Thanks to Mike McNally of Callawassie Island for sharing his tongue-in-cheek look at politics after following the "American Idol" television show.
"White House Idol"
By Mike McNally
The recent excitement of "American Idol" had Beaufort County and the entire nation voting with enthusiasm after watching candidate performances. The beauty of the show is that a winner was selected in just a few months. No nasty ads, no constant talk show rants, no expensive campaigns and roadside sign litter -- and all done with a few TV shows and voting. Sure, you can vote twice, even a lot more than that if you want to, but so what?
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U.S. politics has become a grueling mix of constant political rhetoric and gamesmanship. Politics has been a major social disruption, and in the end, there's an election left up to the long and often disputed methodology of the Electoral College to decide the winner.
This raises the question as to why we shouldn't just get rid of the Electoral College and adopt the tremendously successful and interesting "American Idol" program for national politics. Yes, let's have White House Idol.
Use the same rules as the show, with a few twists to make it more interesting and to keep it honest. Let the panel of judges be one biased commentator from each network ... each can say whatever he or she wants ... "You're in it to win it!"; "My leg is tingling!" or whatever, but the call-in votes decide.
OK, how do we cut out the underaged voters? We don't. To make everything perfectly fair, anyone who has enough interest to vote can vote. If you want to run up the votes, just like the fans do on "American Idol," go for it. Let the PACs spend whatever they want on voting ... hey, it's the American way. Everybody is involved, everybody decides, and the winner will be the top vote-getter. No political parties, no more election garbage cluttering our media, minds, and roadways.
The candidates could do whatever they want when they are in the spotlight: talk, expound their political credentials or experience; they can also sing, dance, tell lies, or whatever they think it will take to make them the White House Idol.
Here's a good idea for when it gets to the Final Two. The panel of judges gets to ask each of the two remaining candidates questions, about anything, including what they may have said in earlier competitions. But the contestants have to be hooked up to a lie detector, so viewers can see the Truth-Lie results of any question. A lie might not be all that bad; as a matter of fact some folks might like the answer.
The rules should allow, or even encourage, lying to make the contestants more comfortable and the competition more politically familiar. Then the public can be left to pass the judgment via their votes, with complete knowledge of what the lies were. Now wouldn't that be refreshing?
I don't know about you, but I'm ready for White House Idol.
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