This originally appeared in the New York Post.
At some point, we are going to have to face the fact that we’re never going to deal with the serious problems in our county. The economy is still faltering, our debt seems insurmountable, gas prices are out of control, and terrorists are still trying to blow us up with their underwear. So what’s the big issue dominating the presidential race right now? Gay marriage.
I have noticed a few things about the problems we face. They are all a great threat to our way of life, they all must be handled right away, and they are all extremely boring. I mean, most of these are the exact same problems we dealt with back in the ‘70s — no one solved them then, because they were distracted by the president being a bitten by a rabbit. We’d love some fun new problems (“The polar ice caps are going to melt if we don’t change our light bulbs!”), but instead we’re stuck with these old stale ones. And while we all understand it’s imperative that we tackle these problems, as soon as we try to sit down and focus on them, we find out teenage Mitt Romney cut some guy’s hair, and we want to spend all our time discussing that.
I’m starting to worry that maybe we are no longer even physically capable of focusing on the real threats to our nation. In olden times, people had long attention spans for boring things like debt problems, because all they had were tedious black-and-white movies with no CGI, and all the kids had to play with were sticks and rocks. We have advanced technology and entertainment now, so we just can’t pay attention to the important things for long enough anymore (I’m checking Twitter on my smartphone as I write this). And it’s been going on for some time. Based on news coverage, one of the biggest political events of my lifetime was when the Vice President misspelled “potato”.
And it’s not like we can leave it to the politicians to solve our problems, because they’re not any better. When President Obama took office, he saw the joblessness and faltering economy and said, “I don’t feel like dealing with that; I’ve got this fun new health care plan.” What a fun time we had quarrelling about that one — it really took our minds off the skyrocketing unemployment.
Republicans are no help either. They keep repeating to themselves, “Just focus on the economy and jobs!” but then some social issue pops up, and they can’t help themselves, because if there is one thing the right and the left agree on this country, it’s that social issues are fun to pointlessly argue about. And what’s great is that we’ll always be able to argue about them, because they never get solved.
So what do we do? Our real problems are boring, but we wouldn’t mind dealing with them if we could come up with fun solutions to them that involve explosions and kung fu fighting. Except there aren’t any. It’s all mind-numbing budget stuff, and my eyes are glazing over just thinking about it. Maybe we’ll just have to put Ritalin in the water the way we add fluoride to maybe help us all focus. Because otherwise the only time our economy and the national debt will be interesting enough to hold our attention is when the country has already collapsed. That will really grab everyone’s interest, because you’ve seen how popular all those zombie apocalypse shows and movies are. I’ll bet when the government falls, the nation will divide into smaller regions ruled by warlords. I could totally be one of those. I have a shotgun, and I could make a scary-looking metal mask to wear all the time. And I’d come up with a cool name like “The Decimator.” It would be awesome.
Wait. What was I talking about? Did you hear Obama ate a dog?