Why Jon Stewart should run for President
I want to point out that I’m not a political theorist, and I’m not entirely well-versed in political methods. This is just my view as part of the electorate about a candidate I would love to see on the ballot come November 10, 2008, and the reasons he should run.
8. He has The Daily Show.
This might seem like a minor point, but considering that political ad campaigns cost millions, and Jon Stewart probably doesn’t have that kind of money, having a nationally-viewable TV show with a fairly large audience is a decent starting point. It could allow him to raise enough money from loyal viewers to start an advertising campaign elsewhere.
Besides that, Comedy Central and Viacom could use his candidacy as an excellent plug for the show to draw additional attention to it. I’m no marketing executive, but even I can see that this would be a superb gimmick, especially if spun correctly.
7. There would be a media frenzy.
This ties in with the last point, in that they both have to do with media exposure. Besides the exposure Jon already has from his own show, his candidacy would be all over the news stations, especially if he announced it during a news-lull. Those 24-hour networks need something to talk about, and the “fake news anchor” turned Presidential candidate would probably get more attention than Hillary Clinton, John Kerry (attempt #2), John Edwards, or Barak Obama.
6. He commands attention from and is adored by youth.
Remember the 2004 election? Remember how John Kerry was supposed to get all the 18-24 year olds off their lazy asses and into the voting booths? Remember how he may have won had that happened? Personally, I can’t think of anything that would get them out more than Jon Stewart’s name on the ballot.
Besides getting the young voters to ballot boxes, Stewart would get the votes his thousands of fans. If he managed to get the Democratic nomination, he’d probably get pretty much all the registered Democratic and Independent vote, too. Combining that with an unprecedented young-voter turnout, he might actually win.
5. He has a fantastic bullshit detector.
In perhaps the most important consequence of him running, Jon Stewart would force candidates to have real platforms, not just empty rhetoric. One of the biggest problems with Kerry’s campaign was how he completely and utterly failed to have a real platform, while Bush just hammered home security. Stewart would cut through the bullshit, and make the other candidates actually have opinions and platforms. Who knows, America might finally have an election that’s actually about political and social issues…
4. He’s not afraid to say what needs to be said.
As he said about Al Sharpton in 2004, “The person who knows he’s not going to win is allowed to speak most freely.” This ties in with the above point. Jon would bring out the truth about candidates: their political histories; inconsistencies in their opinions and platforms; and how they fall short in areas that matter. This would force the other candidates to actually come up with consistent, logical, and reasonable platforms, which is the first step to getting someone competent into the White House.
3. He is a great debater.
Every time I see Jon Stewart interview someone he disagrees with or who holds inconsistent positions, he tears them to pieces. He even does this when he’s on their shows. (Crossfire, anyone?) He has the speaking and debate skills necessary to make use of the two other skills I mentioned above, and this trifecta makes him dangerous for the other candidates. When asked why politicians don’t answer straight, simple questions, he said, “Nobody holds their feet to the fire to do it.” If he were in the race, he would be able to hold their feet to the fire in spectacular fashion.
2. His middle-left positions.
At least as far as I can gather from the Daily Show, Jon is pretty center-left. While I doubt he could get the votes of more hardcore Republicans, especially the religious-right, the moderates and independents would likely be drawn to him. Especially if he applies his hatred of the absurd to his political philosophy. I can only imagine a candidate who chose their platform based on logical and sensible conclusions instead of partisan rhetoric, and I doubt I’m the only one.
1. If he wins, he would be a fantastic President
All right, that’s pure speculation. But I’m a big Jon Stewart fan, and I want to believe, nay, must believe that he could do it. He might have no political experience whatsoever, judging from the politicians I see that might not be a bad thing. It would be very refreshing to have a President who sees the problems we have, and could deal with the crap other politicians spew. Here’s hoping for Stewart ’08.