Beware of Political Witch Doctors
by Kevin Kelton
I’m beginning to think there is a mass hysteria spreading across America – a real, delusional mass hysteria – about wanting a rebel candidate who will “fix” things in Washington. The appeal of outsider, “tear-it-all-down” candidates like Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, and Elizabeth Warren is on a par with the hysteria over witches in early Puritan America. But instead of exorcising the devil out of a woman’s body, voters in both parties now want to exorcise corporate money and phoniness out of the body politic. And they’re turning to political witch doctors for a cure.
Like witch doctors, these candidates cast a spell on voters by convincing them of mythical demons and dire symptoms infecting our political system, and they make suckers believe they are the only ones who can cure what ails them. They have the secret potion: be it Sanders’ refusal to take SuperPac money, Trump’s refusal “to be bought,” Fiorina’s business leadership pedigree, Warren’s “blame the banks” mantra, or Carson’s divine inspiration.
In Carson, they are actually turning to a medical doctor to cure politics. Which is like taking your broken Macbook to a brain surgeon to operate on it. He may be a great physician, but that doesn’t make him a computer repairman.
We’ve done this before in America – electing popular military generals as president, hoping they’ll “lead us” to the political promised land. And of course, electing a peanut farmer and an actor who both just dabbled in politics for a while. (And let’s not forget Arnold Schwarzenegger, who probably could’ve been elected president if he had a less-Austrian accent and a less-French labido.)
The truth is, Americans are always looking for a quick, easy fix to our problems, whether it’s weight gain, money problems, erection problems, or election problems. People play their state lottery praying to solve all their money problems, and play the voting lottery praying to solve all their government problems.
In California we have a Lotto game called Fantasy 5. And that’s what I call Trump, Sanders, Carson, Fiorina, and Warren: The Fantasy Five. But in this lottery, we only have to pick one right to hit the jackpot. And our odds of actually winning are about the same.