Francisco Silva: A Real Clown for President
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.
Perhaps ironically, President Obama paved the way for Grumpy's presidency by tearing down all former constitutional barriers to enlightened governance. Under his leadership, the former Constitution has also been preempted by numerous United Nations resolutions, federal agency regulations, court decisions, and media articles and has finally been replaced with a politically correct, screaming, sneering, and crying "Living Constitution."
Accordingly, trivial and no longer relevant concerns simply don't matter in our new multicultural age of politically correct globalism. That is necessary and proper (and therefore acceptable even under the old, worn out Constitution), because we now have new and truly important concerns. Just think, for example, about our deteriorating relations with Brazil and other South and even Central American countries (Brazil's economy outweighs that of all other South American countries). A slow motion Chinese economic earthquake has struck Brazil and major aftershocks continue. China is already Brazil's biggest investor and trade partner. China's exports to Brazil increased from $1.2 billion in 2000 to $25.5 billion in 2010 while Brazilian exports to China climbed more than thirty-fold from $1 billion to $30.7 billion -- giving Brazil an estimated $5.2 billion annual trade surplus with China. The election of President Grumpy could not make our relations with either country any worse.
There are also signs that formerly staunch United States ally Colombia -- already snuggling in bed with China due to China's massive investments there and getting great trade concessions in the bargain -- may be going down the spiral drain as an ally; Colombia is also begging Venezuela for subsidized gasoline, and on April 10 Colombian President Santos and Venezuelan President Chávez signed "16 agreements of cooperation and integration and agreed to seek ways to help Honduras to return to the Organization of American States (OAS)." Ecuador expelled the United States ambassador on April 5 and the United States expelled the Ecuadorian ambassador two days later. With few exceptions, the United States is persona non grata throughout the region.
Problems comparable to these were often avoided in Europe years ago by interbreeding members of the royal families of many different and often hostile nations. Rather than simply meddle immaculately and therefore ineffectively in the internal affairs of such places as Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Londonstan, Paristan, and others, we must now do the functional equivalent of what the old monarchies did by inviting wise foreign statist leaders statespersons to commingle with our own in our domestic political affairs -- to play equal and suitably acknowledged roles in the internal political intercourse of the United States. Gaddafi, Karzai, Ahmadinejad, Chávez, Castro and many other great world statespersons or their designees should be welcomed as honored members of the United States Congress or even as far more important and prestigious administration czars.
To ensure reciprocity, we must encourage our leaders to play comparable roles in the affairs of foreign countries. This will elevate world opinion about the United States no less than did President Obama's worldwide apology tours. Beyond advancing these goals, electing Grumpy will also go far toward making many segments of our growing population of undocumented voters and their lightly documented cousins happy that we have finally agreed to assimilate. Grumpy's Hispanic surname, Silva, will help.
Appreciate clowns or hate them, Grumpy is probably the only viable presidential candidate. Bishop Homer Tomlinson (October 25, 1892 - December 5, 1968) is no longer available to assume the presidency. Although neither self-depreciating nor intentionally funny, he would nevertheless have been qualified. He was the bishop of the Homer Tomlinson Branch of the Church of God and a perennial candidate of the Theocratic Party for the presidency of the United States:
His campaign promises included: substituting tithing for taxes, creating cabinet posts for "Secretary of Righteousness" and "Secretary of the Holy Bible," unifying church and state, and establishing Bible reading and prayer in all schools.
Tomlinson never won an election, though he did receive 24 votes in 1964. But that didn't matter, because in 1965 he declared himself "King of the World." He ruled the world from a hotel room in Jerusalem, wearing a gold-painted crown and sitting on a folding chair.
The date (1965) generally given for King Homer's coronation must be in error, because I clearly and fondly remember watching in 1960 or 1961 as he was triumphantly crowned king of the world on the front steps of the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University by a group of devoted Yalies. They were so absorbed in the ceremony that they were not distracted by a boisterous gang of disrespectful youth as they chanted their support for Richard Nixon, yelling "Nobody can lick Our Richard," or words to that effect. Sadly, Bishop Tomlinson, Richard Nixon, and all other serious but electable potential candidates from the past for 2012 have passed.
Something must be done and electing Grumpy as president of the United States will clearly be something. He is the answer to our problems and will bring unmeasurable humor, honor, and glory to the country; a serious candidate, he will easily defuse any frivolous questions about his qualifications by simply singing, dancing, and repeating the lofty campaign promises he made in Brazil. “It can’t get any worse” struck a realistic but hopeful chord with the voters who rightly feared that otherwise it would. The same situation now exists in the United States. “What does a federal deputy [congressman] do? Truly, I don’t know. But vote for me and you’ll find out” was an extraordinarily candid statement for any politician to make and almost exactly unlike any previously made by a nascent United States politician. Had Candidate Obama made a comparably specific transparency commitment, it would now be included, quite properly, in the long list of his broken promises. Grumpy's promises will trump "Hope and Change" because we know that things got worse under a secretive president who claimed (vacuously) to know what he was doing and gave at least a transitory appearance of inherent albeit modest competence as a community organizer from Chicago. Now, even many unicorns who voted for him want that sort of stuff to stop.
I have yet to make a final decision about who should run as Grumpy's vice presidential candidate and Mr. Biden has shown that we don't really need one other than as a court jester, a role that Grumpy will himself play delightfully. However, for the traditionalists, Jimmy Buffett would be a good choice, counterbalancing Grumpy's less serious aspects:
This path not yet taken is clear, lightly traveled, and easy; we have but to follow it. That will make all the difference. Tired of childish games, we must all get behind the Grumpy for President initiative. It is a necessary investment so that we can Win the Future, honestly shout "WTF!" and proclaim that things will not get any worse during our watch because we can no longer let them.
It is high time to get serious and elect a real clown as our next president; a pale imitation will no longer suffice.