I have no choice. I must don the mantle of greatness and take the reins of the country. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I will run for the office of dictator, or President in American parlance.
Readers may ask, “But Fred, what makes you think you are qualified to be President?” To which I respond, “Nothing. But have you seen what we have now? You want a White House with John Bolton in it?”
I append here a few of the enlightened policies which I will effect. Hold your applause until the end. Interspersed for perusal are a few slogans that I may use to incite your fervor.
One: I will end all policies hostile to Cuba. I will not make life difficult for eleven million perfectly good people to please a ratpack of phony Cubans afflicting Miami. In fact, I will offer Havana a twenty-billion-dollar loan if they will take the bastards back. Cuba poses no danger to anyone. They have good cigars. They should be left alone to live as they please and drink mojitos. If nutcake Republicans protest my policy, I will have them stuffed into an abandoned oil well. Along with the pseudo-Cubans.
Two: Elizabeth Warren will be required to take a DNA test to see whether she is a wild Indian. If she is, she will have to wear feathers. Otherwise, to see a psychiatrist.
We have nothing to be afred of but Fred hisself! Has a classic ring, don’t you think?
Three: I will end the Afghan war in an afternoon, relying on use the exit strategy proposed by James P. Coyne, the Sun Tsu of our age:
“OK, on the plane. Now.”
If Lindsey Graham complains that we need to kill more puzzled goatherds, I will have him inserted into the oil well on top of the Republicans and pseudo-Cubans, with Oprah tamped down on top as a sort of cork. There is nothing in Afghanistan that Americans need or want, except opium products, and private enterprise now provides these in abundance. Check the nearest street corner, or ask your kids.
Four: I will make membership in AIPAC a felony, and remind its members that I could have Oprah temporarily removed from the oil well to make more room. Aipackers can act as they please in their own country–I will not meddle in foreign affairs–but leave ours alone.
Fred! Ahhhhhh…. This has a nicely orgasmic quality that will appeal to the younger demographic. It represents the satisfaction that my rule will bring to the entire country.
Five: I will end all sanctions against Iran. Then I will sell those Persian rascals airplanes and cars and electronic stuff and towel softener and lock them into the American economic system. This will make Boeing and AT&T and Intel love me with the deep sweet love that never dies, at least as long as the money flows, and there will be lots of jobs in Seattle.
Six: I will bring charges of treason against the contents of the Great Double Wide on Pennsylvania Avenue. The evidence is incontrovertible. The first rule of empire is Don’t Let Your Enemies Unite. Everybody who has an empire knows this. Except us. Inside the White House a bunch of apparently brain-damaged political mostly left-overs, suffering from Beltway Bubble Syndrome, push China, Russia, and Iran together like some kind of international spaghetti-grope LGTBQRSTUV threesome. Who are our dismal leaders really working for? China?
A Fred in Every Pot This makes no sense, you may say. No, but we are doing politics. It is almost iambic pentameter, like Shakespeare. It will lend class to my campaign.
Seven: I will keep the F-35 program. It provides a lot of jobs. However, I will but get rid of the airplane. Isn’t this brilliant? Instead of building the thing, workers will dig holes and fill them in, but keep their current salaries. It will improve their health, and make America safer. The fewer dangerous things the children in the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel have, the less trouble it can cause.
Better Fred than Dead! Some readers will dispute this. What do they know?
Eight: I have been urged to end affirmative action on the grounds that things should be done by people who can actually do them. This is racist. I will have nothing to do with it. Instead I will make affirmative action democratic and inclusive. Everyone will qualify for it. Special privilege should not be restricted to a minority. It isn’t the American way.
Fred! Good as Any, Better’n Some. Good thinking.
Nine: I will abolish NATO. America should find a cheaper way to control the vassals. There is of course the bedtime story that NATO exists to confront the Russkies, and only incidentally provides a compulsory market for American armament. Nuts. Russia cannot seem dangerous to anyone who wasn’t dropped on his head at some formative juncture in life. Smallish population, low military budget.
Likewise South Korea, which has twice the population and forty times the economy of the North. If it wants to defend itself, it has my blessing. If it doesn’t, it isn’t our problem.
Tippecanoe and Frederick Too! This may require exhumation, but for this we have backhoes.
Ten: I will make a modest reduction in the military budget, say seventy-five percent. To keep the soldiers happy I will invest in high-throughput roller coasters, a shooting range with BB guns, and really loud speaker systems that say Va roooom and Bangbangbang and fzzzzzzzzboom. These will provide psychic emoluments of martial life without the murder.
Eleven: The money thus saved I will use on pressing domestic problems. LA has 68,000 homeless people on the streets, San Francisco loses conventions because of so many homeless defecating on the sidewalks, Portland has homeless riots,. The lower primates in Antifa and BLM rend such social fabric as any longer exists. Dams are aging. Our trains are out of of the Fifties. And we spend a trillion a year on goddam aircraft carriers?
Fred? Well, Got a Better Idea?
Twelve: As an educational reform, I will have the Department of Education filled with linoleum cement, the occupants being left inside. This will raise the national IQ by at least three points. I will pass an amendment to the fragments of the Constitution saying, “No federal entity or person shall say, think, suggest, or do anything whatever regarding schooling on pain of garroting.” Part of the savings from lowering the military budget will go to purchasing garrotes. The duration, content, and nature of the schools shall be left to localities without exception.
Thirteen: The father of any girl subjected to genital mutilation will be awarded a free gender reassignment operation, preferably with tin-snips. Genital mutilation should be inclusive. The father will then be placed for two weeks in the bottom of a public latrine in Uganda. If this doesn’t suffice to deter the practice, I may be forced to adopt extreme measures. A country that allows such treatment of daughters deserves to go to hell. And seems to be.
Fourteen: I will impose a literacy test for voting. People too dim to find their way home should not be permitted to influence policies they have never heard of and can’t spell. Yes, this might be called illiberal. If so, it will doubtless be the only example of illiberalism in this meritorious list.
Fifteen: In higher education, I will prescribe horse whipping for anyone saying microaggression, white privilege, whiteness, patriarchy, safe space, people of color, racism, any kind of phobia, or “Resist” in a squalling voice with an exclamation point. No curriculum containing the word “Studies” will be permitted.
Sixteen: Anyone prescribing Ritalin for children under twenty-one will be thrown from a helicopter.
In conclusion, I say to my yearning public, There, you, see, there is hope. Together we can do this. See you at the polls.
America has some fifty-seven million residents of Latin-American descent, mostly citizens. Willy-nilly, they are part of America. Thinking that many Americans might want to know something about them, where they came from, what they do and have done, what manner of wights they be, the Occasional Tour Guide will offer, occasionally, some glimpses. These necessarily will be selective and biased. Putting a continent and a half in a web page would be awkward. I hope that readers will find them interesting, and a remedy to the wonderfuully silly idea that Latin America is a series of wretched hellholes.
Carmina Burana, la Orquésta Sinfónica de Xalapa, a city on th Atlantic coast. The sound quality is poor–what do you want from Youtube and computer speakers?–but it makes the point that not all of Mexican music is banda.
Write to Fred: [email protected]
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Fred Reed is a former news weasel and part-time sociopath living in central Mexico with his wife and three useless but agreeable street dogs. He says it suits him.