse to behave?)
All jokes aside, regardless what country you live in, it’s incredibly important that you exercise your right to vote. It doesn’t matter if you vote for that man with a gumboot on his head or the fool who thinks he can control the weather. And it doesn’t matter if you honestly feel that your vote will make little difference. The truth of the situation is that if you don’t vote, then you have no right to complain about the government or the actions that they are taking. By not voting, you’re telling the government that you don’t care what they do with your life.
Even though I pay little attention to current events, and even less attention to politics, the one thing I do do is vote. Perhaps my vote will be the one that tips the scales in favor of sanity.
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© Copyright, Judy L Mohr 2016