Okay, yes, everyone’s heard about Stephen Colbert‘s run for the presidency. Those of you who watch his show regularly (sadly, I do not; though Alex is becoming a massive fan) know what Colbert is like. Perhaps not the most serious — or informed — person to be on the ballot.
And let’s be sure we’re talking here — he was aiming to be on the ballot in South Carolina. But the Democrats down there decided to throw him off.
The Democrats have had some serious issues getting the right people in front of the American public for President. The last two have gone down in infamy, having lost due to a legal decision, and the second time because … well, we’re not really sure why. But I’ve got my own thought on that.
Simply put, they were boring.
Al Gore wasn’t exactly noted for being rambunctious, flamboyant, or extraverted. More alone the lines of “dull as a rock”. Smart, yes. Became a wonderful defender of the environment. But that was after losing to someone who shouldn’t be allowed to run with scissors, let alone a country.
John Kerry became famous for changing direction like the wind. That, and he didn’t seem physically capable of being interesting. Howard Dean, by comparison, was great until he shoved his foot so far in his mouth he could stand on his own colon.
The key here is that boring doesn’t win. If you think it’s about putting in the right person, you’re missing the point. It’s about who has more charisma. (Throw in whatever conspiracy theory you want, the reality is that government is done largely by committee, no matter country and/or political system.) Subconsciously, everyone wants a President who represents the spirit of the United States. Dubya didn’t win because he was the right one (he’s proved that several times over) — it’s because he at least had some form of presence.
I know this because I look at Canadian politics. If we had to elect our own Prime Minister, we’d be screwed. Most of them have no more excitement than a stick. So thankfully, we just vote for the party we think is right. They sort the rest of that crap out for us. Doesn’t always work, but then we just vote them back out again the next time.
Colbert would have been a great candidate. He would have won the Presidency, too. Tell me that he wouldn’t have buried every other candidate by throwing them oddball questions that they wouldn’t know how to answer. No script in the world could account for someone who talks on his feet. Think Man of the Year is pure fiction? I’m willing to bet Colbert could have taken South Carolina without trying.
After eight years of Bush, the world needs someone to laugh at for a while. If nothing else, it would make for the most interesting (if not funny) election ever seen.