I have to admit I haven’t been paying much attention to the Democratic primaries. And for weeks now, I haven’t been able to figure out why. Politics used to be my sports. I used to obsess over the stats and trivia of candidates and elections the way more guy-like guys would talk about who got traded where or how the first-round draft picks looked or – look, I can’t even pretend like I know what I’m talking about here, so just insert your own sports topic, please.

It sucks that I’ve always lived in late-primary states, so that by the time the vote comes to me, my pick is completely meaningless, pointing out the futility of the entire democratic process. Why is it that we give such weight to Iowa and New Hampshire, essentially putting the choice of the party’s nominee in the hands of about 10,000 farmers in two of the least important states in the country? I’m getting off track here. This isn’t about why we should have a single-day nationwide primary election. No, this is about a much more interesting topic: how reality TV has supplanted politics as my sports.

Politics has always been so full of drama, pettiness, scandal and oddball ugly people completely lacking in common sense. Now I get all that from Survivor, Amazing Race, American Idol, the Mole, the Apprentice and Big Brother, plus they eat gross shit, too. It’s not that I don’t think the outcome of the 2004 election is incredibly important, but in the last six months, I haven’t spent one full minute analyzing how each of the Dems would fare against Bush in the general election, or fantasizing about who each of them would or should pick as their Veep and how each ticket would fare in each state of the electoral college and what Bush will say in his concession speech. I’ve spent a lot more time wondering whether there’ll be sexual tension between Ethan and Jenna L. on All-Stars. (My guess: yes.) I’m through dreaming up scenarios in which a northerner could carry the south. I want to know if it’s possible for Richard Hatch to avoid being the first one booted off Mogo Mogo. (My guess: yes. It’ll be Jenna M.)

I don’t know if there’s something wrong with me or with the democratic process. Okay, it’s probably me. But this is what happens when they take my favorite show off the air for four years at a time. Politics, you just ain’t what you used to be.

And let this be a lesson to you, CBS. It’s time to stop sitting on the next season of Amazing Race and get it on the air already.

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