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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

From the Archives: "An Open Letter to A President"

David'Z Current CommentZ: Ah, Presidents' Day! Or Presidents Day. Not President's Day, unless.... Oh, go read it for yourself, here! The person who wrote up this entry for Wikipedia was picky enough about spelling and grammar to be a kindred soul of mine!

Okay, now if you didn't bother jumping to the Wikipedia entry, here's a spoiler: The federal holiday we call Presidents' Day is still officially known as Washington's Birthday.

I remember when we celebrated the birthdays of two presidents each February, namely Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Then somebody got the bright idea of smushing the two days together, and they started calling it Presidents' Day. But as time went by, the focus stayed more on George, and...

(Hmm. "More on George" -- say it aloud -- makes me think of our current president, for some reason. But I digress.)

As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted, the focus stayed more on George and less -- a lot less -- on Mr. Lincoln. Most of the tacky Presidents' Day ads I see or hear nowadays refer only to the original George W, "W" meaning Washington, of course.

Poor Abe. Bushwhacked not once, but twice!

Anyway, the following post was originally published on October 8, 2005. I thought its inclusion here was appropriate.

(And by the way, the observant ones among you will be wondering why I'm making such a big deal about Presidents' Day, when this blog was actually posted on the day after. Let's just say I was really busy yesterday doing... umm... stuff which I'm certainly not going to disclose here!)

See you at the bottom.

An Open Letter to A President
(I try to keep my politics out of these RantZ, for the most part. Well, that is, except when I use them for a springboard toward something I think may be mildly amusing. I pretty much describe myself as a moderate with liberal leanings, and it's probably occurred to my regular readers [both of them] that I'm not particularly enamored of the current administration. Be that as it may, the following "open letter" is directed less toward President Bush himself than it is any man -- or woman -- who happens to hold George W. Bush's current office. So even if I procrastinate long enough before finishing & posting this, my butt will still be covered if I have to change "Bush" to "Clinton" [as in Hillary], "Romney," or... Well, who knows? It might even stay "Bush" if Jeb gets elected, seeing as how that family seems intent on establishing the kind of dynasty that would make Blake Carrington proud. Or there's always Jon Stewart, if the write-in faction ever gains control...
And if anybody else has already come up with the following suggestion -- which, to my admittedly limited knowledge, no one yet has -- and I find out about it later... I am gonna be so pissed!
Having said all of that... )
Dear Mr. President,
I am not a politician. (I'd say "Some of my best friends are politicians, however," but that would be a lie. And if I want you to seriously consider this letter and the suggestion contained therein, I suppose I should stick to the truth. As a politician yourself, I assume you have at least heard of that. "The Truth," I mean. But I'll also assume that, as a politician yourself, you're not, shall we say, intimately acquainted with The Truth. But I digress... )
I am a registered voter. (I won't say which party I belong to, nor whether or not I voted for you. Let's just say my party of choice is one of the "Big Two" and leave it at that, shall we?)
I'm not only a registered voter, but I even go so far as to exercise that option on occasion. (So, being somewhat of an idealist, I feel that gives me the right to have my "say" in terms of how the government should be run. Please keep that in mind as you read further.)
I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on television. (Just thought I'd add that. And give yourself two points if you caught that paraphrased reference.)
I am not an economist, as a quick glance at my financial statement, credit rating, and/or tax returns would tell you. (And since you're the freakin' President, for cryin' out loud, I'm sure you have a connection or two at the IRS who would gladly give you a clandestine peek. G'head, g'head... I'll never know.)
However, looking at the state of the nation -- or the state of the world, for that matter -- after those who are economic advisers have done their part, I feel just as qualified as anyone else to offer the following economic suggestion, a suggestion which I feel will help this country through its current financial crises, as well as any crisis foreseen or unforeseen in our future:
Sell ad space. No, really. Sell ad space!
On what? On yourself.
Don't panic here, I'm not talking about anything permanent, like a visible tattoo on your face. No, I mean, sell ad space on your clothing.
Think about it. You watch NASCAR races, right? (I'll bet you do.) The drivers' suits are covered with company logos. Is that "selling out?" Of course not! The revenue from these ad placements help defray the drivers' operating expenses, pure and simple. Selling out would be if, for example, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. were to pull over during a big race just to chug a bottle of say, Budweiser -- Wait, he's driving, let's make that a Dr. Pepper! -- in full view of the cameras.
I'm not talking about anything that would really impugn what's left of the integrity of the USA, like replacing the eagle in the Presidential Seal with the Geico gecko, or altering the red and white stripes in our nation's flag to closely resemble the swirly ones in the Coca-Cola logo.
Nope. Just a few strategically-placed temporary patches on your suit coat, flannel shirt, or jogging suit, etc.
Stay with me here, please, oh Commander-in-Chief.
As I'm sure you're aware, ad rates are determined by how many people are projected to see that ad. The higher a magazine's circulation, the higher its per-page ad rate. The higher a TV show's Nielsen rating, the higher the cost for a thirty-second or one-minute commercial.
Well, since -- as I stated above -- "you're the freakin' President, for cryin' out loud," virtually everything you do outside of your second-floor living quarters is news to the entire world. And that means cameras galore, whether you're visiting a foreign country, touring a disaster area at home, or just stepping onto the White House lawn long enough to dart into a helicopter. Possible ad rates from public appearances, based on how many millions or billions of people would be expected to see you? Phenomenal! You'd be justified in asking Chrysler, Nike, or McDonald's to shell out billions of dollars for a coveted spot on your blazer!
And don't worry that certain TV stations would blur out the ads, like the networks do with exposed nipples and such, or as they do with company logos like that of Tommy Hilfiger (or whatever brands are currently popular with the rap fans) in videos shown on MTV or VH-1. They wouldn't dare! "You're the freakin' President, for cryin' out loud," remember?
Naturally, all ad revenue would have to go directly into the nation's coffers. No one could therefore accuse you of any wrongdoing. You certainly wouldn't be allowed to benefit personally from this money. I'm sure there's something about not "cashing in" on the job (while you're in office, anyway) written into the Constitution of the United States. (I'd check, but I don't have a copy handy. You probably don't either, I assume.)
All of this ad revenue would result in an unprecedented budgetary surplus. It could shore up Social Security. It could be put toward disaster relief. It could finance a war... or two. It could pay off the national debt. Republicans and (even) Democrats wouldn't have to raise taxes! Happy voters would make a happy Congress (re-elections all around). And a happy Congress would, I expect, be much more inclined to okay any items you might want to push forth on your personal agenda.
Just think about it, okay? (And while you're at it, when you visit those great guys'n'gals at the IRS, could you put in a good word for me, since I've been so helpful to you? Just asking.)
Your Pal,
P.S. -- While I'm still on the subject of national debt and such, here's something you may or may not be aware of: When I was in high school, I took a Business Law course. We learned about something called an "assignment." Briefly put, as I understood it, this means that if Bob owes me $200, and I owe Jack $100, we could get the courts to arrange it so Bob could pay Jack $100 directly, so my debt to Jack would be wiped out, and Bob would only owe me $100 thereafter. Again, I'm no economist, but since each country's national debt involves money they owe (usually to other countries), while they in turn are owed money by other countries... Well, couldn't some of those guys at the United Nations sit down with a big bunch of bean-counters, and shuffle all this paperwork around until each country ends up owing a lot less? Just wondering.
Thanks for your time, Mr. President.

More of David'Z Current CommentZ: A subsequent internet search found a somewhat-related article from a 1996 issue of The Christian Science Monitor in 1996! However, the thrust of this article wasn't about our president's beefing up the national treasury; rather, it was about all politicians wearing the logos of their campaign contributors in the interest of full disclosure, as they saying goes. For the full text, go here, but in case you don't want to, here's a longish teaser quote: "Starting now, all candidates for president and Congress should wear the corporate logos of their campaign contributors on their power suits. They also should lend their names and likenesses to their commercial sponsors for use on T-shirts, hats, balloons, billboards, and television ads. Press releases should start referring to candidates as belonging to contributors, as in 'BankAmerica's (insert candidate name here) spoke at the Jaycees meeting today.' "

I like it almost as much as my idea.

Thanks for your time (he said again).

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