Cure for the Common Presidential Election

Wendell Wilkie

Presidential Campaign Malaise – or PCM – is a condition that cripples the last term year of a government’s administration. It can be considered chronic, in that it reinfects and re-attacks once every four years, to the detriment of all in contact with the infected host administration. So, in a presidential term running from, say, 2009 to 2012, the year 2012 is essentially worthless from a governing point of view.(1)

Wendell Wilkie

The very Presidential-looking hopeful Wendell Lewis Wilkie goes in the Also-Ran column. Wants to unravel (Photo: Graystone Studios Inc., ca 1940, digitized in Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-38331)

Do or do not… there is no try. Yoda.

In the private sector, this disease is often marked by a sharp uptick in television sales, in response to the number of shoes thrown through screens in response to the sharp uptick in political commercials – although advances in technology, including Corning® Gorilla® Glass, may cause a shift in this trend along with a corresponding uptick in replacement smartphone sales.

Change Presidential Term Limits

No human in his or her right mind is capable of unraveling four years (much less eight) of previous presidential presence in four years – or even eight.

We seem to be determined to keep electing humans, so this is not likely to change. Never mind that a cat could figure this out in five hours, between naps.

Fix: Presidential term limits are completely bass-ackwards. Make eight years a minimum term, not a maximum. Get in, fix stuff, keep it fixed. Take a note from reality shows. If you don’t do a good job, we vote you out. If you get into office and you turn out to be incompetent, dishonest, lazy, or a screw-up, we won’t vote you out – we’ll ride you out on a rail. No charge for tar and feathers. We’ll donate those to the cause, along with the rail.

No do-overs. If you get ridden out of town on a rail, stay gone. Don’t come back, even as (or especially as) a Senator.

Tie Presidential and Administrative Salaries to Performance

Budget balancing will happen if compensation for Federal officials is made (a) performance based or (b) commission based. What is 1% of $4 trillion, split 320 ways? After tax?

We’re the shareholders, we citizen of these United States of America. We get legible, reasonably accurate annual reports from our other investments. MSS would like one from her largest investment, please: USA Incorporated.

If a human handled their personal finances the way that some governments do, they’d have a credit score of 12 – and be in jail. Remember that, GAO, when it comes time to hand out Washington’s paychecks next month.

Repeatedly Running For Public Office

Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.

Also-rans: If you weren’t elected the second time you ran for public office, don’t apply again. Get a clue. Can’t find a clue? Take a marketing poll or do a survey before spending the money to run again. This should apply from City Dogcatcher on up to President.

Fun President Election Trivia

True or False? We’ve never had a Presidential Candidate named Rufus. (See hidden text at end of this rant for answer)

Most trivia is fun. MSS trivia is funner.

Balancing the Oval Office as well as the Budget

At this writing, we are missing D, I, Q, S, U, X, Y and Z from the alphabetical list of U.S. Presidents. When considering future candidates for the office, please keep these missing letters in mind, for the sake of future schoolchildren and their teachers.

Also, we’ve had too many H’s: Harding, Harrison, Harrison, Hayes, Hoover – and we’re dangerously close to having too many C’s: Carter, Cleveland, Clinton and Coolidge. In the interest of balance, we should discourage future candidates from those two alphabetical bins until the rest of the alphabet is represented properly.

We’ve got too many U.S. Presidents with six-letter (9) last names. We’re almost in as bad shape with eight-letter (8) and five-letter (7) last names.

We need to level this out. Presidential candidates with fewer than five letters or more than nine letters in their last names should be encouraged.

Exemptions to the Presidential Naming Rule

Rachel Maddow is an exception. If she decided to run for presidential office, MSS would vote for her no matter how many letters in her last name. Ditto presidential candidate Meryl Streep, who will not need a cabinet because she can play all the roles herself, (although MSS is ticked that she and Meryl are almost exactly the same age and Meryl looks SO much younger. Shh.).

However, candidates with more than eight letters in their last name may be charged more for campaign materials or asked to adopt a nickname to save on material costs (Eisenhower -> Ike, for example).

Encouraging Presidential Knowledgeware

In order to run for the office of President of the United States, you must be able to name each previous U.S. President in the proper order, the name of his or her Vice President (if any), the years of their administration, the name of their direct opponent, if any, and the name of their spouse or spouses (if any). For extra credit, know the name of each Administration’s china pattern. (No, MSS doesn’t know that either. Be quiet.)

We are standing at the precipice of History, overlooking the Abyss of another infection of Presidential Campaign Malaise, along with my other trite buzzwords MSS tried out before settling for those..

But, MSS fears, willing this presidential condition to change from the outside in is rather like willing a fire to go out. Good luck with that.

Much love to each of you. Honest. My not-at-all presidential fingers aren’t even crossed.

Highlight to reveal TF answer >>False. Rufus King, 1816, against James Monroe. <<

(1) Not all presidential terms are worthless in their last year. Some are worthless in many years preceding the last year. MSS can think of a few examples. Just sayin’.