Do you ever ask yourself, "How did things get so out of hand?" A look at the clowns who want to be president of the United States should demonstrate just how far back we are marching. Let's take a look at the hit parade. We'll take them from the most ridiculous to the most sublime.
First, there is Michelle Bachman. Are you astonished she has a tax-law degree? I am. I always expected attorneys to act a bit more lucid. Not only doesn't Michelle know her history, but it seems she can't even get her current events straight. Her most recent comment, "We have a gangsta' government." She may have a career as a rapper, but she is not going to get near the presidency.
Next is Herman Cain. Perhaps he doesn't even deserve any discussion.
Third is a certain oddity named Rick Santorum. Besides no taxes, Jesus, and outlawing abortion, he rounds out the bottom tier of least able intellectually running for president.
These three make a virtue out of stupidity, arrogance, and impolite behavior.
Next is Rick Perry. When 'godly' Rick had his prayer conference and prayed to God for rain, we ought to have known we were in for it. But, again, when people actually believe that prayer is the solution to our nation's problems, well, it's time to go home and build a bomb shelter. I keep saying our local fundamentalist contingent ought to hold a prayer conference in front of city hall and ask God for pennies from heaven to balance our budgets.
Then comes the hapless John Huntsman. He is the quintessential example of the smart man trying to act dumb in order to get votes from conservatives. Since he seems to be the only one who doesn't spend a great portion of his time bashing Barack Obama, he doesn't stand a chance.
Then we move along to the person I think I could get along with as president: Ron Paul. Naturally, he is largely ignored by the press except for a couple of his more lurid ideas which I like. He's all for medical marijuana and legalizing prostitution. I'd go a step further: Tax prostitution at a 50 percent rate and wipe out our deficit. Think of all the great wars conservatives could wage and all the great heroes we could create by wiping out the deficit and spending the greatest portion of our tax dollar on ... say ...invading Iran!
Next, as we inch closer to the candidates who have a semblance of intellect, is the latest darling, Newt Gingrich. Mr. Morality has been married twice, or is it thrice? No matter. It's not like he had more than one wife at a time. God forbid! He might be confused with being a Mormon!
Newt actually has some brains ... if you go for conservative brains, that is. I like him because he is the only candidate who looks like one of Santa's elves, grown up. Again, one can't distinguish him from the rest. He's anti-government, anti-tax, anti-abortion, anti-atheist, anti-socialist, anti-Communist, anti-Obama. Is he anti-Israel or pro-Israel? I know he is anti-China. Just look at what those Chinese do to protesters — not like what we do to protesters. We just spray pepper into their eyes and use clubs. I mean, if you are going to protest against the rich, you deserve a whack on the head every so often. Right? They are the "job creators,'' according to Newt.
Which brings us to that paragon of virtue, that master of manipulation, the daring deceiver, that careful conniver, that liberal liar: Mitt Romney. Now, we all know Mitt would say his grandmother swam the English Channel if it meant a few more votes. But, hey, give the guy a break: Isn't deception, lying, and manipulation all part of the job description?
Mitt, like his clone Donald Trump, could write one check and wipe out hunger in New York City ... all right ... in the entire country. Yes, Mitt the multimillionaire (or is it trillionaire?) is part of the 1 percent who help create jobs.
Mitt "Why Don't They Like Me" Romney seems to be suffering from the same problems as, say, Huntsman: A smart man trying to act dumb. Mitt could have taken this country by storm, but Mitt is in Mitt's own way. He isn't acting nor saying things he really believes in. Sarcasm aside, when trying to get elected, match what you say and do. Remember the "flip-flops'' that wagged in front of John Kerry's face because he was against Iraq before he was for it? That's Mitt's bit problem.
And one other... Mitt's a Mormon. Now I don't take much stock in religion or religious fundamentalists and evangelicals who believe in a supernatural deity who controls our each and every step, which is why I am disgusted with conservatives who will not vote for Romney based on his religion! Quite frankly, the missions all Mormons are supposed to undertake show them to be among the highest moral character. Religion is an infectious tumor weighing down American politics due to fundamentalist religious beliefs.
Sad, isn't it all? This is what the Republican Party says are its best and brightest. But there are smart senior Republican senators like Richard Lugar, Charles Grassley, Olympia Snow and Susan Collins. There are some bright Republican governors too, like the one in Minnesota who should have been Romney's pick for VP. Instead the Republican Party decided to dumb down as far as it could go, spend most of its time screaming and yelling about no new taxes and complaining about Obama every chance they get.
Is it any wonder fewer and fewer people want to vote? People don't vote when they are disgusted, which turns to despair. If this sort of behavior keeps going, there will be no end of material for late night comedy. I do look forward to those Republican debates: I get out the popcorn, pizza and soda so I can have a good laugh. But I cry instead because these people are serious.
Is it too early to congratulate Barack Obama on a second term?
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Michael Veves of Haverhill has an M.A. from the University of Arkansas and a M.Ed. from Lesley University. He is a regular contributor to the Gazette.