Fat pride — A huge diversity deficit?

By John Frary | Nov 19, 2009

This month's election of Chris Christie as governor of New Jersey represents a kind of breakthrough and an important victory for Republicans in the intense diversity competition that has preoccupied our political masters for nearly a generation.

Mr. Christie is a man of impressive rotundity. Indeed, if you pasted a couple of iron crosses on his flanks he would resemble a German Zeppelin.

The lightweight incumbent, in a desperate attempt to hold onto his job, tried to make an issue of Christie's ample contours in a TV ad. Gov. Jon Corzine denied involvement, of course, but in New Jersey a politician's denial is understood to be a confession of guilt.

If Corzine hoped that his opponent would crash and burn like the Zeppelin Hindenburg, he was seriously mistaken. The obesitans rallied around their own and swept him into office by a substantial margin.

Hard to understand how the Democrat's high-priced consultants could have made such a gross blunder. Haven't they being paying attention to the incessant chatter and hand-wringing about America's rising rates of obesity? Did they completely overlook the existence of this constantly expanding constituency?

Having donated large sums to the philanthropists who dispense beer to the thirsty multitude and labored for years at the dinner table to attain my present ample dimensions, I take a personal interest in broadening the representation of the broad-beamed. My hope is that the new governor-elect will mark the beginning of a new era of Fairness to the Fat.

The plain fact, observable to all, is that political figures with Christie-like figures are disgracefully unrepresented in America's public life. Check out the present administration. Leaving aside Janet Napolitano, admittedly a bit of a dumpling, there is not a single cabinet member of real substance. How is that a cabinet that "looks like America?" : <!-- @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --> a pack of joggers and saladarians by the look of 'em.

The president, his advisers and the whole crowd of czars, czarinas and commissars around him are not merely slim, they are ostentatiously slim, a mob of obnoxious show-offs.

Consider the facts, facts plain to every student of history. It's been decades since the Senate had a member with the robust circumference of Homer Capehart, R-IN. Thomas Brackett Reed, Maine's greatest statesman and the most powerful Speaker in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives tipped the scales at 300-plus pounds.

And now the only member with enough heft to make a pair of scales pay serious attention is Jerrold Nadler, D-NY. Sure, the guy's practically circular, but it is laughable to compare him to a man of Reed's majestic stature.

The man's a mere blob who looks as if he were poured into his suit and forgot to say "when." And word comes to me that he is a recurrent dieter, ashamed to stand shoulder to shoulder, belly to belly with his fellow trenchermen.

Grover Cleveland, the last Democratic president worth a damn, was nearly up to Reed's standard of corporeal majesty. Compare him with the current emaciated occupant of the Oval Office and compare the results of their respective administrations when all the results are in. There is going to be a lesson to be learned from the comparison, count on it.

William Howard Taft, the only president ever to get stuck in the White House bathtub, did far less damage to the country than Bush father and son, both hyperactive athletes.

Proportional representation of the generously proportioned is not just a question of correcting a serious diversity deficit. It promises a return to more tranquil times. Shakespeare has Caesar give us sound advice:

"Let me have men about me that are fat,

Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights.

Yond [Obama]ius has a lean and hungry look;

He thinks too much: such men are dangerous."

Professor John Frary of Farmington, Maine, is a former congressional candidate and retired history professor, a board member of Maine Taxpayers United and an associate editor of the International Military Encyclopedia, and can be reached at: jfrary8070@aol.com.


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