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(DV) Bradley: The Do-it-Yourself Online Presidential Leadership Quiz







The Do-it-Yourself Online Presidential Leadership Quiz
by Mark W. Bradley
March 6, 2006

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Are you courageous enough?

Are you smart enough?

Are you decisive enough to be the President of the United States?

Say, kids, how many times has this happened to you?

It's noon on a Tuesday, and you're sitting at home playing ''Grand Theft Auto'' on your PlayStation 2. You're just about to throw some more popcorn at your pie-hole when all of a sudden the phone rings, and it's your P.O. telling you, "Hurry, man, turn on Channel 24, your Mom's ex-boyfriend Rodney is on Jerry Springer again!" So you pull the remote out of a groady pile of string cheese and barfed-up dog hair and start channel-surfing past all those totally bogus news stations, ’cause, you know, you’re kinda curious to see what effect all those hormone injections are having on Rodney's ability to swing a folding chair… But you end up stopping on this one channel, ’cause there's this blonde chick on the screen and she's grinning at you with lips so full of collagen they look like the stuffed crust on a Pizza Hut family size. And behind her on the screen is all this flaming shit blowing up in Irania or Egyptostan or one of those mid-western countries, and there’s these totally mental guys hopping up and down in sweaty pajamas, waving AK's over their heads and yodeling and running around in front of this burning tank. But in about three seconds that show's over, and now the babe is talking about how that monkey-lookin’ dude, you know, that president guy - Bush or whatever - is going to India or someplace and he’s gonna tell ’em all about civilization and stuff. I mean, the guy doesn't even have a regular comedy show like Chappell or whatever, he just comes on TV at different times, but dude, when he is on, and he’s funnier than “Crank Yankers”! Like this one time he pretended to bump his head getting out of a helicopter (which was totally funny) and this other time he was doing these totally outrageous bike tricks like the guys on "Jackass." But even when he's just talking, man, he’s a complete crackup! He’s always coming up with these amazingly hilarious stories about guys flying desks out of airports, people dumping food all over their families, and doctors bonking their patients… So you're like watching this crazy dude, when all of a sudden it hits you: "Hey, man, I can do shit like that! How come I'm not the president?"

Well, the surprising answer is, with a little help from the Karl Rove Institute for Educational Guidance (KRIEG), you could be the president!

Sure you only make it to school a couple of days a month and you haven't quite figured out your multiplication tables yet, and maybe you're not really sure what continent Australia's in, but so what? Should that prevent you from being considered for the most critically important job in the world? Of course not! And if you don't believe us, just take a look at a few of the FAQ's we get here at KRIEG:

Q: I've been turned down for a lot of jobs in the past. My uncle says I'm pretty much unemployable. Why would the Diebold Company want to hire me to be the president?

A: Our specially trained team of advisors here at KRIEG is always on the lookout for presidential talent, no matter how deeply hidden it may reside within your inner psyche. You may feel you have not yet reached your full potential, but trust us; we've started with raw material a lot less promising than you!

Q: I was absent the year we studied government in high school, but my friends tell me I have to be 60-years-old or something before I can be the president. Is that true?

A: Actually, the required age is 35, but I wouldn't worry too much about that if I were you. Since most KRIEG advisers actually work in the government (some are actually Senators and Congressmen), getting rules like that changed is not much of a problem anymore. Our experienced team of experts is working together to expand democracy into even the darkest corners of the globe. And if any part of the Constitution stands in the way of that goal, well, we'll just have to get rid of it, won't we?

Q: I was reading your online brochure and it says that presidents have to be able to read words off a teleprompter with 90% accuracy. I've tried this at home, and the best I've been able to do is 78%. Does this mean I don't qualify as a presidential candidate?

A: Not at all. The 90% goal is a target, nothing more. Besides, if you already read words with accuracy rate in the high seventies, our trainers should be able to get you up to speed in about six months. And if all else fails, we can always hook you up with a wireless remote receiver. Thanks to the latest advances in micro-circuitry, these miraculous gadgets are no more noticeable than a 12-oz. can of Pepsi duct-taped to the back of your suit coat.

Q: Don't presidents have to know a lot about current events to be able to make tough decisions? Won't my limited education be a handicap in this regard?

A: Frankly, as a prerequisite to serving as Commander-in-Chief of the most overwhelmingly lethal military force the world has ever known, "knowledge" per se (like innate intelligence) is vastly overrated. Will you, on occasion, be routinely called upon to make snap judgments about complex and dangerous issues based on the flimsiest of evidence, with the lives of billions of people hanging in the balance? Of course. Will decisions you make likely affect the very survival of the human species on planet earth? Probably. But before you get all overwhelmed by the awesome responsibility, remember, it's just a job! If it doesn't work out, your dad can always get you another one. Besides, we here at KRIEG believe you'll be pleasantly surprised to discover just how much aptitude you have for the job of President of the United States. And just to prove it, we've prepared a couple of sample questions from our Presidential Leadership Quiz. Don't do well on tests? Not a problem! In order to simulate actual White House conditions, we've designed the test around a series of simple binary-choice questions. This is because (as our current president understands intuitively) all of life's problems, even the most complicated, can be effectively reduced down to two possible solutions: one "right", the other "wrong." And remember, binary-choice questions have a built-in advantage for people who like to guess at the truth. In a multiple choice format, the guesser has only a 25% chance of getting the answer correct. In a binary-choice format, that chance is doubled. So, in all cases, you are (theoretically) as likely to be right as you are to be wrong! Are you ready? Here goes:

1. Your Vice-president casually informs you, over lunch, that he was mistaken big-time when he told you last week that a certain militarily-hobbled Third World dictator (who used to be chummy with your dad) was nothing but a sad impotent clown not worthy of your attention. In a startling reversal, he now proceeds to tell you that, within the past 72 hours, massive and irrefutable evidence has emerged that proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the megalomaniacal mastermind (no, not him, the foreign one) has compiled enough deadly biological, chemical and nuclear weapons to obliterate the entire Milky Way Galaxy several times over. Even more alarmingly, in two weeks time he plans to deploy a stealth fleet of hypersonic balsa-wood spacecraft capable of reaching the moons of Alpha Centauri in less than seven minutes (or the Pentagon's top-secret Cosmic Alpha-wave Eradication Complex in Warren County, Ohio, in a little over three). In the face of this perplexing dilemma, you should:

A. Prevent the brutal dictator from implementing his diabolical plan by launching a massive and indiscriminant attack against the civilian population of his hapless country, using cruise missiles, 10 ton "daisy cutter bombs" and M1A1 tanks armed with depleted uranium shells to kill or maim about a half-million or so innocent bystanders. That'll teach the evil bastard to mess with the United States of America, by God, or

B. Turn the sovereignty of the United States over to the United Nations. That's right, do nothing, while the French and the Germans and the rest of those chickenshit atheist foreign hordes of cannibalistic evildoers form an unholy alliance with the homosexual Hollywood liberal elite to destroy the Christian fabric of American democracy.

(Take a full 30 seconds to answer). OK, time's up. What did you decide?

If you guessed answer “A”, you were right!

Here’s another one:

2. Three years have passed since you correctly chose to invade the above country. As a result of that wise decision, a gazillion people are now either dead or mortally wounded, and the country itself has been reduced to a vast amorphous sea of radioactive rubble. Somewhat surprisingly, your occupying army has been unable to find any trace of biological, chemical or nuclear weapons-of-mass-destruction (other than the ones they brought with them when they came, of course). Even more inexplicably, the top-secret hypersonic balsa-wood attack spacecraft your Vice-president warned you about are nowhere in sight (perhaps they’re already concealed behind the moons of Alpha Centauri, waiting for the secret signal to attack the Pentagon’s Alpha Wave Eradication Complex in Warren County). Meanwhile, the aforementioned disgruntled survivors crawling aimlessly through in the ashes of what was once their rather prosperous country have decided in their despair to choose up sides, arm themselves to the teeth, and do their damnedest to kill each other before they all die of depleted uranium poison anyway. To complicate your problems, the Department of Homeland Security has somehow misplaced the entire population of a major American city while you were sleeping off a particularly disorienting bender, and your presidential approval ratings (even the ones from CNN) are poised to fall through the floor into single digits. You should immediately:

A. Demand that your Vice-president and the entire Cabinet resign post-haste; forge a bi-partisan coalition in the Congress and set them to work passing emergency relief legislation aimed at alleviating the suffering of displaced persons within the United States; order the Pentagon to draft a detailed plan for the immediate phased-withdrawal of our armed forces from the strife-torn country in question, and offer a long-overdue apology to the people of the world, or

B. Go back to sleep.

(This one’s a no-brainer; 15 seconds is all you get.) Alright, what’s the correct answer?

The correct answer is “B”. Remember, whatever you try to do to fix the situation at this point will most likely only exacerbate (that means screw up) the whole mess. So relax, try not to stress out, get plenty of exercise, call your Mom, and make sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet. A thousand years from now, who’s gonna care about any of this stuff anyway?

Mark W. Bradley is a schoolteacher and political satirist in Sacramento, California. He can be contacted at: markwbradley@comcast.net

Other Articles by Mark W. Bradley

* The Windbag in the Willows: How Christopher Rabbit Lost His Stones
* The Holy Messiah Speaks to His Congressional Fan Club
* Throwing Junkballs to the Snake Oil Salesman
* Teaching Science in an Anti-Empirical Empire
* Teaching the Constitution in a Post-Democratic America
* Adventures in American Theocracy: (Part 2) Heretics and Liberals
* Adventures in American Theocracy: (Part 1) The Pequot War