The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Life Outside Politics a Smart Move for Some

3 min read


I no longer have any doubt that achieving the American Dream is possible—that is, if your dream is to run for elected office.

Regardless of previous experience, anyone can run for anything. You’re a movie star and the liberal bias of Hollywood isn’t enough for you? Run for governator! Schwarzenegger did it. Oh, you’re a movie star and you’re fed up with liberal America? Run for president! Ronald Reagan, poster boy for the Republican party, was a movie star before he was a politician.

These days, politics isn’t limited to the pundits who’ve been involved in their parties for decades. Even if you’ve done nothing but whine about current affairs or community organization, you can run for office and you can win.

Oh, you’re not convinced? Still feeling like the plumber can’t be anything but a plumber (with or without a license)? Here’s further proof: Al Franken, verteran comedian and writer/performer for “Saturday Night Live” has thrown his hat into the Minnesota Senate ring.

And here’s the kicker: by some polls, he’s winning.

The 2012 presidential primaries might include Paris Hilton and Hulk Hogan (like they’re any less experienced than Sarah Palin). Brad and Angelina would make a nice ticket, right? Wrong. Enough with the fake politicians. Everyone needs to stick with what they’re good at, and sometimes that isn’t politics.

This means the actresses should stay actresses (SNL is where you belong, Tina Fey, entertaining me on Saturday nights) and the musicians should stay in the music industry (here’s looking at you, Bono). Even the power couples should stay in their skill set. Brangelina should stop with the world fixing and go back to what they’re good at—turning their house into a preschool and having/adopting chidren. And acting. They still act, right?

But the celebs aren’t the only ones contributing to this problem. Sure, people like Al Franken are crowding out traditional, self-respecting politicians, but there are politicians (who have done nothing but politics) who have missed their mark and left behind a better-suited field.

Take Sarah Palin for example. Judging by her ethics violations and abuse of power, she’s obviously not suited for politics. Does this mean she’s totally hopeless and should drop off the face of the earth because she’ll never be a fully-functioning member of society?


She just needs to do what she’s actually good at.

So she’s not good at being honest with her constituents or keeping her family politics out of her Alaskan politics. She’s good at things like moose hunting and giving her children strange names (Trig, really?).

Mike Huckabee is another politician who missed his calling. He tanked in the Republican primary (though he did win a couple of states, which is more than Ross Perot can say) and his politics are ensconced in religion, which has no place in the government.

But Huckabee does have a skill set. Back in September, he entered a contest to find DC’s funniest celebrity, and despite not actually being from DC at all (he’s from Arkansas), he won.
I’ve seen the YouTube clips; this was no hack judging with people in Huckabee’s pocket—he’s actually funny. On Mitt Romney, he said, “He had more positions than an underage Chinese gymnast.” He plays the guitar too. Huckabee is indeed a man of many talents—just, politics isn’t one of them.

Still, Huckabee is at least on the right track. He’s got a talk show on Fox where he can talk about politics and religion to his heart’s content without the danger of actually influencing government policy. Everyone else should take a leaf from Huckabee’s book.

Palin should just keep hunting moose and popping out strangely named children. Hillary Clinton should keep letting Bill run around with strange women and forgiving him. The George Bushes of the world should stick to cocaine instead of the nuclear trigger. The Barack Obama’s of the world should stick to giving inspiring speeches, using lofty language, and being elitist. And John McCain too should stick with what he’s good at—riding on his father’s coattails, crashing Navy planes, and having heart attacks.

At this rate, we’re going to run out of politicians.

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