Sunday, October 21, 2007

Stephen Colbert for President

(Courage + Hope = A Rare Political Post)

Make no mistake, I don't expect him to win, and I have my qualms about Colbert's television persona insofar as I worry sometimes that fans lose sight of the subtle satire of his comedy in their mob-like enthusiasm... BUT.

I still feel more whole-heartedly invested in Stephen Colbert's 2008 presidential campaign than I do in that of any other actual candidate. Simply the idea of Colbert running for office fills me with a strange, tense feeling. At first, I wasn't sure what this feeling was. Then it began to dawn on me: maybe it's hope. It has been so long since something happened in the world of politics that didn't seem painfully predictable and tragically disappointing. It seems at every opporunity, the true and simple goodness of the average human being falters under the weight of corporate interest, religious zealotry, and hate-mongering. The war drags on, bigotry and greed play tetherball on the D.C. green, and, as Ani put it, "the Democrans and the Republicrats are flashing their toothy smiles."

But now, here is something new. For once, I have no idea what will happen, I have no idea what Colbert will say or do next. But I am not afraid. There is, instead, this odd warmth in my heart that he will at least do some good along the way. Which is more than I could hope for anyone with a prayer of actually winning the race (or should we call it a clusterf**k?) to the White House, anyone who would inherit the morally and literally bankrupt system already thriving under the noses and behind the blinders of American citizenry.

So that's what it comes down to: hope. For so long I have been trying to survive on, and face the future with, courage alone. Pushing forward on every front because, in the end, I have no real choice. I must work to "be the change I wish to see in the world," or compromise and lose myself to the undertow of cynicism and fatigue. But to have hope! What a luxury, what a respite. I had almost forgotten what hope felt like. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to wonder.... what new good thing might happen tomorrow.

(And yes, I would've preferred a Stewart/Colbert '08 campaign... but the day is still young, my friends.)


  1. Well, Colbert is at least indicative of a change that's happening now; for the first time in my political memory, and probably for the first time since the 80s, it's seems possible again to suggest that government is something that can work for us if we choose to involve ourselves with it. For almost thirty years both parties have been actively dismantling government, and I think now people are beginning to understand why government was big in the first place, and maybe hatred of it and unwillingness to participate in it led us here. I think Stewart & Colbert are indicative of this new understanding.

  2. Not to make you jealous or anything, but El and I are going to see Colbert speak at Cornell this Friday. I'll let you know how it goes :)

  3. Abi, not to worry. As much as I like Colbert, Stewart's really my guy. My cousin is going to a taping of the Daily Show in a few weeks, and when he told me, my first response was, "O! ...will you tell Jon Stewart I said hi?" Yeah. Because some random nerdy kid passing on his equally nerdy cousin's salutations will make a lasting impression. That's how irrationally in love I am with Jon Stewart. He's about the only person I'm star struck about. ;)