Politics allows for a good joke at the expense of the candidates every now and then, and that is the beauty of a democracy such as ours. If you can afford to put yourself in the political spotlight, you too can have your 15 minutes of fame – even if it makes you appear to be a clown.

History has given us many a subject for this category, but for a while the clown pool was dry. All recent candidates have shown some sort of girth in the political arena with credentials that weighed in credibility and ability to boot.

From former governors to members of the U.S. Senate to business leaders, the list of candidates had been one to not laugh at. Thus, boredom was setting in on the world of American politics.

Well, it was setting in until last week.

My faith in the political kook factor was once again restored, thanks to none other than Reverend Al Sharpton and his announcement that he will be throwing his hat in the ring as a contender in the Democratic National Convention. The laughs haven’t stopped since that announcement.

America is ready for an African-American president. America is ready for a woman president. America is ready to transcend ethnicity, religion or gender when it comes to the selection of a leader. We have come a long way in order to do this and we can still make steps in the proper direction.

What America is not ready for as a president is Sharpton and his politics of divisiveness. America is not ready to be led back into the politically correct era of the late 1980s and early 1990s when buzzwords such as “empowerment” and “disenfranchisement” were the norm of the day. However, these catchwords only benefited those who claimed to be the voice of society’s victims. Sharpton, through self-appointment, claims to be the voice of those who have no voice, i.e. minorities.

As a member of a minority group I can say with all conviction that the Sharpton does not in any way, shape or form speak for me, for to have him as my voice is to be a victim, which I’m not.

Politics is a dirty game. Mud gets slung, name-calling happens, dirt gets dug up and skeletons find their way out of their respective closets. It is par for the course in modern-day politics. The good reverend would not stand a chance in the current political arena given his past of preaching victimization and always lining up behind the wrong party.

Every time there has been some supposed “social injustice” imposed upon minorities, here comes Reverend Al, all righteous, holier than thou and an expert on the matters at hand. But he is far from an expert, especially when the cause he’s trying to represent always seems to blow up in his face – and this is usually based on lack of research and hard facts. In many cases some causes have even turned out to be a farce or a hoax.

Remember Tawana Brawley, the African-American teenager who was allegedly kidnapped and raped by white policemen who where members of the KKK? In the forefront of the long list of Tawana supporters was the Sharpton. Even after Ms. Brawley admitted that it was a hoax, he kept on going like the Energizer Bunny, beating that same stupid drum. Keep in mind, the hoax was exposed, but not in Sharpton’s eyes.

If he is intent on being that political sideshow freak that every election year produces, well, he’s on the right track. Send in the clown!

But if he really believes that Americans are ready to be led by the likes of him, well, the good reverend is way off track and headed on a collision course with reality. I’m sure many a fellow voter will agree with this assessment. But then again, we need some entertainment and, after all, this is a free country.

So to the Reverend Al Sharpton I say go for it. We need the laughs in this time of tension. When the chips were down you came through with your announcement and my faith in political comedy has once again been restored. It is going to be a fun primary to watch.

Henry Sarria is a long-time I.V. resident.