A couple nights ago, Stephen Colbert announced on the Colbert Report that he's running for President, as both a Democrat and a Republican, only in South Carolina. I know it's a joke, a gimmick, something they dreamed up on the show to more effectively mock the candidates and the process of campaigning. This knowledge makes me a bit sad. I would like to live in a world where Stephen Colbert could run for President of the United States and have a serious chance of winning. I would vote for him.
The news is all over the predictable places, basically anywhere on the Internet trafficked by young, disaffected Americans. I went and joined a Facebook group, to see if people were taking it seriously. A lot of the comments I've seen are along similar lines: sure, it's a joke, but we'll write him in on our ballets just because everyone else who's running is so awful. Or as one guy said, "He's the only candidate I even like. All the other candidates are boring or clinically insane, or patently evil."
I have to say, I kind of agree. Politics is so congested right now that even people who have worked on Capitol Hill their entire lives are trying to run as 'outsiders', like Fred Thompson, or, like Barack Obama, are discovering that it's impossible to run a campaign without sucking up to interest groups and sliming your opponents. The appeal Colbert has is the same kind of appeal that Ron Paul has: you get the feeling that he really hates the entire system, and would do his best to change as much as possible. Colbert has a major edge over Ron Paul, though, because while he is a comedian he's not a gold standard/9-11 truther/isolationist nutter. Plus, when you watch his show every night you get to feeling like you have an idea who he is, as a person, and you start to think like maybe even if you didn't agree with him on everything, you could trust him to make important decisions.
I'm not ready to commit to actually voting for him in the general elections, because since I live in a red state now my vote might actually be useful, but the idea is very appealing.