As I mentioned in my last post, my students have been learning about totalitarian dictators. In one of our class discussions we got to the question 'What would you do if you were dictator?' I explained to my students that in ancient Roman days, the role of dictator was actually an elected office. The person was elected dictator during a time of crisis, once the crisis was resolved the dictator would voluntarily surrender his power and go back to his previous life. This is dramatically different than how we view cats like Mussolini, Stalin or Hitler.
Being the narcissistic person that I am, I thought about this after class and began to make a list. So, in no particular order, here is a short list of things I would do if I were elected dictator.
Abolish the death penalty.
Outlaw abortion except for cases of incest, rape or life of the mother being in jeopardy.
Rewrite the Kyoto Protocol to make it apply to India and China, then ratify the blasted thing.
Slap a $2.00 tax on each gallon of gasoline. Use half the money for tax credits for families making under $30,000, the other half to help fund R&D for alternative, renewable fuels.
Provide tax credits to companies that are doing viable research on renewable forms of energy.
Make it illegal for Congress to give itself a pay raise. Of course, as dictator I really would not need these guys, but you get the point.
Require that all cars bought, imported, sold or made in this country achieve a corporate average fuel economy of 50 miles per gallon within 10 years of my assumption of power.
Tell the Israelis they will not get one more dime until they pull back forces and dismantle all settlements to the Green Line of 1967.
Increase pay for armed forces personell.
Rewrite the Second Amendment.
Institute the Metric system.
Make 'White-lining' by motorcycle riders illegal.( sorry, it is a pet peeve.)
End the embargo with Cuba.
Officially resume diplomatic relations with Iran.
Actually get serious about the War on Terror.
Restore the Clean Air Act.
Increase the school year to 210 days. Each day would start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.
Sign the Anti-Personnell Treaty.
Give tax credits to American companies that do business with Mexican companies that provide high wages and benefits to their employees. Thus encouraging the illegal immigrants to stay where they really want to be, improving their lives and the Mexican economy and saving us billions in the process by keeping a lid on the illegal immigration many people complain about.
Criminally prosecute employers, large and small that employ illegal immigrants. You can't punish the immigrant for responding to a basic need of employment. If the law is being broken, it is the emplyer breaking it, not the man or woman wanting to earn a living.
Renegotiate trade agreements with China, forcing them to institute some of the same wage and environmental laws we abide by, thus making trade with them fairer and potentially saving some American jobs.
Remove all troops from Saudi Arabia.
Require free air time for all presidential candidates regardless of political party.
Legalize Civil Unions giving gay couples the same legal rights in all matters that heterosexual married couples have. Thus ending (at least in my mind) the debate.
Personally amend the constitution to define the social and historical concept of marriage as 'between one man and one woman'. Thus preserving marriage for what it has always been and not allowing the courts the define a social institution that is as old as civilization itself.
And after all this was done, much like the Roman dictators of old, I would voluntarily relinquish my power and retire to a life of reading, writing and coffee on my patio.
Peace to all.