My fellow Americans, it is with heavy heart that I inform you today that I am not now nor will I become a candidate for public office. I felt compelled to share my decision with you after I was deluged with mail this past week urging me to offer myself for public service. (Note from editor: He got three emails. Big deal.) However, there is much work yet to be done in carrying out the awesome responsibilities with which you have entrusted me. (Note from editor: Barf.)
I would have tweeted or twittered or whatever my decision to you, but that is so gauche. I can’t imagine any politician worth his hashtag doing that kind of thing.
There is no question I would have been a formidable candidate. Looking like Brad Pitt doesn’t hurt. Also, I know a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff. And then there is my political philosophy, which says whether my friends are supercilious liberal snoots or sanctimonious gun-toting Baptists, I am always for my friends, except when they are not my friends. And, my friends, I feel strongly both ways.
Had I chosen to run, my campaign pledges would have included building a wall around the Golden Isles to keep out undesirables (anybody from north of Ringgold or south of Jakin.) I would have declared sainthood for Ray Charles Robinson, of Albany, Georgia (although I think he is already a saint.) Broccoli would be labeled a psychedelic drug, meaning that anybody who eats the stuff would have to be out of their mind. And, yes, I would reappoint Cynthia McKinney as Ambassador to Outer Space. If something is working, you don’t mess with it.
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So, why have I come to this decision not to run for public office? For one thing, the dry cleaners misplaced my clown suit. What is politics without a bunch of clowns?
Even worse, I would have to be nice to people I don’t like. I hate being nice to people I don’t like.
I can’t decide on a party affiliation, being that I am liberally conservative when I am not being conservatively liberal. This creates much consternation for wingnuts on both ends of the political spectrum but, happily, it gives their life meaning because it presents them the opportunity to send me a lot of rants in an effort to educate me on the political facts of life. (Did you know that Barack Obama was not born in the United States but in the backseat of a ’49 Packard and that there are some people who actually take Meryl Streep seriously?)
And even for someone as eminently qualified as I, there is that nagging issue of having to raise money for my campaign. That means sucking up to a bunch of lizard-loafered lobbyists who would claim that their political contributions to my campaign in no way would raise their expectation that I give their company or client any special treatment. They are just being public-spirited citizens interested in seeing democracy in action. (Wink. Wink.) I’d rather kiss a goat.
Even worse, I would have to be nice to people I don’t like. I hate being nice to people I don’t like. That includes those who are intent on undermining our public schools in Georgia, like Alice the Wal-Mart Lady and the Koch Brothers at the American Legislative Exchange Council and their Punch and Judys in the Legislature who would suck the bark off a tree stump if so ordered by that sinister crowd.
I would have to be nice to athletic supporters at You-Know-Where Institute of Technology, who keep reminding me that when their scholar-athletes come to Athens for a scrum with the scholar-athletes at UGA, they consider it a home game. They fiddle with their slide rules until the last two minutes when their side somehow manages to win. I hate that.
So, my fellow Americans, while I say thank you for the pledges of support, after consulting with the fearsome Woman Who Shares My Name, I must decline what would no doubt have been a stellar political career. The thought of having broccoli shoved up my nose was admittedly a critical factor in arriving at my decision. She doesn’t kid around about things like that.
But all is not lost. I return now to my familiar role as a modest and much-beloved columnist where I will continue in the spirit of H.L. Mencken, an acerbic editor of the early 20th century. Mencken said his job was to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. I couldn’t have said it better. Now, send in the clowns.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.