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American Savage: Letter to a Frontrunner
Editors Note: Opinion editor Collin Reischman is currently deep undercover in an undisclosed location in South America investigating a history of violent sexual practices linked to a certain presidential candidate. Because of the irregularity of his correspondence and unpredictable nature of the Republican presidential campaign, Reischman has constructed a pre-written letter of endorsement and strategy to whatever candidate is polling highest at time of publication.
Dear Sir or Madam,
Congratulations! You, sir/madam, are now the frontrunner for the GOP nomination for president. You are poised to ride populist anger/Texas Rage/massive personal wealth/powerful friendships right to the White House. Of course, there have been doubts about you before. Your voting record/personal behavior/professional conduct/crippling lack of likability make the bread-and-butter base of the GOP suddenly at risk of staying home this November.
So, how best to combat the national concerns that you’re a racist simpleton/frighteningly rigid/dangerously unbalanced/charismatically challenged? Well, first we must discuss a blitzkrieg of politically charged ads. Total shock and awe on the sense of the electorate. First, we’ll focus on Obamacare and how badly you want to appeal it/outlaw it/ execute its key designers in public view.
These ads will focus on your positive record of minimal job creation/blatant devotion to special interests/latent homosexuality/ warmongering propaganda/fearful allusions to our apocalyptic future. Once the American people have seen these ads, we can begin phase II.
In this phase, your focus must be on the prized independent voters. Extensive market research shows that independent voters are most easily swayed by broad generalizations and the whims of public opinion. Make sure this election becomes focused on more polarizing issues with no clear solution and no accepted moderate stance.
Gay marriage must immediately be framed as the source of our moral collapse. Immigration must be equated to a militarized invasion by hostile foreign nationals. National security must focus completely on terrorism and there should be no national discussion of international trade practices, human rights violations in friendly nations or the communist habits of our No. 1 supplier of goods. Remember, national security means keeping Muslims off my airplanes and not saving faceless Chinese citizens from gross oppression so we can buy cheap toasters.
The economy, of course, is going to be the atom bomb of the election. It is important, when pretending to empathize with the voter about the housing crisis, to distance yourself from your ties to mortgage firms/ deregulation of the financial sector/ legislative blocking of benefits for those most harshly affected by the crisis.
It will be important to suck at the teet of capitalism and individual freedom. Nothing gives the NRA loving, tea party backing, free market sucking conservatives a bigger erection than appeals to personal freedom.
Poverty is a result of failure and laziness, not deeply ingrained systems of inequality that pervade every aspect of life for normal people. Remember, despite your privileged upbringing/ enormous wealth/ unprecedented political influence, you are a man/woman of the people. You understand their struggles, even if you’ve never struggled yourself.
The most important part of this campaign will be exploiting the easy fears and simplistic weakness of the electorate. Many of your potential supporters, particularly those south of the Mason-Dixon line, are prone to frightening barbaric outbursts of rage, racism and violence. Make sure to tap the unpopular support surrounding Obama to mold it into a terrifying frenzy of raving southerners storming the voting booth next year.
Don’t be afraid to enter the muck/ stay firmly entrenched in the muck. Don’t be afraid to appeal to birthers/ continue appealing to birthers until it becomes a portion of your campaign slogan. Seek the endorsements of powerful men like Donald Trump, a man so respected and successful that he refused to run, lest he outshine the entire field with his wit, intelligence and poise.
It is time to seize the moment. You are the frontrunner, which means that you will be guiding the conversation for a month. You will have the ears and eyes of the power brokers of the world, which they will use to hear and see just how horrifyingly unqualified you are. So talk fast — you’ve got the spotlight for now, and everybody deserves their 15-minutes of presidential electability.