A year ago, I tried to comfort the community, in the wake of an election that disappointed 85% of us. I observed that the election was already sparking ’60s-style activism but said we should wait for the man to do something unacceptable, before taking to the streets.

We’ve suffered a year of unacceptable. But, as a certified silver-lining specialist, I can already see how Trump will ultimately be beneficial for the U.S. I see the president as being a disease that is infecting our American institutions. This is forcing us to produce antibodies. Someday our immune system will be stronger as a result.

Sure, he has shaken our faith in journalists. He assaults our freedom to express ourselves. He has trampled our traditions. He’s a threat to democracy, world peace and the environment. The only cure for Trump disease is for the American people to rise up and hold him accountable.

I believe that, in the wake of Trump, we will develop all kinds of safeguards to hold presidential candidates and presidents accountable for their words and actions:

In the future, all presidential candidates will be required to pass a seventh-grade civics class, or risk repeating seventh grade.

Candidates who brag about sexually assaulting women must immediately suspend their campaigns and sit out the election in the locker room.

Presidents must divest themselves of all business interests, including their kid’s lemonade stand.

It will be mandatory for candidates to hand over their tax returns. If the average citizen has to produce three years of returns to get a mortgage, then a president must produce theirs if they want to live in the White House.

Assessing a candidate’s psychological health is tricky but the Commander-in-Chief must pass the Army’s psychological fitness test. Candidates must demonstrate at least a shred of empathy.

Candidates cannot claim combat experience for surviving the New York nightclub scene, and a bone spur does not earn a Purple Heart.

All statements made by the president, will be immediately fact-checked by the bipartisan, Blue Ribbon Truth Committee, which will have the power to censure the president for telling whoppers.

Candidates will be required to serve the country in some capacity, be it military or civilian, before they run for the highest office. This could involve serving as dog-catcher, if that position is still available.

Candidates will no longer be permitted to attack rivals for their personal appearance or physical disability. A committee of fourth-graders will review all presidential insults to see if they rise above playground level.

Candidates can disagree with members of the media but cannot label them “enemies of the American people,” which is slanderous.

Presidential political campaigns must be shortened. We endure 600 days, while Mexico limits races to 147 days, Canada to 78 days, and Japan only gives candidates 12 days.

We must place limits on how much money a candidate can contribute to their campaign. Letting rich guys buy public office just isn’t working.

Until they can demonstrate maturity and a sense of decency, presidents will not be allowed to use their cellphone without a responsible adult present.

We don’t want to be the fashion police but, for their own safety, presidents shouldn’t wear comb-overs that are visible from outer space.

These are just a few of the safeguards we will need in place to prevent further Trumps. Our immune system is currently compromised but, in the end, our antibodies will rise up and defeat this disease infecting our democracy. Trump should be pleased. They’re called white cells.

John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries. Jrice1038@aol.com

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.

3 replies on “Safeguards to prevent future Trumps”