While reading this particular column, I was reminded of a part of my humorous philosophy book, Beginnings to Endings. Below I present the excerpt that I thought of. It basically provides politicians with tips on how to out-promise their opponents. The following comes from the beginning of Chapter 7 entitled "Law".
Okay, now it is time to get down to the serious business of creating laws. Well, at least I consider it serious business. Unfortunately, many of our leaders do not. They consider laws to be something akin to a game like World Domination. They will promise the passing or changing of any law, whether Constitutional or not, if it will help them get elected and gain power. Consider this exchange from a recent Presidential election debate.
Candidate #1: If you elect me as your President, I promise to only sign laws that are in keeping with the Constitution, that are fair and just for all citizens, and that protect their properties and rights rather than violate them.
Candidate #2: Candidate #1 cannot be taken seriously. He is too idealistic. He’s living in the past and interpreting the Constitution too strictly. The American People want a President that understands that the Constitution was intended to be a flexible document. One that can be re-interpreted from time to time to meet the changing needs of our culture.
Candidate #3: Candidate #2 is correct. We cannot be held back by our Constitution. We must move into the 21st century. If you elect me, I promise to give money to the poor, provide free health care for all, and provide a free education to everyone up to and including a Ph.D. And for those people who cannot pass the required courses, I’ll see to it that they at least get a diploma. I just received an E-mail about how to obtain these easily via the Internet.
Candidate #4: Candidate #3 is on the right track, but he wants to limit American Citizens too much. What good is an education without the guarantee of a job? I promise a job to everyone whether they want it or not. Under my administration, businesses will be required to hire everyone whether they are productive or not. FULL EMPLOYMENT is my mantra.
Candidate #5: Come on everyone, get with the program. An education, job, and health care doesn’t guarantee happiness. To be happy you got to have STUFF! And if your job doesn’t pay enough to buy STUFF, how are you going to get it? I promise every citizen a home and a car of their choice. And what is happiness without a complete home entertainment center, a kitchen with all the latest appliances, a king size bed, and a Jacuzzi? If the citizens want these things, they must vote for me. Don Pardo, what else do we have for our contestants – uh, citizens?
Don Pardo: Well, Candidate #5, we have two all paid vacations each year to any resort in the world. And how about family Jet Skis, and …
Candidate #6: Ah, shut up Don! Whatever you have isn’t enough. I’m offering every citizen anything they want. ANYTHING, I say. Just ask for it and I’ll get it for you, even if I personally have to drive down to Walmart to get it. And unlike the cold-hearted likes of Candidate #4, I won’t require you to work for anything unless you just want to.
Citizen #1: Gee, does that mean you will provide me with eight six-packs of beer and five packs of cigarettes every day, as many tattoos as I want, a new pickup truck with a shotgun rack and an 8-track tape player, and every Willie Nelson tape that has been or will be released? And I never have to work again?
Candidate #6: That’s right, ma’am. Anything you want.
Citizen #1: You got my vote!
Citizen #2: Wait just a minute. How are you going to pay for all that stuff, Candidate #6?
Candidate #6: Not to worry. We will increase our Federal income tax rate to 256.7% on all income with no deductions and that should take care of it.
Citizen #2: Hey, you can’t make the tax rate higher than 100%. And besides, if no one has to work, what income will you be taxing?
Candidate #6: First, where exactly does the Constitution limit the taxation rate to 100%? Nowhere, that’s where! Ha, ha! Got you on that one! Second, should a significant number of people decide not to work – and I personally do not think this will happen – I am already working on a contingency plan to borrow from every nation on the face of the Earth up to 145.7% of their GDP’s. So, there! Are you satisfied now smart-aleck? (Candidate #6 then stuck his tongue out, placed his thumbs in his ears, and flapped his fingers wildly alongside his head.)
So as you can see, based on the historical record, you have to beware of politicians’ guarantees. They will promise you the Moon, but what they deliver has nothing to do with NASA. Rather, it involves them turning their backs to you and dropping their pants. And let me tell you, Ace Ventura looks like an amateur when compared to politicians speaking out of their butts.
Beginnings to Endings is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon.com.