Another Modest Proposal
Forget Detroit. It's long past time we restructured America.


The Midwest: Gee, from all the fuss over BO II’s former buddy, “Big Rod” Blagojevich, you’d think Illinois and the other flat hick states were one vast criminal enterprise run out of Chicago by the Combine, the Daley Machine, and the Jake Lingle Society. So let’s just draw a discreet veil of obscurity over the place and revisit this in, oh, say, four years. Shhhh . . . the media is sleeping.

Texas: Merge it with Oklahoma and give them both back to Mexico. Bonus side effect: Bush automatically becomes an illegal alien. Problem solved!

The Big Square Ones: Just look at a map, for crying out loud. Then toss in Wyoming. Can you spell o-n-e-s-t-a-t-e?

The Dakotas: Two of them? You cannot be serious! Nobody lives there, so one Dakota should be plenty, and it won’t matter to the cows.

The Pacific Northwest: Oregon, Washington; Washington, Oregon — you choose.

California: Paradise. Wouldn’t change a thing.

Ah, but Dave, I hear you say: this is all great, we save a fortune by getting rid of half the Congresscritters and their staffs, plus the Electoral College will be so small it could meet in a broom closet, but how does it help with the staggering cost of a Presidential election?

Here comes the best part: what presidential elections?

For half a century, the same few families have stuck their mugs in our faces every four years. It started with the sainted Jack Kennedy, who begat Bobby who begat Ted who begat RFK Jr., who begat Patrick, etc., and even with the natural culling of the herd that takes place from time to time on ski slopes and from drug overdoses, there will always be plenty of Kennedys. There’s even talk that Sweet Caroline will take the Wicked Witch of the East’s senate seat, assuming Hillary gets around the plain language of the Emoluments Clause and the media looks the other way as she slouches toward Foggy Bottom.

But we’ve also had the Doles, the Clintons, the Bushes, the Romneys, the Albert Arnold Gores, Sr., Jr., and III, and now, with Beau looming on the Delaware horizon, the Bidens; the Doles are thankfully gone, but there’s no end in sight to the other clans and while we’re all undoubtedly looking forward to the day when one of Mitt’s fine strapping Mormon missionary sons takes time out from serving his country by working for his dad and takes on Chelsea or George P. Bush or . . .

What we have here, my friends, is our very own War of the Posers, er, Roses. So after the Obama administration unfortunately emulates the mayoral regimes of Harold Washington and David Dinkins and vanishes into history with the thanks of a grateful press corps, you can bet the American aristocracy will reassert its prerogatives and its hereditary right to the White House.

Since there’s nothing we can do about it, we might as well make the best of it. And that’s where Hollywood comes in, with an interactive TV and online show that combines the bloodline-mayhem of Lancaster v. York, the hand-to-hand combat of American Gladiators, and the personal drama of Desperate Housewives.

Picture if you will: It runs for six months every four years and entirely replaces our current cumbersome and error-prone “election system” with a series of audience-posed challenges that get progressively harder and bloodier. Like Highlander, there can be only one: the last scion standing wins the big enchilada, while the losers lick their wounds, breed, and prepare for four years’ hence. Best of all, it’s absolutely free.

You know what I’m going to call it, don’t you? Of course you do: Family Feud II: This Time, It’s Personal.

And before you tell me I’m crazy, ask yourself: If we had done it my way the past 50 years, how would things be any different?

– David Kahane is full of bright ideas, only some of which are meant satirically. You can put in your two cents at [email protected]