'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
GROUCHO FOR PRESIDENT?
While discussing membership in a fancy country club, Groucho Marx once quipped, ďI don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.Ē
That quote came to mind while pondering the presidential election. To be honest, I donít care to vote for anyone who actually wants to be president.
Itís kind of a Catch-22: anybody who really wants to be president should be immediately disqualified, while the person who should have the job ought to be someone who absolutely does not want it.
Itís not that the President of the United States is an evil occupation. And itís not that we donít need someone talented and dedicated to fill the position. Itís just that in our day and age the process of running for and winning the presidency has become the most shameless display of political prostitution imaginable. No, I take that back. There are now aspects of running for the presidency that are simply unimaginable.
Anyone who thinks the ultimate goalóthe presidencyóis worth all the pandering and lying and begging for money and allowing the media to do a cavity strip-search on national TV day after day is, in my view, a person who is either a raging egomaniac or certifiably insane. And I donít think having egomaniacs or crazy people running our country is such a good thing.
Just ask the folks who had to live through the tumultuously reign of President James Buchanan. Well, since he was president from 1857 to 1861, most of the folks who lived through his administration are probably a little forgetful these days. (Or as Major Strasser might say, you would find the conversation a trifle one-sided.)
Buchanan was known as Olí Nutzo, but only to his closest friends, a couple of whom were actually not of the imaginary kind. To his political opponents, however, Buchanan was known as Olí _____ ____ ____. Regrettably, newspapers of the mid-19th century had a policy of deleting obscene words. And since most mid-19th century political websites had yet to discover the joy of obscenity-laced, foaming-at-the-mouth rants masquerading as enlightened discourse, no one knows exactly which words filled those three blank spaces.
It is suspected by historians that the three blank words might have referred to Olí Nutzoís sex life. Since Buchanan was the only U.S. president who never married, one can only imagine what the late night comedians of that era had to say about him. (Again, because of technological limitations with mid-19th century television networks, all of those shows have been lost to history. The only thing we know for sure is that Ed McMahon was there.)
While the nation was being torn asunder by the issue of slavery, Buchanan apparently spent most of his time holed up in the White House, screaming in a paranoid rage about countless unseen enemies supposedly out to get him. This style of governing was successfully adopted many years later by Richard Nixon.
For the good of the nation, somehow we need to get the loonies and the pompous posers out of politics. We need a president who is humble, self-effacing, and most of all, doesnít really need or want the job. We need Groucho Marx for President of the United States. (At first I was thinking of McCain, but Groucho is a bit younger.)
Yes, I admit Grouchoís health situation has rendered him about as talkative as the folks who lived through James Buchananís administration. But on the other hand, the media wonít be able to pick apart everything he says and twist his words out of context.
Say the magic word and win a hundred dollars.
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