smartest crook
An Oklahoma City resident decorates his vehicle in anticipation of a Fourth of July celebration in the Crown Heights neighborhood. (William W. Savage III)

Consider Ulysses S. Grant and Warren G. Harding, who headed what were arguably the most corrupt presidential administrations in American history. Their administrations were corrupt because Grant and Harding were honest men possessed of a failing common to honest men: They believed that everybody else was honest, too. Thus, history teaches us to vote for the smartest crook in the race rather than some dumb honest guy.

The smartest crook will know how to deal with the other crooks in Washington. Grant and Harding were babes in the woods of D.C., and their reputations suffered.

Which brings us to the 2016 presidential campaign. The Republican and Democratic candidates have low approval ratings among the public. They sling mud at one another with abandon. They call each other liars on a daily basis. Where are Clinton’s e-mails? Where are Trump’s tax returns? They’re so old, are they even healthy? And the third-party candidates? One has the law after her for spray-painting in North Dakota. Another has problems with geography, maybe because to him it all looks alike in New Mexico.

What’s a prospective voter to do? It’s simple. See above. Vote for the smartest crook in the race.

The problem is, who’s the smartest crook?

Well, you say, it must be the Republican, because he’s so rich and has his name on a lot of buildings. But, the moderator asks, what about all those bankruptcies and lawsuits and people saying he cheated them? Proof positive, you respond. He’s gotta be smart, because anybody else would be in jail. Yes, says the skeptic, but the law has not yet run its course.

OK, you say, then it must be the Democrat, because she’s so rich and trades goods (money) for services (favors) and whatnot. Besides which, her husband is a questionable character — or, rather, he has a questionable character — who charges big bucks to speak to affluent groups. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. That Democrat is up to something.

The examination of potential crooked dealings would go on forever, but the voter hasn’t got forever. The voter needs to know which crook is smartest. Goose your Google and check the candidates’ education and experiences. Gain a little insight.

There is no mystery surrounding the identity of the smartest crook in the race, is there?