Thoughts about Politics and Poop

An old Frenchman named Montaigne once said, “Even upon the highest throne, man still sits upon his arse.” What goes unsaid is that which comes out of the aforementioned arse—caca poo poo. It’s the common problem of humans, i.e. being self-aware of our own bungholes. Some don’t have this problem. Defectors from Pyongyang brought with them the scoop that North Korean leader Jong-un Kim’s pappy Jong-il Kim never pooped. We like to think farts and toilet jokes are funny, but they’re not, our bowels are deadly serious and the source of much of our anxiety and dread. One character in The Sopranos died on the toilet from constipation and it is rumored that’s how Elvis shuffled off.

The point is not that pooping is important, we know that; it’s that we all do it. Everybody poops despite what is taught to North Korean schoolchildren or what newlyweds tell each other. Special K cereal was invented by notoriously privy obsessed John Harvey Kellogg to ease the daily constitution. Dumb and Dumber’s most famous scene is in the bathroom. Fat Bastard from the oh so 1999 Austin Powers sequel had “a crap on deck that could choke a donkey!” The first two of George Carlin’s 7 dirty words that you can’t say on TV involve excretions.

It’s the thing we all do but never discuss. Have you ever been in a crowded bathroom and tried to go real quietly and then hear the guy next to you just let loose? Have you ever gone at work and known who was in the next stall, but you can’t talk because that would acknowledge the act? Have you ever gone into the bathroom after your loved one but not said anything or vice versa? Defecating excrement in a dirty commode brings me to Donald Trump.

I feel like he’s the kind of guy who would deny going to the bathroom. Maybe that’s why he got on so well with Leader Kim. “A lot of people go to the bathroom, I don’t have to, never did. It’s disgusting, but you have to do it, not me, I don’t, but other people, it’s really nasty, they have to do it, but not me.” He mentioned how gross Hillary going to the bathroom was back in the innocent days of 2016. Yet, he did have TP stuck to his shoe in that metaphor for his presidency as he walked up the stairs to AF1.

Does our president go to the bathroom? We may never know. What we do know is that Joe Biden cannot win a landslide or even a close election because Trump will say he cheated. It’s a testament to American ________ that Douchey Don could even be considered for reelection. It’s an example of American ________ that Lumpy, Grumpy, Dumpy Trump would even want to be reelected in this situation. Those adjective blanks are there because I’m not interested in blaming American people for the mind plague of folly that is a Donald Trump presidency. We were struggling before and struggling today; we were fighting drug addiction, obesity, declining incomes, inequality, changing climate. Not to mention, we didn’t and don’t have those nice Japanese bidet toilets! They should be standard in every apartment and house from sea to shining sphincter.

You know who I blame—Jim Carrey. I was so excited for his impression, and he let me down, big time. He played Uncle Joe like Clint Eastwood, not Dirty Harry Clint, but talking to chairs Clint. He made Alec Baldwin’s Trump look appealing. I thought, I can’t handle four years of this Biden impression. Famously, Will Ferrell’s everyman portrayal of Bush made the candidate seem likeable in that last year of the American century. I can’t be sure my vote for Bush in 2000 wasn’t due in some part to just wanting more Will Ferrell (and more cowbell).

This election was never going to decrease partisan divides or heal a wounded nation. The lines are drawn, the curse it is cast. The times they are a-changin (again). There are two ways of thinking—system 1 and system 2. System 1 is fast, based on gut, history, stereotypes, and needs no nuance. System 2 is slow, based on consideration, thought, consequences and requires deliberation. Voting is mostly system 1; life is mostly system 2. When a majority of voters believes the other party is evil, there is no chance to work together lest you abide or assist evil-doers. What should we do about gun control, infrastructure, or building green energy? The opposite of whatever they are doing!

Objectively, Trump is an obnoxious buffoon. Subjectively, Trump projects something, an unapologetic confidence some thick girls have. System 2 says: That man projects iniquity through false humility and weakness through false potency. System 1 says: That dude has a hot wife and a private jet. All voters are angry about opposing issues. Yet, we cannot remain a country in constant and total opposition. The country is constipated with anger and looking to politics to be the laxative. But modern D.C. is not designed for motion, but rather emotion.

Jonathan Swift wrote a poem where the writer laments to the heavens when he learns how bad his lover’s crap smells. Here is the ending: “Such order from confusion sprung, Such gaudy tulips raised from dung.” It feels to me another way of saying, “from dust to dust.” Nobody is above another for we all must adjourn to the restroom from time to time. If we are going to be ruled by emotion, let it be the emotion that reminds us life is absurd, brief and full of poop. Whoever wins in 2020, the people need to release the personal and tribal connections to party politics and move toward trusting in each other. It’s the only way a country of such diversity can ever succeed. It starts by eliminating clannish identification with one party. Use your system 2 to think critically, and that goes for you too, Congress people! Those stinking politicians don’t have to agree on everything, but they must try to compromise and work together as Americans. For if there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that everybody poops.

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