by Dan D. 7/22/2016
There is an orange-faced troll who is currently the 2016 United States Republican Party presidential nominee. I don’t want to name him because if I do, some weird SEO Beetlejuice algorithm might be triggered and he might get a minute boost in his polling numbers. While I don’t wish to pretend to have that much influence as a blogger, I really don’t know the full extent of how web development works, and whatever I can do to speak about him without saying his name, I do.
I wrote this earlier on Twitter. I used only the best words and it got such a reaction, I’m telling you, it was just great:
We are potentially several months away from finding out what it would be like if an Internet troll became president.
— Dan D. (@dandtweets) July 22, 2016
We are witnessing the manifestation of the thought “man, I wonder what it would be like if [this celebrity] ran for president”. While the notion of a POTUS with a strong presence in the public eye outside of politics isn’t entirely without precedent (see: the 1980s, arguably T.R., the Ulysses that wasn’t an incomprehensible novel, Zachary “19th Century DT” Taylor, and Andrew “Early American Last Action Hero” Jackson), I am not sure there has been a candidate quite as uniquely unqualified to hold the highest political office in the land as this one.
It was fun watching Business Suit Larry rile up his GOP opponents with his water-bottle-anointing hijinks. Mildly amusing to watch him remind the public that he’d helped fund some of their campaigns. However, something like this should have happened around, oh, say, this past February. Note that I’m far from the first person in America online to make the Brewster’s Millions connection (I might be one of the few, however, to suggest a timeframe for when this should have taken place).
Personally – and I know you’re all waiting for this weigh-in – I think the notion that “[celebrity] should be President” is partly what got us here in the first place. I’m reminded of this campaign-that-wasn’t:
I’ve been enamored with Frank Zappa’s music and ideas for a long time. I love that he gave both hippies and social conservatives a hard time and I admire his personal stance regarding drugs. I value his fight to prevent censorship in popular music, his thoughts about MBAs (sorry for the second-hand link), and more than anything else, his proficiency at playing the guitar (esp. 0:00-0:54)
That all said, Frank Zappa was a prick. As fellow prick Robert Christgau noted in his review of Sheik Yerbouti,
“If this be social ‘satire,’ how come its sole targets are ordinary citizens whose weirdnesses happen to diverge from those of the retentive gent at the control board?”
Christgau is probably referring to the pettier cuts from the album, notably
“Jewish Princess”, “Dancin’ Fool”, and “Flakes”, which are the musical equivalent of the aforementioned presidential candidate water-toss. This is perhaps the greatest summary I’ve heard of Frank Zappa’s musical style and personal legacy, courtesy Mssrs. Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster of The Best Show.
Do we really want an asshole troll for a president? I don’t mean someone who’s simply mean-spirited to others in-person, though that’s certainly part of it. I mean someone whose deep-rooted cynicism prohibits them from seeing peoples’ positive qualities. Trolls of this nature might be great in certain contexts, but taken out of their element their weaknesses are liable to be exposed. David Ortiz is one of the greatest designated hitters of all time; put him in the outfield, and you’ll find a lot of unhappy Red Sox fans (to be clear: I’m not suggesting Big Papi is some sort of troll).
Just because someone has a (potentially) valuable insight about a social or political ill doesn’t make them qualified for office. The next time you hear someone make what you consider to be a “good point”, think twice before telling them they should run for president.
I have disabled comments for this post not just because I’ll get so many that I won’t possibly be able to keep up with their maintenance, but to give you a real feel for what our future will be like with the world’s meanest GPS in charge if he’s serious about altering libel laws. Have a good night, and a yooge weekend.