by Carson Starkey
Doctor Ben Carson announced that he is suspending his campaign on Friday, March 4th. All twelve of his actual voting supporters are disappointed but willing to compromise, promising to shift their support to Clarence Thomas or Bill Cosby. Upon learning that Clarence Thomas and Bill Cosby are not campaigning to become president, those same supporters are proposing to consult Megyn Kelly for further guidance. Before you become overly concerned about voters or their collectively tenuous grasp on electoral politics, consider the silver lining in the wake of Angry Doctor Huxtable’s departure from the campaign trail. While voters have lost a deeply confusing, frequently somnolent candidate, they have also gained a tremendously talented Fox News commentator. I’m excited about the inevitable prime time show, “Ben Carson and Herman Cain Shout Insults at House Plants and Passing Cars.” Of far greater importance, at least in direct economic/financial terms, is the fact that political consultants will now have increased access to a mammoth cash machine for their perpetual grifting operations, although they’ll be the first to admit that Ben Carson has already enriched them on an astronomical scale.
When I say that Ben Carson has been good for the political consulting business, I mean that he spent fifty-eight million dollars in nine months (and secured a microscopic number of votes), more than any other Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential race, according to the Associated Press (“Carson Spent Heavily on Consultants, Lightly on Campaigning,” March 4, 2016). Allow me to clarify the specifics of Ben Carson’s sprawling white collar criminal endeavor. He spent approximately seven hundred thousand dollars on direct payroll expenses (ostensibly the employees that run a political campaign-spokespeople, data managers, local door knockers, state campaign managers) and six hundred thousand dollars on total advertising. Fifty-eight million minus one million three hundred thousand is fifty-six million seven hundred thousand. To paraphrase De Niro’s immortal hustler Sam “Ace” Rothstein, what in the holy f%*king hell happened to the rest of the money Ginger?!!!
If I can slander my own experience, that last paragraph underestimates your pre-existing knowledge of American conservatism and its predilections for naked, cartoonish theft. Feel free to consult, if you haven’t already, stellar authors like Rick Perlstein, Jonathan Chait, or Michael Tomasky as to the guiding purpose of most conservative causes or campaigns. Among the knowledgeable operatives of the Republican Party, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and AM talk radio, everyone accepts the fact that separating clueless rubes from their money with an endless array of sophisticated scams must always be the pursuit of utmost importance. Winning elections, implementing public policies, or disseminating hurtful claims about the Clinton family are all icing on the metaphorical cake of political discourse.
If you don’t believe the previous claim, peruse the advertisements of National Review. Attend CPAC. Watch Fox News or CNBC for five minutes. Of course you’re supposed to whip yourself into a frenzy about the existence of mathematics, black women living in Chicago, or Sarah Silverman’s contempt for family values. Not the point good citizens. What matters is how you respond to your blistering outrage. If you want to stick it to the liberals who are destroying America, don’t sit idle. I mean stay seated, and continue to watch Bill O’Reilly, sweet Lord, of course you’re supposed to do that. But during commercials, strike back at godless hippies by exercising your power as consumers and purchase Mark Levin’s/Ann Coulter’s/Ted Nugent’s/Mike Huckabee’s/Sean Hannity’s books/gold products/canned foods/firearms/ammunition/tickets to see Laura Ingraham speak/Ben Carson’s latest investigative journalism that reveal global warming to be a hoax.
It all seems kind of obvious now, right? For decades, you’ve suspected that most, if not all, Republican candidates, talk radio/cable news commentators, and conservative thought leaders are engaged in elaborate, high brow satire. That has to be the real story, because nobody is foolish or crazy enough to believe that endless wars, welfare checks for millionaires, and racial segregation make sense or improve quality of life for most Americans. Obviously conservatism is just a colossal pyramid scheme designed to fleece vulnerable people. Think about how relieved you are at this moment, knowing that conservatism is so profoundly unserious about its stated aims. Now think about how relieved Angry Doctor Huxtable is to be done with campaigning and finally moving on to the Promised Land of massive, Heritage Foundation/American Enterprise Institute/Tea Party Express-subsidized pay days. He’s living proof that anybody can succeed in this great society of ours, as long as s/he is willing to spout incomprehensible nonsense for months at a time.
All hail The Grift Machine.