In case you haven’t heard yet, the comedian Stephen Colbert is possibly throwing his hat into the ring of the South Carolina presidential primary. It would be a triumph for democracy if Colbert can win. But even if he doesn’t win, his mere involvement in the debates would go a very long way in addressing some of the political corruption that is inherent to the Citizen’s United ruling. He will also be able to expose the necessity for campaign finance reform by continuing to highlight the use of his “Super PAC.”
But where did this all come from?
The race horse campaign that the media has presented us with so far has given all the Republican candidates their fair shake and they’ve all seemed to shoot themselves in the foot one way or another. And so after Mitt Romney has won Iowa and New Hampshire it seems that he’ll probably be the Republican nominee.
I believe this to be a bad thing – but why?
Romney’s history is all business and politics. This might have been fine in the past, but it seems that in an economic crisis, this country should have some leadership that isn’t strictly a political/business marriage. Wouldn’t the American people benefit from someone whose moral sense isn’t completely dedicated to the financial interest?
So, Stephen Colbert comes along polling at 1% better than Jon Huntsman who came in third in the New Hampshire primary. South Carolina is Colbert’s home state and so there is a very real chance that he could get some serious mobilization going for a January 21st poll date.
Colbert is already a media darling, and it should probably go without saying that they will quickly latch onto such a fantastic story, catapulting Colbert’s platform to national awareness… (assuming that he is actually going to have a platform).
Colbert can be a very clear alternative to Mitt Romney. However, his TV persona will surely need a little bit of tweaking in order to have a believable political persona. The truth of his character will surely come out in the debates. And it is these debates where Colbert will probably thrive. He clearly has the moral intelligence, the quick wit, and desire to heal. In fact, it is laughter that can bring an end to the war on terror since it is impossible to be afraid and laugh at the same time.
Looking further ahead – let’s presume that Colbert can actually win the Republican nominee (or perhaps more realistically run on an independent ticket). What would it do to the main event debates with Obama? There is no one better to hold Obama accountable than Colbert.
Time will tell – but the 2012 election just got very interesting to me.