American Absurdity

We know that we just sunk into American absurdity when Paris Hilton declares herself a candidate for president of the United States.

The blonde vamp, who is known for her sex appeal, made a special Internet commercial last week to announce the “news” of her candidacy. In a bikini, of course. And it is John McCain’s fault.

We had to expect it. When they play in spectacle and pettiness, it’s only a matter of time before it attracts the nothings who take themselves too seriously.

I believe it all started in Germany. We will remember Barack Obama’s speech in front of a crowd of 200,000 crazed Berliners. In and of itself, the event was definitely memorable. But what followed may be what Americans remember more.

John McCain found himself swept away in the deluge of invariably positive media coverage directed towards Obama’s trip to Europe and the Middle East. The media, obsessed with his superb eloquence and world adulation, seemed to have already elected him president. McCain became a troublesome nuisance momentarily blocking access to the red carpet at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

They had to do something. Anything.

The strategists of the McCain camp decided to take the bull by the horns and brazenly attack the force that is Barack Obama: his superstar aura. They imagined an advertising message that defied all the laws of electoral logic by praising the popularity of their adversary.

“A Leader.”

The ad began with images of Obama in Berlin in front of adoring fans while a narrator simply says of the Democratic candidate, “He is the biggest celebrity in the world.” Images of Paris Hilton and another leading person of modesty and decency, Britney Spears, emerged. And then the narrator concludes, “But can he lead?”.

The Obama camp and the Democratic choir cried foul. How dare they compare Barack Obama to those two scatterbrained floozies? Certain they had seen the most vile subliminal messages. Even Republicans found the ad stupid.

Except they hadn’t observed that stupidity has been known to often times do well in the United States.

Not only did McCain’s commercial have an unquestionable impact, but the American networks still broadcast it two weeks later. An expert estimated that it generated over $50 million in free publicity.

It was brilliantly stupid, and it made any German footage unusable by Obama.

And at the moment when the frenzy seemed to finally calm down, it was beautiful Paris who reignited the firestorm with her own message. Stupidity breeds stupidity. And the media begins to dance once more. The result: McCain suddenly in charge of the campaign and Obama caught off-guard in total defense mode. It must be said that the Democratic strategists have hammered him to counterpunch each adversarial attack. They are convinced that John Kerry had been beaten by Bush because he left too many attacks unanswered.

Inflate His Tires

But, when McCain frolicked cheerfully in stupidity, Obama meets him in the middle of foolishness where he himself is the fall guy.

Take energy, one of the top priorities of the American electorate these days. John McCain enjoyed himself for three weeks saying that Barack Obama’s energy plan involved telling Americans to inflate their tires.

The Democratic candidate had the misfortune to respond to a voter, who wanted to know how he could contribute in combating the energy crisis, by rightly telling him to inflate his tires.

The Republican Party, marching lockstep in ridiculousness with McCain, distributed tire gages with the note: “Barack Obama’s Energy Plan.”

Obama decided to retaliate to that insult. In one of his speeches, he began to recount this low blow of the Republicans. He looked dazed when his own supporters found the joke amusing and burst out laughing.

For a week, all the pundits and journalists started to ask: “With all that’s going wrong in the country, why hasn’t Obama pulled away from McCain?”. The recent survey put him five points ahead while others list him as only two.

Further, when Americans were asked which candidate they were fed up with seeing on television, almost half responded that they had seen too much of Obama, with a third of the respondents being Democrats. Only 20% said the same of McCain.

The candidate has taken advantage of the Olympics to take a week-long vacation in his home state of Hawaii. And he met to comment on Russia’s invasion of Georgia after a round of golf. Not very “presidential.”

The Obama campaign begins to give the impression that it’s supported by an air cushion, more or less inflated.

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