Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Voter's Guide for Politicians

Dear Candidates:

Do you want me to vote for you this November? OK, I'll make it simple. Here's my list of demands. Whoever can pony up the greatest number of them gets my vote. Period.

1. Don't say you'll refuse to compromise. You can't have democracy without compromise, and I'm sort of partial to democracy.

2. Don't talk about Jesus, unless you're willing to acknowledge that when you die, you'll most likely end up standing with the camels outside the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 19:24-25)

3. Don't tell me what the other party's problem is. Did you ever interview for a job? Did you spend your time explaining why all the other candidates were miserable failures?

4. Show some class. I assume you'll conduct yourself in office the way you conducted yourself on the campaign trail. And no, I don't believe the ends justify the means, especially if the means are napalming the political landscape.

5. Have some dignity. I'm not going to vote for whoever tells the dumbest joke on a late-night talk show.

6. Remember that issues are simple; solutions are complex. Don't trot out 40 long-winded stories of people who lost their jobs because of your opponent's policies and then say the solution is "job creation." That's like writing a diet book consisting of 400 pictures of dessert and the words "don't eat this."

7. Don't take money from special-interest groups and then tailor your platform to their agendas.

OK, that's a ringer. We'll just concede this point to the Green Party.

8. Reign in your supporters. I know it's a time-honored tradition to let other people sling mud while you keep your hands clean. On the other hand, if I come to believe you're the candidate of insufferable jackasses, there's no way I'll join them.

9. Keep in mind that winning an election doesn't make you, your campaign, or your party "right" about the issues. It just means the voters decided to give you a shot at doing the right thing. In public service, the audition comes after you get the part.

10. And here's the biggest challenge, and the sweetest plum: I will vote for any candidate, from any party, who can make Jon Stewart get through an entire "Daily Show" without smirking at his own cleverness.

Freedom of smug.
I realize I may be setting the bar impossibly high. But, c'mon, give it a try, won't you?

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