Enough of the elections. Give me Idol!

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The candidates that really [don't] matter. / FOX

I’ve had it. As a conscientious voter who hasn’t missed a presidential election since I came to this country, I am declaring that I am up to here with the candidates’ campaigns. There’s nothing more tedious than watching people you like and admire go at each other like, well, political rivals.

Oh, I’ll still vote. New Jersey’s primaries are on Feb. 5, and I’m flexing my index finger to go all the way down my party line. And it’s not like I can escape discussion of presidential politics, considering where I work. At least I don’t have to spend my Sundays like Karen Tumulty of Swampland, sitting in on candidates’ teleconferences. Gah. That audible buzz would be my snores.

But there is one upcoming national election that has me quivering in excitement. I am lying awake at night thinking about the contestants and contemplating what’s at stake. I am revving up the TimeWarner™ DVR for leisurely and thougtful viewing of the contest.

I speak, of course, of American Idol.

Nothing can stop me from this pop-culture crack. Not my husband, who would rather watch documentaries about dead white men on the War channel, which operates under the History channel misnomer (apparently, there were no women in history). Not my child, who ought to be asleep by then but is usually dressing herself in princess costumes by the nightlight. It won’t be long now until I can indoctrinate her into the cult. Not e-mail. Not books. Not conversation of any kind.

[In my attempt to rationalize the existence of this post, I shall now sum things up with a larger cultural observation. Ahem.]

I think there’s a reason we Americans gobble up the greasy pile of junk food that is this show. These elections don’t matter. They won’t make one hamster poo of a difference in the world (and okay, I know the show donated some money to charities in Africa last year; goody for Simon Cowell).

Meanwhile, these other elections matter so very, very much. I don’t think it’s too much to say we Americans are entrusted with the fate of the world in the choosing of the next president. We could choose a dumdum who invades foreign countries under false pretenses and nearly runs our own economy and world standing into the ground. Or we could choose someone sane who will right this godforsaken mess.

So give me a break, if only for a few hours a week. Let me forget for a time about the choosing of the next American president and instead waste my time with the choosing of the next American pop star. Give me Idol.