In case anyone's interested, I've finally made up my mind on this year's presidential election. Although, honestly? I haven't been all that excited about my options.
Being a Mormon and all, I was initially leaning toward Mitt Romney, just because I think it'd be cool to see him make that whole Kaysville-City-Monday-night-activities ban a federal thing.
But now, thanks to a grassroots organization called Idiots Forwarding Email Lies or some such, I've decided to go with ...
Four more years of President Obama.
Look, Republicans. Don't bust my chops over this one. If you don't want me voting Democrat, tell your stupid friends to stop sending along emails claiming Barack Obama once had a late-term abortion.
It might seem a strange way to pick a candidate, but I've actually been doing this every four years for the past few presidential election cycles. Here's how it works:
I watch my email inbox for the most wildly outlandish, clearly unbelievable Internet rumors about each of the candidates. In the end, whichever side tells the biggest, most desperately pathetic whopper about their opponent loses my vote.
And so, barring any last-minute online revelations about Mitt Romney fighting pit bulls, or deliberately setting the majority of this year's wildfires, or secretly cloning Adolf Hitler, I do believe we've found us a winner.
Just the other day, someone forwarded to me an email with the title "Please forward this as received, but without comment. DO NOT ADD A SINGLE WORD."
The email then goes on to quote a narrative allegedly taken from a Sept. 7, 2008, "Meet the Press" interview with then-senator Barack Obama, in which he says this about the National Anthem:
"As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides. There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. The anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know the bombs bursting in air and all that sort of thing. The National Anthem should be 'swapped' for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song 'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing.' If that were our anthem, then, I might salute it."
And it just gets better from there. President Obama goes on to say, if elected, he intends to "disarm America to the level of acceptance to our Middle Eastern brethren," and goes on to explain why his wife "disrespects the flag," and why the two of them have attended several flag-burning ceremonies in the past.
CLEARLY fabricated. And yet, people continue to circulate this as gospel. Which tells me they're either stupid or evil. Either way, I'm not about to enable such folks by voting for their choice for president.
As it turns out, according to rumor-debunking sites like Snopes.com, a satirical column by John Semmens was the source for many of these Obama flag "quotes."
Which got me to thinking ...
Saaaay, I'm a satirical writer! How cool would it be if I could get some of these rubes to forward a few political Internet rumors as truth?
And so, to that end, what follows are some little-known true facts about President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. Feel free to share; I'm really hoping that in a month or so they'll start coming back around to my inbox:
* President Obama, in a recent Esquire interview, admitted that, since taking office in January 2009, he's murdered seven homeless people in the Washington, D.C., area. "I tell you, these Secret Service dudes know dozens of ways to dispose of a body," he told the magazine. "And discreet? Promise 'em a couple of hookers, and their lips are sealed."
* In July, Gov. Romney told CNN that, if elected, he would move our nation's capital to Salt Lake City. "I just think it will be that much easier to synchronize my policies with those of the leaders of the Church of the Mormons," he explained.
* President Obama, once and for all, put to rest rumors that he is Muslim. "I won't lie to you," he told Fox News. "I did look into becoming Muslim. But they don't let you drink beer, and I'm pretty much an alcoholic. So in the end, I decided to go with my first choice -- a baby-sacrificing satanic cult."
* Caving to pressure from the left, Gov. Romney released a decade of tax returns, proving that not only is he filthy rich, but he's been that way for quite some time now.
* President Obama admitted to the hosts of "The View" that, six months after taking office, he used one of the 20 or so surviving original parchment copies of the U.S. Constitution after running out of toilet paper in a White House bathroom.
* Gov. Romney confirmed in an interview with the Pioneer Park 14th Ward Newsletter that he once drank a Diet Coke. A caffeinated Diet Coke.
* Go figure. Newly uncovered documents prove that President Obama was actually born on the Romulan planet of Khitomer. When confronted, the president hissed: "Rha? Au'schm'e'kle!"
Got some ideas for additional outlandish rumors to start about our choices for president? Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272 or email@example.com.