When I was a kid, my mother taught me that politics and religion were two subjects that one should never discuss. Unfortunately, those were always my two favorites. In the grand scheme of things, they strike me as the only two topics that really are worthy of continued, sustained discussion and reflection over the course of a lifetime. While I'm sure that there are people who are still talking about the Reuben Stoddard/Clay Aiken showdown of a couple of years ago, I would have to say that American Idol, Iron Man, and even the return of Indiana Jones must always take a back seat to the great battle between conservatism and liberalism and the question of free will.
For this reason, I particularly love Presidential election years, as it seems like it's the only time when it's socially acceptable to talk politics. Most of the time, people throw out a few questions to subtly suss out their conversational partner's political beliefs. If the two people agree, then the conversation rolls right along as they trade attacks on the demon candidate du jour. If not, conversation usually moves on to safer waters.
During election years, though, it seems like we all have an excuse for having tough talks about our hopes for the future, where we believe the country is headed, and all that fun stuff. Better yet, we get to sport T-shirts, bumper stickers, signs, tattoos, and assorted other paraphernalia that shows off our political beliefs. Recently, I discovered some particularly fun campaign swag. While the more staid among us are sporting mature, adult Obama and McCain buttons, the "McCain/Methuselah 2008: Why waste over 2000 years of experience?" pin really gave me a huge smile. And, to be honest, I felt a funny little tickle when I saw the "Obama: the Audacity of Inexperience" items at Cafe Press. Of course, if you really want to slip off the radar, you could go with "Chelsea in '16: The Pantsuits Have Been Passed to a New Generation."
While the pins are a lot of fun, my favorite souvenir in this election cycle has been the Presidential condoms. Practice Safe Policy is selling Obama and McCain condoms. The Obama-lactic states that one should "Use with good judgment," while the McCain membrane notes that it's "Old but not expired." The sheaths are priced at $9.95 for two, which seems fairly expensive. However, nobody ever said that Free Speech was cheap!
Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. It was incredibly hard for him to avoid slipping into shallow, puerile puns on this post.
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