Looking at the present situation in the United States — here is an example from California — my sense is reinforced that before we can realistically expect things to get better we have to make them stop getting worse — something explained by Newton’s first law of motion. Our descent has tremendous inertia behind it and will continue until even more force is applied to make it stop. There is no magic potion to turn things around before they are stabilized and there may be none even to delay, much less to halt, the descent into the pit. Just being sad won’t do it and may even increase the power of inertia. Some form of giggling anesthesia may have to suffice for the immediate future and perhaps considering some far out, even ridiculous, remedies will ease the discomfort.
These thoughts lead to reflections on the current state of the presidency, on what may happen during the lead up to 2013 and what may happen thereafter. Something, anything, that at least appears to have a chance of halting the descent has to be done, and here at least is something.
There are countless imponderables to be pondered in deciding among the numerous potential presidential candidates presently plaguing the United States; like the country, each has many pressing problems — which brings to mind the Rule of the Seven P’s: “Proper Prior Planning Precludes Pitifully Poor Performance” (or words to that effect). That in turn leads inexorably to just one conclusion: the presidential field must be narrowed to one, a highly regarded clown turned Brazilian politician. We could do far worse and did in 2008. We might otherwise do worse in 2012 as well.
Last year Francisco Silva, known as Tiririca locally but to a few English speakers as “Grumpy the Clown,” was elected overwhelmingly to the Brazilian Congress. Questions about whether he could actually read only enhanced his appeal. This campaign video has already had almost six and one half million viewers:
Francisco Silva became famous as Tiririca — “Grumpy” in Portuguese — and received about 1.3 million votes, nearly twice as many as the next-highest vote-getter in last month’s congressional elections. His campaign videos drew millions of viewers on the Internet, with slogans such as “It can’t get any worse” and “What does a federal deputy do? Truly, I don’t know. But vote for me and you’ll find out.”
We import nearly everything from China, so why not import Grumpy from Brazil? His election as our next president will change the country historically and in unbelievable ways; could we hope for more? He has all of the necessary qualifications, and more, to take over the reins of government from President Obama and will be an excellent candidate for either party — or even for both simultaneously. Not only that, Grumpy is funny intentionally and in self-deprecating ways. That distinguishes him from other politicians at whom we laugh to keep from crying — President Obama, Vice President Biden, Former Speaker Pelosi, and, actually, most of them.
Our laughter with, rather than at, President Grumpy will unify the nation as never before; it may even end, finally, the civil war and diminish the inertia now leading us by the nose. President Grumpy would have dealt with the recent teapot-tempest surrounding the 2011 budget far better than did President Obama by going frequently on national television and communicating with us as honestly as he did with voters during his campaign for the Brazilian Congress. This would have ended the “crisis” by upsetting the inertia on which it fed far sooner than did President Obama’s mendacious attempts at weak gallows humor.
It turns out that during his travels in Brazil, President Obama learned of Grumpy’s popularity, recognized the existential threat to his own anticipated reign, and resolved, without even a moment of dithering, to counter Grumpyian frivolity by conducting his own campaign in a low key, dignified, and presidential fashion. An uninspiring video, an e-mail, and other initiatives intended to lower expectations both retroactively and prospectively ensued. Having begun that battle, he continues to depress his once happy HopeyChangey unicorn base; it’s for their own good as well as his. Pursuing his kinetic campaign, he submitted bravely to silly questions about rising gasoline prices and responded, brilliantly it then seemed, that voters should think about a trade-in. Contrary to the speculation of some, this resonated almost as he had intended, by reminding voters that changes are costly and that lots of work is needed to make them happen; sadly, it also reminded them that Change We Can Believe In has been disastrous. Otherwise, his tactic dovetailed well with his newly adopted low-key persona. He has yet to sing or to dance, but as his campaign deteriorates we can anticipate that and other attempts to imitate Grumpy — when he finds the time.
Are any of the country’s current problems President Obama’s fault? Despite his brilliant campaign strategy, even unicorns are beginning to question his protestations that none of them are. In contrast, we all know that none of them are Grumpy’s fault. He has never threatened a government shutdown, involved his country in a foreign kinetic military action, or discarded numerous promises. Grumpy has, at least for now, zero negative ratings in the United States; his positive ratings have nowhere to go but up. They will skyrocket immediately when his candidacy is announced, if for no other reason than that most news persons and other entertainers will delude themselves into believing that they are more intelligent and sophisticated than he is. Multiple leg tingles and colonic spasms will result and persist throughout his long presidency.