If You Need a Good Belly Laugh

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

If You Need a Good Belly Laugh

The great Garrison Keillor has an amusing piece on why America needs a fat president.
We haven't had a fat president since William Howard Taft and that was at the tail end of the Gilded Age, when politicians were expected to be portly. We've had a few semi-beefy ones since (Harding, Hoover), and LBJ carried a potbelly, and Bill Clinton had his moments of bloat, but the American people, now that two-thirds of us are overweight, prefer that the Great White Father be lean, taut, angular, a runner or horseman or cutter of brush. Whereas a guy who looks like he'd be right at home in a Barcalounger with a can of Pabst in his mitt doesn't seem to fit the bill.

I suppose that a compact build indicates some sort of self-discipline, but discipline to do what? Look at Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot. None of them was a hearty eater, and for good reason: paranoia. When you're a megalomaniac, it takes away your appetite, thinking of all the folks who'd love to put rat poison in your ratatouille.

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