It’s that time of year again… when you get to vote for the winner of the Charles Chaplin Great Dictator Award. Before we review the candidates, a tip of the hat and big THANK YOU to our 2017 winner, Raul Castro.
The voting last year was tight. But Castro aced it once the Florida vote came in and the hanging chads discounted. Our thanks our first runner-up, Omar al You Can Call Me Al - Bashir of Sudan who was in line to replace Raul should he have been unable to discharge his duties.
There are three contenders this year. They are Kim Jong un of North Korea, Vladimir Putin of Russia and donald trump of the United States.
Of the three, Putin has been in power the longest and is in the best physical condition, though we take issue with the viral internet rumor that Kim and trump are practicing for this year’s Sumo matches in Tokyo.
Since future plans aren’t that big a deal in a contest like this, we’ll skip the rest of that part and get on to the eagerly awaited details.
AGE: Kim gets the nod for youthfulness. At 37 he’s the youngest of the three and has been in power second longest after Putin. Putin is 65, an age when many consider retirement. We don’t expect that any time soon. trump will be 72 this month, well past the age when he could start collecting a pension, but the money in his 401 K went to buy Pennsylvania and Florida in 2016 so he has to keep working. We know that because we’ve seen the tax returns, something the IRS and the American public has yet to do.
RUMP SIZE: Putin is out of the running. And Kim and trump are too close to call, so we’ll give that a qualified tie.
GLOVE SIZE: Kim wears size small. Putin wears size medium. trump buys XL but they reach his elbows.
IQ: trump never took the test even though it was a requirement at Heel Spur Military Academy. But according to Breitbart and other reliable sources it’s “very high.” Putin’s was measured during his job testing for the KGB. The results are classified. But he’s at least average. Maybe a little above. Kim scored low, but to be fair the test was not given in Korean so we have to account for the language barrier and call him “suitable” or “very suitable.”
MURDER: One of the most sought after benefits of the dictatorship industry is getting away with murder. Our contenders all score well in this department. Kim: The uncle who failed to clap enthusiastically enough at a speech. Putin: His enemies and discredited business partners are dying all the time. And Putin is "credited" with responsibility for the murders of former Soviet spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter according to reliable sources at the Washington Times, which rarely is quoted anywhere anymore. trump: the English Language.
ADHERENCE TO ESTABLISHED NORMS: for this we use a scale of 0-10 with 10 being perfect and zero, well… zero. Putin is following a 500 year Russian tradition. The Russian norms have not changed since the mid 1500s, through all the czars beginning with Prince Ivan IV going through the Communist revolution of 1917 and continuing through the end of the Soviet era and the rise of Boris Yeltsin. The economic system has been corruption, the military system powerful, the winters cold and the national pastime, vodka. Putin gets a 10. Trump talks a lot about breaking the old molds but has done little to actually break them. Give him a 5 because the important agencies like the IRS, the NRA the CIA and the court system still work as well (?) as they ever did. Kim IS the established norm and gets a 12.
SARTORIAL ELEGANCE: Putin looks decent in a shirt and tie. Kim wears the standard Korean version of the Mao costume and they all (the suits, not the Koreans) look alike (except the purple one he bought in London.) And trump looks like an orange Tootsie Pop stuck stem-first into the top of a giant eggplant with legs.
TWEETABILITY: Here, trump is the clear winner. Kim doesn’t tweet and the Cyrillic iPhone is too bulky for Putin to carry conveniently.
FUTURE PROSPECTS: (See section on age.)
So, there you have it. The highs and lows of the candidates. If you’re in the United States, be prepared to show a government issued photo ID at the polling place. If you’re in North Korea, no vote is necessary, we’ll just give Kim your 27 million votes. In Russia, step this way to vote for Putin. For those who choose not to, the train to Siberia is on your left, please board through the entrance for Track Three.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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