Persuade Me

I spent about an hour going down an internet rabbit hole tonight in response to the recent executive order to freeze immigration from certain Muslim countries. I am pleased with where I wound up, and how I got there, and I want to share it with you but I want to share it properly, with research and links, but my phone being my only means of internetting right now, I went and burned up my battery in the rabbit hole, and so now the phone’s on the charger and the proper entry will have to wait. 

So, if I may, I’d like to take you to my conclusion sans context: We’re trying to build Nazis again. 

I’ll come back to that soon. If I don’t, please remind me.

In the meantime, I must do something else to get my fingers a-moving, I need a topic. I’m writing. I wrote yesterday and I’m writing again today and that is good, that is for the best. I slept so well last night, sound as a sausage, wrapped up tight next to my hot dog. My head is floaty with possibility. I’ve been having ideas recently. Like I want to start a literary magazine and call it and it will feature only writing that I’ve asked for from authors I believe to be talented, and art from artists who impress me, like it will be my own collection and I won’t have any submissions to sort through which is the most tiresome part of the literary game, like I know there certainly needs to be some way to start out but imho we could really learn from other industries like the film industry or the music industry in this regard, like imagine if the producers of a film did open casting calls for every role instead of calling up the actors they’ve seen before and know have talent.

Also I want to have an NPR of the internet. I know, NPR has a website, but it’s not the same thing, there should be an independent, non-profit news organization on the internet that we can rely on. 

Third, and this is not a new idea, but I’m thinking a lot lately about my bid to become president via YouTube.  Like more than ever I really, really don’t want to have to be the one to fix all of this, but that revulsion of the task might be a sign that I should do it.

I think the idea first came to me in the 2012 election cycle, with Mittens spouting his android approximations of human speak, and I was a bit disillusioned with Obama at the time because the health care law had caved so hard to the insurance companies in so many ways, and he’d been wishy-washy on gay marriage and he’d not closed Guantanamo, but I still respected him and really wanted to know why he’d done some things the way he’d done them, and I thought why is it that with every election anymore we toss somebody into the role with no experience and no training and meanwhile I can’t get an interview for a dishwashing position if I’ve not already got 2+ years of dishwashing experience, but president, sure, take your best shot at leading the free world, captain big ideas. So then I thought well maybe the president ought to be training new presidents as he or she goes along, perhaps in the final two years of a term the president has ten college-age students from across the country in his or her back pocket at all times, following him or her around, seeing how the job is done.

But then I realized in a two-party system like ours that would never fly. Even if the kids declared their party affiliation on their application essays or whatever and they made sure to split to pool fifty-fifty, every one of those kids would be branded like an Obama acolyte for the rest of their political careers. So then, how else can we train people ahead of time for the job? And in a way that would not taint them politically before the fact? Well, why not just ask the people what they want their president to know? Aside from the Amish, I think people of this country could have their views fairly well represented on YouTube, I think cameras are ubiquitous enough now, recording a video of yourself isn’t too hard. So go on, then. Tell me. Explain to me what I should know, before I sit in that office and pull the strings and sign the laws. Along the way I will update you on where I stand and what I believe now and why and how those beliefs are changing.

I mean, hopefully not me, god knows I don’t want to have to do it. But who else can be trusted to do it right. To enter into it open-mindedly enough to seriously listen. Who’s a better listener than me, I don’t know of one.  

I’m pretty sure the best idea we ever got rid of in terms of electing presidents was that the runner-up to President used to become the Vice President. I’m not sure why they got rid of it although just off the top of my head perhaps it may have encouraged assassinations, but in theory putting the top two opposing viewpoints in the top two seats ought to do better at representing all of us. Because that’s where my rabbit-hole took me tonight, not down the path of what I already believe to be true (examples of refugees who have gone through the two-year vetting process to escape Syria and come to live in a loving home with encouraging sponsors in the relative safety of Chicago only to have their permits denied last minute, which, if you aren’t clear on what I believe, is a massive failure not only on the human level but in foreign policy), but instead following an almost guilty urge to click the links provided by the anonymous volunteers of Trump’s army. You want to persuade me? Go on, then. Persuade me.

It was rewarding. I’ll come back to it. Remind me. 

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