Political Muscle

I can't be the only one to notice this, but there seems to be a trend towards famous, musclebound, tough guys getting elected governor of western states. First Jesse Ventura, now Arnold Schwarzenegger. What's going on with that? Are voters afraid that their governors will have to beat someone up? Are they insecure about having a governor that could be construed a sissy?

I realize that there is something of a history of celebrities parlaying their fame into elected office; I'm aware of Ronald Reagan, Clint Eastwood, and Sonny Bono (who, by the way, I sometimes get a little confused with Bono of U2). In nearly every case, these elections alarm me, because I have the strange idea that you should be qualified to hold elected office, and not just by the fact that lots of people know your name and face. But maybe I'm wrong about that and I should just lighten up. After all, politics is all about appearances, and so is fame, so perhaps it's a natural marriage.

Why is it, though, that the left wing famous people never seem to run for anything? Where are Martin Sheen, Woody Harrelson, Janeane Garafolo (ok, I know she's too young)? Martin Sheen could, of course, be elected to anything immediately, having won the trust of the nation playing the President on The West Wing. I suppose it's to his credit that he hasn't chosen to capitalize on that role by making it real. But I'd much rather have him than Arnold, or even Jesse, though I did develop a soft spot in my heart for old Jes'.

Maybe Martin Sheen can't beat up all the other governors. Maybe that's why he hasn't run.

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