Or, 7 Reasons Why We Ought To Just Bypass This Whole Democracy Rigamarole & Make Me Queen of America
1. I will improve the education system by requiring courses in personal finance, practical life skills, and apprenticeships.
Look, I’m a liberal arts proponent. I’ll save my more detailed arguments for another post, but in a totally simplistic summation, liberal arts courses educate the soul as well as the brain. Which is great, right? Yay souls! However, as you’ve no doubt spotted, we also have bodies which must be fed and clothed and sheltered. This means that upon adulthood we are obliged to enter the workplace, establish financial stability, and manage a household. Many of us, alas, struggle mightily to acquire the essential skills for this independent life (I’m recalling the house I shared with four dudes right after college—sweet mother!) and that’s just dumb. Being a grown-up is something we all have to be good at, or our lives suck, and that suckitude seeps into other people’s lives, so WHY aren’t we teaching students this stuff before it’s too late? Thus, I will decree that high schools require classes in budgeting & banking, home maintenance & domestic tasks, and basic car repair; additionally, colleges must facilitate at least one year of practicums or internships for each student as a degree requirement, regardless of major. After a few years, America will be peopled with competent non-idiots who can cook a healthy meal, write an interoffice memo, change a flat tire, treat that stubborn stain on the living room carpet, and contribute to a 403b like CHAMPS.
2. I will legalize pot, tax and regulate it, stop putting petty criminals in jail, give the economy a boost, and use the resulting extra moolah to add bike lanes to all major roads and highways.
See what I did there? I solved, like, a mofobillion problems in one fell swoop. No more spending millions arresting and prosecuting people who grow, deal, or smoke pot. Fewer people in prison. More jobs as a result of a brand new industry. More tax revenue. Paper made from sustainable hemp instead of irreplaceable rain forests. More oxygen. Once our bike infrastructure was complete, there’d be more bike-riding, less dependence on foreign oil, better fitness, fewer carbon monoxide emissions. EVERYONE WINS. Except fools who ride bikes while high. They can pay giant traffic tickets to support my next initiative: spay & neuter all the stray animals!
3. I will legalize gay marriage.
This one follows on the heels of the previous point. I don’t smoke pot, but I don’t see why the heck the government should tell me I can’t. As a legal adult I have the right to drink alcohol and use tobacco, so why don’t I have the right to use marijuana too? Why does the government get to pick and choose my freedoms here? It’s illogical and annoyingly paternalistic. In the same way, I’m not gay, but you can bet your sweet aspercreme I don’t want the government telling us who we can and cannot marry. I mean, are we seriously starting down that road? In my mind, the purpose of a government’s existence is to protect the rights, health, and safety of its citizens and provide support for infrastructure, education, and economy. Private, personal choices like choosing a life partner, deciding how many kids to have, what career to pursue, what beliefs to subscribe to, what clothes to wear—those should never be under the purview of the government. Ever. When such things do become regulated we enter freaky 1984 territory. Have you read that book? Not to spoil anything, but it ends with rats chewing off people’s faces. Just FYI.
4. I will put all (government-employed) teachers, police, fire and rescue workers, librarians, and politicians on the same salary—starting at $60K a year for entry level.
Actually we’ll probably need some sort of sliding scale that takes cost of living into account. I doubt even 60 thousand cuts it in some places in California. But anyway, everyone gets what is essentially the same rate of pay with incremental raises to keep up with inflation and merit raises if warranted by good performance. First of all, people in these occupations deserve a decent wage. Secondly, politicians shouldn’t be making any more than anyone else in civil service. And maybe, just maybe, this equalization would discourage typical politician types and actually attract real people to elected positions—people from diverse backgrounds and experience with an honest interest in improving government. Seriously, is anyone else completely sick to death of old rich dudes with law & business degrees? Can we, like, get some more ladies up in here? Also, how about some architects and preschool teachers and car mechanics and programmers and chefs and air traffic controllers and nurses? Probably a few farmers would be good too, plus it never hurts to have a librarian around.
5. I will establish a national holiday dedicated to making, decorating, and eating cupcakes.
This one speaks for itself.
6. I will pass a law giving fathers paid paternity time.
Why is it that dudes get the total shaft when it comes to having a baby? Um…I’m pretty sure they’re not getting any sleep those first weeks either. Plus it’s crucial for them to bond with their new spawn just like moms. I hate hate HATE that dads get no respect, like they’re somehow useless in the parenting process. That stereotype haunts fathers their whole lives and it starts the day their kid is born. Ok yes, moms have boobs full of milk. Right. I know. But I don’t understand how that translates into “Only Mom can care for baby, meanwhile lameass Dad over there is zero help at all so he might as well be at work.” I’m pretty sure there’s more to handling a new baby than breastfeeding. Also, marginalizing a father’s contribution to the family unit is stupid and sexist. Enough with that rubbish, America.
7. I will regulate health care even more. YES EVEN MORE!
Let me preface this by saying that I know jack about health care policy. Seriously, I just don’t even know. I’m shamefully uninformed. That being said, here’s how I’d do it. Everyone gets health care. Every single ever-loving soul in this whole big country, no matter where they fall on anyone’s “deserving————>undeserving” spectrum. Healthcare companies could remain private, there could still be competition between service providers to keep costs low, everyone could have the opportunity to use the provider of their preference, blah blah blah. Premiums would be deducted from pay checks like a federal tax. Those between jobs could still get affordable coverage by paying providers directly. Retirees or people receiving unemployment/disability would be covered by Medicare or Medicaid-like programs. Kids and non-working spouses would have policies under the working household member. And that’s that. Everyone’s covered. Everyone gets the best treatment available. And this Queen of America sleeps a little easier in her bed at night.