Dear President Obama
I do hope you will not be offended by my familiar term of address. After all, it is the office of president we honor, not the likes of you. (Please excuse my awkward English, I was educated in an American government school.)
I know that you are valiantly attempting to impose the blessings of socialism on America, and I think you are right, if that is your goal, to look at the models of other countries that have gone much further down the road of socialism than America has, such as the UK. The idea of foisting (is that the right word?) on the American people the same kind medical system the British enjoy (is that the right word?) is a good way to accomplish your ends, but I think you have missed one of the most important modern innovations of socialism recently employed in England.
Perhaps the greatest problem in controlling people, for their own good of course, is that there are never enough police. While we are able to convince people we need police to prevent crimes, we know of course that the police never prevent crimes, and at best only show up after a crime has been committed, except in the case of drugs, where the police are as likely to be the ones committing the crime as the drug criminals. When actually confronted with the facts, the police will quite frankly admit they cannot prevent crime, because, as they say, "we can't be everywhere," and criminals do have a habit of committing their crimes where the police do not happen to be.
The brilliant British solution is to replace flesh-and-blood cops with life-size cardboard cutouts. Some Americans have laughed at the idea and the exorbitant £20,000 cost of these cardboard cops, but they are no doubt radical capitalists, and not the kind who would vote for you anyway.
Now the British idea is brilliant, but here's where you can prove the difference between Americans and the Brits. You have to take this idea and make it one of "hope and change," especially change.
The idea is to replace the entire country's police forces, at every level with cardboard cutouts. Just a moment's reflection will demonstrate the huge cost savings this will be. Even if you choose to go for the highest quality and most expensive cutouts, for the price of a single flesh-and-blood cop, several hundred cardboard cops can be purchased and deployed. At that price, we really could have cops everywhere.
Dealing With Objections
I know all the conservative radical right's arguments against this. "How do you expect cardboard cops to prevent crime?" Of course they won't stop any more crime than the flesh-and-blood kind, but certainly not any less. Some Republicans have even pointed out that people would soon realize that these cardboard cops don't move, that their eyes keep staring in one place. I think these Republicans are probably giving most people too much credit. Everyone has observed how the eyes of a really good portrait seem to follow you and most people would just assume they were. For the few truly observant people out there, there is a solution to this I'll explain shortly.
First I must explain the urgency of this. All discussion and debate about this thing must be repressed, and it must be done as quickly as possible, before people really catch on to what is happening. If you drag your feet on this, all the conservative talk-show hosts will get wind of it, and raise all kinds of absurd objections and you'll never get the thing done.
Remember, this has got to be the big change you promised. This is a bigger change than anybody could have imagined. It's going to make you one of the greatest wonders of history. The place to begin is with two of the most expensive federal agencies?the TSA and the DEA. I suggest these as the starting place because the switch from flesh-and-blood agents to the cardboard kind could be made with no sacrifice in the quality of personnel.
Another Republican objection you are sure to hear is that all the flesh-and-blood people replaced will have to find actual productive jobs. But you know that is not going to be a problem with all the new jobs you are creating. Perhaps some of them could get jobs in the cardboard cutout factories.
You would, of course, have to ensure the manufacture of cardboard police was properly regulated. They would have to be made from recycled paper (a nice demonstration of your concern for the environment), and of course the paint would have to be certified lead free. You wouldn't want to be responsible for some child getting lead poisoning from chewing on a cop.
Cardboard Cutout Underground
I cannot overemphasize the importance of the government taking over the business of producing cardboard cutouts and using them to do their job. First, it must be done before some capitalist catches on to the marvelous innovation and makes it into a business. Then the best the government would be able to do is regulate the industry, and it will never be the success it ought to be.
As with all other important products, when no legitimate source is available, the product is taken over by the underworld. The crooks are already making their own cardboard crooks. Just recently, "Armed police finally ended a 90-minute siege at a bank in [New Jersey], only to discover that they'd been in a tense stand-off with a cardboard cutout." This very serious criminal activity required the, "area [to be] sealed offand three nearby apartment buildings [to be] evacuated.
This incident alone proves the effectiveness of cardboard crooks to confuse and control the cops, it's time for the US government to use these same methods on the crooks.
Proper Cardboard Cop Design
For this wonderful innovation to be successful, it is absolutely essential the design of the cardboard cops be exactly right. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to provide some very nice grant money, to people useful to you, to do research in the field of effective cardboard cop design. Perhaps some of those soon to be out of their jobs in the field of global-warming research should be considered.
I am not an expert in cardboard cop design, but I do have two suggestions, which your researchers ought to consider. Since one of the obvious, though probably spurious, objections to this idea is that cardboard cops would be a little too stiff to be convincing, there are two very simple things that could be done to prevent this impression.
These are not new ideas and they have worked very well in the past. The first is to make the head of cardboard cops separate and attached to the rest of the cop by a spring, much like those animals and such that people like to put on the back shelf of their cars. You know the ones with heads that bob up and down every time the car moves. This would provide just the right amount of motion to the cardboard cops head to convince people the cop was nodding to them as they passed.
The other not-new idea is the eyes. Instead of painted eyes, there ought to be eye-holes with eyes mounted in back that moved back and forth, like those eyes in some old novelty clocks. This would give the impression that the cardboard cop was always alert and scanning for crooks and other bad people.
Guarding the Boarder
I know you are not concerned about the thousands of illegal aliens crossing our southern border, and probably not terribly sympathetic with the DEA's efforts to eradicate drugs, but it is a political issue you really need to be on the right side of. The replacement of all DEA agents with cardboard agents would solve that problem completely.
No one could say you were not doing anything about the problem. You could deploy as many agents as you liked, anywhere, including along the boarder. While others coming across the boarder may not be a serious issue for you, there is one class of boarder-crossers that even you must be concerned with?the hardcore drug criminals. This is where the cardboard DEA agents is brilliant.
You have to picture this. A small gang of drug criminals is preparing to cross the boarder. They are scanning the desert for signs of agents. "Do you see anything Juan?" "Nothing, Chico." "It's too quiet, another one says." "Come on, let's go. Quit worrying," another says worriedly.
They get up slowly and start walking toward the USA. Suddenly, a thousand DEA agents pop up out of the sand, their heads bobbing up and down, their eyes darting back and fourth, and the drug criminals turn and run screaming in terror back to Mexico.