The US Presidency
by Calliope Braintree
The whole thing is ridiculous. I have a much better idea. First of all, instead of it’s being thehighest, most prestigious and powerful office, the US presidency needs to be the lowest, most embarrassing thing a person could have forced on them. The way it is now, just the fact that somebody wants it, makes them suspect. There should be no pay what-so-ever. The poor thing stuck with this hideous job should have to live under a bridge somewhere. But they could choose their own bridge. They could have food stamps, but that’s it. They’d have to do their own shopping, and do their cooking under the bridge.
This would be good. They wouldn’t be able to contribute to genocide, make mandates, pass or veto legislation…they’d be too busy pan-handling and picking lice out of their hair. They would have to do a few hours of paper work a day…assuming they weren’t drunk, and could be located, which wouldn’t be easy.
The method for choosing the victims would be a lottery. One native born or naturalized citizen a year. Like jury duty, people would desperately try to figure out ways of getting their names out of the pool. Citizenship would be a worrisome thing. Because once a year, a new loser would be picked by the wisdom of randomness. Everybody else would be wiping their brows in exaggerated relief, grateful to be guaranteed one more year of freedom, while the loser was dragged away kicking and screaming. They would probably pretend to be smug and say things like, “Well it’s only a year. I don’t know what they’re so upset about,” and, “It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it,” knowing, full well, they’d feel exactly the same way.
Getting picked for this job would be worse than contracting leprosy. There could be no going back to their former lives, when it’s over. Oh, sure, there would be the occasional rare genius who managed something like that, but mostly they would be martyrs for freedom. People would speak abstractly of their nobility and sacrifice, around their dinner tables, but shun the actual people. But it wouldn’t be only the presidents who suffered this fate. For it to work, all the officials would have to suffer the same predicament. They would probably form communities like the Hoovervilles of old and figure out how to make a living by collecting cans and selling discarded pallets. They would discover the pleasures of fifty-five gallon drums and the nice warm fires they contain.
This would work. This would be good. Without shepherds, the sheep would be left to their own devices. They would learn how to run their own lives, how to think for themselves. They’d revert back into Mountain Goats and become intelligent, brave, nimble-footed and free. With everybody focused on the possibility of losing their freedom and standard of living…there are a lot of officials and a lot of potential to be the loser…people wouldn’t care about laws. There would be no need to either make or enforce laws. The need for people to enjoy what they have, because next year it might be gone, would dominate absolutely everything.
But of course…
People being the connivers they are, strange sorts of black markets would develop, loop holes would be found and the ones who ended up having to be president, senator, governor, mayor, school board trustee…etc…would be the illegal Mexicans. But they’d probably do a fabulous job…