7/25/2012 8:01 PM
If I came to you and said, “hey I can get you this awesome job, but you have to pay me 500x what you will make to maybe get it, you will be under constant vigilance and you’ll have an impossibly-unfeasible to-do list from day 1,” would you take me up on it? Would you be crazy to do so?
A co-worker forwarded me a link to an article on TBNWeekly.com that talked about both Obama and Romney stepping off the campaign trail due to fear of being labeled insane. The link came with a note of bewilderment about how a “real newspaper” could get away with writing “this”? The outrage immediately piqued my interest as this was obviously not true.
The premise of the article was ludicrously entertaining. I won’t spoil it for you, but in short, it was a news item on the fallout of a fake study released by the National Institute for Mental Health. If you are an Onion fan, you'll be right at home.
The "study" concluded that “anyone who truly wishes to be president of the United States in the year 2013 is certifiably insane and should be confined to a mental institution.” According to the piece, the report prompted both presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney and incumbent Democrat Barack Obama to quit the race to avoid being labeled crazy. In addition to the two candidates, the post poked a bit of fun at Sarah Palin, Joe Biden and Newt Gingrich, as well.
In a digital environment riddled with link bait and freelancers writing for search engines, this was a welcome breath of irreverent air. Granted, the headline and premise are designed to shock and drive clicks, but the argument and presentation of the opinion give it depth. I know fake news isn't a new thing either. But every American can read this post and agree that the author is up to something, as dangerous as it may seem.
Go read it: http://www.tbnweekly.com/editorial/viewpoints/content_articles/071012_vpt-03.txt
Why do I think it is dangerous? Because he is right! You have to be insane to want to be the President. It is a job that doesn’t pay well (when measured against the level of stress and responsibility) and is guaranteed to age you ten years in four. It is a job that exists in a loop of bureaucratic insanity and party-politics, where nothing is taken at face value and is constantly scrutinized by every pundit, blogger and late-night show host. Tack onto that the unrealistic list of to-dos that politicians have assigned to the position and the problems you are expected to solve.
Some of the things listed as reasons to not be President are things that a President should have no part in. I don’t think the President can fix unemployment or the collapse of the Euro. It isn’t his place. And realistically, what can the President do about global warming? Rhetoric only contributes to the hot air.
The author, Bob Driver, is a former columnist and editorial page editor for the now-defunct Clearwater Sun. He is currently living in Boston, MA and turns in articles for TBNWeekly.com on a weekly basis. Intrigued, I reached out to Driver and asked what prompted him to write the piece and what his plans for a follow were up.
MyDot: What inspired you to write this?
Bob Driver: Nothing specific. My weekly deadline, perhaps. I’ve been doing this every week for over 20 years. I thought it would be a fun one to write.
MD: Have you gotten a hard time from your readers for writing about this?
BD: Despite the outrageous premise and all the attention the election is getting, not many people have given me feedback about the piece.
MD: What did you hope to accomplish with the piece?
BD: Give some laughs.
MD: Well, it worked. Do you have any plans for a follow up?
BD: No follow up plans. This column was as consequential as the breeze.
MD: Who would win in a tag team cage match: Romney/Palin or Obama/Biden?
BD: Laughs. No idea.
MD: My money is on Romney/Palin. Thanks for chatting with me today, Bob. I will keep my eye on your column.
BD: Thank you.
Did you read Bob’s article? What do you think? Is he up to something? In the meantime, check out Bob's new article about zombies.