‘Survivor: America’ And how the GOP debates are the new summer reality show


Jaime Carrillo and Jaime Carrillo

You can take your Jersey Shores and your Real Worlds and your Bachelorettes and shove them in a sewer pipe. The true reality television art form lives on; nay thrives on, in the Republican presidential debates.

Just like all reality shows, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a protagonist. Congresswoman Michele Bachman plays the role of the overly made-up harpy, who is the only one unaware of why she is so unlikeable. Gov. John Huntsman plays the quiet, melancholy, sane guy who will likely be voted off the island in the next few weeks. House Speaker Newt Gingrich plays the straight-talking sociopath who would eat a live puppy in front of you if it would win him a few straw polls. And then there’s Ron. Congressman Ron Paul snuck his way in somehow and despite being almost entirely backwards, he’s not going down without a fight. I’m also not ruling out the fact that he’s Foghorn Leghorn.

And just like in reality shows, every single contestant playing would do anything for attention. I’d call them attention whores, but I’m sure most prostitutes working today would cringe at the thought of abolishing the minimum wage or getting rid of social security.

Summer’s new reality hit reached a fever pitch that is rarely seen outside of May sweeps during the Tea Party debate. The Tea Party is worthy of a column all their own, but I think if I began to write about them my laptop would catch fire in a drunken stupor, and I’d be rushed to the hospital due to a rage stroke. But I digress.

That night, Bachman confronted Gov. Rick Perry on a recent campaign contribution from a pharmaceutical company, saying that he was beholden to special interests. Perry (who shall henceforth be known as Gov. Moneybags) responded by saying, “If you’re saying I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended,” but not before cleaning his monocle and slapping a chambermaid. That last part didn’t happen, but it would have added a little levity to an otherwise insane response.

As much as I can’t turn away, these debates are getting progressively worse. And unlike reality shows, we can rest safe that none of those characters will end up running the country. Sure, it was hunky-dory in the beginning, but the novelty will wear off soon. I am quite positive that the Tea Party debate wasn’t so much a debate as it was a brief precursor to the Thunderdome. Let’s face it: it’s only a matter of time before society collapses into a Hollywood B-Movie dystopia where the only law is the dome, and we cheer at the deaths of the uninsured, and I Oughta Know.