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Sep 25, 2008

More Jokes in Politics

Tell Us Another One

Politicians say this and that about complex matters. It is hard to know what is good policy or what they are saying. They have been known to say different things to different audiences, to change their statements later, and to do things differently in office. How are we supposed to judge them?

I would like them to go up on stage and tell a joke. Maybe three jokes, but not more. It could be too painful. They can choose the jokes they want, long or short, stories or punch lines, old or new. They would have to stand up on stage without a teleprompter or written notes, and tell a joke from memory. They can gesture and wave any way they want.

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This would tell us something about them that we don't get to know now. Most of us understand a good delivery and a sense of humor. If a politician can't be funny enough, doesn't have enough personality to withstand that test, then I don't want to vote for him.

I'm not kidding. Telling a joke may be a small amount of information, but at least it's a small amount of real information, about the politician and not about his team of advisors and speech writers. If they are going to give campaign speeches, then I want to hear a few good jokes.

I confess that I don't care much about the content of what they say, unless they are pointing out what they have done in the past. Politicians can fake their current words, but they can't fake their past deeds. And, they can't fake a joke.

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