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Want to know how the "most powerful man in the free world" (copyright every news organisation ever) is elected. Here's Laurence Inman's simple guide.

Are you hopelessly confused by the American political process ? Well, help is at hand. Here’s my Idiot’s Guide to the Presidential Race.

Despite the apparent chaos, there are centuries-old rules; but always remember that there are rules and then the real rules. I’ll explain as we go along.

Rule One: the President must be American. I would expect this rule to be questioned at some time in the near future. After all, if we can have a non-English football manager, why can’t they have a President who is, say, French, or Libyan, or Russian ?

Rule Two: anybody, even a moron, can become President. This has been shown to be true many times, but remember what I said about real rules. The real rule is that only a moron whose father is an immensely rich oil-baron can become President.

Also the real rules state that only a white, male, Anglo-Saxon protestant can be President. This rule was bent once when a Catholic’s immensely rich father bought him the top job, but he was disposed of fairly soon afterwards.

There is a woman who wants the position this year; it won’t happen because her husband will have to be called The First Gentleman, and we all know he’s not. There is also a black man up for it, but although he’s a pleasant looking bloke he probably won’t succeed because he’s too thin and will probably offend all the Americans who aren’t thin.

Anyway, here’s how they go about selecting the top two for the final show.

All the hopefuls (just like on X-Factor) get together in an excited heap and shout a lot in front of the cameras.

Then they appear before the Why-Oh-Why Caucasians, a selected group of judges who decide which pair go through. They ask all of them in turn ‘Why oh why do you want to be President ?’ and they answer that it’s time for a change/new direction/fresh frontier/challenge of the future – vague stuff like that.

They must never, NEVER, mention the possibility of sending young Americans off to be blown up in deserts far away.

What you have to understand is that in America the past is always a horrible mistake. Only the future is any good, and the new President’s job is to bring that about.

So anyway, the Caucasians say who the finalists will be in the real election and that’s it.

Except it isn’t.

They all go on to the Primaries and then they decide who the lucky two are.

No they don’t.

They go on to the Secondaries, Tertiaries and whatever the ones for the fourth go are called and THEN they come up with the proper candidates in the proper election.

Then they have the election and everybody’s happy.

For a bit.

For as long as it takes them to realise that the new bloke is just as much of an evil, lying, murdering bastard as all the others have been, and that the only reason he won was because he’s the puppet of a bigger world-devouring conglomerate than the other bloke had.

Why don’t they just ask the richest American who he wants to have as President and have done with it? It would be cheaper and a lot less boring.

Which brings us to Real Rule Three: America must dominate the world. Who the President is doesn’t matter a flying fart.

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