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President-Elect, The Reality Show

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The Magical Hanukkahtime Section Variety Hour is an eight-day cruise through every section at BC Magazine except the one where the author has any knowledge whatsoever. On the seventh evening: BC Politics!

We sure had a fun election. We had mudslinging, backstabbing, rumor-mongering, and camera-winking. Barack Obama gathered more votes than John McCain, and the country will change thusly. I guess that's one way to pick our president, but a lot of people were clamoring that these two were not really the best candidates our system has to offer. Heck, even Obama himself said that college football shouldn't be limited to two teams with a chance to win it all. You've got pundits out there demanding legitimate third parties to be put on the ballot, and voter turnout could always be higher. But most folks only get a chance to usher in one of two fine Americans.

Meanwhile, American Idol is raking in the Nielsen ratings while churning out star after consistently talented star. And the only industry to piggyback on the success of this model is other reality shows. (Well, at least the ones that don't have access to bimbos willing to take their clothes off.)

The concept just might be the thing to pick a president out of a larger talent pool. That way Washington outsiders can actually be more than a one-term U.S. senator. They can be computer programmers, welders, insurance salesmen, or NBA studio analysts. We'll never know if they have what it takes unless we give them the means to convey their message to registered voters who hate the Internet.

Here's the rough draft of the idea, while TV producers, think tanks, and lobbyists are allowed to fill in the logistical details, with all proceeds deposited into my checking account:

Applicants would try out in local debates, get voted into larger debates, and so forth, until about April of the election year, in which 11 candidates are featured in the nationally-televised premiere of President-Elect. The field is whittled down every four weeks when the lowest vote-getter is eliminated. How do they prove themselves? Well, challenges throughout the electoral season include:

• Debates of all forms, be it behind a podium, in a town hall format, or in an Internet chat room (loser is the one who compares subprime mortgages to Hitler)
• Hosting fundraiser dinners, but they have to try and fill the banquet hall with a certain genre of voters that probably won't vote for them
Atlasphere, just because there's not enough Atlasphere in the world today

Once the field is down to four candidates, they are allowed to pick vice presidents. And once it's down to two nominees, that's when the country gets out and votes and wears those "I voted!" stickers for about three hours until they get ornery and the adhesive fails because that's your government tax dollars at work.

Should President-Elect turn out to actually be a viable model to put a well-credentialed individual in the White House, I'd be surprised. But when that happens, the system could branch out into other electoral shows:

Gubernatorial Idol
So You Think You Can Legislate
Extreme Makeover: Supreme Court Edition
I'm A Cabinet Member … Get Me Out Of Here!
Scandal Or No Scandal

Hopefully these reality shows free the country of the two-party system that's been crippling our government for so long. At least until two parties find out a way to rig the new system.

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About Suss

  • Very funny!
    A heck of a statement on the state of the American mind.

  • Condor

    and yet another reason to “Kill Your Television”

    Thanks Suss

  • Doug Hunter

    Very good

  • Cindy D


    Hilarious! I always feel strange in a room by myself chuckling at a computer screen.

    This would cure public apathy. And when they get bored, there is always the possibility of finding presidential candidates who are willing to take off their clothes.

  • It can’t be any worse than the system we have now.

  • Cindy D

    LOL Joanne,

    That is the truth.