If you can get through police lines to meet any Presidential candidate this fall (with fewer than three billy-clubbings or two pepper-gassings), I suggest administering this Presidential Aptitude Test.
1. The best way to prevent abortions and unmarried pregnancies is:
a. Teaching abstinence-only sex education, forbidding any mention of contraception and requiring both parties to any heterosexual coitus to sign an oath ahead of time that they intend the act to produce children.
b. Rewarding gay and lesbian unions with lavish subsidies, imposing strong tax penalties on official or unofficial heterosexual relationships.
c. Requiring all unmarried persons between 14 and 84 years old to have three condoms and one morning-after pre-abortion pill on their persons at all times.
(See below for the rest of the questionnaire.)
2. In making the first “presidential” decision of your campaign, choosing a Vice-President, you felt the most important factor was:
a. Deep experience in national and international policy
b. Total lack of experience in national and international policy (the “surprise, surprise!” factor)
dq. Good parenting skills (for the “kvelling” vote)
dz. Bad parenting skills (for the “I’ve been there” vote)
e. Solidifying your political base
f. Being ready to serve as President if necessary.
3. The best way to affirm religious freedom in the U.S. is to:
a. Speak in as many churches and synagogues as possible but refuse to enter a mosque.
b. Insist that grants to religious institutions to do social work be conditioned on non-discrimination in hiring, etc.
c. Offer government grants to religious institutions without any discrimination whatsoever in regard to religious belief, basing grant amounts solely on the degree of their support for your policies.
d. Name a specific time for the beginning of life in utero
e. Say that although you are a deeply and thoughtfully religious person (though not a Mormon, Mennonite, or Muslim), naming a specific time for the beginning of life in utero is far beyond your religious understanding
4. The “central front” for efforts to reduce terrorism is:
a. The Aleutian Islands between Alaska and Russia
b.The Afghan-Pakistan frontier
e. The checkerboard of Israeli settlements and Palestinian towns and villages
f. Despair, humiliation, joblessness, and guns among male U.S. citizens 18 to 23 years old.
5. The most urgent response to the danger of “global scorching” is:
a. Subsidizing Big Oil with billions, to buy ads explaining it’s not a problem
b. Spending billions and hiring many thousands to build efficient, swift, on-time railroads and trolley lines
c. Spending billions to destroy coal-bearing mountains in West Virgina and build factories to “clean” the coal.
d. Tripling food prices and increasing CO2 in the atmosphere by burning corn instead of petroleum.
6. The best way to deal with Afghanistan is:
a. Spending billions to follow the example of the British and Soviet empires: permanent military occupation
b. Spending billions to invade Iraq
c. Spending billions to invade Iran
d. All of the above
e. Sending five women U.S. Senators to negotiate with Afghan women and all male Afghan factional leaders, with two promises: that any agreement unanimously agreed-to will be backed up by billions in U.S. money, delivered in suitcases, if necessary; and that if no such agreement is reached, all U.S. involvement in Afghanistan will end
f. Defining your preferred approach to Afghanistan as a state secret and refusing on grounds of national security to answer this question until your seventh year as President
7. The best way to deal with torture as an act of U.S. policy is to:
a. Allocate all use of torture to the CIA only, and forbid it to the Army
b. Never torture prisoners when it is possible to send them to other countries to be tortured.
c. Change the name of the School of the Americas again, forbid SOAS to teach police forces of other governments how to torture, and authorize the new institute to do so.
d. Forbid the use of torture except on non-U.S. citizens only.
e. Forbid the use of torture except on Muslims only.
f. Reduce unemployment by giving U.S. prison guards “encore careers” as torture trainers.
g. Enough already with half-measures: repeal the Constitutional requirement for habeas corpus, plus the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth & Eighth Amendments, and abrogate the Geneva Conventions.
8. The best way to prevent nuclear proliferation is:
a. Negotiating reductions in all nuclear stocks to no more than 20 bombs for any government, including the US.
b. Using nuclear bombs to obliterate any nation that will not agree.
c. Both the above. Start obliteration-bombing with the nation that has the largest stockpile of nukes.