Marilyn asked me to dig this one up from the archives. It took me a while to find it. It was written eight months ago. If I didn’t tell you this you would swear it was brand new. Unless you don’t swear. But really, who doesn’t swear? At least once in a while. There was my Aunt Helen, no wait. She could cuss like sailor …
Sorry, I got distracted.
I think if we suggested this now, everybody would go along with it. Including the idiot-in-chief. It’s the “get out of the White House without going to jail card” he’s been looking for. The “get out of this insane reality card” we’ve all been waiting for.
I figured it out!
This reality TV reality!
The problem is not so much that we are living in a reality TV reality. The problem is that we’re living in a REALLY BAD reality TV reality. Face it, it’s just not working folks.
Do you know what does work? Fictional TV reality! Think about it. There’s a show on TV today called “Designated Survivor.” In it, the whole U.S. government is blown up during a State of the Union Address. The Executive Branch, the Congress, the Supreme Court, all gone. The one cabinet member that has to stay home becomes the President. He has to rebuild the entire government from the ground up. And while he’s doing that, there’s a mysterious cabal, the ones responsible for blowing everybody up, that’s also trying to take over the country. In spite of all that, their government and their President are doing a hell of a lot better job than ours!
So here’s what we do. Let’s just switch realities! It’s a win-win for everybody. How do we do this? Simple.
First: The current administration leaves the government and instead, goes on real TV 24 hours a day. On Fox News. They all go to work on sets that look just like Washington, D.C. They do the exact same things they do now. It will be just like on “Big Brother”. Only bigger. And on Fox News.
They can pass laws, write executive orders, cancel health insurance for the whole nation, cut taxes for billionaires, eliminate “Meals On Wheels” or just kick puppies. Whatever they want! And here’s the best part. Trump supporters won’t be upset because they only watch Fox News. As far as they’ll be concerned, everything is normal.
It just isn’t real.
“And it’s only on Fox.”
Second: OK, great you say. But what about real reality? Who’s going to be the real President? The real cabinet?
Here’s who. Real honest to God fictional ones.
And the cool part is, we have a lot of options. We have lots of choices for President. We could have Jeb Bartlett. He was a great President. Don’t believe me? Watch “The West Wing.” It’s on Netflix, the whole series, all seven seasons.
We’ve got Dennis Haysbert. I’m pretty sure he was President twice.
We’ve got Morgan Freeman. Not only was he President, but he was also God!
And the list goes on. Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, Jack Nicholson, Peter Sellers … (Oh, for God’s sake, Google the rest.) You get my point.
Now, appointing a cabinet becomes fun!
Secretary of State? How about Tia Leoni? She’s already Secretary of State and seems to be doing a pretty decent job of it. Every Sunday. Let’s give her the job for the rest of the week.
Attorney General? Julianna Margulies. She’s a lawyer, ran for State’s Attorney and by almost all accounts, is a good wife.
Secretary of Defense? Well I admit, at first, I was leaning toward Schwarzenegger or Stallone. Then it hit me.
CHUCK NORRIS! Think about it. We could cut the military budget down to nothing. Nobody’s going to go to war with us. Nobody fucks with Chuck Norris!
ISIS COMMANDER: We will destroy America!
ISIS GUY WATCHING THE NEWS: Sir, America just made Chuck Norris Secretary of Defense.
ISIS COMMANDER: Shit.
(Insert favorite Chuck Norris joke here. My favorite? Chuck Norris once counted to infinity. Twice.)
Department of Education? The cast of Sesame Street.
Depart of Health and Human Services? Pick any of the stern but kindly Chiefs of Staff from the medical show of your choice. Any one of them will do just fine. (Except for Dr. Zorba. I’m pretty sure he’s dead.) (Extra points if you get that reference.)
Department of Housing? Chris Rock. OK, he really doesn’t have any more qualifications for the job than Ben Carson does. But I just like the guy. He’s funny.
(If you get that reference, you get double extra points.) I could go on, but you get the point.
How do we do this? Simple. We have an election. Not the usual kind. Between voter suppression, low turnouts, gerrymandering, and the Electoral College, our elections are not working out well. I mean, seriously — that’s how we got into this mess to begin with.
So what do we do? We have an election the same way reality TV shows do it. Everybody gets to vote from their smartphone, their computer, their tablet, or Android device. You can email or text your vote. You are only allowed to vote up to 20 times on any given device. You can vote up until 10 pm Eastern Standard Time. (Text and messaging fees may apply.)
Granted, this will fire up the Millennials and confuse the hell out of old folks. Maybe it’s unfair, but it’s still better than the Electoral College. We can set up March Madness style brackets and have an election every week for maybe a month until we get a winner. More office pools!
And we, the people, elect everybody. The President doesn’t get to appoint his cabinet. We do.
It’s Democracy at work!
And it could work!
As a cheese-faced person who somehow actually became President of the United States said to a bunch of totally incredulous Black people a while back:
“Give it a try. What have you got to lose?”