An Immodest Proposal
John Butch Preston
he main problem with American democracy, as Ben Franklin once pointed out, is the quality of the leadership we choose as voters to represent us and ensure our safety and general contentment. Of course, at the highest level this responsibility rests with our presidents, the persons whom the majority of us (except when the electoral college objects) think is best suited for this role. Well, Ben was right, this is a problem. We once chose slave owners as presidents, undeniably brilliant men in their own right but who were otherwise obviously lacking in basic moral circumspection. Clearly, we have now advanced somewhat beyond that but the question is how far?
Without a doubt, the most honest president in modern history was Jimmy Carter, in spite of the many obstacles confronting him. And by a majority of the country today, President Trump is considered to be the most dishonest, even more so than Nixon or Clinton. In fact, no modern president—albeit in his own little way—can be deemed completely trustworthy. But there is a solution to this problem and I think I have it: We don’t need a president as much as we need a liberator! In turning my thoughts to this, this first person who comes to mind is Mexico’s great Benito Juarez, the only full-blooded Indian to ever become president of a sovereign nation. Simply put then, we need a Native American to step forward in the manner of Benito Juarez as our next president.
You may think my proposal outlandish, but if you stop and think, we have already crossed that threshold—who in their right minds a couple of years ago would have ever dreamed we would elect somebody like Trump, a guarantee that just anybody nowadays can become president. But we don’t need another errant face in the crowd—we urgently need a savior!
Although there have been several Native Americans who have served in congress, and a few are even running for various government positions in the next election, all have been and are mainstream politicians much like the general run-of-the-mill we’ve always had. What I am talking about is a Benito Juarez—a true savior of his country, the man who brought Mexico out of colonialism by defeating the iron grip of Catholicism and the mighty repressive rule of the landed aristocracy. Basically, he rescued his country from the clutches of an ambitious domineering church and its wealthy supporters. Take notice that this seems similar to what Americans are suffering from today, namely, our failure to separate church and state and to separate money and state; we must by all means take religion and money out of politics. What we have now, to be sure, is a kind of quasi colonialism. And that’s why we need our own Benito Juarez.
Who else but one of indigenous ancestry can best have the well-being of this country at heart than one who, by decent, is an integral part of this land and perhaps loves it more so than any one of the immigrant horde who now claim it. Just think of the power in the symbolism of an Indian President, and how this power could be used to straighten this country out and usher in a more tolerant government.
The demopublicans would be aghast at this proposition, so this candidate would have to run as an independent, or other such party, which would also give rise to a needed third party. This Native American could certainly win because of the backing by all people of color, all environmentalist, all the disenfranchised, and perhaps even many football and baseball fans—what Cleveland Indians’ fan would want to vote against an Indian? And what about the many people around us who boast of Indian blood? Like myself for instance, a descendent of Blackhawk Sizemore.
Benito Juarez began his career as a simple village priest, who later decided he could be more helpful and effective in bringing change as a lawyer, so our candidate would have to be qualified—unlike the two presidents thus far in this century who were not. This Indian, from whatever tribe, must step forward soon and show that he or she has the leadership to save this country from itself, basically from its own lack of circumspection. (Please pass this along.)