Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference.
What if we had an American president?
Sure, I’m a birther, because nobody has yet seen Barack Obama’s actual birth certificate. But this isn’t about the president’s place of birth or parentage. It’s about his Americanism.
So, what if we had an American president, raised from infancy through the formative years to recognize that our country’s virtues far outweigh its flaws? What if we had a president who was instructed during his adolescence and collegiate years about the genius and fortitude of our nation’s founders?
What if we had a president who revered the Constitution as a living document, not because he could stretch it to fit his wants, but because of its rigidity in the exaltation of freedom?
How would this American president react if some foreigners demanded an abridgment of First Amendment rights?
Perhaps the colloquy would go like this:
The president: Come in, gentlemen! Sit down. Tell me what’s on your minds.
Mohamed Morsi: We’re very concerned. A film maker in the United States has made a movie that defames the prophet!
The president: So, what’s your point?
Morsi: Attacks on any religion should not be allowed!
The president: First of all, the United States had nothing to do with that film – if there actually is a film. Secondly, we protect freedom of expression – including expression with which we disagree. It is one of the cornerstones of our government and our culture.
Morsi: Egypt respects freedom of expression, but it should not be used to incite hatred against anyone. It should not be directed toward one specific religion or cult.
President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi of Yemen: I agree! There should be limits for the freedom of expression, especially if such freedom blasphemes the beliefs of nations and defames their figures.
The president: Your feelings are hurt, is that it?
Morsi: Well, yes. It shouldn’t be allowed.
The president: I don’t like to see anybody’s feelings hurt, but fellows, isn’t it time you noticed that our freedoms have made the United States the most prosperous and powerful nation in the history of the world? You could learn something from our example. Furthermore, we’re not going to change because you think all the answers were handed down in the Quran and aren’t subject to debate. Religious philosophies and personalities are – and should be – subject to debate, even ridicule, in the pursuit of truth.
Morsi: I’m shocked! But you shouldn’t be shocked if there are more attacks on your embassies.
The president: I’m glad you brought that up. You are talking about our sovereign territories, and we’re prepared to defend them against invasion. It’s costing us a few dollars – which, by the way, we’re deducting from the foreign aid of nations that tolerate such attacks – to reinforce our standing guards. Anybody breaching our walls will find more than a company of under-equipped Marines waiting for them.
Hadi: This sounds like a threat!
The president: Wouldn’t you defend your territory? We’re not having any more Benghazis.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Death to America!
The president: Pray it isn’t death from America. By the way, President Ahmadinejad, could you stay a bit after the others have left? We have a couple of things to talk about.
It’s a fantasy, of course. But we can dream, can’t we?
Our corrupt media: How easy it is to slant the news. You don’t have to change an entire word; a single letter will do. Take, for example, the Fox News radio report that said President Obama “couldn’t meet” with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. The correct word was “wouldn’t.” Just swap a “c” for a “w,” and you give the story quite a different – and inaccurate – character.
Mmm, mmm, bad! After 66 years of “mmm, mmm, good,” the Campbell Soup Company will close its Sacramento plant next year and move to another state. This will cost California’s capital city about 700 jobs. This development came on the heels of Comcast’s decision to move its call center elsewhere.
Businesses lay this to the Golden State’s “hostile regulatory environment,” but Darrell Steinberg, state Senate president pro, has a sunnier outlook. He says people are just buying less canned soup.
But a Comcast spokesman told Sacramento’s Capital Public radio, “What I can tell you is that our costs to produce products … at a plant here in California are more than at a plant in Paris, Texas. So, you know, I think we’ll leave it at that.”