“Insider Baseball,” by Joan Didion is in every sense classic Didion. It is not about baseball, or not really, but about her coverage of the 1988 presidential campaign between President George H.W. Bush and Governor Michael Dukakis.

Ms. Didion has an eye for the ‘unobservable’ that almost everyone else seems to miss, and when she points it out you say, “Holy Cow! How did I miss that?” In the 1988 campaign she points out the absurdity of the whole process, the misconnect between the candidates and the voters, and how everything is so scripted that it’s like a movie… right down to Mr. Dukakis playing catch with a staffer in 110 degree weather while waiting for their plane to take off.

On a personal note I would like to unveil my idea of how we should choose a president. In a nation wide vote the top ten candidates should be relocated to an old style Western town, possibly on the Warner Bros. ranch where they used to shoot westerns. Each candidate should be given a rifle, a pistol, and enough ammunition to easily wipe out all the other candidates.

The candidates should then be all separated, and the object of the game is to kill as many of his/her rivals as you can and be the last one standing…the only one left alive. The last surviving candidate should then take the presidential oath of office and immediately become president. (I having come up for a plan for the Vice President yet but I am working on it). By doing it this way, the American people can at least say, for once, that the president of the US wanted the job so badly he/she was willing to die for it. That’s a lot more than we can say for the last president.

I Highly recommend this essay.

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