Bush or Kerry? The view from the gods

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The Independent Online

As the US presidential election is upon us at last, it's high time we got an objective view of the whole business. And that means paying another visit to the United Deities, the gathering of the immortals which meets in heaven to look down on what we mortals are up to. Here is an extract from the minutes of the latest meeting.


1. The chairgod said he supposed they had better talk about the American election. Did anyone have anything to say about it?

2. The Jewish God said, what was there to say about the election? It was a battle between a guy who had proved he couldn't do it and a guy who hadn't yet proved he couldn't do it. Big deal.

3. The Catholic God said it was more like a battle between two guys, one of whom would have to reward his friends if he won. Maybe the electors should vote for the friends of the candidates they liked the look of best.

4. The Quaker God said he would support any candidate who stopped waging war.

5. Mars, Roman god of war, said he would be against any candidate who stopped waging war, and maybe the Quaker God would come outside and say that again.

6. The Quaker God said he appreciated Mars had to support war. But he felt sure if they voted on it, more gods would be against war than for it.

7. The chairgod said it had been agreed gods should never vote on anything. Democracy was just a way of finding out what the masses wanted, and then ignoring it. The élite, such as the United Deities, had always avoided democracy and relied on creative disagreement.

8. The Catholic God said he could not agree with that.

9. The chairgod said that that proved his point. (Laughter.)

10. Allah said he agreed the elections were a waste of time. If only there were a candidate who opposed Israel and took the side of the Palestinians, he might be more impressed.

11. The Jewish God said he had a theory, and it was this: that when America made war on small countries, it got into big trouble. Vietnam. Korea. Iraq. Oy vay, what trouble. But when it took on the big guys, it did better. The Kaiser. Hitler. Communism and the Cold War. So, America should always pick on the big guys.

12. The chairgod asked how this applied to the election.

13. The Jewish God said it didn't. It was just a theory. Incidentally, had anyone heard the story of the rabbi who goes into an ice cream parlour and asks for a smoked salmon ice cream?

14. Some other time, said the chairgod. He would like to call upon one of the few native North American gods present, to comment upon the management of his homeland. Wakan Tanka was the supreme being of the Lakota people, from the Great Plains of America. Did he have anything to say?

15. Wakan Tanka said, Bush heap bad trouble, Kerry heap big trouble. Also, Ralph Nader much mischief.

16. The chairgod said could Wakan Tanka drop the stage lingo and make a straight answer, please.

17. Wakan Tanka said he had long given up hoping America would come to its senses. Where were the buffalo now? Where were the endless grass prairies?

18. The chairgod said it was forbidden for gods to resort to nostalgia. Did he have anything else to say?

19. Wakan Tanka said, yes, what happened when the rabbit went into the ice cream parlour ...?

20. The Jewish God said it was a rabbi, not a rabbit.

21. Wakan Tanka said he was not interested, then.


More of this soon, and a bit more serious, with any luck.