America, in a ritual that it undertakes every four years,
is about to elect a president. Our choices for the highest office in the land
are a man who has done absolutely nothing in two years in the U.S. Senate,
Barack Obama, and a man that has done too much for too long in the U.S. Senate,
How are we to judge a candidate that has not enacted any legislation and must find it bothersome to roll out of bed and vote, since he does so little of it? How can we assess a candidate that has voted in so many contrary ways for so long that he would, if he could, vote against his own legislation? We need a sure fire test to evaluate these candidates.
We are not looking for a saint to be our next president. A saint won't get us out of the economic doldrums or blow up all the bad guys that need blowing up in the next four years. Saints aren't good at math (with the exception of keeping track of sheep and lambs) or physical exertion (with the exception of hurling heretics onto pikes). You would never want to cheat off a saint during a calculus test or pick a saint to be on your softball team. We are also looking for someone without many scruples. Someone with an oversized sense of morality won’t get the job done.
We need a pirate as president.
Pirates are quite good with numbers. They must calculate costs and benefits on a regular basis. They must, for instance, know how many hostages to take and what the pay out will be for the hostages. This, by the way, is not an easy calculation as pirates must be on top of the value of different currencies as well as the going rate for different nationalities. A Euro or Yen is worth just so many American dollars. A Somali or Nigerian is worth just so many Peruvians.
Pirates are simply wonderful at murder. They can cut, chop, hew and slice better than your local butcher. They can explode, blast, burst and detonate just about anything in so many imaginative ways. The most our current candidates can probably do is shake up a bottle of soda and spray the contents over one of the demagogues or terrorist chieftains roaming our planet.
Neither candidate has what it takes. Obama is the equivalent of a certain type of sports fan, the sort of fan that is known -- not so politely -- as a "jock-sniffer". Obama is a jock-sniffer of leftist radicals, a connoisseur of the sulphuric set. McCain, for all his grit, has a rusty trigger finger. He has not fired a weapon of any caliber in anger in a long time and so we must wonder if he has what it takes to annihilate a multitude of any magnitude. Can he even assassinate his opponent's character? He has had his chances.
These candidates are our only choices, and so despite their shortcomings, we must decide which of them would make the better pirate and therefore the better president.
Could Obama walk bow-legged across a rolling deck? I think not. He could not even stroll across a patio pigeon-toed after a few beers. That man is just too cool. McCain has a jaunty walk, and with work he could at least develop a saunter. Advantage: McCain.
Which candidate could drink more rum? Obama seems like a Chardonnay man through and through, maybe even a wine spritzer sort of fellow. He would turn up his nose at rum unless he needed the Puerto Rican vote, in which case he would have his advisors swig rum like it was going out of style. His advisors do everything for him anyway. McCain's wife is a beer baroneess, and my guess is that McCain could go for several tumblers of rum without much prodding, or any other drink in sight. He did serve in the Navy after all. Advantage: McCain.
Would Obama or McCain look better climbing the rigging? Obama would not climb it. Again, he has those advisors. They would climb for him. McCain would be up the rigging in a jiffy, as soon as someone told him that he could see down Sarah Palin's blouse from up there. Advantage: McCain.
Is Obama or McCain more practiced in deception? McCain may have no idea what he is saying, but he means it when he says it. Obama will say anything to get elected, and has changed his positions a number of times. I've got to go with Obama on this one. Obama appears to be the better liar. Advantage: Obama.
We now come to style. Which candidate would wear a bandana and white gauze shirt open to the navel with the panache that is so important to a pirate? Is there an option here? Obama is the essence of style. Granted his bandana would be Gucci and his shirt Gaultier, but he seems more comfortable with just about anything European than American anyway. It is unfortunate that he can't run for president of the European Union. McCain can pull an old undershirt out of his closet and rip it for his bandana, and maybe pop a few buttons on one of his Brooks Brothers shirts, but "C'est la vie". Advantage: Obama.
Which candidate would parley better with our enemies? I don't understand McCain. He speaks in short and choppy sentences, and I have difficulty following his train of thought. I imagine that he would only confuse our adversaries. Obama, however, does have a silver tongue and might lull our foes into forgetting that they hate us -- especially if he promised them a tax cut or universal healthcare, or any of the other policies that he has promised but will never deliver because he'll be too busy bailing out the banks.
We have a tie based on these criteria but frankly, as I opined earlier, neither candidate would really make a good pirate.
The American people need and deserve someone without principles, a real rogue, a dastardly individual that we can envision walking around the oval office with a parrot. A scoundrel's scoundrel. We had such a president once, and he would have made a splendid pirate, and we treated him poorly. We punished him for his aptitude for evil. We threw him out of office and have not been the same nation since we did so. Yes, he would have made an excellent pirate, and now he is gone. He is gone.
Whom else but he could help us in this grim season, in our time of such need?
If only we could bring him back.
Edward Chupack is an attorney for a major law firm. He lives near Chicago. His first novel, Silver, is available now from Thomas Dunne Books. To learn more about Long John Silver, please visit www.silverpirate.com.