America needs a Policy Chimp. To qualify as a Policy Chimp, an individual:
- Should be perceived as completely nuts.
- Should lack self-awareness or a sense of irony.
- Should randomly spout threats.
- Should be given to verbal flamboyance of the most extreme kind.
- Should lack a sense of humor.
- Should have a Chuck Schumer-like attraction to cameras.
- Should be able to easily scare foreigners and local intelligentsia.
- Should have a direct thought-to-mouth interface for maximum performance.
The Policy Chimp should be teamed with a Voice of Reason. The Voice of Reason should actually (or at least appear to) run things. Instead of bad cop/good cop, the Policy Chimp and the Voice of Reason play crazy guy/sane guy. The Policy Chimp is brought out periodically to scare the foreigners and the intelligentsia. After they’re suitably scared, the Voice of Reason appears and warns them in a soothing, perhaps pleading manner, that, if they don’t work with him, the Policy Chimp will escape from his cage and do any number of terrible things (e.g. You must strengthen the “moderates”). The idea that only the Voice of Reason can keep the Policy Chimp in his cage should be impressed on their minds. Trust me, the Voice of Reason should confide quietly yet emphatically, the Policy Chimp really, really wants to get out of his cage.
The key to success in this stratagem is actually keeping the Policy Chimp in his cage. Policy Chimps shouldn’t be allowed near anything resembling actual power. The effectiveness of this stratagem depends upon the audience. It has proven especially effective against sophisticated American foreign policy observers and intelligence agencies.
Some examples of Policy Chimp/Voice of Reason combos (the first to categorize each correctly will get a gold star):
- Jackson/Van Buren