My inaugural address

Published 9:15 am Monday, November 7, 2016

(Editor’s note: In keeping with Orson Welles and his (in)famous “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast of 1938, it’s necessary to warn readers that the staff writer’s column is not to be taken seriously. Do not. DO NOT. DO NOT VOTE FOR THIS MAN ON ELECTION DAY!)

My fellow Americans,

No one is more surprised than me about being elected president in a landslide write-in vote. For the record, it all started as an off-hand remark to close friends suggesting they put my name in since neither cares for the former candidates. We had a good laugh and I thought nothing more of it at the time. Well, that idea took ahold of them like a virus and those two friends told two more friends who told two other friends … until here I am.

Obviously, I’ve broken with tradition about taking the oath outdoors in the bitter cold of January. Instead, I’m speaking to you from the East Room of the White House. With me are my family, my close circle of friends, the Supreme Court Justices and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Sorry, Congress. There’s just not enough room for all of you. That’s why I’ve arranged for my image and words to be broadcast into both houses. Immediately afterward, you will discuss and approve my choice for the ninth member of the high court. Armed guards have been placed around all the entrances and exits to ensure you won’t be disturbed. I promise they’ll be available anytime you need help making decisions in the future.

Naturally, you’re wondering what sort of leader I will be — Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. While there is a time and place for excess, the answer is that moderation in all things is best. So I hope to combine the best qualities of each party: Compassion for the working men and women mixed with an emphasis on fiscal responsibility.

One misconception about the presidency that should have ended starting with George Washington is that the office doesn’t allow the leader to wave his hands and make things all better for everybody. In short, don’t look to me to intervene every time you’ve got a toothache. Even were I dictator, that wouldn’t guarantee rapid solutions to unemployment, pollution or climate change. Let me just say this about that last subject: Whether it’s natural or manmade has become irrelevant; the wheel’s in motion and we’ll have to adapt. To paraphrase the late Ayn Rand, you can deny reality, but not the consequences of denying reality. 

My administration’s focus will be two-fold. First, defending this country from enemies both without and within. ISIL, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the John Birchers and KKK and their ilk are officially put on notice. My compassion won’t be forthcoming for any organization or state government that seeks to terrorize or belittle others. I’m talking to you, North Carolina.

What about our declared enemies, such as North Korea or Iran? First, I hope to meet privately with the leaders of each in a peaceful environment where we can work out some issues. Their woes are pretty much like ours: Keeping people employed and fed, securing borders and developing a life for families to thrive.

Supposing they refuse or even bite the proverbial feeding hand? Suffice it to say that the first and least act of aggression on their part will require that I immediately arrange for a few nuclear weapons to be tested in their vicinity, just to make sure they worked, you understand. I won’t be asking for permission from Congress or the rest of the world. If anything, everyone will likely thank me. No need. I would just be doing my job.


Second, the economy. I suggest a word-of-mouth campaign encouraging Americans to help one another find gainful employment. Teaching and training of skills needed for today’s market. Meet with individuals and groups that have feasible ideas to find the money and create work.

I cannot and will not force a company to return its production to the states, but I would urge them to consider finding ways to offer qualified Americans jobs.

Perhaps you’re wondering who will help me in the work. Will my family and friends automatically get high-paying jobs? Sorry, Russell. Sorry, Iva Lee. I love you both, but … . However, they will be among my personal advisors, offering their individual skills sets. The same goes for my parents and brother. My father can make recommendations on the military and taxes. I still need someone to do mine, but he won’t be around forever. So I’m going to recommend that a simplified tax form be created that’s as equitable as possible. 

My mother will be watching my back here in the White House, making sure the interns don’t try to get too close to me. My brother would be an unofficial ambassador of good taste. His pet Pug will be the poster child of the SPCA for a few months.

But seriously, folks, I’m going to have to do a lot of cutting in departments, agencies and the like. Does the NEA really serve a vital function? Time to find out. As much as I love art and culture, it’s going to have to be up to people to make their own art on their own dime. Bert and Ernie will have to get real jobs to pay for living on Sesame Street.

Certainly, I’ve left out a lot, such as gun laws. Very simply: I’m not going to touch the Second Amendment, so breathe your sigh of relief now.

Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to a challenging and exciting four years.

STEPHEN H. COWLES is a staff writer for The Tidewater News, not the future president of the United States of America. Contact him at 562-3187 or Remember to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8. In the name of all that’s holy, do not write in his name on the ballot.