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Monday, March 31, 2014

If I Were President...

Let's face it; no matter how divided we are as a nation, whether in times of economic prosperity or doom, regardless of our own level of success or failure, most of us have at least one thing in common; we've all begun a sentence with "If I were President" at some point in our lives. 

This declaration of blind, unwarranted confidence is most popular during an election period, naturally. To take that even further, the same people who claim to have it all figured out get an even bigger boost of confidence if the newly elected leader hasn't remedied all of our nation's problems within the first year (or term) in office.  Although I'm not aiming this directly at President Obama, there are obvious parallels between my premise and his highly criticized administration.  Many feel he did not live up to his promises and has pursued his own agenda in defiance of the American people.  Of course, there are also many people, myself included, who feel that he inherited a severely weakened economy and a Congress filled with self-righteous, self-serving people who are far more interested in protecting backdoor arrangements than doing their job to serve the people who voted them into office.

The recent government shutdown stands as proof that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes to stand in the way of an effective government than many have thought, and the principles our country was founded on have been swept away beneath a layer of greed and self-interest.  Jesse Ventura, the former Governor of Minnesota, has stated that if a grassroots movement began that showed enough support, and if he felt that he had a substantial chance to win the election, he would run for president in the next election.  This may not seem significant, but it should, as he would become the first elected president not belonging to a political party since the founder of our country, George Washington.  Jesse is a bit of a controversial figure these days, mostly for his tendency to question everything we're told by our government.  Having been in office himself, he's definitely seen and heard more than the average person, and has never been shy about expressing his skepticism of the efficiency and credibility of our government.  Some may view Jesse as an extremist, a conspiracy theorist, or a bit of a radical for many of his ideas, but if there is one thing above all that I feel Jesse stands for it's the truth.  He doesn't accept what he's told when he knows better and that is the kind of person we need in office to get to the root cause of why our country has strayed so far from its foundation.  To question authority is something we're taught during our early years is not appropriate, for different reasons.  Children are taught to respect authority, as they should, especially from parents and school figures, and obviously law enforcement.  However, I see nothing wrong with a healthy interest in questioning why once in a while, if done respectfully.  Once you're an adult, that all changes and when it comes to questioning authority, many are faced with being labeled as as radicals and whistleblowers.  The real question isn't "why question it", it should be "why not?".  I think many of our nation's greatest mysteries exist due to a lack of evidence either proving or disproving what we know and anytime the truth is not being disclosed it's only natural to wonder why.  I think our nation has been plagued with generations of people who have taken office for the wrong reasons and who have remained in office because nobody has questioned why they are there in the first place and how they are serving the people who put them in office.  It seems you have to have years of experience holding office before anyone can be taken seriously as a viable candidate, and history has proven that seeking the truth or getting involved in certain affairs can get you killed, which serves as all the more reason to trust that there are many who do not want the truth to be told and as long as that goes on our nation will never be as strong as our founders envisioned.

Now, back to the original topic...
I would never assume to know what it takes to make anything happen in office, but I definitely have an agenda (several actually) in mind.  My first order of business would be to seek out any individual in our government who serves their own interests before that of the American people and take appropriate action against them because I think the word corruption doesn't even begin to describe what goes on and why no real change has happened for decades now.  Once internal conflicts had been taken care of, and I felt confident that we had a government that was no longer inhibited by self-interest among its members, I would move to a very specific and strategic agenda.  My primary focus would be a nationwide overhaul of how we handle the sentencing of all crimes, as well as a complete re-investment of our education system.  There are so many concurrent problems with the way our country is functioning, but what I find most inexcusable is that we have children who don't have enough to eat and teachers being laid off from work while the convicted felons in our prison system are allowed amenities that working, law-abiding citizens can't even afford for themselves or their families.

I could be politically correct here, but since Mr. Ventura doesn't bite his tongue, neither will I when I say that our entire justice system is an antiquated joke, plagued by inconsistency and leniency that should not be afforded to those who fail to adhere to the laws of the country.  When people will commit crimes to enter the prison system because they receive better health care as a criminal, it should be obvious that change must be made.  Real change, that provides significant and visual progress, is something this nation has not seen for far too long.  I've been called naive and foolish, and received far worse criticism when presenting my formal ideas for the kind of reforms I've mentioned, but until an attempt is made and proven wrong, any improvement is a step in the right direction.  Actions have consequences, and for some crimes or offenses those consequences need to be made so drastically life-altering that crimes of opportunity no longer exist, meaning there is enough of a deterrent to make someone actually think twice about committing a crime considering the punishment it carries.

Am I technically "qualified" to be president?  According to the American people absolutely not, but how long has it been since the qualifications and experience of the elected president equated to results accordingly?  Perhaps choosing someone with a clear and effective plan that can bring the kind of changes we actually need and want for our country, and the determination to see that plan to fruition, is more important than what's on his (or her) birth certificate or years of experience or "qualification".

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