Know what the best thing about presidential races is? Getting to know your candidates, that’s what. Their flaws. Their quirks. Their idiosyncrasies.
Red from blue. Right from left. We follow them for months, day after day, to measure whether they’re right for us. We call it an election, and it’s strictly ideological, but it follows the exact same process as the dating game.
This time, it’s Obama vs. Romney. This is Obama’s second go-around with making America fall in love with him. By now, he’s old news. We know what he’s all about. He’s your high school sweetheart you stayed with all through college and now need every page of the Kama Sutra just to keep the relationship spark alive.
Romney, however, is new. He says a lot of stupid stuff, but if you just give him a chance, we’ll show you what falling in love with Mitt might go like:
STAGE 1 - APPRECIATION: I don’t know. I heard he’s a Mormon. I guess that means he’s never drank, or punched a ginger before.
Stage 1 for falling on love is commonly referred to by relationship experts as the “appreciation” stage, where physical aspects like a washboard stomach or a voluptuous ass spark a potential mate’s attention. Romney has a decent gut for a sexagenarian, and certainly an appreciable ass, but what draws people to him is his Mormonism. The safe, approachable, non-weird, non-harem kind of Mormonism.
We mock Mormons for their dorky bike helmets and their divine aversion to coffee, but we also secretly appreciate their “I’m-definitely-not-worried-about-you-robbing-me” quality. It makes for the age-old philosophical contradiction between intellect and emotion that Romney takes advantage of without even knowing it: you might scorn his ideas, but you’d have no problem introducing him to your single grandmother.
It sounds harmless and flippant, but it’s the start of something surreal, sexual, and possibly violent. You’re falling in love with Mitt Romney.
STAGE 2 – INFATUATION: Did you hear what happened to Romney? It’s crazy. You GOTTA see it.
Stage 2 shifts to infatuation, where shit starts to get dangerous. Infatuation is being willing to stand outside a girl’s house holding a boom box over your head blasting Peter Gabriel just to impress her, and then not really giving a hoot if she blows you off. A person is willing to risk abject humiliation and bodily injury because he or she just reeeeaaaaalllllly wants to get laid, and not much else.
Being infatuated with Romney is easy, because he’s a Republican, and a Mormon. Combine these two things and it’s only a matter of time before something like this happens:
That’s not photoshopped at all. He just happened to be visiting a Chipotle and the guy on the far right couldn’t help himself when the camera flashed. This next one’s not photoshopped, either. He just happened to be visiting an elementary school in Virginia, and BAM:
Memes. So, so many memes. We’re not risking any emotional damage by being infatuated with Romney. We just like following around politicians who were clearly born for the internet. It’s like a delightful little secret we keep to ourselves, like watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, or being racist.
STAGE 3 – ATTRACTION: I’m not gay or anything, but 6 to 8 percent body fat is goddamn attractive.
Stage 3 brings us to attraction. This phase is where Romney’s running mate and would-be vice-president, Paul Ryan, steps in and shines like glitter. Ryan is like Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite, if Uncle Rico ever got into politics and made something of himself.
He makes self-styled claims that seem unbelievable, except that they’re not out of reach of human capability, so you maybe start believing that he actually did run a marathon in under three hours and that his body is only 6 to 8 percent blubber, until a couple hours (minutes?) pass by after he’s made the claim and it’s been proven as total bullshit.
But the attraction phase is what it is—being attracted. It’s not required yet that you actually know the person. At this point, they could tell you they killed the last unicorn so the warring states of the galactic alliance could finally be at peace, and you’d believe them.
STAGE 4 - IMPRESSION: Did he just threaten Big Bird? Dude. I mean, wow. That takes balls right there. Big, big balls. Ah shit now I’m aroused.
Though numerically we’re halfway home by now, we’re still nowhere close to falling in love with Mitt. Stage 4 is the impression phase, which means we see Mitt doing stuff like talking about getting rid of PBS and therefore putting Big Bird under the sword. Big Bird? Really? What did he ever do to you, Mitt? Asshole.
Mitt can ramble on til the end of time about cutting taxes, reducing government, or being energy independent, and it won’t matter. He can promise pie in the sky and sound smarter than your grandpa. Won’t make a difference. That’s not what elections are about. They’re popularity contests, not spelling bees. And there’s no better way to get people to like you than being the bad boy.
How do you be the bad boy? You threaten Big Bird, that’s how. It’s impressive, is what it is. If Romney wins the election, he can thank the millions of women out there who have no choice but to be impressed and quasi-attracted to him, by now. They don’t have a choice in it—it’s science. Hormones have a way of confusing reason and logic when it comes to bad boys.
STAGE 5 – CONVICTION: Yep. Definitely aroused.
We’re getting closer to something real, here. Something concrete. We know we dig Romney. Thing is, we’re still not quite sure he digs us. We’re anxious. We know how we feel, but how do we get Romney to feel us (giggity)? Since Romney is busy trying to be the next president, we don’t have a lot of his free time to flirt with the old guy and take him on a date or anything.
The only way we can really impress the guy is by making a show of support that’s sure to get national news coverage. Since he’s Republican, this becomes way easier if you’re black, as evidenced by the black girl from Clueless.
STAGE 6 – REAFFIRMATION: Well, wait a second, here…
Theoretically, this is the stage where Romney should be in love with us by now. Or the black girl from Clueless is. Either one. Reaffirmation is the stage where all feelings have been established, and now we reconsider one last time before we take it to relationship mode.
Naturally, we weigh our pros and cons…
STAGE 7 – LOVE: Oh dear sweet Jesus, I’m in love with Mitt Romney.
Woody Allen once said that to love is to suffer, but Woody Allen once also married his ex-wife’s (adopted) daughter, so who knows what else is in his head. Alls we need to know now is that it’s not the end of the world. Mitt loves. Mitt cares. Mitt provides, as long as you’re not poor. Or Mexican.
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