If I were king, boy, things would be different

Forrest Johnson

If I were king and I allowed voting, which I would because I would be a friendly king, I would first require all citizens to pass a simple test. A very simple test made up of very simple questions. Pick a single question and find the answer. You can use a calculator if you must. You can use an encyclopedia. It is an open book test.
An example.
Is our democracy
•    a plutocracy
•    a myth of its former self (if it ever really existed at all)
•    a hope in the future
•    all about the economy
I’m not giving out the answers. You have to figure them out yourself. But your answers would give me, the king, a good idea about who you are and what kind of candidate you might vote for. I could plan accordingly to either be hopeful of the results or start cleaning up the mess.
Another example.
Blasting industrial chemicals and silica sand into the ground to retrieve oil from shale formations is
•    a good idea
•    like an enema for the earth and therefore a good thing
•    trouble
•    I don’t care. The earth is a big place and we’re just foolish to think we can actually have an impact on a whole planet.
How about another.
If you burn fossil fuels for several centuries in a closed system like we have here on earth—you know, like starting your car in a closed garage—where would the waste from all that combustion go?
•    up into space
•    nowhere in particular
•    out of sight, out of mind
•    trouble
Oh heck, here’s another.
The free market is good and is often mistaken for
•    American-style democracy
•    the Mafia
•    a Mexican drug cartel
•    a veiled reference to prosperity by followers of the New Conservative Neanderthal Party (NCNP), formerly known as the Republicans
As king, all I’m really asking is that citizens be aware of their surroundings. Not falsified or imagined surroundings, but the real world we share with billions of other people, some fortunate and some not so fortunate.
One of my first jobs as king would be to teach the children to never lose their curiosity, to never stop asking why things work the way they do. Oh, we can’t answer all questions. We still don’t know exactly why lightning happens or why gravity seems to work on the macro scale of the universe at the same time that, conversely, quantum mechanics seems to rule the way things work on the micro scale of that same universe.
Yes, somewhere along the line many citizens simply stop wondering about those kinds of things, and they start to fall in line with others who’ve stopped thinking at all, and so pretty much you have a bunch of cows being led to pasture by others who seem to actually enjoy leading people around by simple repetitive commands.
As king I would ask the simple questions. Why would a society choose to deny itself affordable health care for all citizens? Why would a society ignore its public and social infrastructure for so long while at the same time cutting taxes and further reducing revenue? Why would a society’s workers suddenly turn on themselves and think that right-to-work legislation is actually going to benefit them and not their owners or shareholders? Why would an inventive society struggle with itself so much over renewable energy and sustainable agriculture? Why would an innovative society feed itself heaps and gobs of industrialized food and think that it wouldn’t affect the long-term health of its citizens?
These and other questions can drive a good king bad. Come to think about it, I might just have to stop all this voting nonsense since it has become such nonsense and nearly half the country doesn’t even vote anyway. I guess I’ll just have to set this whole mess straight myself. Now I’m getting worked up a bit. I’m beginning to think that a benevolent dictator might just be better than an ignorant society that allows corporations the rights of citizenship and billionaires the rights to influence elections.
Having a king isn’t much different than the one percent owning the 99 percent anyway. Except I would be a nice king, and in order to keep the peace I’d have to share what I have with others. That’s just common sense. You have to share. Keeps the commoners from storming the castle, so to speak.
Those one-percenters, they don’t share anything.