I just came back from Washington, D.C. and while I was there, I had to get souvenirs for the family. It was time for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in DC, so I noticed a brochure about it in the lobby of the conference I was attending.
Within the brochure was a full-page advertisement for White House Gifts, where Cherry Blossom Festival gifts were and where I could buy educational/keepsake type things for the kids if I wanted to. While there, there was a place set up with three potential White House scenes: The Press Secretary’s podium, the desk in the Oval Office and a shot looking of the White House through the beautiful windows/curtains, etc. The sign near the scenes said, “Have your picture taken, with a $10.00 purchase”. Souvenirs are not cheap, so the $10.00 rule would be no problem to achieve. I knew that I wanted the desk picture immediately, thinking I could only have one. The family in front of me had all three taken, so I asked if I was limited to one and was told I could have one of each of if I wanted.
I gave the man my phone and the pictures of me at the desk and the podium and laughed to myself, trying to justify why I would want such a thing, and came up with three captions, one of which was true: My grandfather had told me as a child that this was America, and if I wanted to, I could become President. In fact, anyone could, but they’d have to work for it. On days when I have time for a good fantasy life, I dream of what that would mean, and how I would run the country.
The first thing I know is that I couldn’t do the whole job, because it’s impossible to know everything. At the same time, I’m not particularly convinced that nepotism is necessarily a bad thing and I have been lucky enough to know a lot of people, who know a lot of things. Each is different, with different opinions, and I’m good with that. The only seat that would already be taken is the Chief of Staff position, and I would offer it my High School history teacher, Mary Lou Brewer, because she is the person I know who most knows how it’s all supposed to work, and she is/was an extraordinarily compassionate human being (hey, it’s an old dream). After my friends had places as advisors, then we would fill in the rest with “experts” out there in the world and go from there. I would announce my staff before I was elected, acknowledging that I was the final decision-maker and thus responsible for decisions made by my office, because I remember Arlo Guthrie singing a song about Watergate and saying, ” we didn’t elect your friends, etc. and if you didn’t know about that [the Watergate break-in], then what else don’t you know… ” (In case you’re curious, Greg Coles would probably be my VP, though Joyce Morin has asked for it first, so I might have to give it to her….)
Anyway, I posted the picture of me behind the Presidential desk on Facebook and got a whole lot of comments from friends and I got to thinking once again about the fantasy (and hearing the words from the movie “Dave” in my head: “Hail to the Chief. He’s the one we all say ‘Hail’ to…” Dave doesn’t know the words and neither do I).
So here’s my question: If you had a friend in the White House and you knew you could get any law you wanted passed, what would you want to be done? It could be local, state or national. It could be about something near-and-dear to you or important to someone you love. It can be big or small. It doesn’t have to agree with my beliefs at all (Let’s just say I owe you one). I don’t want to start a “flame war”, I want to hear opinions but I don’t want them to be about anyone else’s plans. I want hope, not more divisiveness, so speak only for yourself.
I will post them in the comments section, without my own comments of any kind. It will simply be a wall full of ideas. It’ll give me hope about the world and maybe you some sense of direction in your life. Remember, your idea doesn’t have to remain here — have at it in real life! Yes, Deering-ites, “dream it then be it”!.
Two bills I would like to see:
1) Let’s cover opioid detox for up to two weeks and do it right the first time. Right now, insurance companies typically pay for “medical necessity” — about a week. The problem is that people on heroin stay “dope-sick” (sick and craving) for two weeks, so we set them (and our society) up for failure.
2) Put Harry Chapin on a postage stamp. This is not my idea originally, but I support it. Check out the group on Facebook and see whose idea it was first, then follow up on your end. Apparently this is harder to do than it first appears, as there is a board who makes those decisions. In fantasy land, though, nothing is impossible, and that’s my wish.