In the somewhat irrelevant, mundane and over-long run-up to November's presidential election much of the media spotlight has been on the talents - or rather, lack of - within the GOP ranks.
Frontrunner Mitt Romney is suffering from what I shall refer to as a sinister and weird Mormon problem, up-and-coming Rick Santorum is, by any true believers' standards, a complete and utter loon, which is also a tag all-too-easily synonymous with the recently humbled Rick Perry, who, following an on-going drought in Texas, declared official "Days for Prayer for Rain" back in April last year.
Yet, before I sink to the similarly low depths of much of the media, I shall refrain from dissecting the Republican nominees too much; for they are not the most important, nor indeed, the most interesting segment of this excruciatingly predictable election campaign.
Instead, I would like to propose that we imagine for a moment, if you will, that a Republican was in the White House and a young, enigmatic idealist named Barack Obama was their greatest challenger. Rather than use those phony, over-polished slogans - "Change we can believe in" - we shall pretend, for the sake of clarity, that his campaign was made up of pledges mirroring the reality of what has transpired since 20 January, 2009.
"Change I cannot, and will not, implement" would have been, perhaps, a more accurate description of things to come. Firstly, let me notify you of an overlooked gem buried deep within Obama's ideological past. Often celebrated for his charismatic manner and pitch-perfect presentational skills, Mr Obama must have been having something of an off-day when he was asked to comment on same-sex marriage during an MTV interview back in November 2008.
Despite being championed as a voice of the left - a socialist, no less - Obama brazenly asserted that marriage should be "between a man and a woman". It is one thing being heralded as a progressive, but it would be helpful to, at least occasionally, back this up with proof and action.
Had Obama's archaic stance been unveiled more acutely during his ruckus with Senator John McCain, there is no guessing how many votes that would have cost him. Nevertheless, domestic faux pas aside, it is President Obama's foreign policies that would surely have made it harder, nigh on impossible, for him to gain the presidency. Traditional lefties are renowned for their opposition to warfare; in other words, imperialism is the devil. So, quite predictably, to avoid being labelled as a "moderate conservative" - that was to come later - Obama ardently endorsed diplomacy; regularly spreading anti-war rhetoric as if liberally manuring a field.
Now, once again, the powers of imagination are called upon. Conceptualise a presidential candidate pledging the following: I shall sell weapons to the most brutal dictator in return for permission to pass weapons to military units in neighbouring countries. I shall lead efforts to overturn the sickening global ban on cluster bombs; what harm have they ever done? I promise to assassinate American citizens without the bother of trials or charges if they dare to so much as criticise American foreign policy. On top of that, despite the multiple horrors inflicted by drone strikes, I shall joke about them shamelessly, just because I can.
To be continued...