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Hyperion October 28, 2000

#8 So it comes to this

I am pissed off.

Wait. That is not the way I want to begin this. Let me try again. I am way beyond pissed off. I am enraged. I sit here one day after the third and final presidential debate, and I am filled with bottomless pools of frustration because We, as a country, cannot seem to figure out that the presidential election should not double as a Major-League Jackass contest. I hate our choices. I hate the format that America has decided to foist my “choices” on me. I hate the spin-doctors; an entire cottage industry whose only job is to come on t.v. and completely lie about whatever I just saw. Hey, folks, I just got done watching two liars lying like there were prizes involved (which, if you think about it, I guess there are); I don’t need you talking heads to insult my intelligence further by telling me what I supposed to now believe.

And lie they do. We all know about Gore. Clinton-like lies without the charm. Bush, however, gets a pass here. Bush lies quite a bit himself, but Gore is the Official “Liar” of this election season, so it is his lies, at least some of them, I’m bombarded with.

But Bush does not get off scot-free. Almost every night I am treated to anecdotes showing how dumb he is. Hey, no argument here. Bush is dumb. So, though, is Gore. Gore spent the last eight years saying more stupid things than the Kansas State School Board ever could even if they were liquored up first. But I do not hear about that, because Bush is our representative “Idiot”.

Look, both candidates lie. Maybe they have to. Maybe they would not get where they are, and would not get where they want to go without lying. Maybe our culture, t.v., or even the French are to blame (I’m not sure how to justify that last one but I always enjoy blaming the French). Both candidates are also quite stupid at times. Maybe they have to be. No one who would subject themselves and their families to the media molestation on purpose can be very bright. “But what about the power?” you may ask. What about it? By the time these guys get where they are they have whored themselves to so many groups and financial backers that it is truly rare that they get to make a decision on their own. This certainly is not new. Way back at the end of last century Bill McKinley sure didn’t want to go to war with Spain until his financial Puppet-Master, Mark Hannah, wanted to. Suddenly Bill got a message from God, and the rest was, literally, history. We fought a war we didn’t need to, against an opponent who tried their damndest to give up every step of the way, just to prove we were a “happening” country. And you thought bombing an Aspirin factory because you had to testify before the Grand Jury was bad…

So, what am I left with? I remember being told often enough by various teachers, coaches, and the occasional riot police chief, that: “If you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Let us allow that this is true in this case. I could spend the rest of this column ripping apart the positions our two major candidates have taken. I could point out the use of Michael Hutchins’s “Triangulation” concept, where a politician tries to put him or herself halfway between where divergent opinion is on a particular issue. I could use cold math and show why very little of the campaign promises we have been given would or even could ever be done. I could point out the inconsistencies in the candidates’ positions, show how they’ve folded faster then Superman on laundry day anytime a belief ran into an obstacle such as money, or making Oprah mad. But any of these techniques, while they might give me some momentary satisfaction at being able to vent my anger at the impotence of our political system, will do little good.

Therefore, I resolve to become part of the solution. It is as obvious to me as a Ted Danson toupee that neither Bush, Gore, or any Republican or Democrat for that matter, can get the things done in America that need to be done. So, I will do it.

I, Hyperion, am announcing my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. Rather than rip up my opponents any more, I am going to tell you what I will do to help this country along. We may be doing ok, now, but long-term We as a country are in more trouble then the Buffalo Bills at a Super Bowl without some major changes. Over the next few nights, I am going to tell You, the American people, what I will do. Some things you may have heard before: I do not claim to have made everything up. Some of what I say may not apply to you. Stick around, I will find something you can relate to better then Alabamians at a family reunion. Once you see my plan I am confident you will come with me. Now, without further ado:

October 18, 2000

My first 7 Ideas

Issue 1: AGE

We need to decide what it means to be an adult in this country. I realize that with such a large group of people having an arbitrary age is hard to avoid. I want to go beyond that, though. Once we decide the minimum age, 18, 21, or whenever, I want to add a second hurdle. So here is the addendum: To officially become an adult, at whatever age the minimum is, you have to pass a competency test. Before you can vote, before you can drink, before you run for Congress, etc., you have to show us that you are able to perform as an adult should, that you are smart enough to handle the basics. Once you are an official adult; all of the benefits an adult gets, you get.

Let us talk about holding office. Right now, you have to be 25 to run for Congress, 30 to run for Senate, and 35 to run for President. Hogwash. I can buy the argument that most 21 year olds should not be president. But hell, most 61 year olds should not either. I will trust the people to make the decision as rationally as possible. If you are an adult, you have the right to run for public office. You probably do not want to, you probably should not, but now you can.

I am no fan of alcohol (see below), but it is asinine that you can die for your country before you can drink a glass of beer. No more. Voting, drinking; all of the rights and all of the responsibilities are going to now come in a package deal.

In addition, as far as taxes We supposedly started this country on the concept of “No taxation without representation”. Yet, the government will happily take money from our Minor Entrepreneurs. It has been argued that young people still get government services. So What. So did the colonies. If fact, America paid quite a bit less in taxes then British citizens did. That did not stop the Founding Fathers from their principles. If it was good enough for them, it is good enough for me. Until you are officially an adult, and can have a say on these crazy taxes, you do not have to pay them.


Some of the people are mad because of special interest money, which they feel pollutes the system and buys influence. It does. Why else would you give money if you did not think it would help you? Others are angry because they feel contributing insane amounts of money to political causes comes under the heading of free speech and personal freedom. It does. So, we are going to compromise here. I did not create this solution; Alan Keyes did, for the most part. It makes the most sense, though, so I repeat it: You, as an individual, can give any amount of money you choose to a candidate. You will do this, however, as an individual citizen. No more PAC’s, no more corporate lobbyists, no more hiding behind the Unions or the Oil Companies, or whatever. If you want to give, you do it yourself. Moreover, you disclose the amount. All of it. If you want to contribute 20 million dollars to some candidate, fine, but all of America is going to know about it. That should help keep down those with nefarious intent who want to be anonymous. It is not perfect, but it bridges both ideologies on this issue. And consensus is what I am all about.

One more thing on this issue, at least for now. The president, in our current system spends the last two years of his or her first term running for re-election. This paralyzes the decisions made, and horribly corrupts them. So, here is what we are going to do: The president will be elected to one six-year term, and that is it. They will have six years to get things done, and then they can go enter celebrity golf tournaments and jump out of airplanes, or whatever they want to do. This will help reduce the politicization of the office, and make our leader come closer to being everyone’s leader.


This one may not seem serious to you, but to a great segment of the population, this is life and death. Have you ever tried to make a PBJ and had the jelly spill out one of those annoying holes in the sandwich bread? This can ruin your day, let alone your shirt. Well, when I am president I am putting Big Bread on Notice: make the loaves without the holes, so our sandwiches do not’ leak. Let us move on.


One of the issues in this campaign has been the death tax. This is an egregious sin, but not the only one in this field. It is beyond evil that the government taxes money YOU HAVE ALREADY PAID TAXES ON when you die. I am not talking about bills here; I am talking about greedy Washington, who knows the dead cannot fight back. Well, no more. It goes worse, though. You cannot die for free in this country, with all of the fees. Then there is the outrageous Deathcare Industry. Preying upon families who are hurting and grieving, the Deathcare Demons sweep in under the guise of “caring and sensitivity” and try to upsell us everything from mahogany caskets, which are going in the friggin’ ground, to headstones that cost as much as a new car. Listen people, that money needs to go to the family that is left over, who quite possibly just lost their major source of income. I do not care what you believe about the afterlife; that deals with the soul. We are talking here about the leftover tissue. It seems beyond ironic to me every time I sit in a line to watch a funeral procession pass through that most of the time we treat a dead body far better than we treated the living person while they were still with us. They same guy you cut off on the free way or verbally abused because your steak wasn’t done to your perfection is now a saint worthy of head-of-state status now that he’s gone. People, let us treat the living a little better and quit obsessing over the dead.

Issue 5: SURGERY

If you have surgery and you have to stay at the hospital, you get a stuffed animal. This is cheap, and I guarantee you, an effective way to lift spirits without costing an arm or a leg. When I found out through talking to the American people that most of you do not get a stuffed animal after surgery I was outraged. Not even pretentious actors should be treated so shabbily.


In ancient Greece the men (they were in charge then. I am not making a political statement here) would get together and take turns running the government. I realize that the city-states of B.C. Greece are a bit different from the behemoth country we have today, but on the local level, this could work. I believe much of the corruption in politics today is because people carve out their niches of power and are loathe letting it go. The local citizenry taking turns could effectively run many of these positions, from school boards to water commissions. Hey, it CANNOT be done any worse than it is now. Here is my proposal. If you get ANY money from the government in some form of entitlement, every ten years you are obligated to participate in the government in some way. Someone once said, “Politics is 99% local.” Well, now it truly will be. This is an issue that needs to be expanded on further, which I will do later, but I wanted to get the idea out there now for you.

Issue 7: DRIVING

There is no bigger preventable taker of life in this country than Our lousy drivers. There are many reasons for this, which need to be addressed in amplified form. Here is a sample of what I will do. First, I want the test to become a driver to test more “real-world” conditions. I want all of our drivers on the road to be able to perform safely and responsibly.

AGE: A disproportionate amount of injuries and deaths are caused by drivers under twenty and over sixty. This is largely because of inexperience and lost reflexes. As to the younger ones, I want to adopt a plan somewhat like what California recently did, which set tough new standards for under age drivers and dramatically cut the accident rate for that segment of the population. I know that some teenagers need to drive to work and so forth, and I do not want to make a hardship for them. What I am talking about is the extra-curricular activities. A car is an awesome machine that needs to be respected. Many sixteen year olds don’t yet have that perspective, and cruising on a Friday night for chicks with five of their closest friends with the stereo going at jet-engine levels don’t help. More later on this. As to older Americans, I do not want to cut off anyone strictly on age. It is, however, a fact that as we get older our reaction time and reflexes get slower. Therefore, I want reflexes and physical competency to be a big part of the testing to drive. I am not singling out older Americans here. I will require ALL drivers to be able to show competency for driving. The testing will be more frequent though as the driver ages. As long as you can pass, fine. When you cannot, you need to look into some other form of transportation. I am not insensitive to the feelings of loss that no longer driving can bring to someone used to being independent. I am more sensitive though to the thousands of victims out there who were killed because of drivers who should not have been driving anymore. We all have to make choices, and I choose to keep more people alive than placate bruised feelings.

DRINKING: As far as I am concerned, Drunk Driving is an issue of National Security. I have fatality numbers from a few years ago, which make me ill, and I am sure even they are dwarfed now. Folks, there is absolutely no excuse for this. First and foremost, every car in this country will have a Breathalyzer attached to the Ignition. Some might see this as an infringement on personal freedom. You may recall I myself have written in the past defending the rights of adults to not wear seatbelts and helmets if they choose to be that stupid. The difference is this: Helmets and seatbelts protect us, and if we want to put our own lives on the line, fine. Drunk Drivers, though, threaten everybody else on the road. I am simply not willing to put up with the risk anymore. After the Breathalyzers are in every vehicle, it will take a WILLFULL act of subversion to drive drunk. Anyone caught this way will be charged with Attempted Murder, and punished accordingly. At the very least, they will NEVER be allowed to drive again. Once this provision is enforced stringently, watch the DUI’s come down. Anyone who causes someone to die because of Drunk Driving after the Breathalyzers have been added will be guilty of Premeditated murder, and will be executed. These people do not belong in our society, and in many ways are more dangerous then the hardened killer, because their victims are chosen indiscriminately. No more.

Well, that is the first seven of my plans: what I will do when I am president. All of the issues need to be better explained, and they will in the coming weeks and months. I wanted you, though, to get a sense of what I am about. I’m sorry if I come off harsh tonight, but I realized I wasn’t able to go through with this until I got to the point like the famous scene in the movie “Network” where I could go to the window, throw it open and say: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more!”

Stay tuned to find out what I plan to do with Medicine companies, Big Milk, child molesters, and our language, among other topics. For now, this is Hyperion saying I am sick and tired of our sham choices in our elections and I intend to do something about it. I hope you come with me.

October 28, 2000


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