For someone who loves politics as much as I do, it can be humbling to acknowledge just how bad I’d be at actual politicking. Then again, it’s fair to ask why anyone would want to be good at it. All that lying, glad-handing, and soul-corroding compromise has to take a toll eventually, and yet there’s a nearly endless supply of spurious skin bags who want to seize that mantle in order to influence our great and enduring (for now) American experiment.
And, to be clear, I’m not one of them—and never could be. As much as I’d like to make a Jobsian dent in the universe, I simply don’t have the talent for such things. On my best days, I have all the social grace of a saltine a drunk raccoon left out in the rain overnight. I put the “lose” in “recluse” (which is a singular accomplishment, since it isn’t actually there). I’m essentially Howard Hughes with a tiny fraction of the money and a marginally less tiny fraction of the urine jars.
So it’s particularly galling when I see people who do have these skills use them in the furtherance of evil. No, I’m not talking about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s appearing on “Fox News Sunday” with his wife, Casey, this week despite having the personality of a factory-irregular testosterone suppository.
I mean those other Republicans who clearly possess the gift of
grab gab but insist on using it to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. Say what you want about Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz—and there’s a lot to say about him—but the guy could actually be charming if he ever bothered to remove the Satan chip from his motherboard. And Kristen Welker, a talented broadcaster who ushered in her “Meet the Press” tenure last month by grabbing the USA by the Underoos and twisting like a New England saltwater taffy machine, could maybe stop watching with Marlin Perkins-like detachment as the antelopes (i.e., all of us) get their faces eaten off by hyenas. After all, we’re at fascism’s doorstep. It’s okay for a news broadcast to lead with the weather when a Cat 5 hurricane full of snakes and spent heroin needles is bearing down on the coast.
As one of Spider-Man’s relatives (it was either Uncle Ben or the radioactive spider) once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
All you erstwhile homecoming kings and queens have a great talent. You’re popular, and that’s a bankable commodity. Please don’t waste it on awkward fumblings in the backs of sedans with guys like Biff Tannen.
Okay, hoppin’ off the soapbox now—and right back into the mud.
Let’s roll, fellow nerds! (You cool kids are warmly invited, too. You’re at a Democratic site, so I know you’re using your powers for good.)
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