You know when your grandmother texts you a cringe-worthy “swag” in an attempt to be relatable?
That is exactly what Mike Huckabee has done.
Huckabee’s campaign released a video Wednesday parodying Adele’s “Hello” in an attempt to win over votes shortly before Monday’s Iowa Caucuses. Considering he had only 4 percent of the Republican vote as of Thursday, I’m not so sure he even had a fighting chance. But that is not stopping our dear old friend Huckabee. Oh no. He pulled out all the stops— insulting Bernie, naming Iowa’s charming small towns and famously favorite foods and my personal favorite, a clip of Hillary Clinton doing the Nae Nae.
I cannot say I fully understand why Huckabee’s campaign felt the need to include the dance in the video, but I am sure the intention was to make Clinton look silly and poke fun at her for trying to be relatable. Problem is, that is exactly what Huckabee’s own video is trying to do. With endless shots of iPhones, mention of a selfie stick, emojis and choosing to cover only the world’s most popular song, Huckabee really is not doing much other than reinforcing the fact that he is out of touch.
What really disturbs me here is what this says about our culture’s view of election season in general. At this point, elections have become a popularity contest. Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live in November, for goodness sakes. Politics seem to have blended seamlessly into pop culture. While I hesitate to call it dangerous, I certainly believe that this only fuels income inequality and the mass media’s power. After all, what is more important to popular culture than money? For this reason, I also think it is worth noting that two major names in the game — Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina — are not politicians. Do not get me wrong, I generally find politicians as untrustworthy as the next guy, but I think there is something to be said when a significant portion of the population values people who are new to the field rather than should-be experts.
Election season has become a mere spectacle, complete with polarized competing teams, televised squabbles that we call debates and lots of spirit wear (think: Bernie t-shirts, Trump hats and Cruz laptop stickers). While it can surely be entertaining, I would really love to see an election season run by levelheadedness. I would like to see two people discuss foreign affairs, not argue over Twitter. I would love to watch an actual debate or read essays put out by the candidates about their beliefs.
Unfortunately, none of that is the case and we must go on. I, for one, refuse to go on without at least trying to make my voice heard, even if all that means is casting a vote merely to prevent it from counting toward the candidates I dislike. While Huckabee’s video made me giggle for three minutes, it certainly did not earn him my vote. It did, however, succeed in reminding me to throw my absentee ballot in the mail, mainly so I can ensure that I will not ever have to see him sexy-smolder in a music video ever again. All I have to say is, at least Huckabee used a voiceover instead of actually singing.