The American political class is becoming better and better-looking. The trend began back in the heady days of 2008, when that mulatto presidential candidate from Illinois was praised as much for his “dashing” appearance as for his hopefulness. He set a visual precedent that his so-called opposition was quick to follow. In the lead-up to the 2012 election, we are now graced with Michele Bachmann’s “groomed glamour,” Rick Perry’s “chiseled features,” the “1950s TV dad” Mitt Romney, and Smokin’ Sarah Palin. There were others in the interim, such as that non-witch anti-masturbation Senate candidate from Delaware, Christine O’Donnell.
The idea of a good-looking politician is a profound perversion. Politicians have ugly, ugly souls. They are routinely engaged in crude deception, are perennially nonproductive, and are sadistically aroused by the opportunity to boss others around. The current presidential candidates are abysmally ignorant, boasting a level of awareness lower than most self-cleaning ovens. They should be ashamed of themselves. They should be pallid and quivering from insecurity and guilt, deformed and hairless from compulsive self-harming behaviors, and bloated with cellulite for good measure. No matter their views, they should be terrible to behold.
Americans used to understand this. Once upon a time we elected leaders such as the strangely androgynous John Adams, the putty-faced George Washington, Abraham “Son of Frankenstein” Lincoln, and the horror-movie cabin-dweller William Henry Harrison. But alas, that tacit social agreement has faded away. It is now up to us to revive it through bold action. In an expression of my infinite selflessness, I shall volunteer: I hereby call for a ban on all good-looking politicians. Effective immediately. Forever.
The current presidential candidates don’t have to leave the race completely—they can stay on as the advisors or masterminds behind their ugly replacements. And these replacements can be culled not only from the political world but from the general collection of public personalities. For instance, Obama could be replaced by lazy-eyed Hollywood actor Forest Whitaker. Wouldn’t a proposal for another stimulus package sound more appropriate coming from a stuttering, ogre-like figure’s lips? Playing POTUS would mean a hefty pay cut for Forest, though, so as Plan B we might consider Meles Zenawi, gnomish Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Under his leadership, new green-collar job giveaways could be announced by someone who apparently just crawled out of a log. If Meles is too busy in his homeland, we could always try stuffing our First Lady into a suit and tie. (But I have too much compassion for that.)
On the Republican side, there is a bit more work to do. Rick Perry might be swapped with talking-head devil-impersonator Charles Krauthammer. And Mitt Romney? Hmm…how does Warren Jeffs sound? Then either Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin (if she decides to run) could scoop up Chelsea Clinton, who has probably been itching for an opportunity like this. Already the Republican debates are starting to sound watchable again.
On second thought, we should disqualify celebrities from the running. More practical replacements are to be found in a different and much smaller group: those who have undergone facial transplant surgery. These people are eager for steady work, and what better way for someone such as Michele Bachmann to explain the intelligent-design theory than through the face of Connie Culp? Rick Perry could have James Maki lead the national discussion on merging church and state. Such unfortunate persons’ warped and cartoonish features would aptly manifest the inner world of today’s Republicans. And if these replacements lose their elections, they have the option of getting another face and starting over. No big deal!
I intend no offense to the facially challenged. They have crucial roles to play in society. But when we’ve come to the point where a US presidential election is set to be a contest between a “democratic socialist” and a Christian theocrat, the time for politeness is over. So don’t aim vitriol at me. I never passed any bills or organized any communities, and I never will. I am quite content here with my dear flaxen-haired Svetlana, our music collection, and our cache of gin and benzoylmethylecgonine.
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