This is what it has come to. It’s the only way to involve Americans in a truly democratic election for the next president of the United States. And it’s so simple Simon Cowell would puke.
The process starts off with a regional (maybe state by state) essay contest. Names are kept off of the essays so they are judged by merit/content only by a bunch of snot-nosed interns headed up by the Lieutenant Governor. The top 100 essays move on to the next level.
At the second level of competition our national judges come into play (hand-selected by George W., Bill Clinton and TV execs). Let’s say the panel ends up looking something like Karl Rove, Bill Maher, Donald Trump and Rahm Emanuel. This is also where television coverage kicks in.
The author of each winning essay stands before the panel in full costume representing their favorite American patriot, defending their choice with a 25 word pitch before getting grilled by the panel. Then they are either rejected or given a ticket to D.C.! (I’m going to the National Mall, baby!)
Time for the big top. Each week (live from the National Theater) a different group of eight contestants draw lots on which role they will assume during a presidential simulation. On a stage resembling the bridge of the U.S.S. (Starship) Enterprise, the simulator kicks in as the judges help throw the “crew” into turmoil. Maybe one week Israel bombs Iran, while another week a virulent pandemic blossoms. A dirty bomb detonates during the world series or Oprah is revealed to be an android. You get the idea.
Time is called after 25 minutes. Next the viewing audience is regaled by the judges on what they think about individual performances. Finally people are giving the chance to “vote” via text and phone and internet on who they think should be given another chance and who should be “cancelled.”
After 17 episodes the contestants are narrowed down to the final four. In a miniseries showcase each of the four gets the spotlight for a personal interest documentary on their life. Finally, in a breathless, breakneck two hour special each of the four gets a shot at the “helm” of the simulator while every sort of national disaster is hurled at the contestants one after another until only one is left standing–the next American President!
Democratically elected, publicly vetted, battle tested. A hero of the highest mettle. Best of all, it would be a process even the laziest of American couch potato could participate in. What are we waiting for? (Rupert Murdoch and Simon Cowell, I’m looking at you.)