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Sun

12

Oct

2008

Report from Planet Reality
Sunday, 12 October 2008 09:40
by Robert Fantina

Here on Planet Reality we take great pleasure in watching the U.S. political system in action. We greatly appreciate that, every four years, a wide variety of people, ranging from the moderately qualified to the total buffoon, announce their candidacy for the most powerful office in the world, and then spend millions of dollars trying to purchase votes, as they all run around criticizing each other without making any constructive statements.

After about two years, the numbers of those who have either run out of money or ego increases, and the number of candidates (or should that be comedians?) is greatly reduced. But we are not made sorrowful by this; those that remain often achieve the highest level of bizarre humor as the so-called election approaches. We take great delight, and even give odds, on seeing whether or not the voice of the small percentage of people who actually vote will be heard, or if the courts will step in and appoint someone of their own choosing.

But be that as it may, we are currently having a wonderful time. We have watched in glee as the Republican Party, which appears to our interpretation to be the representatives of the wealthy, and apparently unaware that anyone making under half a million dollars annually even exists, completed their nominations. Their selection for president is Senator John McCain, an elderly gentleman who seems to answer any and all questions with either a blank stare, a combination of words that, singly, have meaning, but when strung together do not, or often, and most bizarrely, a reference to his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He even conjured up that old saw when asked about his taste in music.

But his crowning achievement came when he selected his running mate. We had watched with interest as speculation grew as to whom the old man would select. Would it be former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who looks more suited to be maitre d at a fancy New York restaurant than a vice president? Perhaps Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman would take the vice-presidential ride again, this time on the Republican ticket. Or would Mr. McCain think ‘out of the box’ (people keep referring to him as a maverick; we remain puzzled by how a Bush-clone can be so seen, but we enjoy such conundrums; we are confident we will figure it out eventually) and select someone out of right field (we knew left field was not an option). We speculated on many qualified but relatively unknown candidates that might be the pick.

Our astonishment was unparalleled when he unveiled his choice: Sarah Palin, one-term governor of Alaska! Oh, how we all laughed! What a joke! Mr. McCain had certainly fooled us all; not one person on our entire planet had ever considered her. And we watched with glee as her credentials were rolled out: one time sports reporter who had taken six years (and six colleges) to obtain a Bachelor’s degree; former mayor of Wasilla (population at that time of under 6,000); mother of five, including a pregnant teen; born again Christian extraordinaire; gun-toting, mule-skinning, Hillary-bashing conservative.

Her international credentials were paraded about as if they had meaning; she first obtained a passport in 2007 but was well-qualified to deal with Russia; after all, you can see that country from parts of Alaska. What further qualification is required to negotiate the intricacies of the Russia-Georgia conflict, and the growing tensions between Russia and the U.S? We roared with laughter.

Then the U.S. economy began its quick meltdown. Major corporations employing tens of thousands of people went into bankruptcy, were sold at fire sale prices or were bailed out by the U.S. government. We waited with bated breath for Mrs. Palin’s pronouncements on how to resolve these issues. “With your help, we're going to Washington to shake things up,” she said. Please! Stop! You’re killing us! Tears were rolling down our cheeks.

When one of your planet’s prominent interviewers asked Mrs. Palin her opinion of the Bush doctrine, she didn’t know what it was! We were rolling on the floor as we watched her puzzlement. While that doctrine has not impacted our planet, it has certainly caused untold death and destruction on yours.

Mrs. Palin spoke to a group of soldiers, including her own son, on their way to fight in Iraq. We listened spellbound as she called the war a ‘righteous cause,’ and then, incredibly, said the following: “You'll be there to defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the deaths of thousands of Americans.” We looked at each other in utter amazement; there was complete silence in the room before we burst into fits of laughter so strong and hard we could barely breathe! Years after a bipartisan Congressional panel debunked that myth, that President Bush and his cronies had tried so hard to perpetuate (we got more than a chuckle out of those efforts), years after all the world except, apparently, Mrs. Palin, accepted the fact that Iraq had no role in the September 11 attacks on the U.S., the vice-presidential candidate was sending vulnerable soldiers off on a fool’s errand with a fool’s message. It was an amazing spectacle.

We have been somewhat disappointed by the Democratic ticket; a young man and an older man, the former with limited experience but an impressive resume nonetheless and the latter with vast experience and a verbosity to match it, but nothing particularly humorous to us. Perhaps the humor is in the idea that the U.S. could possibly elect an African-American to the presidency. But we are unable to laugh at the primitive notions that cause some people to reject a candidate because of skin color. So we must wait to see if the Democrats can entertain us.

But it is not a difficult wait; we simply tune into the Republicans and watch as Mrs. Palin’s husband refuses to testify, although ordered by subpoena to do so, in the ethics investigation that plagues her. We await the foretold wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her clearly reluctant boyfriend. We marvel at the peculiar names she has saddled her children with: Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow and Piper. This church-hopping, arch-conservative mother has picked names more appropriate, one might think, for a free-spirited flower child of the ‘60’s than a self-proclaimed pit-bull with lipstick (another rather humorous mental picture is created by that remark).

Once the election is held in November, we will see if the Supreme Court of your land decides to intervene. If it doesn’t, most of the fun and games will be over for about two years, at which point it all starts up again. If the Republicans lose, Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin will, in all probability, become rivals for the nomination in 2012. They will start their rivalry no later than 2010, and possibly much earlier. If the Democrats lose, the fun may continue as we watch Mrs. Palin run amok on the world stage while Mr. McCain spends most of his days in a rocking chair on the front porch of the White House, telling the White House gardeners how he likes rocking chairs because of his experience as a prisoner of war. Oh, what glee!

We hope to report back in the future, from our planet to yours, as we continue our observations of the U.S. election.
 
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