Opinion: Stephen Colbert for President?

Robert Thomas Young

Robert Thomas Young

Robert Thomas Young is a senior philosophy major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact Robert Thomas Young at [email protected]

Political funnyman Stephen Colbert decided to explore a presidential bid in South Carolina last week after the Public Policy Polling group polled him higher than Rick Huntsman, at 5 percent of the Republican vote.

While some may think he is trying to simply be funny, Colbert has more up his sleeves than a couple laughs.

In his presidential bid, he pitches his political satire toward the Republican Party, mocking the absurdity and lack of sincerity of the candidates.

However, Colbert has an even bigger fish to fry: the noticeably corrupt nature of campaign finance. In particular, he is attacking super political action committees, which are fundraising mechanisms that allow anonymous donors to contribute unlimited monies to support candidates.

This was a contention at one of the recent debates, when Newt Gingrich accused Mitt Romney of colluding with his super PAC in producing attack ads against him.

Romney argues that he has nothing to do with his super PAC or the ads, even though he admits that his personal friends and business partners run it.

You can smell the ripe hypocrisy and corruption a mile away as the candidates almost wink at each other, pretending, when the truth is more than apparent.

Colbert picks right up on this lingering dishonesty and introduces his original brand of sarcasm and mockery by launching a political ad against Mitt Romney, which hilariously states that Romney is a serial killer.

Colbert’s super PAC was re-named “The Definitely Not Coordinated With Stephen Colbert Super PAC” and was handed over to Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show.

It is hard to mistake his ardent sarcasm and contempt for political fundraising laws.

Colbert is a true maverick, and his quick wit and passionate sarcasm give him the ornate ability to showcase the absurdity found in our political arena.

Realistically, Colbert is not running for president. He is mimicking Gingrich and Romney by running false ads about other candidates while being obviously insincere about not having any influence or coordination with their super PACs.

Personally, I think it is pretty sad that we’ve come to a point in time when politicians don’t even have to put forth an effort to pretend as if they are not self-seeking, ruthless and corrupt.

I don’t want to pick on just the Republicans.

President Obama will most likely have the largest super PAC of all, and he will probably jump right in line with the “pretending” Republicans, denying any coordination with it.

However, the absurdity and fraudulent nature of this fundraising tactic is appalling, and Americans should take notice and say something.

Super PACs are not Colbert’s only intended target of his fake presidential inquiry and his obviously false commercials about Romney being a serial killer.

He is also going after the law that allowed the creation of super PAC laws.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case states that money is speech and that corporations are people, a message well received by the Republican candidates and well criticized by Colbert.

My opinion is consistent with one of the protest signs I saw during the Occupy Wall Street movement. “I refuse to believe corporations are people until Texas executes one.”

Robert Thomas Young is a senior philosophy major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]