When I’m President
In the months building up to the '09 presidential election, with George W. Bush's eight-year reign of war, torture, deceit, greed, ineptitude and overall evil finally coming to an end, I found myself paying more attention to politics than I usually do. While Bush was trashing the country, destroying the economy, and creating a mountain of new problems that it's going to take years to fix, I started considering some of the old problems that we Americans have lived with for so long we've begun to take them for granted. What follows is a little treatise I wrote about these problems and their seemingly-obvious solutions, framed in the spirit of an election fever that even I wasn't immune to. To wit, my own election to the presidency, which I am entirely unqualified for and have made no effort to obtain:
******When I’m president, there are going to be some changes around here. This is a great country, but there are a lot of things I don’t like about the way it’s run, and when I’m president, I’m going to fix them. Here’s my platform:
When I’m president, the process we use for electing our president is going to become fair and ethical for a change. Future presidential candidates won’t be allowed to advertise, they won’t have to campaign, and they won’t have to have the backing of either of the two major parties. They won’t have to accept millions of dollars from special interest groups, and then spend it all on television ads that do nothing but smear their opponent. They won’t go into office owing major favors to the corporations who backed their campaigns. They won’t have to travel the country shaking hands, kissing babies and sucking up to voters. Nope. I’ve got a better way.
Instead, each candidate that can come up with enough signatures to qualify will become a contestant on my new weekly TV show, “I Wanna Be President.” It’ll be just like “American Idol,” only instead of singing, the candidates will have to present their platforms, endure cross-examination from pundits, and debate each other. Jon Stewart will, of course, be the host. The shows will be transcribed to print and other media for those who don’t watch television. The viewers will call, mail or email in their votes, the votes will be verified against a list of registered voters by computer, and by the end of the season all but one of the candidates will have been eliminated. Voila, you’ve got your Leader of the Free World, chosen by popular vote, and he or she won’t owe anybody anything.
When I’m president, lobbying will be illegal. Period. If you're an obscenely rich corporate CEO and you want to state your case to your congressman, send 'em an email like everybody else. Our senators, congressmen and house representatives make enough money to get by pretty comfortably, and they don’t need to be taking bribes, or as they like to call them, “gifts.” We put a lot of trust in those bastards, and wouldn’t it be nice if they started making their decisions based on the dictates of their own conscience and judgment, instead of on which lobbyist gave them the most expensive gift?
When I’m president, I’ll finally put an end to the War on Drugs. It’s been going on for fifty years, and has been a complete and utter failure. Of course, anyone who remembers Prohibition could have told them it wouldn’t work, and we could have avoided all this unpleasantness. Just like in the Twenties, we’ve got a significant percentage of the American population who want something, and a government that has decreed it to be illegal. Just like it happened during Prohibition, vast, organized networks rose up to circumvent the law and provide the thing the people want. And of course because it’s illegal, there’s no safety or quality control, and the providers can charge outrageous amounts of money for their product. In the twenties Prohibition gave birth to organized crime in America. The War on Drugs has spawned modern street gangs, who fight and kill each other for territory in which to sell their drugs. Most of the drugs they sell are dangerous, physically harmful and very addicting, and they ruin lives every day. What’s more, they’re expensive, so addicts usually have to become criminals to support their habit.
Making recreational drugs legal would put an end to this destructive cycle. Pharmaceutical companies would jump at the chance to produce legal drugs that make people feel good, and they could come up with stuff that wouldn’t be anywhere near as dangerous, harmful or addictive as the coke, meth, crack, heroin, etc. that people are using today.
By now it’s got to be obvious to everyone: People who want to get high will do so, regardless of whether it’s legal or not. Wouldn’t it be better if they could go down to the drugstore and buy a bottle of safe, quality-controlled Happy Pills for five bucks? And if they could, who would bother to go to the gangster in the alley and pay outrageous amounts of money for home-made meth? Nobody, that’s who. Gangs would suddenly have no means to support themselves, and they’d have to go get jobs. Addicts could switch to safer, much cheaper legal drugs, and wouldn’t have to rob liquor stores, steal cars and burgle houses any more. Smugglers and poppy-growing third-worlders would have to find a new vocation, and nobody is going to buy pot from criminals when they can legally grow it in their own backyard or flower box.
At present, one out of every ten American men are behind bars, a truly frightening statistic. Add to that the fact that more than half of the people in prison are there for drug-related crimes, and you can lay the blame for this situation directly on the War on Drugs. End it, and we could shut down half the prisons, and the ones we keep will have a lot more room for real criminals. And of course, the billions we spend every year on the War on Drugs and an overloaded prison system could be a lot better spent, don’t you think? You could open a lot of rehab centers for a fraction of the cost, and turn at least some of those addicts into productive citizens, instead of criminals and inmates. Think about it.
When I’m president, I’m going to provide our kids with a complete sex education. When it comes to sex, Americans as a culture are repressed, inhibited and ignorant, and it’s embarrassing. Sex is an important and perfectly natural aspect of life. Ignorance concerning sex is a continuing source of misery and disaster.
Early sex education will include not only the basic mechanics, but also the psychological aspects of making love and how it fits into our lives; what it means, and why and when we do it. It will also include assurances that there’s nothing wrong with being gay or bi, or even kinky, so long as you handle it in a healthy way. Over all, a healthier attitude toward sex should be promoted. We can’t be psychologically healthy as long as we’re ashamed of our bodies, our needs, and our desires.
Later sex education, provided for adolescents who are old enough to start thinking seriously about sex, will include not only the usual precautions, but a full explanation of how each of the two sexes view sex, what they want from it and why it’s important. It will also include the details on the art of making love. There’ll be a whole semester on just foreplay. There’s a world of nuance and subtlety that should be a part of love-making, and wouldn’t it be a better world if we taught each other how to be great lovers, instead of telling our kids not to have sex and then handing them a condom? The way things are now, we’re leaving it up to schoolyard talk and internet porn to provide our kids with the information they need, and it’s ridiculous. We can do better.
When I’m president, I’ll make prostitution legal from coast to coast. For too many years now, the oldest profession has been practiced under the worst possible conditions, subject to disease, unclean and unsafe locations, dangerous situations for both participants, enslavement to pimps and drugs, and the fear of being arrested and exposed. There’s no good reason for any of this. It’s only the fact that prostitution is illegal that creates the atmosphere of fear and guilt, makes it dangerous for both the hookers and their johns, and has built a paradigm in which hookers have to work for abusive pimps. Why can’t Americans learn that making something illegal doesn’t make it go away? There’s a need for this service, there always has been, and there always will be. Get over it.
In Nevada they’ve sanctioned legal houses of prostitution, and in doing so they’ve proven that all this ugliness can easily be overcome. Legal prostitutes are clean, disease-free, well-paid and happy. They are safe, they have benefits, and they make enough money to retire young, and that’s how it should be.
When I’m president, I’m going to put a stop to the misuse of police power. Our police have a vital mission to perform in our society. It’s their job to maintain law and order, to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected, to apprehend criminals, and to make our highways, cities and neighborhoods safe. Unfortunately, in many areas of the country, this mission has been subverted by greedy local politicians. City, county and state police are forced by unofficial but binding quota systems to spend most of their time setting speed traps and writing speeding tickets. Why? Because it generates a great deal of money for local government that they can allocate as they please. Actual criminals are few and hard to catch, but a speeder is anybody who lets their guard down for a few seconds while driving. In my area, the traffic courts have gone so far as to offer speeders the option of keeping their speeding ticket off their driving record in exchange for an “administrative fee” of $340. Washington state’s highways are crawling with unmarked police cars whose sole purpose is to write speeding tickets.
Writing speeding tickets doesn’t make our highways safer. Most of those tickets are for going five or ten miles over the limit, and the limits are deliberately set lower than necessary so they can write more tickets. Instead of protecting us, our police are preying on us, by exploiting this one minor law out of the thousands they are supposed to be upholding.
This isn’t the fault of the cops who have to do the ticketing. I’m pretty sure it’s not why they wanted to become cops, nor is it how they would prefer to spend their time. Local government forces them to write a certain number of tickets each month to keep the cash flow coming, and they have no choice but to comply. This is an abuse that needs to stop, and when I’m president, it’s going to be on my agenda.
When I’m president, I’m putting an end to America’s cult of Life at Any Cost. We’re all going to get old someday. Well, most of us will. Think about this: When you reach a point where your conscious mind checks out, and with it all self-awareness and ability for coherent thought, do you want your body to be kept alive for another few years, babbling, drooling and shitting in its diapers? I don’t think you do. How about if it’s costing your family hundreds or even thousands of dollars a week? I don’t think anybody would want that.
And now think about this one: Say you find yourself in a position where you can no longer get out of bed, you’re in constant pain, and have nothing to look forward to but a long, lingering, agonizing death. You decide you don’t want to ride it out to the bitter end, and you’d rather just die now and move on to whatever awaits you beyond the veil. Do you want a staff of doctors and nurses telling you that you aren’t allowed to die, and feeding you intravenously when you stop eating, strapping you down when you keep trying to pull your own plug, and violently resuscitating you with jolts of electricity every time your heart mercifully stops beating? I’m betting you don’t.
Yet this is exactly what America does to its elderly. It’s against the law to help, or even allow, anyone to die in this country, so everyone is kept alive long after they themselves would have chosen to die. It’s a ghoulish, obscene, incredibly cruel practice, but there’s a multi-billion-dollar industry making a tremendous amount of money taking care of all those people, and so it continues and apparently will continue until I become president and stop it.
Another aspect of the cult of Life at Any Cost is the constant attempts to prevent abortion. Even though abortion has been legal in this country for decades, there is an unrelenting drive to try and remove that right once more. Believing that any fertilized ovum is really a baby already, the Right-to-Life movement would have every one of them live at any cost.
That cost is often a young girl’s life ruined as she tries to raise a child before she’s even ready to support herself, and her baby’s life ruined as it grows up with neglect and poverty. And even if that child beats the odds and doesn’t turn to crime, he or she will raise their own children as they were raised, passing on the misery from generation to generation.
Consider all the suffering that could be avoided by letting the girl abort that egg, wait a few years, get an education, a husband and a stable home, and then have her baby when she’s ready. Wouldn’t that be better?
When I’m president, I won’t start any wars without a really, really good reason. We have the mightiest army on the planet. And because we do, we have an obligation to use it responsibly. Before we use that overwhelming power to crush another country, we need to consider what we hope to accomplish by using military force, how many people we’ll have to kill and how many of our own soldiers will die, and what the hell we’ll do with the country after we’ve conquered it.
We’re the leaders of the free world, and when you think about it, there’s really nothing to gain by conquering another country. If we were some conquering empire of ages past, we could just enslave its people and take its resources for our own, and there’d be a profit in it. But we’re not. This is the twenty-first century, and we’re America, and when we crush another country, we then have to set them back up on their feet with a new government and support them until they’re self-sufficient. It’s even more expensive than crushing them was, and in the end they’ll just end up resenting us.
In this modern age, military action is a completely different thing than it was in past generations, and victory has a far different meaning. Before we go wading into battle, we need to think about the end result in modern terms.
Okay, I’m not deluded. I realize most of the planks on my platform are things I wouldn’t have had the power to change even if I had been elected president. But that doesn’t matter in the slightest, because I'm only a bondage artist, not a politician, and my family isn't rich or influential. I'm not ever going to be president of anything except maybe the local chapter of the Pervert's Club. Nope, all I really have the power to do is post rants like this one on my website, to share with my fellow perverts. And if it makes a few people take a second look at the self-inflicted misery and daily injustices that make up our lives, well then, to quote you-know-who, "mission accomplished!"