All great politicians have their creation stories. There was Washington, not being able to tell a lie. Lincoln, wood-chopping his way to greatness. And as history may well show, there was Basil Marceaux, and the Internet. Basil's ascent from humble veteran and obscure candidate for Tennessee governor to Internet superstar began last week, when a news station in Chattanooga ran his stump speech because, according to the anchors, "we have given all five candidates from the major parties time to express themselves in their own words." Soon after, Basil's video went viral. Why? Because on the Internet, if not in real life, watching a possibly drunk war veteran unintelligibly describe political goals that include "stopping traffic stops" and "get rid of the goldfinch flags and replace them with a REAL flag with three stripes" is hilarious.
Here is the video:
Like the jerkoff bankers in Dinner for Schmucks, bloggers reveled in Basil's kookiness, though it was hard for them to say what their favorite part about him was. Was it where he said he wanted to "plant grass or vegetation cross the state on any vacant lot so that we can sell that land ... to pay our expenses"? Or the part where he said "if you kill someone you get murdered?" Or just his constant red-faced swaying back and forth? TPI called the video an "Instant Internet Classic." Wonkette did further research that yielded even more gems. "Now do we talk about Marceaux’s Web prescence? (sic) It’s pretty impressive .... everything he says or writes is absolutely amazing ... It is indescribably perfect."
Eventually, as with Pabst Blue Ribbon, Basil Marceaux became so ironically popular, people forgot they liked him ironically. They started taking him seriously.
Maybe Marceaux isn’t the smartest man in the world, maybe he has some out there ideas, maybe he repeatedly connects routine traffic stops to slavery for some reason, but none of that matters. He is still getting his say out there. He is still running for office. He even got to go on TV just like every other candidate, although the anchors introduced him as if they were introducing the “pity contestant” in an elementary school Talent Show. If that doesn’t scream America, a country that promises to give every single person their fair shot (and tries pretty darn hard to keep that impossible promise), I don’t know what else does.
And that's how ironically popular candidate Basil Marceaux might just be ironically elected.