Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee, which we all already knew was bound to happen.
Equally predictable is how folks are responding to this announcement. Many men are attacking Hillary more than they would any other candidate simply because she's a woman. Conversely, many women are defending Hillary more than they would any other candidate for that same reason, which makes complete sense to me. Obama could nuke my hometown, and I'd still be proud of him for being the first Black president.
Meanwhile, young and semi-informed citizens of all genders are holding themselves as they weep softly and rock back and forth in a dark room somewhere, wondering why simply believing super hard wasn't enough to win Bernie Sanders the nomination. Even despite his loss, I've read several opinion pieces arguing that Bernie's ability to raise awareness of the issues makes him a real winner. Because on the far-left, "not even close" directly translates to "definitely still a victory for the cause I believe in."
Regardless of your political leanings, Hillary Clinton's nomination is undeniably a historic moment for this country and should be respected as such. That being said, this year—as with every year prior—voters will once again feel the weight of the great American burden that is choosing the lesser of two evils as a leader.
At least that would be the case, had I not years ago set into motion a series of events that led me to where I am today. For in 2013—back when we didn't have a government—I began a silent conquest hidden in the political shadows. For three years, I've schemed and prepared for this moment. I've influenced and manipulated some of the strongest leaders in the world. I've ruthlessly connived my way to the top, tactically plotting my regime. And today, all my hard work has finally come to fruition, and I may at last bring you the great news of your future.
I am now your King.
You simply couldn't handle democracy, so I am here to lead you the way you deserve. I'll do everything for you. You're free to complacently go about your tranquil life knowing that you've surrendered all power to me, for I have all the necessary qualifications one ought to look for in a king. I have the self-indulgent over-confidence of a man who stands above 6 feet tall. I read Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince one time and knew most of the words. I've got a great body for gout. And my uncle once convinced me that I was to blame for my father being trampled to death by stampeding wildebeests.
I just can't wait to be King, and my time is nigh.
Below are my stances on some of the issues that matter. Commit them to memory, for my whims will be written into law, and my caprices shall decide your fate:
Freedom of Speech
In formal gatherings, such as court proceedings or PTA bake sales, you may only speak while holding the Conch Shell. In fairness, and to avoid systems of inequality that have rendered our current society so odious, everyone—regardless of sex, gender, race, creed, religion, etc.—gets five minutes with the conch shell at every public forum. I'll light you at two. If you burn the light, you die.
Every other matter regarding freedom of speech will be left purposefully vague, because I think it's funny to watch people pretend to understand a complex legal issue when arguing online about whatever they've recently found offensive.
Checks & Balances
I am your one and only King, and the scales of justice shall tilt as I fancy. In an effort to offer you a false guise of shared power, I will erect a counterfeit congress run by the animatronic band at Chuck E. Cheese's. Whenever great tragedy occurs, Sen. Cheese and his band will offer you not only their thoughts, but also their prayers. You will know in your heart, though, that they don't really care.
The Supreme Court will be eight pieces of printer paper featuring the shrugging emoticon. I refuse to print out a ninth.
My reign is that of a dictatorial monarch, but rest assured that I am a benevolent King. I rule with your best of intentions in mind, for I long to make your pathetic existence a little less insufferable. Thus, I will no longer inconvenience you with the burden of voting. Instead, I will create laws and issue decrees based entirely on which hashtags are trending on Facebook and Twitter. I will stand with Planned Parenthood. Black lives will matter. Movie titles will have one word replaced with "Bacon." We shall finally live in the America Millennials have always longed for since the mid-2000s.
Class & The Proletariat
Every upper middle class self-proclaimed socialist with an expensive liberal arts degree has to work on a farm until they die. They can brag about WWOOFing to each other.
We'll still have war because I'm not a businessman, and so I don't know how to prevent war from being an economic necessity. I've also never served in the military, so I'll need a practice war in North America before we can head overseas. I suggest we attack Canada. Sure, the War of 1812 didn't work out that well for us, but it's been a long time since then, and we have more guns than the Canadians. Plus, we have way more experience in destabilizing foreign countries.
After my practice war, I will go on to single handedly destroy Daesh (ISIS) and bring peace to the Middle East. I will then open a Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville in al-Baṣrah and a Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in Baghdad as a reminder that, while America has committed many unforgivable atrocities in foreign lands, we've also given the world the gift of great potato skins.
As individuals, we have the capacity to be mad about many things at once. Presently, I'm frustrated that I stubbed the big toe on my right foot while concurrently bummed out that I stained one of my last good shirts while simultaneously upset about the onslaught of tragedy we've recently faced as a nation. As a society, though, we only seem able to be collectively incensed by one thing at a time.
Remember last week when we were all mad about rape culture? Man, those were the days.
I don't mean to imply that many of us aren't always angered by the perpetual pain and hurt wrought by rape and sexual assault. As a whole, though, we were way louder about it last week then we often tend to be. And now that gun control is a trending issue again, we're gonna do what we always do and table rape culture until the next time a particular sexual assault garners enough national attention to be deemed noteworthy.
What a country.
While there are certainly some flagrant nitwits out there who use internet anonymity to propagate their own repulsive bullshit, polite society is slowly realizing that a proponent of rape is simply a bad person. Gun advocates, though, are more complicated. You can't say that getting rid of rape will take away from your family tradition of hunting. You cannot suggest that a good guy with a rape will stop a bad guy with a rape. A woman cannot claim that she feels safer walking to her car at night because she has a legally registered rape in her purse. If you say, "I HATE RAPE," no one will counter that argument by shouting, "BUT WHAT ABOUT THAT RAPE AMENDMENT, THO???"
I concede that – among other matters – the Second Amendment does pose a rather complex dilemma when it comes to gun reform, but that is not the point right now. Just because something is legal does not make it right, and now is not the time to grandstand on a soapbox made of legal rhetoric. Now is the time to comfort the bereaved and empathize with the LGBTQ+ community, which is reeling after a shooting in Orlando, Fla., left 50 dead and many more injured.
I first heard the news on Sunday morning. As I finished reading the headline, I looked up from the screen of my cell phone and expected to be hit with a wave of shock. I wanted to feel stunned or confused. Instead, I felt a familiar sense of sorrow, but a complete lack of surprise.
The shooting at Pulse nightclub was not only a tragedy, but also a purposeful attack on a persecuted community. As with all hate crimes, the recent mass killing in Orlando should be remembered as an independent incident emblematic of a larger, systemic issue. There has never been a time in our history when bigoted violence was considered abnormal. To deny the regularity of hatred and cruelty toward historically oppressed groups is irresponsible, and to confuse sympathy with progressivism is a mistake we make all too often.
It's easy to condemn politicians for offering little more than thoughts, prayers, and lip service when there's so much more they could be doing, but we're not much better if all we offer are our tweets and opinions. We need to mourn, and the people and communities most affected by this traumatic event deserve time to grieve. But as allies, we cannot pretend that our hands are clean of the sins borne from our inaction.
If you can, give blood. If you can't, donate money, volunteer time, and be sure to keep this conversation going past the end of June to ensure that LGBTQ+ lives and Black lives and the lives of women and other subjugated groups continue to matter in between incidences of tragedy, and not just two to three weeks after the fact.
Even if you're not a part of an oppressed community, it's up to all of us to make a change.
Of course, as citizens, it's your obligation to bear the brunt of social responsibility as we build a better, stronger society. But as your King, it's my duty to provide an immediate answer to the problem of gun control.
Thus, as King, I mandate that only individuals who hate guns be allowed to own guns. This is because, 1) I think it's funny to watch power corrupt people who were once overly confident in their own virtuous principles, and 2) I saw The Gladiator at too young an age, and now I think that only people who don't want power should be allowed to be powerful.
Documentaries About Standup Comedy
Under my rule, it's now illegal to make any more of these. We've got all we need, thank you.
In Curtis Cook's America, everyone—save for the aforementioned farmhands—will be equally less than me unless we differ in opinion, in which case I will banish you. Because it's not race or sexuality or gender or income that defines your worth as a person, it's whether or not you agree with me.
Look, I know that you may be reluctant—or even terrified—of changing your political system. A lot of innocent blood will be shed as I cement my claim to power. But a lot of innocent blood is being shed all the time already, so you may as well try something new.
Rest assured, when the smoke clears and the coup d'état is over, I will make this country dope again.
My America will be full of bounce castles and whiskey-infused sodas. Also, I'm bringing back the space program. Every restaurant has to have free breadsticks. No one can get fired for their identity or the identity of the person they love. Thick women get to be on more magazine covers. We're putting the N-word back in Mark Twain's books. I plan on taxing the rich so we can bring back Four Loko. And we're gonna schedule a purge for next year, just to see if we like it.