By Vladimir Golstein
Exactly five years ago, as the 2016 campaign was heating up, I wrote this satirical piece. It was published in RussiaInsider — good publication, which since then became utterly puerile and idiotic, sabotaging all the good work they’ve done before.
In any case, if any of you is still struggling with your 2020 choices, here is one more candidate who’s program is utterly irresistible. (The link to the publication is in comments).
“With all sorts of new and exciting people running for the office of the President of the United States, I decided to throw my hat in the ring as well. Some skeptics will argue that having been born in another country, I cannot possibly do it.
Let me assure you that once my proposals are read and discussed, there will be a constitutional amendment to rectify the situation. After all, there is a constitutional amendment that protects corporations, why can’t we have one that makes sure that my proposals are implemented: such an amendment will surely do less damage to the country.
It is so twentieth century to think that economy decides anything. Wasn’t it that relic of the past, Karl Marx, who insisted that “it’s the economy Stupid.” Well, maybe it wasn’t Marx, but Bill Clinton’s adviser, who introduced the concept, but it really doesn’t matter. For such a forward looking nation as ours, there is no need to concentrate on the dusty details of the past. What should be stressed however is that America simply can’t afford to address the economic issues.
All the previous presidents who promised to do something about them, ended up redistributing national wealth toward the richest one percent. While this ubiquitous one percent currently owns one third of the national wealth (yes, that’s right: “the poorest half of the US owns 2.5% of the country’s wealth – the top 1% owns 35% of it”), the great breakthrough in this process occurred on Clinton’s watch, when the wealthiest 1% of the population moved from owning 15 % of the national wealth to owning 21 % of it.
While some psychologists or sociologists might be fascinated with the longevity of the current wealth redistribution experiment which consists of penny pinching for the poor, and accumulation for the rich, I prefer not to view people as subjects of an experiment. Nor do I have any desire to remind the majority of Americans that the 1% doesn’t really include them. I refuse, therefore, to address economic issues altogether.
What I offer instead is a different slogan: “It’s foreign policy, stupid.” Why even remind Americans about inequality? Let’s concentrate on something that unites us all, and that is surely hatred for our enemies. Foreign policy debacles – unite us all, we triumph, we grieve, we get outraged when we see beheading or explosions, we cheer for the good guys in Kiev, and boo at the bad guys in Moscow. I propose, therefore, to concentrate on several important issues of foreign policy:
1. I intend to introduce and celebrate a new rogue country every month. Each month we’ll investigate and condemn the spectacular evils committed by a single country, and rally ourselves into a frenzy demanding the Congress to do something about it. Furthermore, if for some reason, we forget why we are supposed to hate a particular country – I would invite a prominent politician from a country claiming to suffer from the currently demonized country to address Congress. The effectiveness of such invitations is obvious; suffice it to recall the recent addresses of Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, or Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko who used all their inimitable rhetorical skills to remind us why we hate Iran and Russia.
2. Not much is needed to be done with the mass media, It’s already functioning at its war-mongering and xenophobic best. But the State Department’s appointments clearly have to be beefed up. Who needs Poles (Zbigniew Brzezinski ) and Czechs (Madeleine Albright) fixated as they are on their maniacal hatred of the Soviet Empire to run the State Department. We need diversity; we need somebody who will come up with a new enemy every month, somebody like Hillary Clinton for example. Luckily we already have such a candidate, a person who’s been running our foreign policy already: the Undersecretary of State, Victoria Nuland, a great specialist on all things international, ranging from political appointments in Ukraine, to who should be afraid of Sunni Arabs.
3. Rather than providing the overseas training to ISIS and other moderate rebels bound to overthrow the tyrants strangling Middle East, I propose to move these rebels into the local police departments. There they would be able to practice shooting civilians along with occasional beheading of suspects. I guarantee that after a couple of such beheadings, the crime rate will drop rapidly, while the trainees acquire great practice of violence and brutality against the civilian population. Such training will save our taxpayers a lot of money, compared to the preparation of all five moderate rebels that cost the country half a billion dollars.
Bold and innovative as my proposals are, I am also aware that there are still some domestic issues that have to be addressed. Here is what I propose to do:
4. The other day I met a drunkard, named Peter. As he was wiping tears from his swollen eyes, and complaining that he was a total failure in all his undertakings, he acknowledged that the Peter Principle was named in his honor. I will immediately appoint this Peter as the White House Chief of Stuff. With such an appointment, we can be rest assured of the continuation of all important policies, securing the country’s perfect stability. We all know that business thrives on stability. And since it is business that provides jobs, we should keep it happy.
5. One of the most important issues that face our nation is the question of gun-control. People endlessly debate it, arguing, screaming, complaining and accusing each other. Instead, I propose to stress the positive. It is high time to remind our nation that the addiction to guns can’t be all bad. I therefore propose the bold solution that would solve simultaneously both the gun and the climate change issues. My proposal is encapsulated in the following slogan: “people don’t save planet, guns save the planet.” Every person is to be given a free gun on each of their birthdays starting with the age of three, from the age at which a toddler can actually hold one. People should be allowed to build their gun collections if they so desire. Skeptics might claim that it is another wasteful government project; I would remind them however that this program can’t be a real burden on our finances. It is obvious that not many people would last to accumulate a sizable collection. Furthermore, once somebody is gone, his collection will be re-appropriated by the state for future distribution.
6. Having solved the issue of gun addiction, I would concentrate on a much more serious addiction that afflicts Americans — car addiction. It kills more people than any other addiction, be it guns, cigarettes, alcohol, or wars: averaging 40 thousand every year since 1960. And the majority of Americans are clearly afflicted with it. Cars are ubiquitous: children are conceived and delivered in cars, people eat and sleep in them; it is in the cars that they keep their garbage and belongings. It is time for our citizens to discover that there is a real world outside their car windows. I propose therefore to impose a double tax on cars – a sin tax, and a tax for second residence. The collected money would go into the creation of public transportation, along with parks, squares, theaters, stadiums, and other areas where Americans can see each other face to face. Combined with my bold gun initiative, this ease of assembly will surely reduce the amount of people continuing to pollute the environment.
7. I propose to do nothing in terms of legal or illegal immigration. Instead, I will continue the pursuit of our foreign and domestic policies. Eventually, people would become too scared to come to our country, while those who are already here, would run to the borders to get back where they came from. And if their countries refuse to take them back, I believe that there is enough land and work for everyone in Siberia. If the Semitic people from the Middle East could rush to the concentration camps in Germany, other refugees will surely be happy to be relocated to the camps in Siberia.
8. I would also introduce drastic voting reform, and would insist on banning all big money contributions. We all know that millionaires destroy our democracy with their attempt to buy politicians. I am not going to be owned by anyone. With my last name, I would get the majority of big donor money in any case. And with my bold proposals about guns – the non-Jewish votes will contribute to my campaign as well. My only worry are the car manufacturers. Thanks God, we now know what to do with them. Before embarking on my campaign, I will make sure to investigate the emission records of all major car producers. That will surely keep them both quiet and unable to interfere.
9. I also have a bold proposal for a radical improvement of education. Who needs local schools and taxes that pay for them? I propose to repeal all property taxes. The education belongs to the internet, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and other social media outfits. With one simple demand: anyone under eighteen, before posting another selfie, would be required to memorize a new grammar rule, new concept, anda scientific law. I am sure that once this selfie tax is introduced, American kids will bedazzle the world with their knowledge.
10. And my final proposal addresses the need of keeping our edge in science and technology. I would heavily develop space exploration, and by extension all science. I would accomplish it by convincing the 1% of the population to fully subsidize such endeavor. It is clearly in their interests to do so, since after they ruin this planet, they would need another one to fly to on a very short notice. In that way, the advances in science would guarantee our survival in the years to come.
Furthermore, I would make sure that the money allocated to the development of science would never go to the study of history, literature, languages and other humanities. We can’t afford to have a population that thinks; what if they decide to challenge my program. “You want to think: become a rocket scientist.” That’s should keep everyone busy for a very long time.”