Dear David Conrad

Dear David Conrad

I admit it; I underestimated you. I always thought you were a fair-to-middling actor... this, though; this I never saw coming. But it's final. I have seen your face all over the news, and it is high time to give you your due. You are Romney's Vice Presidential pick for the 2012 GOP ticket. Congratulations. I didn't even know you were getting into politics, and your Washington career is already on a meteoric trajectory.

That said; are you... sure about this? I mean, you did a pretty good job protecting Jennifer Love Hewitt from cranky, supernatural malcontents on Ghost Whisperer and I have heard that you are a decent fencer, but Vice President of the United States is a horse of another color. And I realize your equestrian skills probably aroused Rafalca and won Mrs. Romney over, but are you sure you are ready for this position?

One of the many hugs of David Conrad. I think we were all impressed when you
convinced the ghost of Larry Caldwell, deceased miner from the '79 cave-in of
Shaft 3 at the Golden Hills lead mine, to stop shorting out Jennifer Love Hewitt's
electrical appliances and walk towards the light, despite having no psychic powers
 of your own... but Vice President? Really? Have you thought this through?

Ghost Whisperer was a great way for my aunt to kill an hour on Friday evenings. It kept her out of  trouble. The show was also the zenith of your acting career, and ran for a solid five years and 107 episodes. You finally had the platform you needed to put your thespian diversity on display and demonstrate some real acting chops. We saw you nod appreciatively while Jennifer Love Hewitt told you about a young boy who had been run over by a truck. We saw you cuddle with Jennifer Love Hewitt in bed when she was scared that she would not be able to convince the ghost of Bill Ortega to let go of the anger over his gang-related death and cross into the light. You showed us all how a man should hug a woman when she is face to face with a blood-drenched grandma who is still in denial that she died the night before in a head-on collision with another Mercury Grand Marquis.

I just don't see how it all translates into political experience. Sure, you learned something about diplomacy by wrangling with otherworldly ghost-fathers trying desperately from beyond the grave to prevent their daughter from marrying the wrong man. Foreign policy experience does not get more foreign than that. And you learned how to mediate conflicts, forge a consensus, accomplish mutual goals, and served the public good in the tight-knit, fictional community of Grandview, NY.

To be honest, it is partly your policy proposals that make me question whether you are ready to take office. I will not break them down here, but long story short, I once heard you say that you entered public service because of Ayn Rand. First off, that would be crazy, because Ayn Rand hated public service. Second, that would be scary, because Ayn Rand thought that a person's morality and worth as a human being were in direct proportion to the amount of wealth that person produced. Rand's fictional heroes of wealth production are Nietzschean ├╝ber-job-creators. These larger-than-life tycoons live in hermetically sealed vacuums, inside of which luck, monopolies, and wealth incumbency no longer exist, parents and privilege do not matter, public highways are built by fairies, and inspiring, third grade teachers receive no credit for the later success of their students.

Ayn peeking out from behind a couple of skyscrapers she built herself.
Her face is cast in high-contrast, red, white, and blue tri-color, which, 
ironic for both parties involved, is reminiscent of the Obama Hope poster.

Be that as it may, Rand's Darwinian libertarianism brings up some interesting points, and I suggest everyone read Francisco d'Aconia's Wedding Speech from Atlas Shrugged. Her extremest views are understandable in light of the fact that she was a defector from the U.S.S.R whose father's pharmacy in St. Petersburg had been confiscated by the Bolsheviks. The real problems arise when Ayn Rand's atheistic darwinism breeds with the GOP's religious conservatism and creates a mutant zombie child. The GOP's love of old money and the fact that it is a political party means that suddenly Rand's wealth=morality equation is being applied to people like Paris Hilton and revolving-door Wall Street crooks; the very people Rand would have called "moochers" and "looters." Francisco d'Aconia's Wedding Speech was intended to come out of the mouth of a self-made, tycoon genius billionaire, not a government bureaucrat. It can't. It is an oxymoron.

I can understand why you might embrace some of Ayn Rand's views, seeing as you have spent your life in the cut-throat, sink-or-swim world of Hollywood as a struggling actor trying to forge a career out of nothing more than drive, determination, and hard work. It's not like you are espousing Randian views from the position of life-long government employ with a cushy, taxpayer-provided healthcare plan like that one asshole representative from Wisconsin whose name escapes me at the moment.

But do you really want to privatize the social security system, replace medicare with a voucher system that tells sick people to fuck off when they get cancer, cut capital gains (billionaire's) taxes to zero,  all while maintaining the massive, status quo defense budget? Do you think that will create a nation of self-sufficient, steely-eyed, ripped-abbed supermen?

A superior, master race of heroes and gods has always been a dream of man's. A lot of people have had their ideal human they thought mankind should strive for. Ancient Greeks thought everyone should be a superb athlete and a great public speaker. Hitler thought everyone should have blonde hair and blue eyes. Ayn Rand thought we should all  put in 90 hours per week at the office and spend our spare minutes having rough, rape-sex with other industrial tycoons. And every idealized ├╝bermensch had his diseased, untermensch counterpart who needed to be exterminated. For Rand it was the moochers and the looters, for Hitler it was the eternal jew, for the Greeks it was the baby with a birth defect that was left outside overnight to die of exposure.

And yet in spite of the different ideals that man has imagined over the millenia, natural selection has had other plans. Four billion years of death, disease, and culling out the weak; the most vicious, unapologetic Darwinian process Rand could ever dream of has culminated in this- man not as he wants to be, but rather as he is. Often lazy, weak, and unmotivated. Frequently dependent, jealous, and irrational. Born with empathy, sympathy, and a yearning for other humans. I am not saying we can't have a goal, but let's take a moment and show some humility before we decide that eons of evolutionary time has not sufficiently weeded out the weak. I mean, you have been on this planet for all of forty-five years, David (and looking great, I might add). But maybe it is your ideology that needs to evolve.

The grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence, but you have got to dance with the one who brought you. Nature has already produced a "master race." It is us. And it's just like Ghost Whisperer taught us- you have to let go of guilt, self loathing, and negative energy before you can forgive others and yourself. You have to find love and peace deep inside, open your heart... and walk towards the light.

On second thought, no. Ghost Whisperer didn't teach us shit. But you know what I'm trying to say.

Sebastian Braff


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