2004

Five Minutes With the President

I contributed an essay to the publication, If You Had Five Minutes with the President, an original non-partisan collection of 55+ essays by personalities who are members or supporters of The Creative Coalition. The book also features a foreword by Ron Reagan. 

Considering the President in question is Bush 2, my essay is not very complimentary.  Still it was fun to write. Here it is...

Mr. President: You must forgive me for my audacity in writing this. I am not one of your citizens, although I do reside in your country.  But worry not. I am not one of those illegal immigrants who are so vilified at election times in your border states to scare the electorate into voting against any wishy-washy liberals who might actually allow these people in and give them rights or benefits, instead of the much more sensible alternative of letting them work illegally at raising the children and keeping the homes of America, or any of the other low-paid jobs that no sensible American would want to do.

No, be not alarmed. I am a legal resident. I am just an alien. And not one of the new breed of aliens we have all sadly had to become more wary of since the horrible events of 2001. Relax, I am not dark-skinned, though I am European. And I only wear a towel in public at the gym, and if I did have a God (I don’t mean to alarm you but I don’t think she exists) it wouldn’t be a nasty, war-mongering one like Allah or one of those other ones that demand constant kneeling and regular slashing of oneself with chains and the like.

No, no, no. I am an alien of extraordinary ability, which in spite of its rather ominous overtones of espionage and such like really means that I am an actor who was asked to work in your country and liked it and stayed.

Since I have lived here there have been two presidents, and so my understanding of your job, be it naïve and simplistic, is entirely gleaned from their examples.

So here, Mr. President, are a few tips:
You’ll have had, no doubt, a family member remove thousands of people from the electoral register to enable your ascension to power, but please don’t forget to be publicly outraged when other countries do exactly the same thing. And oh yes, don’t ever comment on the matter even when your own people admit that the margin of error involved in this “cleansing” translates into many thousands more votes than your opponent lost by.

Forgive me if I am preaching to the choir here, but remember to start a war without sufficient evidence of any just cause to do so, apart from the fact that you just don’t seem to like dark-skinned people (call them “evil folks” when you don’t want to get bogged down with specifics, by the way), and tell your public that you have top secret evidence that certain countries with really large fuel supplies are about to launch nuclear bombs, but be careful to turn a blind eye to countries like India and Pakistan when they threaten to do so because of course they don’t have much fuel to take. Actually, come to think of it, don’t mention nuclear bombs, they’re too hard to pronounce. You don’t want to look stupid.

What else? Oh yes, make inappropriate jokes whenever you can; encourage your countrymen to believe certain evil folks are in utter cahoots when in fact they don’t like each other at all; claim any minor and normal upward fluctuation in the world’s economy as proof that all your policies, not just the economic ones, are working great.

I think you’ll find it’s best to have had a drug problem of some kind in the past, or at least to admit to having had drugs but not having consumed them in the way of most mortal men. Have offspring who are either so ridiculously successful that they can inspire jealous rage, or else drunk yahoos who give stupid Americans a bad name.

If you aren’t really charismatic and sexy, with a series of messy public extramarital affairs behind you and willingly lie under oath that a love affair with a young, impressionable woman never happened, then go the other way altogether and cultivate a look that is more prairie dog than horn dog, talk a lot about Texas and if possible—but this might be milking the Jock sympathy vote a little too far—try asphyxiating on a bar snack whilst watching sports alone.

Make sure you either court the gay vote by allying yourself with lots of queer causes and maybe even putting out a rumor that your wife is a lipstick lesbian OR completely alienate them and hopefully ensnare another group of minority voters (they being fascists) by denying gays the same basic rights and benefits as all your other citizens.

Finally, Mr. President— - and by the way, thank you, I know you don’t have to listen to anyone, least of all someone like me, for this length of time— never, ever admit you are wrong.
 
It’s always their fault.
 
Don’t ask why, ask how.
 
Oh, and have the same name as a previous president—even if it’s your dad.