Wednesday, October 31, 2007

STEPHEN COLBERT '08: Funny or Sad Commentary on American Politics?

Comedian Steven Colbert (a Democrat that has actually been quoted by Hillary in sump speeches) has declared his candidacy "as both Democrat and Republican" for 2008. Obviously an innocuous stunt and ratings ploy at first glance, but as the 20-29 year olds actually say they would consider voting for him maybe a bit more nefarious.

Yesterday as I was listening to half a panel "of experts" say Colbert's faux-campaign was great and funny and the other half lambasting him for making a mockery of the political system that so many have died to preserve, I found myself less concerned with Colbert himself and his ratings grab than what the MTV generation expects from politics...

If the new Fox/Rassmusen poll is correct and 41% if the MTV Gen say they would consider Colbert...where have we gone wrong? Did Clinton start it with his sax? Was it the Wash DC Correspondents dinner? When did it become a presidential requirement to be funny, hip or cool? It's fine for a Prez to throw out a corny joke here and there, but can the younger generations differentiate between leadership and entertainment? When a comedian would be considered by almost half of a certain demographic I think we need to take a serious look at what message is being imparted. Not to sound like and old fart (trust me, I place sense of humor above most things I hold dear), but do we want future candidates being judged by how amusing they are? Is Colbert's ruse pushing the Presidency further into the realm of entertainment expectations when we are in the middle of a war on islamofascists?

The surgeon I picked is a humorless, emotionless man. That's cool with me. I didn't need jokes and horseplay with someone that was going to be cutting me open. That's how I feel about our leaders. I want them serious and focused and concentrating on keeping America safe and affluent. I could care less if they can deliver a joke or keep the 20 second attention span people amused...

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