Opinions, Column

Dictatorship: An Alternative To Gridlock

Most unbiased news stations seem to be in agreement that the midterm elections last week were a commentary on the general ineffectiveness of the current U.S. government. The midterms boasted a voter turnout that was the lowest it has been in decades. Apathy and laziness triumphed over civic duty, prompted, perhaps, by the lack of faith in candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties. In fact, in Rhode Island, a gubernatorial (sidebar: How is that even a word?) candidate from an Independent party garnered 22 percent of the votes—after using $35 for his campaign. Although the Republican party now has control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, it was not a complete victory for the party. People are tired of politicians making promises and not carrying through in action. So, they voted for the candidates who said that they would do less, but do it better.

In a column on American political dysfunction, Nicholas Kristof writes that a poll taken last year shows Congress to be less popular among people than cockroaches, and that a national exit poll shows that a majority of voters disapprove of both the Democratic and Republican parties—quite a vote of confidence. The political dysfunction that makes the U.S. government so inefficient exists because of the extreme polarization that is happening within the two-party system. I had it explained to me once this way:

Imagine a football field. Each of the two parties occupies one-half of the field, the Democrats on the left and the Republicans on the right. Even during the Vietnam War—a time known for its political unrest and squabbling between the parties—most politicians were in the middle of the field, with some liberal Republicans standing just over the line in the left side of the field and some conservative Democrats on the right. Currently, this football field has most politicians clustered near their respective goal lines. Essentially, the U.S government is more polarized than it has ever been—is anyone surprised that it’s dysfunctional?

To have a government that works—and works well—the two parties must start creeping back toward that 50-yard line. Or, the voters could just take matters into their own hands and overturn the playing field. We could vote to become like England and adopt a constitutional monarchy with a parliament because whatever they’re doing, it seems to be working. On the other hand, it looks like it may be time to fulfill Karl Marx’s vision of a proletariat dictatorship. Ostensibly democratic, the U.S. may be able to transition peacefully to a socialist/communist system without the need for a revolution. Do you know what country has a form of government that works, and works well? The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Everyone there is happy and content—or at least the government says so. After all, the government provides for all their needs and gives them a purpose in life.

My suggestion is that I become Supreme Ruler and Dictator for Life. I would reshape the U.S. in my image, which as you know, is blindingly beautiful. Of course, as ruler, I would claim some prerogatives. I would take your daughters and make them serve in my army with chariots and horses. Some would be commanders, and others would be farmers, and still others would make weapons of war and equipment for my chariots. I would take your sons to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. I will take the best of your crops, and your property I would use as my own. I would take a 10th of your cattle and your sheep, as well. But, in exchange, I will lead you and fight your battles.

I’ve been preparing for this position since I was a child. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, the many hours I spent playing Sims was just in preparation for this very moment. I micromanaged one Sim’s life, telling it when to go to bed, when to eat, when to have fun, when to shower or go to the bathroom, when to work, and when to stand staring at ceramic bunnies for five hours. It survived until I lost interest, and I figure ruling the world can’t be much different from playing Sims. And that was the moment my power-hungry alter ego was born. Now, 16 years later, that alter ego has taken over for good. In fact, last year, I took a class called “How to Rule the World” to help me along on my quest for power—I suppose I have to start somewhere, though, and the U.S. is as good a place as any. Although this may sound suspiciously tyrannical, it will be for the greater good. As for all the battles I will be fighting on the behalf of the U.S., my goblin-hunting hobby has trained me in the use of a bow and arrow, slingshot, and long sword.

At the very least, as the sole power ruling the U.S., I would make decisions that would be enacted immediately—no more dithering and compromising. My first order of business would be to make Pluto a planet again.

Featured Image by Jordan Pentaleri / Heights Editor

November 13, 2014