The other day when I was visiting Mrs. Vasquez's second-grade class at Wasatch Elementary, I noticed that each of her students had written a patriotic essay titled "If I Were President." I thought these kids had some unusually sensible things to say, which is why I have decided it is vitally important that WE, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, MUST OVERCOME OUR VOTER APATHY AND ELECT A BUNCH OF SECOND-GRADERS TO PUBLIC OFFICE DURING THE NEXT ELECTION. I'm convinced that the future of our country depends on it.

Anyway, the following are a few of my favorite excerpts from their essays.1. "If I were president I would make more schools and have new laws and no one going places for lunch when you're in high school."

2. "If I were president, I'd make a big park in Mt. Vernon. If anybody tried to assassinate me, my bodyguards would kill them."

3. "If I were president I would design a new kind of car. I would make a law that you can't cut down trees."

4. "If I were president I would not allow smoking until you are over 60 years old.

5. "If I were president I would invent a huge toy and then make laws and make up new shapes. I would make more detours."

6. "If I were president I would have all boys play basketball everyday nonstop unless they're sick or hurt or sweaty."

7. "If I were president, I will turn a penny into a dollar. I will cut taxes. I will not let teenagers drive until they're 20."

Actually, a lot of these kids were very concerned about teenage drivers, which just proves how intelligent they really are. I, too, am very concerned about teenage drivers, primarily because I used to be one myself, and it makes me extremely nervous to think that at any given moment, I could be sharing road space with young hormonal females. Thinking back on it, I'm surprised my parents ever let me near one of their vehicles, especially after that time I plowed into the back of another car on University Avenue in Provo.

There I was in my dad's Volkswagen bug, driving home after a high school football game with a gaggle of screaming girls in drill team uniforms clutching pompons, as well as cans of TAB. Naturally, I (the driver) was checking out cute boys in the car to the right of me, cute boys in the car to the left of me, and cute boys in the car to the rear of me. I completely failed, however, to check out that NOT cute middle-age guy in the NOT cute Pontiac Bonneville to the front of me, even after he came to a complete stop when the light turned red, which is how I ended up in an inappropriate place on his back bumper.

Except for my friend in the passenger seat who sustained some minor nose damage when she accidentally cracked the windshield with her face, everybody (including the guy in the stupid-looking Pontiac) was fine. My friends and I piled out of the car and stood on the side of the road with our pompons while our classmates on their way home from the game drove past and made mock. Before long the cops showed up to cite us (no doubt thinking they'd hit the Girls in Short Skirts Jackpot), after which my father (normally the best-natured of men) showed up looking like he devoutly wished that teenage daughters with friends carrying pompons had never been invented.

So anyway, this is what I personally would write if I were a member of Mrs. Vasquez's second-grade class:

"If I, Ann Cannon, were president, I would do the following things:

1. Design a car which is definitely better looking than a Pontiac Bonneville.

2. Not allow sweaty teenage boys who play basketball every day to drive my new car until they are over the age of 60.

3. Not allow teenage girls who are crazy in love with sweaty teenage boys who play basketball every day to drive my new car until they are also over the age of 60.

4. If Congress fails to pass my law about sweaty, crazy teenagers driving until they are over the age of 60, then make both teenage boys and teenage girls take new detours that I have created - to other countries.

5. Order my bodyguards to chase them and confiscate their pompons and also cause them to sustain nose damage if they are found driving to other places for lunch.

Thank you, and please remember to drive safely.