Mr. Cranky For President in 2008
Today I announce my candidacy for President of the United States in 2008. This will be a different candidacy and I will be a different candidate from the usual political hacks. I will be the first presidential candidate in modern history to avoid bullshit. This will be a no bullshit campaign. I will speak plainly. I will lay my agenda out. I will tell it like it is. Above all, I will not blow smoke up the ass of America. Everything in the world cannot be spun positive. Bad shit happens in the world. Some problems may not have solutions. Americans need to get used to the idea that occasionally we will have to suffer a small amount to make things better. There's no such thing as lower taxes and more services, which has been the unspoken mantra of many past administrations. Government simply doesn't work that way and if you think it does, then you are a moron and should be voting for somebody else, like a fairy or a wizard. In other words, if you want shit from the government, you need to be willing to pay for it. If you don't understand this basic concept, go fuck off.
Thusly, I will lay out the principles and objectives of my administration.
PRINCIPLE #1: People want government to stay out of their lives as much as possible, but when they need something from the government, they want it to be able to respond fast and semi-efficiently.
My policies will all be based on this concept, both social and economic: stay out of people's lives, but be there when they need you. My policies will also be consistent. A limited government cannot simultaneously talk about interference on one level and non-interference on some other level. For instance, two consenting adults can do whatever the hell they want as long as it doesn't interfere with the rights of others. So, if two gay people want to get married, that decision is up to them. They are citizens, equal in rights to other citizens. What people do in the privacy of their own homes is their business.
Here are the ways I intend to deal with some of the most pressing issues of our time:
The previous administration has FUBARed this situation and it needs fixing. However, I fundamentally disagree with the calls by the adminstration's political opponents that the solution to this issue is withdrawal. Regardless of who got us into Iraq and Afghanistan, the responsibility lies with America to fix it. America is responsible for the situation in both countries. If we leave Iraq now, it's almost certain that there will be genocide. We cannot be responsible for that.
Therefore, I will increase the troop presence in Iraq and Afghanistan by 100,000 for a period of two years and reinstate the draft, if necessary. The draft will have no exemptions, so this will be an opportunity for the children of the supporters of the current administration to step up and do their duty. Within those two years we will make every effort to stabilize the situations in both countries, but regardless, when those two years are up, we will leave and I will accept responsibility for either the failure or success of this plan. I will initiate this plan only after consultation with military commanders, so it could be subject to change.
Abortion will remain legal for two simple reasons: it's none of the government's business and virtually any middle class or upper class woman can leave the country to get an abortion elsewhere, which would effectively make outlawing abortion a law that only affects poor women. However, my administration recognizes that there is validity to the point that as a pregnancy goes on, abortion becomes less and less palatable because the fetus nears viability. We welcome an honest discussion about this and are open to the idea of limiting third trimester abortions, for example.
That being said, a Cranky administration vows to reduce the number of abortions in the United States by 50%, which we believe will make everybody happy. Isn't this the goal, after all? We'll do this by starting a government program to distribute condoms for free for one year and revamp the teaching of sexual education in public schools to reflect the reality, not the fantasy, of teenage sexual practices. After a year, we'll see how we're doing.
Most politicians have known that there's a problem with Social Security for a long time. While it's not the immediate problem the Bush Administration claims and their solution is stupid, it's still going to be a problem sometime in the future. The issue with politicians up until now is that nobody wants to tell anybody they can't have something. Well, not the Cranky administration.
The solution is simple: raise the retirement age. This administration will raise the retirement age whatever amount is required to maintain the viability of the Social Security fund. It's that simple. People are living longer anyway. Problem solved. And maybe some of you who are 64 today are going to complain that suddenly you can't retire. I say tough shit. Life isn't fair. Keep working. It's good for the economy.
PRAYER IN PUBLIC SCHOOL/SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
We are completely committed to enforcing the separation between Church and State because, well, it's part of our constitution. It was put there for a reason. It's important. Incidentally, this fits in perfectly with our #1 guiding principle: people want the government to leave them alone. Having the government control religion or get in bed with religion is a road to disaster. Prayer in public school and most other issues where religious elements try to control government involves one group of people trying to tell another group how to act.
Having said all that, prayer in public school is already perfectly legal. Anybody can pray in public school, it just can't interrupt the education of others and it will not be endorsed by the government. But if a student wants to pray, nobody is stopping him. Go right ahead. If that's not enough, I suggest to those parties who insist on mandating prayer in public facilities that they're not attending church, or the religious worship venue of their choic, enough. That's what religious facilities are for. Public school is for learning and teaching. This also addresses my attitude toward Intelligent Design. Evolution is what we teach in school. Intelligent Design may or may not be what we teach in church. If you want to learn about evolution, you go to school. If you want to learn about Intelligent Design or Creationism or whatever mystical explanation you prefer for the creation of the universe, attend religious services more often. There's no reason to teach religious stuff in school. It's just less complicated that way. If you don't like evolution, then send your kids to church (or wherever) more.
SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS
I have immense admiration and respect for our troops and want to support them in every way, so I'm proposing a complete revamping of the Veterans Administration and veteran's services. We Americans do a great job shipping our young men and women off to war and a real bad job taking care of them once they return. And guess what, like war, this will cost money. Americans need to step up and pay for this and it may or may not require a tax increase. If you don't support funding this initiative, you don't support our troops. I also intend to fund this through our defense contractors. All defense contractors will be required to put one half of all their profits into a fund for the Veterans Administration and that money will be used exclusively to take care of our troops once they're home. After all, all that profit is the direct result of the sacrifice of our troops and they deserve to benefit from it.
It is a virtual scientific certainty that global warming is occurring and that human beings are the cause. The debate should be about what we should do about this rather than whether it's happening or not. It makes sense to err on the side of action as opposed to inaction given the consequences of not doing anything. I will put together a comprehensive plan that will attempt to use far more carrots than sticks. For instance, I propose that tax incentives be given for those who buy vehicles that get better gas mileage. This will encourage consumers to buy fuel-efficient vehicles and encourage manufacturers to build them. Such incentives could be very lucrative the more efficient the vehicle. The same could be done for the business sector. However, it's important to acknowledge that giving too many tax incentives can put the government in deficit, so where fuel-efficiency might be concerned, that program could be funded through gas taxes. Ultimately, if this is something Americans are committed to fixing, it will take fundamental changes in our lifestyles and a willingness to make those changes.
This is a mere glimpse into the nature of some of my policies. Obviously, there are many more challenges facing the world and many more specific issues that have not been addressed. As the Mr. Cranky candidacy takes hold, we hope to develop comprehensive plans for those issues in due course.