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If Only the Hero of the Lord of the Rings Were a Candidate in '04

Littlest Hobo

TRIBE Member
If Only the Hero of the Lord of the Rings Were a Candidate in '04
By Tim Furnish

Mr. Furnish, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of history at Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta and, obviously, has drunk a bit too deeply at the Tolkien well.

This is hard for a George Bush supporter to admit, but I've reluctantly concluded that America needs--as Michael Moore puts it--"regime change" in 2004. Despite all the good he's done Bush, largely through no fault of his own, is simply too divisive to continue as an effective leader for another term. But what segment of American society (outside of latte-clutching, Volvo-driving professors and their clueless students--otherwise known as "Deaniacs") could actually stomach any of this crop of Democratic candidates setting up shop in the Oval Office? It's time for a third party candidate who can appeal to the bulk of the electorate, someone who draws the best from both sides of the political spectrum. John McCain? Ralph Nader? Not hardly.

It's time for Aragorn II, son of Arathorn, Strider, Isildur's Heir, Ranger of the Dunedain, Last of the Numenoreans, King of Gondor.

It shouldn't be too hard for the star of the final book of the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy and of the ultimate installment of the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movies to transition into modern elective politics. But like all candidates, he has obvious strengths and weaknesses. And his self-appointed political handler, let me be the first to categorize them.

First, his "positives." The man looks great on the screen (well, at least after a good hair wash; perhaps John Edwards's staff could come in handy here with conditioner advice) and this, no doubt, would transfer to TV. He's articulate yet soft-spoken (two traits that would play well in debates against, respectively, Bush and Howard Dean). Aragorn has a military record second to none (General Wesley Clark included, since bombing Serbs hardly compares to personally leading the defeat of the Dark Lord Sauron's evil hordes). The man is a uniter, not a divider; hell, he can even get those anicent enemies Elves and Dwarves to work together (eat your heart out, Al Sharpton). Plus, he practically wrote the Middle-Earth book on inclusiveness, by marrying outside his race entirely (and by wedding an Elf he increased his social status even more than John Kerry did by marrying into the the Heinz family catsup fortune). Unfortunately, Aragorn's most obvious strength could also be perceived as a weakness: raised as the dispossessed heir to the throne, he spent much of his life preparing for a leadership role; however, his background is undeniably blue-blood and elitist (hopefully the Bush parallels overshadow the Kennedy ones, here).

Now for his "negatives." Most tellingley, the man SMOKES. We Aragorn supporters can only hope that his pipe will come off as intellectually retro, thus mitigating its offensiveness to the liberal Blue states on either coast, rather than as signs of our candidate's being in thrall to Big Tobacco (or, in his case, Small Tobacco, since much of Middle Earth's pipeweed was grown by hobbits). He also has a beard. Only five U.S. presidents have had beards (not counting those gargantuan hairy lambchops which adorned Chester Arthur's face) and the last was Benjamim Harrison in 1888 (who lost the popular vote but won in the electoral college; come to think of it, perhaps this is not a good example for our man to emulate, since you shouldn't count on that working very often). Again, maybe we can spin this as charmingly anachronistic, a "Back to the 60s'" motif that might even appeal to liberal baby boomers. Aragorn is a Junior, a label which has not worked too well for Dubya. (We'll need to play up the fact that Aragorn's father was killed in combat by trolls, rather than merely trounced in an election by a draft-dodging, former hippie womanizer. That should play in Peoria.) And something will have to be done about the new candidate's tendency to carry a sword everywhere he goes (perhaps during the debates we can have his wife hold, and maybe sharpen, it for him in the audience--that should appeal to the feminists).

All in all, Aragorn II is the only man who truly carry embodies "compassionate conservatism," able to blend tolerance of diversity and care for the downtrodden with firm decision-making and military prowess. What other candidate might realistically be able to personally track down Osama bin Laden and drag him out of his Mordoresque lair, yet sing a solo at his own Inaugural? There's no doubt he's the right man in the right place at the right time to take on both the Right's "Dark Lord" (George Bush) and the Left's Seven remaining "Dark(horse) Whiners."

Now if we can just figure out Aragorn's position on tax cuts....



Look out! Pipeweed!