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I wrote this joke during the last throes of the presidential campaign. One of the pointiest sticks in my craw for the past ten years is how many Americans will choose a candidate because he or she seems "folksy" (read: dumb) like them, over someone who is intelligent and well educated. Adjectives like "Ivy League" and "brainy" have been the worst things a person could be called if they hoped to win an election. No, you would never want a person smarter than you to lead the most powerful country in the world. That might make you feel inferior.
In spite of the amazing PR job that was done to convince voters of the opposite, W was the epitome of Ivy League elitism (though no one would ever accuse him of being brainy.) His privileged stroll from birth to the White House, and his now-proven utter indifference to the conditions of life for those outside his anointed circle, are precisely what most Americans do not want in a politician. Yet all they need to be convinced otherwise is a "gimme" cap and a phony accent. (Ever wondered why no one else in Bush's family has a Texas accent? I lived in Texas for 22 years and can attest to the fact that W's is pretty unauthentic. Maybe it's because he was mostly raised by a wealthy political family from New England.)
Thank God (or "no one," for my atheist readers) that Obama was able to get past this idiotic trend of electing counterfeit bumpkins to the Oval Office. While oozing intelligence, compassion, authenticity and elegance, he still managed to get elected. I pray (figuratively) that enough Americans are tired of hillbilly heads of state that those days are over, at least for a while.
But just when I feel comfortable in that assumption, a silhouette with a banjo and a corncob pipe appears on the horizon of Alaska.