Third-party candidates who have yet to pick a vice president have the chance to make history this year by choosing a running mate who is already dead.
In the past, the deceased have been routinely passed over for such undertakings. In fact, no one not alive has been actively considered for VP in recent U.S. history. Among the many “firsts” of this year’s election, then, the biggest surprise could be yet to come. Imagine one of the lesser-knowns catapulting onto the national stage bearing the first non-respiring candidate for higher office.
Paving the way is the new English of the Obamacracy. “First” is defined as “Historic”; and “Historic” is mysteriously translated to “desirable” and “good.” The DNC convention adhered strictly to the new usage. Hence, the “First” female nominee was “Historic”; and the Historic Hillary is perforce amazing. It follows that the first already-deceased candidate must also be historic, ergo, fantastic.
In advocating that someone break through the invisible lid that has kept generations of our countrymen down, one necessarily unearths a grim reality. I refer, of course, to our society’s lugubrious history of discrimination against the most powerless among us — the circulatory-challenged.
Merely by virtue shuffling off this mortal coil, former folks are faced with insurmountable disadvantages. They are marginalized, almost as if they were invisible. We can no longer avoid the hard cold reality. In our society, the dead are treated as if they don’t even exist.
We would do well to remember that the dearly departed are a silent majority. A very silent, overwhelming majority.
Even today, in 2016, despite the Obamacracy’s crackdown on political incorrectness, offensive terms still find their way into our speech. The bigotry of existism is reflected in such demeaning terms as “croaked”; “kicked the bucket”; “stiff”; “flat-lined”; “six feet under”; and many too macabre to be mentioned here.
Progress has been made. But we cannot simply pretend the existists no longer exist. The mentality of Extant Supremacists is not some vestige of a bygone era. It still cheapens our discourse and perpetuates incivility. To keep our society moving forward, we must press on until all are welcome, regardless of color, orientation, or vital-sign-status.
Even as necrophobic hate-speech grows less acceptable in our multicultural diversity-celebrating tolerant society, devious euphemisms continue to crop up. So we hear our non-living brothers and sisters described as “passed on”; “no longer with us.” “To sleep” is sometimes used as a dog-whistle for dead, especially when coupled with “perchance to dream.” Calling someone “late” simply because the person has left this world should be recognized for what it is: prejudicial hate speech.
The problem goes beyond spoken incivility. Postmortem people deserve the same dignity and respect as everyone else; but in so many aspects of life they are treated as non-entities. On the bright side, progress against livingism has been made, as Obamacratic operatives work tirelessly to ensure voting rights do not depend on whether a person happens to be alive.
Much remains to be done. The breathing class comprises less than a tiny fraction of one percent of all humanity, but consumes 100 percent of all the world’s resources. Why should the privileged few, who happen to have a pulse, unilaterally deprive the countless billions who have not? Why should the hegemony of the living continue to exert unchecked dominion over those eternally at rest? Under our historic Obamacracy we must rise up and say, “That’s not who we are.” (Or indicate acquiescence by staying silently supine).
May this be the year of the first already-deceased candidate to give a voice to all the departed who cannot speak for themselves.
Another advantage for the posthumous running mate is his deep familiarity with the trappings of funeral ceremonies. And for a key function of the office, attending state funerals, a VP R.I.P. would be imbued with what is now imperative for every public servant: Obamacratic “empathy.”
Also in the plus column is the potential boost in debate performance. Imagine picking Patrick Henry (1736-1799), whose oratorical skills were peerless, even among 18th century peers. Who in our dumbed-down “Smart” era could hope to go toe to toe-tag with Mr. Henry? (The potential punch lines are to-die-for. “Give me Liberty or give me [beat] . . . Well, alright, then, just Give me Liberty!” Crowd goes wild.)
A serious objection should be addressed. The primary role of VP is to serve “one heartbeat away” from the presidency. Is someone without a heartbeat himself most qualified to be one heartbeat away?
Under the Obamacracy the answer is clear. Diversity is the goal. Diversity is an indispensible criterion. The First Deceased Candidate is Historic and therefore qualified to compete with the best of them.