Unprompted: Platform Notes from the Gene Cox Presidency 

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My Fellow Americans, today I announce my candidacy for president of the United States. I have all the required credentials: I was born here, I’m old enough, I can read and write, I’m willing to say anything to win and I’m a little bit crazy.

My platform is simple. I will fix what Jeb’s dad and older brother screwed up, and I will undo what President Obama should not have done. By the time my first term is over it will all be in fairly good shape, at which time I will endorse as my replacement, Vice President Megyn Kelly.

On my first day in office I will order all American troops and everybody else from here out of the Middle East. We will leave Arabs alone to fight in peace. ISIS will lose interest in us and focus on other nations who, like us, have no business fooling around in that part of the world. I mean really, what are we getting out of it, anyway? We may keep the Saudis in case we need more oil and a place to park our airplanes.

Immigration. We’ll enforce our laws for any would-be newcomers. New illegals will be routinely sent to Belize, the only Latin American country where their newly acquired English skills will be appreciated. Those already here will be allowed to stay unless they want to emigrate to Canada.

Penal reform. All violent inmates will remain in jail, and everybody else will be released immediately, equipped with ankle bracelets. If the bracelets are an irritant they may opt for having chips embedded in their pancreases. If they screw up again, they’ll be returned to prison forever, just like O.J. Simpson.

Washington. We will remove from the federal payroll all those agencies whose responsibilities are suspect anyway. Do we still need the Rural Electrification Commission? The Department of Education will go bye-bye. Education will become the responsibility of localities that pay for it. The persistent testing of students will cease immediately to allow them to learn.

Higher education. The term will be redefined to mean something. In other words, no more student loans for college students studying art or modern dance. They can study that stuff if they want to, but student loans will go only to students who want to learn medicine, science or air-conditioning repair.

Monetary policy. I don’t know much about that or international trade, so I will hire experts to advise me. After all, when we break a bone we hire a doctor, when we want to fly somewhere we hire a pilot. There are people who know what the hell they’re doing — we should use them.

Health care. Obamacare is too complicated. If you don’t want health insurance, go for it. But don’t expect doctors to pay any attention to you when you get sick. The exception will be your children. You will be required to provide coverage for them.

Internal Revenue Service. Eliminated! Flat tax for everybody, percentage to be set. No deductions for anything.

Guns. Let’s face it, the horse is already out of the barn. There are an estimated 300 million guns already in circulation. I mean really, do you really think they can be confiscated? We don’t want to arm our school teachers but it might not be a bad idea to have each of them armed with something, a stun gun perhaps, or pepper spray. Halfway measures are worth a try.

Religion. Everybody can believe anything they want to, even crazy stuff, but with limits. No one will be allowed to practice anything that infringes on the rights of others. If their children get sick they will be required to take them to doctors.

The military. It will be the strongest in the world by far. That’s what enables us to drive the bus.

Paid lobbying. Becomes an illegal activity. Only volunteers are allowed to buttonhole congressmen, and they will have to live in Hopewell.

OK then, this may seem too simple. But compared with what we have now, well go ahead and compare it. We as a nation are not terribly smart but there are really bright people among us and we should listen to them.

In the coming days I will open a campaign headquarters, using volunteers to staff it. Donations from individuals will be accepted but special interest groups will be barred from the property. S

Gene Cox is an author and inventor who recently retired from a 35-year career as a television anchor in Richmond. Connect with him at letters@styleweekly.com, or on Twitter at @genecoxrva.



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