This morning I thought to myself, what if dating was more like our election process? I suspect that life would be similar to The Dating Game, which appeared on TV from time to time starting in 1965 and finally calling it quits in 1999. Here’s what I’d imagine:
Host: Hello and welcome to today’s episode of The Political Dating Game! Today we have one lucky bachelor from Virginia looking for the woman of his dreams. Fortunately for him, we are joined by the two best ladies in the region!
Contestant: Thanks for having me, Chuck. I have to tell you, I am a little nervous.
Host: (Laughs) No reason to be nervous at all. You are about to win a date with one of these two lovely women. What do say about that audience? The audience roars its approval. Well, let’s get right down to it. Bachelorette #1, what do you have to say for yourself?
Bachelorette #1: Well, I’d like to start off by letting everyone know that Bachelorette #2 is greedy and self-serving. She doesn’t care about anyone other than herself and she’s taken every red cent she can from the last several guys that she’s been with!
Host: Looks as if he is thinking contemplatively. All right, all right. A good beginning. And Bachelorette #2 how do you respond?
Bachelorette #2: Glares at Bachelorette #1. Bachelorette #1 says that she has strong moral values, but she’s dating three other guys right now!
Host: Oh my, quite an interesting pair we have here, don’t you think audience? The audience cheers again while the two bachelorettes continue hurling insults at each other.
Contestant: Wait. I’d like to hear something positive about my two choices. So far, they haven’t said anything about themselves.
Host: Well ladies, how do you respond to that?
Bachelorette #1: I put out on the first date!
Host: Looks at the contestant as if he is crazy. And Bachelorette #2?
Bachelorette #2: I promise that we’ll turn heads whenever we are together. We’ll only frequent the finest restaurants and events. Sure, I may cost you everything you’ve got, but I’m worth every penny!
Host: (Laughs again) This looks like it will be a difficult choice!
Contestant: What are you talking about? These choices sound horrible! Isn’t there anyone else?
Host: Furrows his brow. Well, there is a third option. Bachelorette #3 will you please say hello?
Bachelorette #3: Hello Chuck. To tell you a little about myself, I enjoy long walks, philosophical conversations, and…
Host: That’s enough from you Bachelorette #3! Some people will talk your ear off! Sorry about that audience!
Contestant: Wait, I’d like to hear more from Bachelorette #3.
Host: I can’t allow that. Both Bachelorette #1 and #2 have said that they will leave if I allow her to speak anymore. Honestly, I have no idea why she is even permitted on the stage, even if she is off in a corner by herself. Besides, the first two bachelorettes come from the most well-known families in America. Bachelorette #3 is a nobody. In order to even qualify she had to take an extensive written exam and complete the obstacle course.
Contestant: Wait…weren’t all the candidates vetted the same?
Host: Looks at contestant incredulously. Certainly not! Why should they? As I’ve said, the first two come from well-respected bloodlines. It would be beneath them to make them compete for a spot on this show.
In the background Bachelorette #2 calls Bachelorette #1 a whore while Bachelorette #1 declares that #2 is a gold-digger.
Host: Glances at his watch. Well, we’re almost out of time. Have you made your decision, contestant? Remember, whichever of these two ladies you choose, you agree by law to date each other for at least two years.
Contestant: Bachelorette #1 and #2 seem like they are both manipulative, selfish, and immoral. Although I don’t know too much about her, if I have to make a decision right now, I think I’ll pick Bachelorette #3.
Host: What? I’m sorry, but that is just throwing your vote away. If you don’t know who to pick, let’s let the audience decide.
Contestant: Huh? No way! This game is rigged!
Host: Ignores the complaints of the contestant and turns to the audience. So what do you say, ladies and gentlemen? Will it be Bachelorette #1? Half of the audience cheers. Or Bachelorette #2? The other half of the audience applauds.
Contestant: Wait, isn’t this supposed to be my decision?!
Host: It’s time to vote for the lesser of two evils!
Although an extreme example, wouldn’t you agree that this kind of show would be a horrible way to form relationships? Nevertheless, in some elections the media and political rules squelch competition by only allowing us to hear from two options. When we feel that one or both of the options are good choices, we don’t complain. However, when both are poor, we are forced into a rather dreadful situation. My question to you is, if you wouldn’t tolerate this sort of game ruling your personal life, why do you accept it in your political life?