MONKEY THINK, MONKEY WRITE: Campaigns should focus on the new reality

Some astute political observers say the candidate who offers the best message for change, a concrete vision for a "new reality," will win the White House come November.

  • Thursday, June 26, 2008 12:30am
  • Opinion

Some astute political observers say the candidate who offers the best message for change, a concrete vision for a “new reality,” will win the White House come November.

I agree. Astute observers are some of the most knowledgeable kind of observers; “astute,” of course, coming from the French phrase for “Shut up and listen while I am talking, you dolt.”

I like this idea of a “new reality.”

It sounds a whole heck of a lot better than the present reality, which includes $4-a-gallon gas, the sad end of this season’s “Dancing with the Stars,” and presidential sacrifices in the world of golf.

Most of the presidential campaigns have already seized upon the idea of “change.” House Republicans are now using the slogan, “Change you deserve,” to rally voters.

Unfortunately, as you have probably heard, that’s a trademark slogan for Effexor XR, an anti-depressant drug.

With all the criticism over John McCain’s age, you would have thought Republicans would have swiped the slogan for No Doz instead. “Safe as coffee.” Kinda makes you forget all about those rumors about his nasty temper, doesn’t it?

I can just imagine his next TV commercial. “Like many seniors, Sen. John McCain has trouble sleeping through the night. So Americans should rest well knowing that, as commander in chief, Pres. McCain will already be awake at 3 a.m. and ready to answer the phone, provided he is not in the bathroom.”

According to my view of the new reality, McCain’s campaign is going to have to knock down criticism about his age and fast. McCain inadvertently reminded everyone of just how old he was last week when he mentioned growing up during World War II. Actually, I think he said he remembered the Maine and the Alamo, too.

This whole age issue came up again when McCain stopped by our state earlier this month for a fundraiser and a walk through the woods out near North Bend. Note to the McCain campaign: A hike through the forest does not make your candidate look spry and youthful if he looks older than the old-growth trees he’s walking past.

Speaking of advice, I think our presidential candidates should stop with all the senseless personal attacks and address the important issues that voters are really worried about. They should be honest about our “present reality” problems and offer “new reality” solutions.

Here are a few examples.

Present reality problem: Our struggling schools.

New reality solution: Combine problem areas to find strategic solutions. For example, the issue of childhood obesity and classroom size. The new reality means common-sense answers. If students are becoming fatter, classroom sizes should be increased by making school rooms 10 feet longer on one end.

Present reality problem: Massive landfills filled with consumer waste and piles of trash reaching sky high.

New reality solution: Dig deeper holes.

Present reality problem: Global warming and polar bears.

New reality solution: Let’s be honest, once you hire a government employee, you can never get rid of him. So let’s just hire all the remaining polar bears in Alaska who are getting in the way of drilling for oil and give them government jobs. We can call them pipeline maintenance inspectors, or something. You know, 70K a year can buy a lot of salmon, so there’s something in it for the polar bears, too.

And if they are classified as government workers, you just know they will never become endangered again.

The whole program would require keen oversight, though, to guard against undocumented workers. Some sort of ID system would need to be set up to prevent polar bears from Canada or Mexico from floating in on some iceberg and taking away jobs from American polar bears. I believe there is strong Congressional support for such an oversight program.

Next time: More troubling headlines.

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