Political season brings out the worst in everyone. I often think the old saying should be amended to “those that can do; those that can’t teach; those who can’t figure out either run for office.”

My image of a clown is always Emmett Kelly. Sad, clueless, dressed to attract attention. Attempting simple tasks, failing at everything. The only real difference between him and the media buffoons who now become serious candidates is that he was silent.

Clowns often perform in groups. Some are the out front stars, but behind them are ranks of lesser performers, these days represented by publicists and ad creators. And of course running the whole show, almost unnoticed, the ringmaster billionaire.

It helps to think of most of these well-meaning but often frightening figures as relatively harmless clowns. After the show ends they will fade away. Inconsequential sidelights to the main events. Back to shouting on street corners and complaining to friends over beer and wine.

Elections roll by, civilization usually survives. Momentary frenzy jolts the system, then just about all of us return to our daily lives. And the clowns retreat behind the sideshow tents and become almost normal.

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