Just when you think that this great nation we call "America" is losing its competitive edge, something happens to remind you that, when all is said and done, we are going right down the toilet.
I refer to the enthusiastic public response to my announcement that I'm running for president. Here at Campaign Headquarters our wastebaskets are overflowing with letters from Americans voicing their support ("Cancel my subscription!" "Who cuts your hair? Piranhas?" etc.). Some people sent actual contributions in the form of coupons for valuable pizza discounts. A few people even sent cash money, although most of it was from Third World nations with tuber-based economies. Nevertheless each of these contributors will receive, as a token of my gratitude, one of the following valuable items:- A large defense contract.
- A cabinet post.
- A bumper sticker.
That's right: I already have bumper stickers. They say:
"DAVE BARRY FOR PRESIDENT
"A Catchy Slogan Should Appear Here"
And I stand behind those words. As you can see, this is a serious, well-thought-out campaign, with only a couple of minor details to be ironed out, such as which specific political party I'm going to get nominated by.
I was leaning toward the Democrats, because when they have gala fund-raising events they always attract top celebrities like Robert Redford and Cher, whereas the Republicans generally wind up with people like Walter Brennan. (I realize that Walter Brennan is, technically, deceased. If you think that makes any difference, you have never attended a Republican gala.)
On the other hand, when it comes to actually getting a candidate elected president, the Democrats, as a party, traditionally display the shrewd tactical instincts of margarine. Right now, for example, their only semi-declared candidate is - get ready - George McGovern. This is a man who, in 1972, became the first major-party presidential candidate in U.S. history to be chased away from the voting booth by his own dog.
So I've decided I'm going to permit either party to nominate me. But I'm definitely keeping Dan Quayle. He's a fun dude, and he has proved that he can handle the primary duty of the vice presidency, which is to stand behind the president and frown with the concerned, thoughtful expression of a man who suspects he has a live moth trapped in his inner ear. The official Barry-Quayle campaign theme will be: "Just What We Need: Two White Guys In Their Forties."
My other major appointee will be Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf. I realize that, by putting this man in my administration, I run the risk of becoming wildly popular, but that's a risk I am willing to take. He'll be in charge of battling a domestic scourge that is every bit as much of a threat to this nation as any foreign power. That's right: I'm going to place him in charge of the War On Light Beer. As Light Beer Czar, Gen. Schwarzkopf will have a two-pronged mission, which is to find out whois making this stuff, and what happens to their breweries when you drop bombs on them.
Speaking of kicking enemy butt: Militarily, I intend to be just as much of a Stud Hombre style of president as Mr. George "Hoss" Bush. When the chips were down, Mr. Bush was not afraid to go to war with Iraq, and although I had some doubts about this at the beginning, I learned an important lesson. When I'm president, and some loud braggart foreign nation such as Cuba or Yemen tries to put us down, I'll go on national TV and announce, in a firm, clear voice, that we're going to war with Iraq again. "When you find a government program that works, you stick with it," that is one of my mottoes.
As a general military policy, however, I probably would not use nuclear weapons. (Inspirational Slogan: "Dave Barry: He Probably Wouldn't Use Nuclear Weapons.") There really wouldn't be much opportunity, inasmuch as our major nuclear target, the Soviet Union, will soon be, due to secession movements, about the size of Epcot Center. So as president I'd take all our atomic missiles and, in a dramatic gesture that would bring joy to peace-loving peoples everywhere, turn them over to the states. This would produce practical economic benefits. Let's say General Motors decides to close a big auto plant in Missouri. Right now, all the Missouri governor can do is make a whiny speech; but just think of the leverage he'd have with GM executives if, at the push of a button, he could convert Detroit into high-altitude particles. Also it could be a good tourism booster. ("Visit South Dakota! Or Lose Your Entire State!")
Also I assume it goes without saying that I favor the mandatory sterilization of anybody who has knowingly been elected to Congress more than twice.
Also I intend to appoint Walter Brennan to the Supreme Court. He has earned a shot.
Of course as president I'll need to make many other appointments to high-level, well-paying federal jobs. Even as you read these words, I'm conducting a nationwide search for high-caliber individuals and writing their names down on cocktail napkins. You may rest assured that, as the nation's leader, I will choose only the best-qualified people available, regardless of outside considerations. Make me an offer.