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Beauty is…
…only skin deep.
…in the eye of the beholder.
…bought by judgement of the eye. (Wm. Shakespeare)

I think it is safe to assume that we have all been warned against judging someone based on his or her appearance, that we have been reared to regard the content of a man’s character as being far more important than how said individual looks. We know that what is on the inside is exponentially more important in people than how they look; I know I have had this adage proven to me time and again during my lifetime.

But what am I to do when faced with a group of people that I find unattractive because of who they are or what they espouse rather than their outward appearance? This is the predicament I find myself in regarding the 2016 United States presidential election primary.

I was first able to vote in a presidential election in 1980 when Jimmy Carter lost to Ron Regan. I dutifully went to my polling place, held my nose, filled in my ballot and after having voted went home and bathed. Alas, much like Pontius Pilate, I could not seem to wash the invisible dirt off my hands. (I have often wondered how similar my political post coital deflowering mood has found a parallel emotional fugue by millions of folks after their first sexual experience, but I digress.)

In 2016 I will again go forth and vote for the man or woman I find least offensive. This will be my tenth opportunity to cast a ballot for the candidate of my choice and while I have never been stricken with great enthusiasm for any candidate I find my tenth opportunity to help chose a president to be the least palatable. Basically, I look at the five remaining Republican and two Democratic hopefuls and think, “Yuck!” I wish that repetition made voting, like so many other activities, enjoyable but the pleasure alludes me.

During an election cycle of days gone by I confided in my father that I held neither candidate in high esteem. Dad, a man who served in the US military fighting for democracy and who was far more likely to vote every two years rather than the four that I seem to, looked at me and said, “The last candidate I voted for was Adlai Stevenson.” Adlai Stevenson lost to Dwight Eisenhower in both 1952 and 1956, which means that Dad held his nose and voted for the lesser rapscallion for fifty six or sixty years!

My parents, both of whom were staunch Roman Catholics, reviled the Kennedys. I mention this because based on the standard forty week gestation for human beings we can surmise that I was conceived in July, 1960 at the same time that the US Democratic Convention was selecting JFK in Los Angeles, California. (My parents weren’t in California at the time and there is no causal relationship implied, it is merely a clever and truthful poetic twist that I enjoy incorporating into this silly little post.)

I do not remember the Kennedy presidency, he was assassinated when I was two and a half years old, but the 1964 Johnson political ad against Barry Goldwater featuring two year old “Daisy” counting flower pedals before the nuclear fireball filled our black and white television screen is a picture that stays with me. I remember the 1968 campaign primarily because Tom Frisch, my seven year old friend from up the street in Bloomington, Illinois, was fond of shouting, “Humphrey, Humphrey, he’s our man! Nixon belongs in the garbage can!” In 1971 we moved to suburban Washington, DC and of course we know who won the ’72 election and how Tricky Dick with his dirty tricks and midnight plumbers served with honor and grace. (For those of you unfamiliar with the history of the early 1970’s please be assured that the previous statement was delivered with dripping vitriol and sarcasm.)

I know politics is ugly and seems to get uglier all the time. I know that we have many splinter groups who wish to keep, or to have, a larger piece of the pie. And I know that saying hideous things about other candidates is part and parcel of the process. In that vein I have compiled the least important list of primary candidates and their spouses and placed them in order of physical attractiveness.

The ordination was a grueling procedure involving multiple ethnic groups and using computers to scan and compare the images of each candidate and each spouse and to compare them to current US standards of beauty. The spouses are included because the role of First Lady (or “Laddie”) is one that garners much media coverage and because the spouses tend to be better looking than the candidates.

Once the candidates and their spouses have been evaluated a score between 7 and 1, seven being the most attractive and one the least, is assigned to each. I then combined the two scores which gave the couple a composite number. The highest possible composite score would be 14, the lowest 2.

Each comparison is as fair, truthful and unbiased as any campaign pledge being currently circulated. Anyone who claims that the Beauty Quotient Judgment is solely my own opinion is courting litigious liability.

Results are as follows:
First place: Rubios 13 (Marco 7 plus Jeanette 6)
Second place: Kasichs 10 (John 5 plus Karen 5)
Third place: Cruzs 8 (Ted 4 plus Heidi 4)
Fourth place: Trumps 8 (Donald 1 plus Melania 7)
Fifth place: Clintons 7 (Hillary 3 plus Bill 4)
Sixth place: Carsons 7 (Ben 6 plus Candice 1)
Seventh place: Sanders 4 (Bernie 2 plus Jane 2)

7- Marco Rubio
6- Ben Carson
5- John Kasich
4- Ted Cruz
3- Hillary Clinton
2- Bernie Sanders
1- Donald Trump

7- Melania Trump
6- Jeanette Rubio
5- Karen Kasich
4- Heidi Cruz
3- Bill Clinton
2- Jane Sanders
1- Candy Carson

NOTE: A score of 14 is not twice as high as seven. Many of the candidates were nearly as unattractive as one another but received the numerical valuation that ordination dictated. This is especially true for the Sanders who placed last even though the bottom 3 candidates and the bottom three spouses are more equal than not. Figures don’t lie but liars do figure. It just figures that poor Bernie and Jane came up with a low score even though neither of them is particularly unattractive.

While the physical appearances of candidates and spouses is both subjective and largely irrelevant I cannot help but add that, “We the people,” seem content to watch these great leaders apply lipsticks to themselves as they root in the dirt looking for pork. I can only hope that one day soon we are able to find someone who is capable of leading our nation to greatness. Maybe in 2020?