Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been an ardent admirer of the American political system. Originally begun as a way for a handful of old British dudes to avoid paying taxes and print money with their pictures on it, it has slowly evolved into something much, much more.
I still remember the very first political debate I ever saw. I stayed up late, well past my bedtime, to watch the two candidates duke it out. Their points were well thought out, smart and meaningful. Unfortunately, they were debating in front of a live audience, who constantly interrupted the candidates with explosions of laughter throughout the night. At first, I was very aggravated, but years later, I learned I was actually watching an episode of Saturday Night Live. It would be another fifteen years before I would see an actual debate.
Much is being made of the upcoming presidential election as though it may be the defining moment of our lifetime. Of course, this is ridiculous: the defining moment of our lifetime was when Led Zeppelin released a theatrical movie of their 2007 concert.
The 2012 presidential election, by contrast, is almost entirely inconsequential. The election is, relatively speaking, fairly low stakes, unlike some past elections. There was the 1988 election, when Lex Luthor ran as a third party candidate and managed to snag 40% of the vote and 99% of the supervillain vote. Or in 1952, when Eisenhower accused rival Adlai Stevenson of not having the “gumption or descended testes” to rid Japan of the giant, mutated atomic monsters that riddled the country after Truman dropped the atomic bomb.
In this election, their are far fewer atomic monsters to worry about, with most key issues focusing on more mundane problems like the economy, health care, and immigration.
Observant citizens are quick to realize that the presidential election is just an extension of the “popularity contests” that perpetual most people’s lives, beginning in high school, when each person is squeezed into their rigid and inflexible social groups: jocks, dweebs, burn-outs, superjocks, goths, Grinches, double goths, drama geeks, mods, rockers, jazzaholics, chimney sweeps, cavemen, reverse goths, anthropomorphic cartoon animals, and Jews.
Even Obama and Romeny fit into identifiable high school types: Obama is an affable and popular star athlete, while Romney is a creepy science teacher who leers too long at some of the girls and students secretly believe he lives in the school.
The candidates hold very divergent views on most of the major issues, but to me, it’s very clear who the obvious choice should be. Unfortunately, I won’t reveal it here for fear that it might alienate any of my Facebook friends who disagree with me.