Every four years, America goes through one of the most fantastic and interesting experiences we face as free humans. We add an extra day to February (the month that’s spelled wrong). We also have to, every four years, endure the horrible experience of having our lives totally disrupted by a presidential election.Not that Americans don’t care about the electoral process, they just don’t understand it. At least I don’t, and I’ve spent upwards of ten minutes reading about it on the internet which, I submit, is fifteen minutes longer than most Americans spend. This is because Americans don’t care about the electoral process.But Americans do care about who gets elected president. They care very much. They want someone who will favorably represent the country to the rest of the world, in the sense of being a tall, handsome, middle-aged white guy. They also want someone who won’t be on television a lot, interrupting their favorite shows, such as American Idolatry and Who Wants To Look Stupid On TV?I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking our current president, Barack ‘Let me be clear’ Obama doesn’t fit that mold, because he appears way too often on television. But it only seems that way, because if you see a president on TV twice in the same year you think he’s been on every week. There’s an exponential boring factor involved, somehow.But like it or not, we, as Americans, have to endure a presidential election every four years, because it’s in the constitution. Frankly I think the founding fathers would have been doing us a favor if they’d put in there somewhere that, every four or five times around, we could elect a president by having the candidates compete on Top Shot, or something. That would be a lot more fun than voting, and would probably give us a better president, too.Unfortunately we’re stuck with the voting thing, where the two name-brand parties pick several tall, middle-aged white guys who are willing to sacrifice four years of their lives serving the country by being pampered and catered to. These men then go around the country, delivering speeches, arguing with one another, and generally lowering the productivity of the nation for several months, until the average citizen has a firm grasp of each potential candidate’s position on when he should smile and act friendly, and when he should frown thoughtfully.A hundred years ago these speeches used to be called ‘Whistle Stops,’ because once, while Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt was giving a speech from the back of a train, someone started whistling. Teddy shot him, and the whistling stopped. So there you go.Anyway, this time around, since we have an incumbent president who is running for another term, the Democrat party is spared the embarrassment of having several goobers traipsing around the country, looking like idiots, trying to win their party’s nomination. They did that very well four years ago. The Republican party is not so lucky. The field, on the Republican side, is now narrowed down to four potential candidates, all of which, I understand, are human.At the top of this list is Mitt ‘Mitt’ Romney, who meets all the criteria for being president, except that he’s somewhat insane. Romney believes that, when he dies, he will become a god, and be given his own planet to rule however he wants. Romney favors low taxes and somber suits.Another candidate for the Republican nomination is Newt ‘Salamander’ Gingrich, one of the nation’s foremost historians. Newt can expound eloquently about events dating back hundreds of years, chiefly because he was present during most of them. Newt is intelligent and articulate, and almost never gets angry in public unless people are around. He favors low taxes and vanilla ice cream.Rick Santorum is deeply concerned with the problems America faces, and wants to serve his country by fixing those problems, you can be sure of that. At least, that’s the impression I get from watching him in debates. I never really understand what he’s saying, but he seems very sincere. Rick favors fixing America’s problems.Rounding out the Republican stable is Ron Paul, a man who would make a perfect president if he were taller, younger, handsomer, and could complete a sentence without sounding like he was trying to explain nuclear fusion to his five-year-old granddaughter. Ron has all the answers, but he sounds like Pee Wee Herman with a chicken bone hung in his throat. Ron favors having everyone vote for him.Personally, I choose candidates based on their willingness to uphold the constitution, maintain a strong military, insist that people earn what they receive, and otherwise leave me alone. I’m hoping one of these guys will do that.Unfortunately, many Americans choose candidates based on how much of the nation’s treasury they will pass out like breath mints at a barbeque joint, which is why America is broke.They say you get what you pay for, or you pay for what you get, or something. That’s probably true. But in the case of presidential elections, I’d say you get what you vote for.And in case you’re wondering, I will issue a quote from famous dead American William Tecumseh Sherman, as if I’d said it myself – “If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve.”So there.
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who was once almost elected president of the Abilene Chapter of the Flat Earth Society. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or firstname.lastname@example.org