The following excerpt was inspired from my stumbling upon Sophocles’ quote on page 28 of our course packet: “The happiest life is to be without thought.” I was instantly pulled back to a time in my life when I was most happy. I was brought careening through time, back to sit in front of the old television set, a set complete with tinfoil-wrapped antennae, to watch the goings-on of a blissful, simple little place named Sesame Street, a place where Big Bird and Grover and Bert and Ernie encountered complex life situations, usually involving a lack of knowledge of the concept of something like “8” or “Near and Far.” They would then solve these life-altering problems with a hefty draught of sincerity and, perhaps, a peppy song. I have recently became aware that many people in our country are frequently less than happy, and sarcasm and pessimism are rampant, and I’ve come to the consideration that, if everyone in this country were forced to sit down once a week and watch an episode of Sesame Street, things could at least be no worse than they are now.
ALL I WANT IN A PRESIDENT IS ELMO
The days of the Bush dynasty are nearing an end, and our nation will be left without a character in the Oval Office. We will be asked, yet again, to select another person we inherently distrust and resent ruling over us. It seems that no candidate has been truly beloved by the masses in years, and none of our present-day hopefuls are close to being truly universally admired. They are, to a man (or woman), loved by some, hated by others. Not one man (or woman) of them stands out like noble King Arthur of old, gleaming sword rightfully clasped in hand, authority unquestionable by all, and backed strongly and affirmatively by every citizen.
No, once again, our nation will pick a candidate, and then spend four years picking on that poor soul. That’s why America needs a change. And no, I’m not talking about “change,” the oft-sputtered fall-back word of our current runners. I speak of change, a change in attitude, a new leaning towards optimism, a trust and love and respect for our country’s leadership again.
The answer to our back-breaking dilemma comes in one powerful word:
That’s it. The Elmo. From Sesame Street. The only possible solution to our ailing motherland’s fatal cynicism is a giggling ball of felt, red fur, and those ever-flailing arms tipped in two little, nubbed fingers.
Now, just think about this for a second. If there is one person our there that truly dislikes Elmo, they are either a liar or the tragic victim of some Muppet-related form of abuse. Face it; there is not a single American that hates Elmo. He is the bubbling, perky glue meant to piece our nation back together.
The Republicans will try to dismiss him initially, doubtless targeting his constant reliance on the hand of another, but the GOP will ultimately be won over by his playful willingness to teach the youth of our nation the basics with little to no monetary compensation, and also his surprising aptitude for tap-dancing.
Democrats will be distressed with Elmo’s tendency to hold back hand-outs of cookies for his needy friend, Cookie Monster, who is obviously hampered by an incapacitating speech impediment and a lack of education that prevents him from working a steady job (“Me no have speech impediment!”).
Nevertheless, they will eventually be forced to jump at the chance of supporting so diverse a contender as Mr. Elmo. After all, he would be the first President who is missing ears, the first President to run as a legally handicapped “little person,” the first President of non-Caucasian (and non-human) descent to win the race, and the second candidate to be of questionable planetary origin (Richard Nixon was the first, and the jury is still out on Ross Perot).
Of course, Elmo would need to be backed by a strong cabinet, his supporting cast of other beloved figures in American society, the men and women and Muppets of our world that stand above reproach and ridicule.
At the right hand of President Elmo would stand Vice President Tom Hanks. Tom would obviously handle the incalculably stressful press issues, using his everyman demeanor and trustworthy smile to put off the queries of more disparaging pundits. An intelligent and capable man, Mr. Hanks also bears the unique honor of appearing in at least one movie that every single person out there likes. He would not only attract both the earthier Turner and Hooch crowd and the more sensitive, predominantly feminine devotee of the romantic-comedy genre, but also the sophisticated, chic Forrest Gump fans, thus locking in both the Southern and female vote, plus the always-crucial police/canine bump.
Elmo’s Secretary of State post could easily be filled by Stevie Wonder, who is quite possibly the coolest man in the world. And our nation would feel so much better with Brett Favre quarterbacking our military efforts in the execution of his Secretary of Defense role, always giving 110% percent, one conflict at a time.
But why stop there? What about David Letterman as Secretary of Agriculture (“Let’s see what happens when we drop eight tons of watermelons off the roof of my studio, eh?”)? Oprah Winfrey would obviously excel as Speaker of the House, and Bill Cosby could lovingly father our Environmental Protection Agency. And wouldn’t good old Charlie Brown be fantastic as the head of NASA (“Good grief, I lost another one…”)?
Our Senate could be crammed with the combined casts of the Care Bears and Star Wars, the House swollen with Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Kiss impersonators, and our Supreme Court would be manned by a selection of players from the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, with Karl Malone he-self at the helm of Chief Justice (this would draw any negative attention away from President Elmo’s frequent use of the third person in his speeches).
Now, realistically, this ideological concept of political movement, one I have appropriately named “Progressive Elmoism,” would require vast public support, and a willingness from the general public to not just “change,” but change, and though Elmo is merely felt and hair, the unification and values he stands for are crucial to the healing of our sickly sphere. Elmo would be loved by all, and his sheer popularity would get things moving again in the direction of an encouraging new dawn.
And come on, it’s not like we aren’t already used to having a Muppet as the Commander-in-Chief.