Showtime's upcoming reality series "American Candidate" pits 12 average folks who think they have the ideas and ideals to be president. Anyone can open up shop on the AC website and proclaim themselves in the running for a bid on the show. Showtime doesn't give exact numbers on how many candidates are running on the site, but the candidates range in just about every niche you could imagine. The niche that scratches my itch is ufology and, thankfully, someone represents that area too.
Steve Bassett, organizer of the X-Conference and Paradigm Research Group, has picked up quite some support in the online community for his run at the Showtime Series "American Candidate". Bassett primarily focuses on the need for disclosure with regards to the UFO phenomenon and using it as a foundation for change throughout the policy of America. It is a decidedly exopolitical platform, but one that has been successful thus far. As this is being typed, Bassett has garnered more than 280,000 "supporters". A "supporter" is merely one who has seen his page at the AC site and click a small "support" button. I believe Richard C. Hoagland plugged this during his post-X-Conference appearance, which may explain the surge in his numbers.
First and foremost, lets get to the cons and pitfalls of this entire turn of events. Preparing for the worst is better than being surprised or outraged by it. It's important to note that no where does Showtime say that online support garners a bid on the show. And it is also important to keep in mind that Bassett's participation on the show, should it come to pass, could easily be spun in a myriad of ways by the hype leading up to the beginning of the show. And, perhaps most telling, Showtime never says how elimination will be determined on AC, instead opting for "Week-by-week, the original pool of candidates will be winnowed down. " I presume the elimination will be determined by audience participation, but that is not outright said. Let's not get into the dubious nature of vote counting either.
All of this chum not withstanding, should Bassett get chosen to be on the show and be given an even playing field his presence would captivate the audience. He has a way of putting the UFO phenomenon into a perspective that is easy to understand and does not dwell on the subject alone. The "entertainment" aspect of the show should keep him alive for quite some time, as the paranormal field and ufology in particular seem have a large cache in the entertainment world. Many in the UFO community seem hell bent on making disclosure an issue during this election and this show is a great opportunity to do so with a fine spokesman. For optimum success, Bassett needs to surprise people by rising above the stereotypes and spin and present himself as the well-rounded, smart, and thoughtful candidate he is, or else he may be pigeon-holed into the position of "ufo guy", which will be a tough position to get out of as the show progresses.
How Bassett fares throughout this process of attempting to appear on "American Candidate" is an interesting saga. A successful run on the show may signal an impeding green light for the media to extrapolate more on the UFO phenomenon. Meanwhile, if he's not chosen, despite the large number of supporters, it will appear to be another sign of the issue being shut out of mainstream discussion. How he fares in the voting process, should it go that far is another issue altogether. While there may be a small backlash against him if he's branded "the ufo guy", there will hopefully be more thoughtful people in the audience who will be willing to listen to his stance on many issues. If the show turns out to be a success, the audience it brings in could swell Bassett's support even more. His overall success on the show depends on the truthfulness of the process and the appetite of the "voters" for his brand of solutions to the world's ills.
Big thanks to Dave from the X-Conference for turning me on to this story, which seems to be one to keep an eye on as the summer months approach.
Bassett's page on the "American Candidate" website
The American Candidate website, proper