While I am in training to be come a System Lord, I'm still your #1
source for accurate news. In that capsaicin, I present the first of my Presidential Candidate Profiles 2008. Today I'll be looking at Stephen (rhymes with Steven) Colbert (rhymes with Dilbert). Stephen, known to his friends as Stephe, just declared his intent to run for President, although we're not sure which party he's going to try to sneak into. You've probably heard of him as the host of the far-right Colbert Rappor, a regular TV show on Comedy Central. Comedy Central, for those of you who don't know it, is kind of like Fox, except that most people who watch Comedy Central know
the characters in the shows are lying. From all that I can tell, though, neither Stephe nor his viewers get this. They take him very seriously and he acts kind of like Bill O'Reilly.
He's got it. The show started with 1.13 million viewers, and this has increased over time. He also has another two key demographics that he can call on: high school teachers and college English teachers. "But wait," I hear you say, "why would these two key demographics vote for some kind of right-wing nutjob like Stephe? Aren't right-wing nutjobs responsible for the No Child Left Untested Act, attempts to force creation science into the curriculum, reduced funding for schools, and other anti-education activities?" Well, yeah, and I'm sure Stephe (or S, as some of his even closer friends call him) will screw over US schools if he gets elected, but he has one thing in his favor that will win over legions of high school and college teachers.
Why? Let me tell you the secret to politics. You don't need to tell people everything they want to hear to make them follow you. You just need to tell them one thing
that validates some deep, crazy idea that everybody else in the world would laugh at. The crazier it is, the better. The more pathetic your validation is, the better. This is how Walter Matthau scored the role of Batman in Tom Patchett and Paul Fusco's ill-fated 1982 TV series Batman: Same Bat Somethin', Same Bat Somethin' Else
.We all know Max Wright would have been a better Batman, but Matthau told Fusco he once felt ill after a vaccination. That was all Fusco, who was just sure that vaccines are evil, needed to hear. This is how Richard Dawkins got to be Pope for a week back in '78. He knew this one cardinal elector (I won't mention his name, but if I say that he was a cardinal under the age of 80, I'm pretty sure you'll know who I'm talking about) who actually believed that sleeping in a closed room with a fan could be deadly. Dawkins told him that he had never, ever slept in a closed room with a fan. Bang. Pope Dawkins II.
What crazy ideas held by teachers has S sort of indirectly validated? Well, in 2006 he had a bunch of his followers go out and modify Wikipedia
, and he has said that Wikipedia can be used to modify reality. As you all know, according to a recent survey funded by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. (the people who publish encyclopedia britannicas), 95% of high school and college teachers consider Wikipedia to be a bigger threat to students than Margaret Spellings (the US Department of Education's answer to the UK's Dolores Umbridge), Al-Qaeda, text messaging, television, and video games put together. You don't always want to trust surveys funded by people with positions, but this fits with what I've heard about teachers. S gave them some tiny ray of hope to cling to in their anti-Wikipedia fantasies, so they'll follow him. Dangit.
I don't need to tell you that success as a right-wing candidate is all about having street cred. Odds are good, for example, that McCain will go down hard once people notice that, while he has maintained some sort of street cred certification for the last twenty or more years, he has switched back and forth between ISO 9009 certification (street
cred) and ANSI X2.18 (foamy -mouthed street cred). S, on the other hand, has kept up his ANSI cert since he became a public figure. Also, Tom DeLay believes in him. Plus, he's clearly nuts. I'd say he's in there.
High, I think. If S is elected, the US and the world will see some bad stuff happen. Will continue to see bad stuff happening, that is. While he may reduce our involvement in Iraq, he'll probably redirect the troops to hunting down bears: ursines freak him out. His infamous xenophobia will probably also lead the US into some kind of military action with Xenoria. I'm giving him a threat rating of about 0.985 Bushes.
There isn't an easy answer to this one. Technically, he'll be at least as funny as Bush. However, he will probably continue to appear on Comedy Central, so he'll get the first crack at all S (known as Hank to his ultra-close friends) jokes. I'm sure the Colber Librar will be an absolute hoot when they finally build it, assuming we live long enough to see that, but I think Hank's regime will be a dry spot for professional comedians.
Low. He doesn't look particularly tasty, and I doubt he'll do anything to spread delicious food around. He's kind of scared of new things.
Hostility Toward Clint
High. He's violently anti-intelectual and anti-liberal. There's a good chance I'll see my roommate deported to some unpleasant country, like Xenoria.
0.0387 John Kennedies, most of which comes from that last category.