The Corner

The Campaign Call of Cthulhu

In response to Stupidity

Jonah, I thank you for the kind words. But, hesitant as I am to disagree, I think you might need to think through this a little bit. I am second to none in my admiration for Sweet Meteor O’Death, and I pray devoutly that he arrives in one piece every time I turn on MSNBC, but there is a strong case to be made for Cthulhu in 2016.

Smod is a little bit like Rick Santorum: You may sympathize with what he stands for, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily want him to be president. Imagine the fear, the absolute terror, the despairing wails of the entire human race at the moment of his arrival: You could get all that by nominating Santorum for secretary of education and saving the presidency for surer hands.

Jonah, I think this is another case of the tension between more libertarian-leaning conservatives such as myself and the more traditional Burkeans such as you. I am perfectly comfortable with a reign of eldritch chaos on Earth, while you, in spite of your own warnings against the totalitarian temptation, present us with the ultimate one-size-fits-all solution. Yes, solving all of our problems in a blinding flash of planet-ending mass extinction is, given the current political environment, a genuine feel-good solution — but what are we, hippies?

Sure, Smod is bound to have some clever campaign ads, e.g. a big picture of the Earth over the slogan “I’d Hit That!” (Another possible Smod motto: “The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome.” You’d think he’d have thought of that.) But we cannot allow ourselves to be distracted by that kind of shallow demagoguery.

And even you neo-Burkeans owe some consideration to the mighty Cthulhu. You have often cited Delta Tau Chi and its “long tradition of existence,” which of course makes you sympathetic to Smod’s brand of “pre-Cambrian conservatism.” But if it’s a long tradition of existence you want, consider that Cthulhu not only predates Smod, he predates what we mortals perceive as time. “Paleo” doesn’t begin to cover it.

What part of “Great Old Ones” do you not understand?

There’s some self-interest at work here, too. Presumably, Cthulhu’s press secretary would be Alan Moore, which would make those ceremonial White House press conferences a lot more interesting.

And we have to keep in mind electoral realities as well. Conservatives have for a generation been effectively locked out of most of New England and much of the rest of the Northeast; given Cthulhu’s long association with Miskatonic University in Massachusetts, we’d finally have a shot at opening up Dukakis country. What’s Smod’s natural constituency? The geology faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder?

So, before you go throwing your support behind a chunk of space-rock with less campaign experience than Carly Fiorina, consider what backing the wrong candidate in this race could mean. Believe me, you don’t want to be the guy who gets eaten last.

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