I had the occasion recently of reading the Emperor’s New Clothes, an even more entertaining and instructive tale than the newly popular one about the U.S. president’s new pants.
So let’s set aside our political differences for a moment to get a pure look at something. I find this refreshing thought exercise relieves contrivance’s pains when marshaling one’s thoughts to enter the fray of politics.
And it turns out many times that when I have got a look at something after shaking off any political considerations from my field of consciousness, to see the thing in a different context, to approach it as any number of characters might who have no political interest in mind, that I somehow gain thereby a more enriched political understanding.
For the space of an article, forgetting about Brandon, the politician that looks like Sen. Ian McDiarmid (D-NA), and just taking a look at the man himself, here’s what I imagine.
This bro from Delaware has been dreaming about being president his entire life. His first bid for the White House was in the 1988 Democratic primary that drew Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, who could only carry ten states in the election.
He probably didn’t picture it this way.
No one ever imagines themselves in their dream job, but also they have IBS. Which I suppose is poetic justice for helping Fox News sell so many incontinence meds to low-cut blouse fans over the years.
But here we are in 2021 in a timeline where Brandon became president, and it’s possible, perhaps even likely, that he spends more time in the Oval Office than any president in living memory.
And that’s quite a feat, given that his predecessor complained of flushing the john 10 or 15 times peruse while he was in the White House.
I also imagine Brandon was a sharp and energetic pragmatist without any solid principles of his own, just a talent for politics that he sold out like a prostitute to whatever kept him climbing.
And that becoming president was a revelatory moment of clarity for him, that becoming the number one guy of the entire enterprise, at a moment when the whole enterprise was re-evaluating itself, was an uncomfortable moment of becoming consciously self-aware. And that was incredible enough. Somehow Brandon was becoming self-aware for the first time at 79.
So I imagine the sleepy buddy sitting on his bed in the presidential suite, listening with tears streaming down his face to a little diddy.
Now I don’t know of anything the lyrics’ author has done worse than the time he took that layup and then looked into the camera too extra, and that he did as a youth, but does Brandon deserve that same kind of understanding and forgiveness for his more notorious deeds, performed throughout a later season in life? Indeed, facing regrets at that age, one must want these even more.
Without the solace of youthful strength and wit and the consolation of decades of life ahead, what else could matter to a man, other than whether he was faithful, in fact, an honorable man? Like the actual truth, you know? Like the way God sees the world. Like, genuine, not fooling anyone.
And also, you know, like, how big his hog is compared to other dudes.