Recently, some of our own servicemen acted in a sick and twisted manner by torturing some Iraqi prisoners. Yes, I am sure "it happens in every war," but we're supposed to be beyond that. This isn't just someone getting out of hand and beating someone, this is cruel and unusual to the point of psychotic. If I were president, I would demand to see these people in person. Then I would televise me berating the hell out of them. Then they'd all get life sentences in federal ass-pounding prison with no chance for parole. I would then apologize to the Iraqi people.
Of course, I can see problems with this already. Suddenly tons of people would claim they were tortured, and you wouldn't know the true ones from the faked ones. Of course, I would have never started a war with Iraq, either. Saddam sucked, yes, but with our economy on shaky ground, I would have considered it too costly. Here's a list of other things I would have done that might seem odd to the American people.
- Completely ramp up education. Make it a national priority. Not easy to do in 4 years, but I'd hire a third-party agency to assess the problems on year 1, fix things on year 2, tweak my fixes on year 3, and hopefully by year 4 have something better going on.
- My stand on abortion? Make it unnecessary. Try and eliminate unwanted children by using measures to keep women who don't want children from getting pregnant in the first place. Have a nationwide adoption system for those who change their mind? I wouldn't make abortion illegal, just leave it as a last resort.
- Foreign policy? I'd humbly apologize for our arrogant mistakes. I'd spend 2 months a year on tour, trying to fix what we broke. Support education for young American kids to send them to Europe and Asia ... and the Middle East and Africa when those places stabilize. I'd really try and get American citizens to realize we're not the only country out there, but one of many.
- Military? Readjust spending. I'd cut back on a lot of stuff, but not so much it's crippled in time of need.
- Economy? I'd do what I could to promote jobs. Try and get people working, and those who can't work, I'd try and make them feel useful with volunteer programs. Anyone who is on welfare and is able-bodied would have to do volunteer work. And educate, educate, educate.
- The environment? Pollution = bad. I'd be a thorn in the side of a lot of big businesses, which is probably the #1 reason I'd never get elected.
I'd also push a huge system for day care. I'd study models, like the Dagis system in Scandinavia, with trials in America.
I'd also have weekly "Fireside chats" like FDR had, but instead of the usual Weekly Radio Address, I'd have a more fun "show," and gear it towards the USA Today crowd. I wouldn't make it goofy, but I'd have animations explaining what's going on, and sort of give a summary of my week. "I was in England, doing this and that, and made some friends there. Then I came back to the states and sat with some of my educational advisors. He's a short animation on what we think has gone wrong with educational spending." It would be an hour at most, I'd hire Madison Avenue to promote it, and keep it at a 7th grade level so it wouldn't be too sappy, but not so complicated, the average American wouldn't grasp it. I'd end with "viewer mail" from US Citizens. After the "show," I'd have an hour of questions from the press. Anything I didn't know the answer to, I'd write down, and answer it in the next show. I'd also do a lot of public service ads encouraging people to save, educate children, and generally be nice to each other. I'd also do the talk show circuit once a year.
I'd feel I was elected, it meant I was hired by the people, and buddy, I'd better have some results before I got "fired." But what if "the people" wanted me to nuke Canada? Then I'd have to explain that's not in our best interests. I'd have the gauge what "our best interests" are, and my main handicap there is I assume most people are pretty decent. This concept always leaves me scratching my head when people do evil things.
But I'll never be president, so when it comes to "How will I figure this out?" another part of me goes, "Oh, stop worrying about it."
Still, I hate to just sit and watch my country make a fool of itself because of who keeps getting elected.
If I was President
I'd get elected on Friday,
Assassinated on Saturday,
And buried on Sunday
If I was President.
If I was President....
-- Wyclef Jean
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000476.html