If someone offered me the choice between watching a political convention and a stick in the eye, I’d have to think long and hard. And then choose the stick.
Let me amaze you with my amazing power of prophecy: I predict John Kerry will win the Democratic nomination. And I predict George Bush will win the Republican nomination. I’m so certain I’m right that I give you permission to quote me.
In fact, the only ones who seem to have any doubt about the outcome seem to be the people who attend them. They always act like it’s somehow possible — despite all those millions being spent by the front-runner and the fact that all other candidates have dropped out —– that Mr. Podunk from the Hinterlands could get the nod. Of course, they don’t believe that. They’re just putting on a show for the cameras and for the general public. (They apparently believe the public has all the brains of gravel. And not smart gravel, either.)
So if those facts are already established, what’s the point of conventions? Basically they’re just long commercials. And I do mean long. Four days of people at a podium saying things like, "We will run a positive campaign, unlike our lying, cheating, law-breaking, drunken opponents" or "We believe in freedom of choice. So if you want to support Communists by voting for our godless opponents, that’s your right in our wonderful land."
Meanwhile, the convention attendees are drinking, swearing and generally behaving so badly that they could make Babylon blush.
So I avoid watching the conventions. Well, it’s more than avoidance. It’s a mad rush away from any TV showing it. I’d watch golf before I’d watch a convention. Look, I’d even watch reruns of "Joanie Loves Chachi" before I'd watch conventions.
Besides my mind is already made up. I’m going to vote for George Bush. Or John Kerry. One of the two. But is there any chance that someone else will run?
Of course, I don’t trust anyone who wants to be president in the first place. Just seeking out that job with all its inherent tension, aggravations and madness makes me doubt a candidate’s sanity. And the candidates always say that their families fully support them! Madness truly is genetic.
And did you hear that recently a voting computer in Florida lost a whole bunch of votes in a local election? What is it with Florida? I particularly like the election secretary who said that, other than losing the vote data, the election went well. I guess she meant that no one was crushed in the voting booth by falling chads.
(Chads, by the way, are not fish. Well, they are fish, too, in herring family, but not when we’re talking about voting. In Florida, most of the counties with contested presidential results for the 2000 election used a keypunch voting machine. Cards are held in place next to a list of candidates. Voters use a little stylus to poke out certain holes on a card to mark who they want to vote for. The tiny bits of paper left over from punching these cards are called "Chad." No, I don’t know why. Maybe because they’re fishy.)
I think we shouldn’t allow Florida to participate in the 2004 election. Who knows what horror they will unleash this time? Any state that allows thongs on its beaches has something wrong with it in the first place. I think they get too much sun and definitely too many moons.
Of course, the conventions are only the start of a long campaign. I think one of the best things about November is that it all ends for better or worse on the first Tuesday. It truly gives us something to be thankful about at Thanksgiving.
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