The Martian's Guide to American Politics
Indulge me. Let’s enter the realm of fantasy for a moment.
Not THAT kind of fantasy, but the world of make believe, fairy tale, science fiction.
Put yourself in the head of an anthropologist from Mars. Let’s pretend we’re a team of anthropologists and we’ve taken on human form and landed in Washington DC, circa 2007.
From this perspective, what conclusions will we come to about American politics?
There’s blue and red, there’s elephants and donkeys. These represent the “two sides”.
Well, are there really only two sides? Of course not. That’s absurd.
But realistically, those are the options. Any third side or fourth side candidate is not allowed to contend because “they don’t really have a chance of winning”. Or “they’ll take votes away from the REAL candidate”.
So while these sides may appear to vehemently dislike each other, they are sort of in cahoots to keep numbers three, four, or five out of the running. Common ground.
Oh, and it gets better…
The media is an enemy to both sides. They like to highlight the actions of both teams so that they gain more revenue from advertisers.
They’re sort of the devil’s advocate, but not really because their loyalty is to whomever is in power and whomever owns the media outlet.
More exciting, and extremely advantageous to the media, both sides also have more titillating common enemies:
Hookers (Louisiana Senator David Vitters, who while advocating abstinence-only sex education which excluded information on birth control and safe sex, was identified by two women, the DC Madam and the Canal Street Madam, as being a client – ironic hypocrisy);
The under aged boys (U.S. Representative Mark Foley had ironic hypocrisy with one of these in the form of a Congressional page. Where once he was known as a crusader against child abuse and exploitation, it turned out to be a cover);
Wanton women (yeah, horn dog Bill Clinton and White House intern in the blue dress… at least that was consensual and she was of age).
Other enemies include…
Closeted homosexuality (see my previous post called “The Incongruent Larry Craig”, and let’s not forget New Jersey Democratic Governor Jim McGreevey);
Extramarital affairs (the list is too long);
And women who don’t like being groped or harassed (The Terminator).
I could go on and on. There are obviously other enemies – crack cocaine (Marion Barry), voter fraud, blah, blah, blah.
Blue, red, elephant, donkey, they seem to want to make all the laws and then break them.
In our research as Martian anthropologists, we’d have to conclude that some form of perversion or criminal record is mandatory for political candidates.
We’d also have to conclude that the non-politicians, the ones who vote (or don’t vote), have such a short attention span that really, it doesn’t much matter. In a few weeks football season starts and there’s a new season of “The Biggest Loser” and boy, then it’s back to school time and the kids need new backpacks. And before you know it, it’s the holidays again.
It helps to jump into the world of fantasy sometimes, to step back and look at the world from a different perspective. Much like putting a different frame on a situation, a different lens on life.
Try it with your life and your persuasion. See how it goes. Tell others about it, tell me about it on this blog. Create a discussion, invite your friends and colleagues to join the discussion here. Lord knows we need to step back from the craziness every once in a while and talk to each other intelligently about what we observe.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland