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POTUS 2016


Here’s a thought experiment: what if the President stands for freedom, and returns the 4th Amendment to Americans who travel?

What if they stand for accountability, and incarcerate George W. Bush for violating international law when he used the U.S. Military to invade Iraq? They could also incarcerate Obama for violating Pakistani airspace with drones, killing civilians, and wresting American citizens of habeas corpus.

What if, after that, they stand for integrity and acknowledge that our draconian penal system has gotten completely out of hand, and that the freest nation on Earth cannot also simultaneously be the jailingest?

What if they force petrol companies to diclose the contents of their frakking fluid, so we can find out why cows die when they drink it and whether pumping massive amounts of this stuff into the ground will poison the aquifer while the western United States suffers from crippling drought?

What if, through executive order, they limit the power and caprice of the 21st century Imperial Executive Branch, so that the U.S. Government can go back to checking and balancing itself? (This would require a meta-executive order that limited executive orders, and the Narcissist-in-Chief would have to be willing to curtail his or her own power.)

What if they sink more federal money into alternative energy and ensuring the security of our food and water supply well into the future?

What if they pare down on inept and obsolete bureaucracies like the ATF, the TSA, and every other redundant, money-hemmorhaging set of buildings filled with goons who would probably be just as comfortable in Kim Jong Un’s Korea?

What if they choose to not engage in the mock outrage that fuels bitter partisanship?

What if they work with Congress to pass sensible campaign finance reforms, so the companies can stop buying Manchurian candidates? When the choice between Obama and Romney wasn’t really a choice (we’d still be in the same places today if Romney were President), what does that say about our supposedly bicameral system?

What if they create an ethos in the White House in which ethics, in addition to laws, must be abided to?

What if they force hospitals to stop having arbitrary pricing schemes and begin transparent billing procedures?

What if they tell the health insurance companies that the patient is the customer, and it’s high time they fire some people?

What if they tell doctors that if they’re in it for the money, they’re in it for the wrong reasons, because healthcare spending can’t possibly go from one in four dollars to one in three?

What if they tell NHTSA that the 30,000 people who die in traffic every year is a less important number than the 440,000 people who are killed annually by hospitals or doctors, so we don’t actually need every car to be robot-controlled, studded with cameras, and cost $50,000?

What if they stop torture and extreme renditions, since if we’re still engaged in these things, it makes us hardly better than China or Russia?

What if they closed Guantanamo, which holds actual P.O.W.’s instead of members of the legal make-believe category called “enemy combatants”?

If such a human were capable of achieving all these feats and still being elected President, they’d certainly recruit my vote and a Nobel Prize that would actually be earned. And why couldn’t they? Shouldn’t the Leader of the Free World be able to conquer everything on this measely list before lunch? Hope and Change would be slogans that might actually apply to them, and we wouldn’t actually need this Viagrasweatpantsrevolution.

 

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