One million Facebook users have made a mockery of American politics. On October 16, television comedian/newsman Stephen Colbert launched a less-than-serious bid for the US presidency, and within hours, a social networking-crazed high schooler tossed up a Facebook group called "1,000,000 Strong For Stephen T Colbert," an obvious …
We love Stephen so much that both my facebook identities joined the group.
& as we're both British we won't be doing him any good, much like roughly 90% of the group who either aren't over 18 or resident in South Carolina.
Still, it's the thought that counts. Now I really must start a group to get The Colbert Report broadcast over here after the Daily Show.
He's not that funny
but he's all we have at the moment.Politics right now not too funny more like cancer nothing funny about cancer.
I disagree with the rather snobby tone of the article. I see this event as a leading sign of America's youths being disenfranchised with politics. With the last 3 presidents being a Clinton, 2 Bush's, and another Clinton trying to get in, is it any wonder. One only has to look at King Dubya's reign & his peculiar election irregularities to see why the (largely) young facebook crowd have given up on participating in politics, and prefer those who mock it.
It was missed in the dismissive article, but this (allegedly) fastest growing facebook group wasn't about a pop group, an actor, or chimpanzees touching themselves, it was supporting an often intelligent political satirist.
Probably just the second honest politician to run for president here in the U.S. since Roosevelt. No, no, of course I meant Teddy.
"...a social networking-crazed high schooler tossed up..."
Am I the only person who mis-read this as "...a social networking-crazed high school tosser..." ?
Do I sense a bias?
The article's author says "Whatever the case, it seems clear that Facebookers are more interested in heavy-handed TV comedians than serious political candidates."
Do I sense a bias here? Seems like someone who is likely a republican, and in either case prefers the status quo. That quoted sentence, to me, is just as accurately read as "Whatever the case, it seems clear that Facebookers are more interested in intelligent people who question stupidity than serious money-fame-and-power seekers."
I'm not a Facebook user. To be honest, I'm still not quite sure what it is. I'm not a Myspace user, either. Or Youtube. I'm also well above the age of their target demographic. But I would vote for Colbert and/or Stewart (or Jesse Ventura, if he was willing to run) in a second. Why? Because as Gareth pointed out above, I've been disenfranchised by the system of politics we know and hate. It's not a government by the people, and it's not a government for the people. It's a government by the powerful for the powerful.
The simple truth is that Colbert (and Stewart and Ventura) are (or at least appear to be) intelligent and honest people. Call me crazy, but I value that. These men also are not afraid to point out (and mock) the idiocy of politics and politicians. They're not afraid to question things.
You say Colbert is a "heavy-handed TV comedian". That may be true, but he's also more-or-less one of the voices of the intelligent american public (yes, I know, that does seem like quite an oxymorom), especially Gen-X and younger. And isn't that what the government is supposed to be -- the voice of the public?
It's all crap
American politics are crap (and yes, I'm an American). For as long as I can remember, it's a race to see who's the lesser of two evils. And even if fellow Americans are thinking "why can't we get someone like <that past president>" even then it was a vote for the lesser of evils. All you need is a ton of money, and the ability to lie to the public. Look at our beloved Congress, which was supposed to save our country after the last round of elections. Yeah, they're doing a *great* job of keeping up with their promises. No, really, any day now they'll actually make happen what they promised. You know... the reason they were elected! Just tell the public you'll save the world, and this is how, and once you've got that crazy 6 figure pay check... well who cares? So long as you don't do something stupid enough to get kicked out (which is apparently becoming increasingly less of a threat).
C'Mon! Clinton didled a woman while in office and they impeached him (which means they took him to trial, NOT that they got him out of office), Bush has cost THOUSANDS of lives (both American and not) on a false premise, and he's still sitting tall. Clearly my priorities are skewed if I think lives are more important than a correct sexually moral compass.
But the truth is harsh. Colbert makes his living joking about the political environment. It's not like he's going to retire once a Democrat is president... he'll just make fun of *their* stupidity. And being President is most certainly not an easy task. I truly believe that if Colbert was elected He'd have one, at most two, years in office before he realized it's not funny. It's a lot of work. And we'd end up losing one of our most satirical sources of entertainment. He wouldn't be funny anymore, he'd be stressed out at the realization that things are worse than he thought and the decisions he has to make are harder than he could imagine.
The problem with being President is that you have to make people HAPPY. Regardless of what you think is right, you're supposed to do what everyone else thinks is right, and public opinion is fickle. Public opinion changes MUCH faster than the actions you've taken could possibly change. It's one thing to think "we should take this convoy east, no wait west" and another to turn it around. I'm no supporter of Bush, but it's still a hard job. And it's easy to say "we need a change" but it's even easier to have had that change and say "man, that guy is screwing it up" even when he's doing what you originally said he should do.
So, no, I don't support Colbert. He's a funny guy, and either he or his writers have a keen idea of what's going wrong. But they're not paid to think of a thorough plan on how to make it right. Personally I enjoy his sense of humor and wit, and I'd rather not see that sacrificed so we can have someone in office who has a great vision, but no concept of making a vision reality.
RE: He's not that funny
Obama or Colbert? You must be kidding me! He's just non-stop FUNNY, even when he doesn't mean to be. And that Colbert's not too bad either.
the only thing irregular about the last few elections was the fact ppl actully paid attention to them. our elections have always had "irregularities".
Jumping to conclusions
"Whatever the case, it seems clear that Facebookers are more interested in heavy-handed TV comedians than serious political candidates."
That statement would make some sense if Obama were a serious political candidate. But the US hasn't seen a serious presidential candidate in decades*. Democrats and Republicans have done a great job of cowing the US citizenry into believing their either/or tripe (see E's unfortunate post), and consequently have become lazier and lazier about maintaining the pretence that they actually care about effective government.
* Somewhere between 4 and 20 decades, to be less precise...
Not to worry...
"And being President is most certainly not an easy task. I truly believe that if Colbert was elected He'd have one, at most two, years in office before he realized it's not funny. It's a lot of work. And we'd end up losing one of our most satirical sources of entertainment."
Colbert has made it very clear what the scope of this gag is. He has no intention of being a serious contender for the presidency. His goal is to win one Democratic delegate from South Carolina. That's it. He's a smart enough guy to know he doesn't want the job.
I think it's hysterical that he's running, though. I don't always find him funny, but he certainly has his moments, and this is a brilliant opportunity for satire that reaches more than his core audience.
When's Paris going to announce HER candidacy! C'mon, give us the REAL story!!
Proving that cash isn't needed?
American Presidential Elections can be described quite succinctly as follows:
X+Y = Z
Where X = Money
Where Y = Money
Where Z = Successful election to office through the use of either X or Y.
It'd therefore be nice, if completely bonkers, to see Colbert propelled into the race by dint of popularity because The Lord Knows he doesn't have the cash to arrive at Z any other way.
I wait with breath abated for the smarmy Zucker Creature to announce that FaceCrack is now the pre-eminent electioneering platform and attempt to license it appropriately...
Why is it that...
...every time I see mention of FaceBook, MySpace etc. I think of AOL of old - the asylum where the tossers were kept so the rest of us could be serious with Usenet etc. *sigh* Those were the days... ;-) "social networking-crazed high school tosser" - indeed.
X+Y = Z
"X+Y = Z
Where X = Money
Where Y = Money
Where Z = Successful election to office through the use of either X or Y."
1) gsce maths was a long time ago, but surely the above should then read 2X = Z
2) also, if election to office is through the use of EITHER X OR Y, then the requirement is that you only need one or the other, so X = Z or Y = Z.
This would mean that X = Y = Z.
so by saying that X+Y=Z, i think you have an el reg proof for 1+1=1?
/its monday and i'm bored..gimme a break.
re: He's not that funny
You obviously didn't see his roasting of Bush at the White House Correspondents' Dinner...
Legality of Colbert running for Prez
Use of his show to promote his campaign presents legal problems (to put it mildly)... e.g. see http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vote2008/Story?id=3766656&page=1
Would have been nice to have this mentioned in the article as it could derail Colbert's campaign train no matter how many people sign up via Facebook... but hardly surprised.