Ever since I discovered the left-right dichotomy of politics, I had been fascinated by how both sides will commit themselves to downright preposterous positions for the sake of playing partisan politics. I do my best not to directly identify with either side because it feels like subscribing to any other belief system, and beliefs are dangerous. Besides, I’m Canadian, nothing you do actually effects me in any direct way. I’m not ignorant to the repercussions that the world feels whenever American politics and economics turn sour, but those incidents always seem to be a by-product of poor banking. Private industry seems to do a lot, where I can’t name a single bill that’s been passed this year – if any have been passed at all.
But I’ve become enthralled by your game. Every appearance, every speech, every bill is just another move on the giant Chutes and Ladders board. And nothing ever seems to get done. And everyone in North America seems fascinated by some drama case who doesn’t actually do anything in day-to-day life: some people watch Big Brother, some follow every move the Kardashians make, but for me, I have Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Todd Akins, and, most of all, the star of the shit-show, Mitt Romney.
And that’s just this year’s cast. Nothing will ever beat Republican Party season 43 – it had all your typical Real World-esque cast members: George the dumb one, Dick the asshole, Condoleezza the attitude and gap between the teeth, Donnie unnecessarily violent one, Davey and Chuck the rich brothers who break everything, all the characters are there, and it made for wildly entertaining TV.
But this season so far has been overbearing. I mean, we’re still in preseason, we’re just getting introduced to our characters and getting ready to bet on who gets voted off the island first, and I’m already finding most of the cast overbearing and self-parodying caricatures.
This week has been especially bad for this. I’m the guy who spends half of his work day on the Huffington Post’s Facebook page finding stories to share while making snide, witty comments so my friends will think I’m intelligent. But between Art Jones coming out as a neo-Nazi (quite literally, there is no rhetorical hyperbole here), Chris Christie’s premature acceptance of the 2016 Republican nomination, and all the rape comments from Todd Akins, Tom Smith, and even Veep nominee Paul Ryan, I simply can’t keep up. Even my boss has started to notice how much I post and I’m an intern – nobody notices me.
I’m not sure if you’re trying to get all the stupid out of the way now in hopes that people will stop paying attention by the time it’s voting season, or if there was some round table bet as to who could say the most offensive thing and still get elected, but it seems like this is almost on purpose.
The actual reason I think all these stories are coming out at once is quite simple: the 21st century is possibly the first point in time where bad publicity is probably better for your career than good publicity is. You can be acquitted of murdering your child and walk out the courtroom with a book deal. Any attention is good attention as long as it means your name is in a headline and your face is on CNN. It’s like the drunk girl at the bar who realizes that nobody is looking at her, so she takes off her top and dances on the table. Is it good attention? No. But is it still attention? Yes.
Worst of all is that I’m so certain that you can’t actually believe some of this dumb shit you say. Paul Ryan, you’re a libertarian’s wet dream; what the fuck are you doing weighing in on moral issues? You’re university educated, a double major in political science and economics no less. You’re a self-serving bean-counter, not a self-serving puritan. But, you also know how to think, criticize, and most of all, you know the dirty underhanded tricks in politics and what bites people in the ass. Why are you falling right into these things you know better than? Your speech at the RNC after you accepted your Veep nomination was a textbook case of a politician’s career going down the drain. It was like you forgot to do your homework because you and the rest of Delta Tau Delta were in the hot tub on the front lawn all night. You can’t honestly believe half the shit that comes from your mouth. You’re looking for that hard right vote, but calling rape “another form of conception” is too far right. This is no longer a partisan issue; this is now a human issue.
This week alone, you’ve given Propagandhi enough material for a new record, Henry Rollins enough topics to do talking tours for the next decade (and people will be talking about this election for the next decade as one of the dumbest displays of public ignorance for public attention), and made me look at my Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and think “you know, he fixes the books and violates workers’ right to strike, but at least he knows how rape works.” And worst of all, reality-TV-drama elections have been creeping into Canada. Last May’s election was a constant cock-battle between Harper and the late Jack Layton. Thomas Mulcair is trying to have the same balls Jack had, but he doesn’t have the charisma, and as such, he’s just making himself look like the Kardashian that cries too much.
We don’t need publicity pandering in our politics. When we say let’s discuss the issues, it’s not some John Boehner meta-political-diversion when the mud-flinging makes its way back to him; we’re actually looking to discuss an issue. I want to keep my country that way.
Like when the Real World went to Hawaii, this has all become bad TV with too much incoherent yelling. You are the guys trying to run the most culturally influential country in the world: why are you acting like a bunch of idiots. Half of you aren’t even Tea-Partiers yet it seems like your entire party is out to appease the trailer-park stripper and gun collector vote. You’re supposed to be the intelligent ones, start acting like it.