This article is part of The Nation’s 150th Anniversary Special Issue. Download a free PDF of the issue, with articles by James Baldwin, Barbara Ehrenreich, Toni Morrison, Howard Zinn and many more, here.
If my grandfather were alive today, he’d be about 150 years old. I know what you’re thinking: with my youthful looks, neither the math nor the biology of that sentence makes any sense. But it’s the truth, it’s not worth dissecting, so let’s move on.
The Nation, too, is 150 years old. As I am only two generations removed from the Civil War era, and thus able to provide some not-too-distant context, the editors have asked me to write a critique of the magazine on this occasion. I have thought about it and decided that I have no critique to offer. My simple advice: Nation, keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t change. Everything’s fine. Thank you for 150 years of telling the truth.
Instead of providing the requested critique, I would, if you don’t mind, like to offer something else. I’d like to announce, in the pages of this historic issue of this magnificent magazine, the formation of a committee that will study the possibility of an exploratory committee to assess the potential of a Michael Moore candidacy for the presidency of the United States in 2016. In other words, I’m not officially declaring my intention to run. I’m just saying, should I decide to throw my ball cap into the ring, this is what I would propose to do if elected:
1. ONE CHARGE CORD! I will sign an edict declaring that there will be only one charge cord for all brands of all electronic devices—phones, computers, tablets, music devices, cameras and everything else. Just like all electrical appliances and items have used the same two-prong cord that plugs into the same two-hole outlet for the past 100 years, so too shall there be only one charge cord that will plug into the same hole of every digital device from this day on. I think this plank alone can get me elected, but let me offer a few more promises.
2. I will sign legislation that will lower the voting age to 16. A teenager who can die for her/his country at 18 should have a say in just who it is that will be sending them off to war.
3. If there is a call for war, and if we are to invade another nation, I will declare as commander in chief that the first to be sent into combat must be the conscripted adult offspring of all members of Congress, the president and the president’s cabinet (and then, in order, the children of the CEOs of the Fortune 500, all military contractors and the top media executives). This should reduce the number of wars considerably.