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Wading into the political manure

As a retired editorial writer, it has been difficult to just sit on the sidelines as the presidential candidates continue ranting and raving about each other and the other party’s hopefuls. I was hoping the field would be culled to a workable number by now but, sadly, it has not. Political ambitions and egos die hard.
I also hoped the unfolding “reality political show” would have petered out by now, too. Not so. Americans love reality TV, and apparently reality political show sound bites keep many of us riveted to our tubes.
So into the political fray I dive.
With the upcoming Minnesota party caucuses still weeks away, people have time to wade through the voluminous rhetoric to pick a favorite. Then attend the party caucus of your choice and get involved.
Sadly, however, the reality is your participation is not always welcome and not always productive, since the “party machine” controls all the rules and sets all the “hoops” that need to be cleared before you are accepted.
The biggest hoop is party loyalty, which is required to participate. What if you have no strong party affiliation? Might as well stay home. There is “no room at the inn” for you or your diverse (middle-of-the-road/split ballot) ideas in either major party. Either you will toe the party line, or else.
That brings us to alternatives to the Republicans or Democrats. Well, there are a variety of other options — the Green, Independence, Socialist, Communist, Libertarian parties to name a few — but the likelihood of any gaining traction is as likely as winning the Powerball.
So you may have to create your own party. My suggestion is the Stubborn As A Mule Party.
What? I guess that has already been assumed about the Republicans and Democrats.
How about the Horse Manure Party. Electing 100 Senate equine and 432 House horses could create a new cottage industry. Manure cleanup. Can’t be any worse than what we have now, except we all can recognize the byproducts of horses. Can’t say the same with the human manure spreaders currently occupying many of the congressional seats today.
Perhaps the smartest man in the country is Donald Trump. The billionaire businessman has played the national media like a fiddle. He doesn’t even have to dip into his war chest to pay for publicity. All he has to do is open his mouth and say something outrageous. The national media is like a moth to a flame. They simply cannot resist the next “Trumpism.”
Outside of P.T. Barnum, Trump may be the best political snake oil salesman in recent memory. His following has grown with each outlandish comment he has made.
So to win favor with today’s electorate, a candidate now needs a reality TV show as well as a political campaign. I can see it now: “The Solitary Life of a Vermont Socialist” starring Sen. Bernie Sanders; or the “Cuban Crisis” starring Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio; or “The Rear View of the Horse” starring either Democrat Martin O’Malley or Republicans Dennis Kocinich and Jeb Bush, who can expound on the joys of never being heard or seen, except as bringing up the rear.
There, I’ve waded in. Now your job is to sort through the rest of the manure.
Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, 2014, but still plans to submit an occasional column.