If I Were President … (and thank gawd they aren’t)
The above are some of a “range” of Americans (12 in number) not employed in politics or the media who were asked what they’d do if they were president.
Naturally, only one or two verged into the oncoming lane of common sense or conservatism. Here are the
high low lights of a sampling:
- Jennifer Eagan, author–I would focus entirely on achieving what I think most Americans want: a stable and productive economy; an environmentally viable planet; a humane, efficient government capable of educating its young and protecting its vulnerable members. Americans are less selfish than some of our politicians believe (projection may be a factor here!) and will respond with reason and resilience to passionate clarity.
Wow… terrific Jens, one question. While you focused entirely on the planet’s environmentally problems, a stable economy, humane government and passionate clarity (it’s all for the children) what about the Muslim terrorists massing for an attack on your totally green White House?
- Mike J. Sandel, Havard professor —Not long ago, the ballpark was a place where C.E.O.’s and mailroom clerks sat side by side, and everyone got wet when it rained. Today, most stadiums have corporate skyboxes, which closet the privileged in air-conditioned suites. I would invest in an infrastructure for civic renewal — not just roads and bridges, but schools, transit, playgrounds, parks, community centers, health clinics, libraries and national service. This would put people to work. And it would draw us out of our skyboxes and into the common spaces of democratic citizenship.
Hey the guy’s a baseball fan…. he can go to a game for 40–50 bucks because a group of very wealthy people decided to gamble on getting a return on their hundreds of millions invested. But he has no understanding of how capitalism works wand where the money comes from which allows him to work a few hours a month for 250K a year.
- Patricia Ryan Madson, self-help author — I would invite Congress to join me in an improvisation retreat. We would spend the time practicing saying “yes” to each other and really listening to one another’s offers. We would create stories of well-being. We would encourage thinking “inside the box.” We would look for innovative ways to use the resources at hand to solve our problems. We would make some mistakes, and we would laugh a lot.
Hey… I’m laughing a lot right now.
- Sister Mary David Walgenbach — Holy Wisdom Monastery of Middleton, Wis. I would invest half of our defense budget in children, young people and in energy conservation.I would expand the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps and give two years of free college for two years of service. I’d ask corporations to fund two years of college or a trade school for young women and men from homes stricken with poverty. I would fund energy-saving improvements — insulation of houses, solar panels and replacement of inefficient furnaces for households making less than $30,000 a year and develop a sliding scale for those earning more than $30,000 a year. I would help small businesses retrofit their buildings. I would require members of Congress to participate in a weeklong workshop on dialogue, negotiation and compromise before the next session. All sessions would begin with 10 minutes of silence.
Bless you Sister… you just described what the charities and the Catholic Churches should be doing, not the federal government
- Andrew Weil, MD, author of “Why Our Health Matters” — I’d tell the nation that I was powerless to control the war machine, Wall Street, big oil and the other interests that run the country, and I would urge Americans to form a new political party not beholden to them.
The NYT gives him the space to contribute, all he’s got are the few 1960s radical phrases he can still remember? Twenty-five years of education and he has learned nothing.
A very successful “wellness” hack and scam artist, the morbidly obese Weil is a ’60s retread hippy, drug user and advocate, who has made a fortune in “alternative medicine.”
He has made tens of millions basing all his treatments and “cures” on the well-known “placebo effect”— that a certain percentage of people will respond positively to nothing if they are told it helps.
This also explains democrats.
- Sharon Olds, poet/author — I’d grant the very rich the boon of helping them help others, as a form of gratitude for their good fortune. I’d also connect every creative writing program with a hospital, a school, a library, a prison, a neighborhood center — workshops in the supermarkets! (“Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!”)
I think her comment stands for itself.
We have a choice here… one, that they actually believe in such vapid, empty, hope-n-change drivel, or they simply did not understand the question.
Regardless, we must not forget… 68 million of them voted on exactly such critical thinking last time.