autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

On political elections…

Someone on Quora asked, “If you could elect anyone you wanted as President, who would it be?” I fear my response likely wasn’t realistic, all things as they are, but it’s certainly where I stand at the moment (and have for over 15 years):

Now this, to me, is an interesting question; both for the obvious reasons and for a few that may only occur to myself. I think it was Montaigne who pointed out that there is no one “candidate” that could be set forth who would safely pass the gauntlet of general/public opinion; I’m pretty sure that is far more true today than not.

This said and with a resignation that my nominee would be no safer from the slings and arrows than any other, I would have to say that if I could nominate anyone to run it would probably be Jon Stewart. (Yes, my tongue is in my cheek, but only partially.)

I find most human groups corrupt any member by giving them power; most falling into corruption shortly after its acquisition and seemingly precisely for its having. There seems to be a point at which self-interest in relation to acquiring more, keeping what is held, or attaining distance (implication: safety) from challengers overwhelms even the noblest of goals and, ultimately, corrupts the “noble goal” utterly. From this, I conclude that the only people best suited to serve are the ones least likely to want to do so (the reluctant hero, etc) and it seems to me Stewart definitely fits that role…. at least from where he sits, safely unlikely to ever be called upon to fill it.

Of course, Twain, Marx (Groucho, not Karl) and a few others said it more succinctly than I have managed, “I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would have/invite me.” As time goes by, I am increasingly convinced this is very likely the single, best indicator of reasonable inoculation from the affliction of power. Not that there seems to be any true security against it; which is why I think things like term limits and the abolition of the electoral college (so we might resume true representative republic status) are cornerstones of any political movement that would entice me from my current, 15+ year status as a non-voter.

This also, of course, explains both my choice and my relative insulation from “serious consideration” beyond it. I see very little in today’s culture or society to convince me that there are enough of the populace left who are interested in the above concepts to make my single voice more than an all-too-easily ignored whisper. I certainly have not seen any “contenders” over the last 15+ years to make me think it will become more likely.

Frankly, these days, I generally hope for a great enough collapse that there will be no choice but to return to the perspectives of 1788, when it was possible for an unaffiliated person, motivated by sincere civic interest (rather than corporate, political, or self-interest) to reach office whatever, let alone presidency.