Imagine if we could get politicians to tell the truth. It's something we all pretend to long for. We all complain about how politicians go back on their promises after they are elected, about how they aren't very honest about what they can achieve while in office, or about their motivations. But, would we really want politicians to be completely honest? Perhaps their dishonesty is a comfortable curtain that keeps the ugly and frightening truth hidden from us. Perhaps we want them to sell us a nice little bed time story about how everything is going to be OK. What are politicians actually hiding from us? What would they sound like if they were forced to be totally honest? Let's fantasize about what the upcoming American presidential election might be like with honesty. Let's imagine a televised debate between Obama and Romney in which they had both been administered a truth serum, forcing them to tell the absolute truth no matter the consequences:
Moderator: Good evening. We are coming to you live from Stanford University in California where President Obama and Governor Romney, the candidates for president in the 2012 presidential election will debate the issues honestly in front of you this evening.
Before the show we flipped a coin to determine the order of the first question and Mr. President, we are starting with you. Mr. President, you have led this country for the past four years. Tell us why voters should send you back to the White House for another four years?
Obama: Good evening. Let me just start by saying I really don't want to be here. I'd rather be chain-smoking in front of the White Sox game this evening on the huge screen in the White House situation room. That TV is just enormous. But you've asked why people should vote for me. I'm smart. I might be the smartest black man this country has ever produced, and I can also give a really good speech. I think people want to know that their president is smart and I think they want to know that he'll read out a good speech on TV when they want him to.
Moderator: Thank you Mr. President, but if you could elaborate a bit more, what policies would you like to continue or implement in the next four years?
Obama: I don't think too many second term presidents think about policy too much. The second term is the time when you really get to pad your wallet. I've put in my time, I've worked really hard for the past eight years to get to where I am, and now I think it's time for me to profit from that hard work. You know, when I came to the White House in 2008, I had a net worth of only $3 million. I'm now worth about $7 million. But by the end of my second term I expect to be worth about $17 million. Once I sit on a few boards after my second term for a while I think I can reach $50 million of personal fortune. The second term is critical to a president's financial success though. That's the time when a president can help out the special interest groups and lobbyists the most since there's no accountability anymore. With no more elections to worry about, a second term president can just take care of all those wealthy corporations, removing regulations and red tape. They profit massively during a second term, and they always kick back a significant sum to the president once he retires.
The other reason I want to be re-elected is for my ego. Everyone knows that an American president's legacy is judged by whether he is a one-term or a two-term president. It's better never to be president than it is to be a one-term president, we all know that. I need that legacy to feel really good about myself.
Moderator: OK, thank you Mr. President. Turning to you Mr. Romney. Can you tell us whey people should vote for you in 2012?
Romney: Hi everyone. Let me begin by mimicking the President's feelings that I really don't want to be here. I'd rather be back at the hotel surfing the adult TV channels. My wife isn't on this part of the campaign with me, so I've got a few hours of privacy to watch some really good porn on TV. The Mormon religion really confuses the issue of sex. I'm not sure why God gave people such a strong sex drive if we aren't allowed to use it all the time. Anyway, I find that porn is a good alternative to adultery. And, it's much safer politically.
Moderator: The vote, Mr. Romney?
Romney: Oh yeah. OK, well listen, people should vote for me because I'm a white guy and I deserve it. Simple as that. I'm a white guy who people want to vote for. There's a lot of people in America who don't trust a black man in the White House, so they can vote for me and we'll get things back to normal that way. I also agree with Obama that there's a whole lot of money to be made in the White House. I'm worth about $230 million right now, but after a couple of terms in the White House, I'm pretty sure with all my business connections I can get that up over $1 billion. I'd like to be the first billionaire president. Plus, I'm entitled to be president. I've been really good at every business I've ever run, so I kind of deserve this now.
Moderator: Mr. Obama, how do you see international relations developing over the next four years with you as president?
Obama: More of the same. More of the same slow steady decline for America. Listen, America can't compete anymore. Our workers suck compared to the Chinese, the Indians. We don't really make anything in this country anymore, and a country without manufacturing is doomed. Just look at what happened to England 100 years ago. They ruled the world but slowly their manufacturing industries died out and then their economy slouched and they faded into irrelevance. The 21st Century is going to belong to China. There ain't nothing we can do about it. China will do whatever they want in the world in the next 50 years. We can keep ruling the world for a little bit longer because we spend so goddamn much on our military that everyone is kind of scared of us. But the Chinese have got it figured out. They're biding their time and not spending that much on military. They're building economic strength first and buying up debt in other countries, then when they are the economic superpower of the world, they'll start flexing their military muscle and doing whatever they want. We all know they'll take back Taiwan first, then probably unite North and South Korea. They'll take over the oil in the Middle East and all the natural resources in Africa. Basically we're fucked, and there's nothing the president can do about it.
Listen, folks, the Chinese already own America. When you become president they brief you on a bunch of national security issues like how to use the nukes. They also brief you on a whole lot of other top secret information that the public shouldn't know about. One of the first things I learned in early 2009 when I became president, was that the Chinese already own 70% of America's debt. The public thinks it's way less than that, somewhere around 15%, but it's not. They own us. While I remember, the other thing I'd like to say here today is that the government did kill Kennedy.
Moderator: OK Mr. President, I think we're getting a bit off topic. Let me bring it back to Mr. Romney. Governor, I'll ask you the same question. How do you see international relations developing over the next four years with you as president?
Romney: Listen, once I become president, I'll sit down with my good friends the Rothschilds and hear what their plan is over the next few years. Maybe it'll be another war in the Middle East, maybe it'll be just building up the military, that's up to them. Whatever they have on the agenda we'll make sure we get 'er done. See, the president really isn't the most powerful man in the world. The president is just a puppet. Like Mr. Obama just said, we all know what happened to JFK when he tried to flex his presidential muscle too much. He actually thought he could change the world for the better and so they got rid of him. Showed everyone who was boss.
Moderator: OK, thank you Mr. Romney. Let me conclude here by asking each of you to sum up your policies over the next four years if you become president.
Obama: Like I said, a second term president doesn't really have policies. It's all about money and legacy, and a few political favors like pardoning the right people so that you'll get taken care of later on. But I guess if I'm going to be really honest here tonight, I need to let you know that Michelle wants to be the first woman president. That's right folks, I was the first black president and my wife is going to be the first woman president. Now, the Clintons, they tried this hand-off, but they fucked up. We're learned from their mistakes. We've got a plan so that Michelle will be president 8 years after I leave office.
Romney: Is this thing over yet? I really want to get back to the hotel. Well, OK, let's see. Oh yeah, my main things is that there is a ton of money to be made in health care. Everyone thinks it's about oil. Oil is nothing compared to health care for making money. Oil is gonna run out pretty soon and then the money will dry up. But people are always going to get sick. That's why I brought in universal health care in my state. I made a pile of money off that too. If I get elected I'm going to ram in this Obama care thing for keeps, but I'm going to put my name on it of course. Then I'll truly be the richest president ever. Say, does anyone else feel their underwear tingling?