I Think a Mother of Boys Could Straighten Out This Mess

Categorized as 04/14/08 Goshen News article

Being a bonafide news junkie since the age of six, I have been watching the presidential race unfold with great interest. It has arguably been the most divisive and spirited campaign in recent history. I’ve been listening to the candidates espouse their qualifications, and it got me thinking. With a combined 44 years’ experience at raising 4 sons, I think I should be running for president. Why, you ask? Let me explain.

All of the candidates have been touting their foreign policy experience and diplomatic skills. In this, I believe I am uniquely qualified. Lord knows, it takes plenty of diplomacy to keep boys from killing each other. You may recall the monkey crisis that arose some years back when one son wanted to take all of his stuffed monkeys to bed. War broke out when his brother got sick of waking up in the night with monkeys under his back. Disaster was averted when I signed the Two-Monkey Rule into law. After skillfully brokering a peace treaty with these two, Arab terrorists wearing Pizza Hut tablecloths no longer intimidate me.

Another weapon in my arsenal for dealing with thugs and ruffians is what any mother worth her salt knows as “the hairy eyeball,” or, “the look of death.” It hasn’t failed yet to quell an uprising and can stop a little sinner dead in his tracks.

Why wouldn’t this be effective on an international scale? I would level the hairy eyeball on Mr. Al-Qaddafi (or Mr. Ahmadinejad, pick your favorite dictator), sit him down and say, “Look here, Mr. Dictator Person, this behavior is unacceptable. You are going to cut this out and get along with your neighbors to the (east, west, south – you choose).” This, combined with a twist of the ear lobe, would surely put the fear of God in him. It works at my house.

On the domestic side, I have proven my ability to bring both sides of the proverbial aisle together. When six people are stuck together in a moving vehicle, knowing how to get those in the front seat to stop fighting with those in the back seat is a matter of survival. I can do that.

If surviving a corkscrew landing and dodging supposed sniper fire, as one candidate recently claimed, is a qualification for the office, I’ve done that, too. On any given day, I am dodging slingshots, rubber-tipped arrows, real arrows, BBs, firecrackers, or bottle rockets. So my landing didn’t look like hers – it’s all relative, isn’t it?

Apparently, the ability to waffle and give vague non-answers is a much desired skill. Got that nailed. When the little non-voters ask if they can do something, I use the old parental favorite, “We’ll see.” This could mean yes. It could mean no. It could mean anything. Yup – I think this will work up on Capitol Hill. I can keep those lobbyists guessing ‘til the cows come home while I get some real work done up there.

On economic issues, I am particularly strong. My platform is, “If the money ain’t there, it ain’t happening.” We have found that the simple envelope system works very well. I’ll just take this to the national level. Granted, it will take some really big envelopes, but it would sure save a lot of Congressional wrangling and would put the country back in the black. For instance, if a bill crossed my desk mandating funds for, say, a study on the environmental impact of bovine methane emissions (really!), all I would have to do is check the envelope labeled “Idiotic Studies To Waste Colossal Amounts of Taxpayer Money.” If it’s empty, I’d just ink up my veto stamp and wham! End of story.

In addition to the qualities mentioned above, I have the strength of character to live above the polls. On any given day, my numbers can fluctuate from 40 to 50 points, depending on whether I veto or pass the legislation the offspring are proposing. Constituent outrage does not move me once I have made a sound, well-informed decision. Besides, I know that all I have to do to swing public opinion back in my favor is to offer milk and cookies. Hey, you use what you’ve got.

Hopefully I have made a convincing case as to my readiness for the White House. The question, is, then, “Is the White House ready for us?” There will have to be some changes forthcoming. For one thing, they will have to find a really secure place for that special red phone. There’s not a bookshelf high enough to keep it away from a toddler who can scale any height. This is important. Otherwise, it’s entirely possible that one day the phone will ring over in Moscow and Mr. Putin will pick it up in a panic, only to hear a small, transatlantic voice saying, “Hewo! Hewo!”

Instead of requests for pheasant and escargot, the White House chef will get orders for pizza pockets and hot fudge sundaes. Oh, and white chocolate mochas, on the double. I just want to serve my country. That’s all I’m asking. And I have to be able to stay awake to do it.

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