Show of (Aging) Hands.
Forget the presidential debates, the august, uber-serious civic affairs where candidates sit at polished tables or walk around on a red, white and blue stage answering questions from a journalist/moderator or from mere citizens whose questions have been screened to make sure dimwits don’t inquire about candidate underwear preferences.
Forget compelling John McCain and Barack Obama to show us how they fare under intense pressure, with their entire campaigns at stake, as they try to exude the perfect combination of smart (both book smart and street smart), funny, self-deprecating, humble and strong.
Forget about whether Joe Biden is too mean to Sarah Palin or whether Palin continues to assert that she has foreign policy experience by virtue of the fact that Alaska is next door to Russia. Forget about whether McCain shows anger or Obama shows arrogance. Whether Biden makes another gaffe or Palin sounds like a talking points-bot.
Instead, let’s forgo all this pseudo-drama and cut to the chase, shall we? Let’s decide who should be the leader of the free world -- and the leader of the free world’s co-pilot -- by invoking a show of hands. Seriously guys (and gal), just hold your hands in front of the camera and let us voters take a good long gander. Be sure to show us the front and back. And then, after you detail your daily hand care regimen, we’ll be ready to vote. Are their hands bony and veiny? Dry? Cracked? Nails chewed to the quick?
Why the obsession with hands? you ask. No, I haven’t opened up a nail salon or a dermatological institute someplace and am nakedly attempting to gin up business. I’m simply capitalizing on what the New York Times has told us is the new way to determine whether someone should be entitled to a position of great authority: By assessing the condition of one’s hands. On the day this hand-care article ran in the country’s newspaper of record, our nation’s leaders were ferrying between the White House and Capitol Hill trying to avert an economic collapse. The Times reported: “In Washington, hand-primping procedures have become increasingly popular among female politicians and lobbyists, said Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, a dermatologist at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery. ‘Lobbyists understand the importance of appearance,’ she said. ‘When they are proposing an idea and they are trying to win over their audience, hands are a dead giveaway of age. A youthful appearance gives them an edge.’”
Age is, apparently, bad. Very, very bad. Something to be eradicated, no matter that wisdom and experience usually accompanies it. The people spearheading this “anti-aging movement” (as realistic as an anti-hot air movement in D.C.) think that it’s a vitally important indicator of your future job performance if you’re willing to have toxins, chemicals, fat and other goodies injected into your hands with hypodermic needles, as well as to subject your hands to lasers and even go so far as to avoid straining your hands by doing things like using your BlackBerry or a simple pen, which could make signing bills into law tricky.