***Disclaimer: I don’t usually like to get political. But in light of recent electoral shenanigans, I couldn’t help but vent my frustration. And because I’m me, I decided to share my displeasure by drafting an inaugural speech for the next POTUS.
2012 PRESIDENTIAL ACCEPTANCE SPEECH for [Insert Name Here]
[Walk to microphone, place hands on podium. Speak loudly, with clarity and alacrity.]
I pledge allegiance,
To the flag,
Of the United States of America.
And to the republic,
For which it stands:
With LIBERTY and JUSTICE for ALL.
My fellow Americans, I stand before you today, humble and dedicated to serve this great nation. But I would be lying if I didn’t also express my trepidation. You see, I fear the nation to which I have just pledged my allegiance no longer exists.
We no longer uphold the right to worship God as a sacred civil liberty, but instead feel the need to pick and choose which religious practices are acceptable to the moral majority. Liberty has become a fluid concept, subject to the whims of paranoia and fear. And don’t even get me started on justice for “all.” Where is the justice for abused or neglected children? The forgotten veterans? The sick and uninsured? The LGBT community? The non-citizen residents of this country?
In truth, this pledge is little more than a wistful reminder of the ideals this nation used to hold dear. That is not to say that ‘we, the people’ have ever been perfect. This nation has seen its share of division; civil war, domestic acts of terrorism, political corruption, and yes, even conscious violation of some of the most basic human rights. But just because we are human, and prone to failures, does that mean we shouldn’t challenge ourselves to achieve a more ideal future?
In place of ideals, we now have escapes. Popular “reality” television shows benefit from our nation’s struggling education system, unemployment, substance abuse, child endangerment, and battle with obesity. I think you all know the ones I mean. There are more fast food chains in this country than there are public libraries, or book stores of any kind. The number of American expatriates is at an all-time high. The true “reality” of this nation is not what we see on TV. It’s what the rest of the world sees when they look at us. It’s what we spend our days enduring, ignoring, or trying to escape from.
Today, the reality of this nation is an ugly and inconvenient truth. But it’s a truth we must face, if there is to be any hope of recovery. Can we change? Yes. History has shown us that we can.
But WILL we change? Will we humble ourselves, put aside our partisan agendas and selfish goals, realign our priorities, and show the rest of the world what it means to be truly indivisible?
That, my fellow Americans, is a question only you can answer.
[Drop microphone. Leave stage.]