The Presidential Race: A New Reality (Show)

by Portia Turner

This election season is terrifying.  Like, it makes me want to hide in a cave and never re-emerge terrifying.  Now, I don’t like getting involved in political discussions but, just this once, I am going to break my personal rule and share some thoughts.


Reading and seeing things about this election brings to mind a Douglas Adams quote:


“It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it... anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”


This quote got me thinking.  Maybe we have been running elections wrong all along!  Maybe we need to move elections into the 21st century. I think they need to run like a reality show.  Stay with me here. There have been a lot of discussions about how to get people to vote.  You know where people vote a lot?  On reality shows.  This will finally get people to let their opinions be known.  Just text in to vote!


This is how it will work: The show will be based on that Douglas Adams quote.  Each week, the candidates will participate in challenges, such as debates or creating policies (always with some special twist, of course).  And each week, the people of the United States will vote off the person that they believe most fells like they want power and to be president.  This will help to get rid of all of the ego and scary power grabs that we are seeing.  Finally, we will be left with the two candidates who least want it or, according Douglas Adams’ logic, the people who can be allowed to do the job.  From that point, we can vote for the best candidate. I haven’t figured out the exact format of each episode (except that I think it’s really important that all of the candidates live in the same house) so if people have recommendations about how to make it better, please let me know.


Douglas Adams was not the only one who has vocalized this opinion about presidents.  Gore Vidal once said, “Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.” Maybe we should start listening to writers who spend a lot of their time studying people and society.  Some say literature is dying.  I say that we need to look at it more closely.  It might just be saving our futures.