Understatement of the Year

Here is a current headline from the standard in Western journalism, The New York Times: “Doubts Linger as Democrats Vote: ‘I Don’t Think We Have a Perfect Candidate.'”

If by “perfect,” the NYT and its doubters mean “someone who is not a blithering idiot,” then they do indeed have reason for doubt.

If by “perfect,” they mean someone slightly less Marxist than the Weather Underground terrorist group, then yes, they are right to feel nagged by candidate imperfections.

If by “perfect,” they mean someone not knee-deep in blatant lies, economic ignorance, and cynical social justice pandering, then it’s true, perfection has somehow eluded them this time around.

The perfect candidate would presumably be someone who both likes the United States — a fairly basic requirement in a presidential candidate, it seems to me — and can locate it on a map. (Even the Democratic Party has occasionally managed to field a nominee who could meet this threshold.)

The perfect candidate should be able to speak at least one complete sentence without saying something utterly incoherent, utterly false, or utterly hateful.

The perfect candidate, in this particular primary season, should be able to sound a little smarter, a little more informed, a little more intellectually curious, and a little more serious about the nature and purpose of republican government, than the man currently occupying the Oval Office, who happens to be the all-time last-place finisher on all of those criteria.

The Democrats, as of “Super Tuesday” (or Thursday, as Joe Biden, who has participated in this primary process multiple times, called it the other day), “don’t think they have a perfect candidate.”

No they don’t; but we now have the perfect candidate for Understatement of the Year.

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