Tony Woodlief | Author

Letter to an Aspiring Kingmaker

Hey you. Yes, you, the one poring over push-poll numbers and wondering how you can get more smug college kids to accost people with clipboards in swing districts. We are ten weeks from The Most Critical Election in the History of America, and you are lollygagging to first base. There are mid-level HR hacks in potato chip companies thinking more creatively about how to sell their product.

You think it’s impressive, running those grainy pictures of your opponent, telling old people their Medicare’s fixing to get cut? Is that all you’ve got?

Listen, Sparky. We all know Medicare’s going under. Medicare, Social Security, pension funds — it’s musical chairs. Everyone knows the final chorus is playing, but so long as each generation thinks it has a chance of foisting the costs off onto the next, you’re not really scaring anybody.

You want to frighten the bejesus out of people? Zombies. Like that guy who took an allergy pill or whatever, and ate some other guy’s face off? That shit was scary. If you really want traction in this race, tell us how your opponent is weak on zombie defense.

You know what else is scary? That flesh-dissolving bacteria. What’s the other guy doing about that? Nothing, I’ll bet. In fact, don’t we have some footage of him digging at his nose and not washing his hands? Come to think of it, he kind of walks like a zombie. Where I come from, if he walks like a zombie, talks like a zombie, and has shockingly prominent teeth like a zombie, he’s a zombie.

Tell your guy he can use that in the debate. No charge.

Basically, any scenario where voters get eaten will grab our attention. Medicare going broke? Whatever. Every summer, able-bodied Frenchmen go to the beach and leave old people to roast in their homes. Tell us the other guy’s going to do that. Or tell us your guy’s in favor of it. Not sure which way the public will break on that one.

Look, all I’m saying is quit being such a pansy. When Adams and Jefferson squared off in 1800, a newspaper on Adams’ side warned that Jefferson would promote widespread incest. Incest, Sparky. Keep in mind that incest was creepier back in the day, before West Virginia became a state, and Angelina Jolie made out with her brother on national television.

Calling the other guy a sister-kissing flesh-eating jackwagon is an American tradition. So get on the field and hit somebody. Mix it up a bit. Nobody believes anything you’re saying any more than we believe James Cameron knows what ocean the Titanic went down in. The edge Cameron has, however, is that he keeps us entertained. So stop taking yourself so seriously, and tell us how about your opponent’s clandestine puppy-skinning operation. But be sure to shout, so we can hear you over that last chorus.

On Key

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