Every Monday, FADER editorial director Peter Macia will ease in to the work week by writing semi-extensively about something that is making his head hurt. This week, he compares America's two most indecipherable public speakers and nominates one as the third party candidate for President of the United States of America.
Many important things have happened in the last ten days, such as John Mayer's apology for his racist penisheart and the beginning of the Vancouver Spring Olympics, but one of the purposes of Internet Hangover is to wind back the hands of time, to highlight the significant events that will shape our future. This week, a certain convergence of events at 9PM on February 6th, 2010 is the focus. I'll get to the actual events in a minute, but first, let's put this day in historical perspective, as I'm pretty sure it has some cosmic significance.
On February 6th, 1900, the Dutch Senate ratified The Hague as the international seat of arbitration, where countries could peacefully and diplomatically settle disputes, following on the actions of the first international Peace Conference the previous year. The sixth of February, 1959, saw the first successful test-firing of the Titan I intercontinental ballistic missile by the U.S., capable of reaching Eastern Europe and Russia from launch sites in North America, and a pretty solid indicator that America and the Soviet Union were not interested in talking out their disagreements. Thirty years later, to the day, the Soviet-influenced Polish government began the Round Table Talks with Lech Walesa, the leader of the Solidarnosc labor organization, after a long period of inflation and unrest caused by a centrally-controlled economy had led to the uncontainable rise of an anti-Communist popular movement. These talks are widely seen as the beginning of the end of communism in Europe. The Republican President of the United States from 1980 to 1988, Ronald Reagan, is given significant credit for encouraging the democratic revolution of the Eastern Bloc and the end of the Cold War, and on February 6th, 1998, chosen because it was his birthday, Reagan's legacy was cemented with the renaming of Washington, D.C.'s National Airport in his name.
Now, back to 2010.
On Saturday, February 6th, shortly after 9PM EST, Sarah Palin walked onstage at the first (annual?) national Tea Party convention in Nashville, Tennessee, and delivered the speech in the video below.
As far as the internet is concerned, and thus history, Palin's speech lasted 40 minutes and 27 seconds. She spoke in her signature unusual cadence and with unique syntax about revolution and democracy and patriots and Ronald Reagan and sources of natural resources and other stuff such as these types of things. And when she was done, the audience went nuts.
At the exact moment Palin finished whipping her Tea Party into a frenzy, around 9:40PM EST, another party began in Miami, Florida—a Young Money work party on the set of Tyga's "I'm On It" video. Young Money whippersnapper Lil Twist broadcast the unfolding events live to the internet via UStream, and the party leader, Lil Wayne, appeared sporadically, speaking in his unusual cadence and with unique syntax about his tattoos, snowboarding and fashion designer Jeremy Scott, getting a shape-up and asking his viewers which watch he should wear in the video. He then walked to the set and went nuts, and later attended an actual party party with his friends and associates to commemorate his final days before an eight month prison sentence on gun charges. The broadcast lasted for exactly 40 minutes and 29 seconds, two seconds longer than Palin's.
Watch that here so it doesn't autoplay all over my shit.
So, two videos of almost identical length by the two most popular people in this country who rarely make a ton of sense. One of these people doesn't make sense by accident. The other is Lil Wayne. But the timing of the videos was such that it was difficult not to see one as a response to the other, a situation not dissimilar from the Republican rebuttal to President Obama's recent State of the Union, at which the governor of Virginia proposed an alternate path forward for America from the statehouse in Richmond, Virginia, once the capital of the Confederacy. Palin offered one solution, Wayne offered another.
Now, let's say in a year or so, when the presidential race begins (sadly), there is still a substantial part of this country that does not trust the politicians in Washington, cannot stand President Obama or whoever the Republicans put up against him, does not have faith and is willing to consider voting for a third party candidate with a seriousness not seen in America's history. Today, most people would consider Sarah Palin the frontrunner for that third party candidate. But why not Lil Wayne? Why not WAYNE? Why NOT Wayne?
He is, on many levels, just as, if not more capable than Palin of leading the free world, but if you're skeptical, there is some direct comparative evidence. Just watch their interviews with Katie Couric: Wayne's here, Palin's here. You see in these interviews with the stern, but not unfair Couric, how Wayne deftly handles tough questions and seems in control of his mental faculties, whereas Palin can have a hard time getting out of "the zone." In the modern era, the ability to seem at ease under public scrutiny is as important a trait in a politician as actual political experience, so in this case, Wayne is clearly preferable. But as we all know, television can be edited to make people look bad or sound stupid, and one should never base his or her most serious civic duty on a few sound bites anyway. So, here are a few other factors, in list form, that should put Wayne ahead of Palin in 2012:
-Wayne is a hard worker. He claims to have shot nine videos and 80 songs for release during his upcoming eight month prison sentence. Congress has a hard time getting anything done these days, so a president willing to lead by example will be key. How many videos will Palin put out from March to December? YouTubes of speeches and interviews don't count, if they did, Wayne would outpace her by a thousand.
-Wayne has the perfect biography for a modern presidential run: he grew up with hardships, he is a devout Christian (Palin would need to tattoo Jesus's face over her face to prove she's more dedicated), he is a famous entertainer, he has limitless coffers, he is both pragmatic and capable of thinking outside of the box, he's extremely charismatic, he comes from oil money, he helped bring New Orleans back after Katrina and so on. He is basically Abraham Lincoln, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Drew Brees all in one. And he's the best part of "We Are The World." Both of them. There is not a segment of American society that cannot identify with Wayne.
-While they both have large families, it is only Wayne who seems forthcoming about each of his children's origins. Palin can find it difficult answering where certain children and grandchildren came from, which should never, ever be the case, especially when one of those children has special needs. That child should be given full attention by his or her parents, and, as many special needs parents will tell you, this is something that becomes a priority over everything else, whether it be a job or an ambition or even a leisure activity—the child comes first. This ability to acknowledge where his children came from speaks to Wayne's sense of responsibility and agency, both important traits in a potential commander-in-chief.
-Wayne's first lady is going to be Lauren London and Nivea, both incredibly appealing to male voters between 18 and 40. Palin will still be with Todd, whom nobody seems to like.
-Sarah Palin wrote notes on her hand to remember talking points for an interview after her Tea Party speech, an interview one can only assume was scheduled far in advance. Wayne, on the other hand, has rapped some of the most memorable lyrics of all-time when he was probably more stoned than any human being should ever be. Though, if Palin tattooed "tax cut" on her eyelids that would be pretty gangster.
-Like our very first president, George Washington, Wayne appears to have a dental problem, one significant enough to delay his sentencing last week. Sarah Palin seems to have perfect teeth.
-Palin does win points for evading any sort of prosecution for any of the crimes she's been accused of by her detractors, while Wayne seems to get caught any time he does anything, but let's just assume that a criminal history does not preclude being elected president in 2012, shall we?
What else? All kinds of stuff, but don't worry about it right now. There will be plenty of time to debate the pros and cons once the race starts, and the point here is not that Sarah Palin shouldn't be the President of the United States, of course she should be. We all should be. The point is that she should at least be challenged on her way to the White House, in the same way that Shaun White has to invent life-threatening stunts to win gold medals, the same way John Mayer has to bone Jessica Simpson before he earns the right to bone Jennifer Aniston, both lovely white women. This is America, the greatest meritocracy history has ever known, and all I am saying is, if Sarah Palin is going to make it to the White House, then let's make her go through Lil Wayne to get there. Because if forced to make a list of Americans who I think are ready to be in charge the next time we have a nuclear standoff or an extremely complicated diplomatic situation, Sarah Palin is most certainly somewhere on that list, and so is Lil Wayne.