May I call you Willard? I had a good friend in college named Willard and thinking of him might make me like you better. Though I do like you better than the guys you’re running against for the nomination. So, there’s that.
Willard, we need to chat. You have a talking problem. You say dumb stuff. Like when you said you like being able to fire people. During a period of record unemployment? Really? Or when you didn’t seem to know anything about NASCAR except that some of your friends own teams. For real? You couldn’t have come up with something like “What’s not to like? Fast cars, real Americans in the stands, and plenty of good food!”. Even Ron Paul could have pulled that off. It’s really simple to endear yourself to people but you keep failing at it. Not that I mind. Every time you come across sounding like an over-privileged douche, it makes a few people forget that Obama is supposed to be the elite snob in this equation.
But this week you stepped over the line. When asked how you’d cut the deficit you started listing things you’d get rid of. You rocked it old school when you targeted the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. The GOP has been after those poor agencies for decades. Hell, federal funding of the arts and humanities was one of my raisons d’entree into political activism way back in the 80s. So, good on you for getting back to some conservative roots.
Oh. No. You. Didn’t.
Willard, ya done fucked it up big time right there. I think I know what you meant but here’s what you sounded like: “As president, I won’t hestitate to shut down independent non-profit organizations because I personally don’t like their mission”.
If you were picturing Kim Jong Il saying those words, you’re not too far of because that sentinment is the stuff whackjob dictators are made of. You’re not running for whackjob dictator. Not even a little bit. Scrap that whole thought.
Now, what you probably meant was that you’d instruct Congress to zero out the line in the budget for Title X family planning funds through the Department of Health and Human Services. I hope that’s what you meant because if you didn’t know a) the name of the program that grants federal dollars to Planned Parenthood and b) that you’d have to enlist Congress to deal with the funding specifics, you know far less about government programs and the appropriations process than I do and that’s not ok in a potential President.
But you knew all of that? Right? Right?
Either way, you were playing to an audience who is the lowest common denominator of your party: the ones who want to police other people’s sex lives. The ones who are so hell-bent on legislating morality that they don’t care about niceties like how the federal government really works. The ones who believe that a President can eliminate that which he doesn’t like with the stroke of a pen.
Pandering to that is almost as douchey as actually thinking you can be a whackjob dictator.
I know that sounding like a rich guy hasn’t worked so well for you but maybe sounding like a smart guy, a knowledgeable guy, a guy who’s a stickler for facts and details isn’t a bad idea. It would show that complexities matter, that you’ve learned the material you need to know. That you’re not ashamed of being smart and educated and voters should like that in a candidate.
Give it a try, Willard. Maybe focusing on facts and detail will make people like you better. Probably not the frothing at the mouth anti-choicers you were trying to stir up, but people like me. People who accept that you have a shot at being our President and want you to be the best possible President you could be.
Regardless, I won’t be voting for you in November. But I will be listening for glimmers of hope that you know what a President really does.