Joe Arpaio photo credit: Gage Skidmore via photopin. License: creative commons

I see you pardoned your pal Joe Arapaio the other day. Well, of course you did. What are friends for, right?

Credit: Gage Skidmore via photopin. License.

But since you’re still new at the president thing I want to make sure you’ve considered the wider implication: if you can get away with pardoning a racist, hate-mongering torturer who got busted for repeatedly ignoring the courts, how about other racists and hate-mongers? Or torturers? Or even murderers? Don’t they get a chance to join your team?

See, the thing is, I think you’ve got an opportunity to work this into a killer (so to speak) plan for your own advancement. Don’t forget, you’ve got a re-election campaign starting up soon. (Gee, ain’t it funny how time slips away?) With an approval rating in the dumpster, this is the time to start thinking of ways to deal with it. Plus, that whole Congress thing: isn’t it just the shits how they don’t do what you tell them? Not to mention the judges that keep shooting down your racist immigration policies. Fuck!

But if you’ll follow my plan, you can put a stop to all this unnecessary horseshit right now. Or pretty soon, anyway. Please pay attention for just a second.

Step 1: Have somebody comb through the NCIS database of incarcerated killers, kidnappers and torturers. You’re not looking for one-off offenses here: no crimes of passion. You want vicious serial killers and unrepentant mass murderers. Think Charles Manson. Remember him?

Photo credit: thetrapezium via photopin. License.

It’s been so long my memory has grown fuzzy, but I seem to recall him disemboweling at least one of his victims. A pregnant woman, I think. Charles Manson is definitely your poster boy.

Step 2: Winnow your list down to the absolute worst. Maybe the most dangerous 1000.

Step 3: Pardon them.

Step 4: Establish some bogus commission and make them all salaried members. They’re gonna need some walking-around money, and you might as well give them the whole benefits package … you know, health care and retirement? The torturers at Guantanamo and Iraq got it, so why not your boys?

Step 5: Have the prison system deliver your pardonees first to the White House, where you can strut around the room and show them what a great guy you are. Make sure they understand that they need to pay attention only to you from that point forward.

Step 6: Explain that their money problems are now solved so they can get back to their favorite pastimes of killing and torturing and what-not. If they get busted, no prob there either because you’ll have their backs. You pardoned them once, you can pardon them again. Only thing is, they can’t just go around randomly killing and torturing, they have to work off a list you’ll give them. They start hitting people that aren’t on the list; deal is off, and back to the slammer they go.

You see where I’m going with this? Who’s gonna run against you in 2020? Anyone who even speaks publicly about a possible interest in the presidential nomination for either party? They go on the list, they disappear, and their body parts are found in a landfill.

Meanwhile, your pals post a video of one of the pesky journalists who keep pissing you off. She’s screaming while her hands are getting nailed to a table, and then she goes quiet when her thumbs get whacked off with a hatchet. They pan to her face to show the horror as she watches them toss her thumbs into a pen full of hungry pigs. Maybe she passes out, but before she bleeds to death they bandage her up and send her off to publish her story, which goes viral … exactly what you want, of course. Around this same time a Senator or two disappear and can’t be found despite the best efforts of the FBI (for whatever that’s worth.)

The cops, realizing it’s no use to arrest your pre-pardoned thugs, will begin shooting at people who even vaguely resemble them. You’ll want to pardon a lot of dark-skinned people for that reason. No one will even think anything of it when the cops gun them down, and that way none of your supporters will become collateral damage either. Very few, anyway; and those that do are probably just losers.

Yes, the cops will be constantly whittling away at your little team, but is there a shortage of vicious, violent criminals for you to pardon to replace the ones the cops nailed? That’s not the way I heard it.

Science tells us the desire to keep living and retain body parts is among the strongest of human reflexes, so I guarantee Congress will begin unanimously rubber-stamping any legislation you throw at them. Same with the judges; forget about adverse decisions. Lawsuits from the ACLU or the NAACP or any of them other do-gooder outfits? Your people can file motions to dismiss, and they’ll always be granted.

The world will be your playpen; you’ll be Kim Jong Un writ large! Have parades! Require everyone to start calling you “Glorious Leader”! With just your small cadre of pre-pardoned hit-men you’ll have the world by the balls! (Or the pussy, to use your construction.)

Forget about the two-term limit, you can stay in charge till you die if you want! Or hand it off to one of your kids, like they’ve been doing for decades in North Korea. Amend the Constitution? No prob. Just write it up the way you want it, and it’ll get done.

Just remember where you got this idea. I know it’s not entirely original; I know it’s become the modus operandi of the thugs that took over Venezuela, and I know your pal President Rodrigo Duterte runs around the Philippines on his motorcycle shooting whoever he pleases, but I think I deserve credit for bringing this adaptation to your attention, so keep me off your hit lists, okay? Thanks in advance.

Nomadic writer, realist, voluntaryist, nudist, singer, drummer, harmonica and recorder player, composer, gadfly, runner, troublemaker, survivor so far.

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