Feb 12, 2008

How super tuesday turned the political race soggy

by Mitchell Malcheff
Super Tuesday has come and gone, and it solved very little. Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton are still running a tight race, and Sen. John McCain retains an edge as Gov. Mitt Romney has dropped out and Gov. Mike Huckabee remains a long shot. The only thing known is that this supposedly historic race is starting to look like any other political race.

It is sort of like Rice Krispies. You get all excited because you know that as soon as the milk hits those little puffs of rice, the bowl will come alive. Snap! Crackle! Pop! Then the phone rings. You answer it, and after an agonizing 10-minute conversation with your mother about those parking tickets you forgot to tell her about, you hungrily return to your bowl of Rice Krispies.

No more snap, crackle or pop. All that is left is a soggy mass of disappointment. You are forced to empty your bowl and begin your day with a mouthful of mush.

That is what this race has become. When the race began, every candidate was preaching change. “Change” became the buzzword of this race, and it energized the country like no primary has before. All too soon, though, it took the form that these nomination battles always do.

To put it simply, more plop than pop.

Obama and Clinton briefly made it more exciting by taking the gloves off and going bare-knuckled for a few rounds of good old-fashioned name-calling. However, more and more they have started looking like the same candidate.

Huckabee threw a little cayenne pepper into the chili by winning Iowa and a few other states, but it looks like he will only be able to carry the southern states that have a strong evangelical base.

McCain is a strong candidate with hero status, but for Republicans who look a little closer, they may find a conservative who leans a little more left than they might like. And despite Romney’s appeal to those who were worried about the economy, the two states he needed most, New York and California, decided that war-scarred McCain was a more viable option, prompting Romney to throw in the towel and start pooling resources for 2012.

So, in light of a contest that looks like it will drag on until November, I propose that we scrap the current system and start a real contest: the first annual Presidential Pageant!

Ryan Seacrest could host, and it would be just like American Idol in the sense that every American would call in their votes. Round one would consist of each contestant having control of Guam for two months. Guam is a territory of the U.S. and has no real meaning on the world stage, so it would be the perfect place. Each contestant would have to deal with a war, an economic recession and an outbreak of Ebola. None of it would be real, of course, but the contestants would not know. This way, Americans could see how each candidate would perform in a real-life situation.

I think this would work out well for everyone involved. First, the candidates would not have to spend millions of dollars campaigning. Second, we could do away with the endless debates full of promises that cannot be tested.

Hopefully, round one of the Presidential Pageant would decide the nominees, because I shudder to think of the nightmares that round two would produce — the swimsuit competition. Contact Mitchell Malcheff at mjmalcheff@liberty.edu.
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