Renaissance Column

NOVEMBER 1999 | VOL. 3, NO. 11



DAVID DOUGLASS

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DAVID DOUGLASS is an independent publishing consultant residing in the small north Georgia town of Atlanta. He is also a freelance writer and has authored numerous articles and several books. David is a staff columnist for Renaissance Online Magazine.


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Ric Flair for President

DAVID DOUGLASS

I don't follow professional wrestling. But like so many other Americans, I get the distinct feeling that professional wrestling is somehow following me. With all the fanfare surrounding the election of former professional wrestler, Jessie "The Body" Ventura, as Governor of the state of Minnesota, I couldn't help but wonder what the United States would be like if it were governed by well-tanned hulks in flamboyant ski masks and star-studded Evel Knievel capes.

As a start, someone like wrestling icon Ric Flair should be elected President. Anyone who can withstand twenty-plus years of ultraviolet radiation and an ocean of peroxide could easily swim among the most vicious political sharks that Capital Hill can muster. It goes without saying that the State of the Union addresses would certainly be far more interesting. The nation would be riveted to its television screens as Flair teeters atop the executive podium, neck veins pulsating, threatening Congress with everything from flying knee drops to scorpion death locks. At the conclusion of his speech, he would repeatedly smash the teleprompter with a folding chair and then swiftly exit the Senate chamber under the escort of scantily clad, surgically enhanced "wrestler babes." Now that's government in action!

I am of the opinion that wrestlers would handle the press far better than your average, run-of-the-mill politician. I mean, what do you do with a politician who answers charges of corruption with, "I'm gonna bust your face.", "Whose gonna do anything about it?", and my personal favorite, "Oh, yeah?" - all with the vocal raspiness of Rod Stewart suffering from a particularly nasty case of laryngitis.

Wrestlers would also make more interesting senators and representatives. Back in the good old days, members of Congress would handily whack one another about the head with canes, throw various assortments of blunt objects, and initiate duels to the death over matters as trivial as whether or not Mormon men in Utah should be the only ones in the country lucky enough to have more than one wife. All we ever get now are boring press conferences and endless hearings where scarcely a toupee is disheveled. Let's be honest with ourselves - we would all enjoy seeing Barney Frank inflict a whirling missile drop kick on someone like, say, Trent Lott every once in awhile.

Most government bureaucrats are simply too clean cut to fulfill the responsibilities of the jobs to which they have been assigned (with the possible exception of Janet Reno, who would probably be the Women's World Wrestling Champion were it not for her recent stint as Attorney General). And speaking of the Attorney General, I can easily envision someone along the lines of Sting (the wrestler, not the musician, of course!) performing the all important duties of this office with both vigor and enthusiasm. Sting looks like the Gold's Gym version of Kiss, and would make any mafia kingpin seriously reconsider his chosen career path. Let's face it, when the prosecutor is more frightening than the man on trial, you've got a government that is, quite unequivocally, in the business of kicking some serious felonious butt.

The professional wrestler is probably best qualified for the role of foreign dignitary. There is nothing like a good figure four leg lock or spinning body slam to convince ambassadors from uncooperative dictatorial regimes that we mean business. Furthermore, all international dignitaries would be required to develop a "ring persona" and don outlandish costumes before our representatives would agree to discuss matters of diplomatic importance. You simply can't top tight speedos and rubber wrestling boots for placing everyone on a level negotiating field.

Last, but certainly not least, professional wrestling possesses perhaps the best possible solution to seemingly irreconcilable international conflicts - tag-team, no-holds-barred power matches. Wars could be waged in the ring rather than on battlefields, and victory would go to the team that shouted the loudest, sweated the most, and broke more chairs over the backs of their opponents. That's the problem with diplomatic disputes these days - they are all done in private. Weren't we all born with the inalienable right to pay $18.00 a head to see Madeleine Albright put a no-release head lock on Fidel Castro?

I suppose a good argument could be made for borrowing certain elements from other sports (such as boxing, for example) to further enhance the operation of our governmental machine. Why not? I'm flexible. How different the Kennedy-Khrushchev talks might have been had a white-shirted, bow tie wearing announcer kicked off the event with a resounding, "Let's get ready to rumble!"

Jessie Ventura may not be the best governor Minnesota has ever had, and Ric Flair will likely never enjoy a presidential cat nap in the Oval Office. But I still can't help but wonder how far our government really is from formally adopting the professional wrestling philosophy. I have my eyes peeled in anxious anticipation of Al Gore challenging George Bush to a round or two in the proverbial "Ring of Death."

I guess that what American politics needs more than anything is the ability to laugh at itself. Wrestlers seem to be quite adept in this area. After all, I think that it would be refreshing to hear a government official facing staggering inflationary figures scream the ever-familiar, yet comforting exclamation, "You're goin' down, baby!"

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