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The Barack Obama 10 Step Guide to the U.S. Presidency

by BEN SCHREINER

1. Kill Foreigners

Every president must consolidate his or her domestic power.  And long the best way to consolidate power within the world’s lone indispensable nation has been to knock off a few foreigners.  This services your power in three ways.  First, it ensures the profitability of the defense industry—i.e., your corporate masters.  Second, it proves that you are sufficiently tough, not some peacenik wuss.  And third, it makes your subjects feel safe; for nothing seems to bring greater comfort to Americans than knowing someone, somewhere has been snuffed out in the service of their safety.

But not just any foreigner will do here.  Generally think of the impoverished, faraway type.  But right now, really any Muslim will do just fine.

2. “Save” Social Security and Medicare

To destroy is sometimes to save.  Remember Vietnam?  Well, the American social safety net is just such a case.  Social Security and Medicare can only be truly “saved” once they are gutted and stripped to the bone.  So freely hack away at the both.  And if anyone left of the Democratic Leadership Council dares cry foul, remember all you’re asking for is a little “shared sacrifice.”

Meanwhile, keep in mind that any political price to be paid for “saving” popular social programs will be offset by the freeing up of yet more funds for the killing of yet more foreigners.

3. Support Israel

Israel is the world’s second indispensable nation.  It, too, can really do no wrong.  Of course, believing this is a prerequisite for even running for president.  So then, think of Israel not of an apartheid state, but of a beacon of democracy in the rough and tumble Middle East in need of money, weapons, and all the diplomatic cover possible from that unruly mob known as the United Nations General Assembly.

4. Threaten to Kill Even More Foreigners

Inevitably, a president’s mettle will come to be questioned, his or her power imperiled.  When this occurs, threaten to start killing even more foreigners.  “All options,” you should say, “are on the table.”  In others words, let it be known that you’re not afraid of nuking somebody.  And as to whom to threaten with nuclear annihilation, best consult the world’s second indispensable nation.

5. Target Leakers

Well, not all leakers.  Leaks revealing how tough you are “terrorists” (you know, those foreigners you must kill) are quite permissible.  There’s nothing wrong with a little late night whispering into the trusted ears of those in the respectable press (Barbara Starr, Bob Schieffer, David Gregory, etc.).  It’s those leaking to actual—known today as advocacy—journalists that must be targeted with extreme prejudice.

And if still in doubt over whether a leak is to be tolerated or not, remember this simple rule: if it furthers your political agenda and power, it’s permissible.  All other leaks are to be treated as heinous crimes against the state, the culprits condemned as traitors.

6. Fight for the “Middle Class”

This is actually a whole lot easier than it may first appear.  After all, the American “middle class” is all but extinct.  There’s really not much in the way left to fight for.  But nonetheless, Americans still stubbornly cling to that illusory American Dream.  What an adorable people!  So play along with the simpletons, and go ahead and rhetorically fight for the “middle class” as much as you please.  Your true service to your corporate overlords need not be hindered by your words.

7. Snoop on Everyone.  Really, EVERYONE

Phone calls, emails, web searches, video chats, and even snail mail: collect it all.  For when killing foreigners and “fighting for the middle class” just isn’t enough to starve off domestic revolt, snooping on everyone will be crucial in helping the elite maintain their grip on power.  And this—preserving the safety and stability of the ruling elite—is really what the job is all about.  That, and advancing your own power.

8. Kill Some Americans, Too

If killing some foreigners nets you greater domestic power, imagine what taking out a few of your fellow citizens can do—minors included!

But before you start going too crazy, don’t just kill any American (at least not yet…).  Think, once again, of the faraway, Muslim type.  You really can’t kill enough of them.

9. Act on the International Responsibility to Protect Civilians

Okay, so this is really just another reminder to kill foreigners with all the latest expensive toys from the merchants of death.

But strictly on a personal level, the next time you send in the shock troops you might want to go ahead and actually try and deceive yourself into believing in the “responsibility to protect” rhetoric.   Running a global hit squad can take a bit of a personal toll.  So feel free to rationalize your crimes a bit.  Imagine yourself as a homicidal sociopath with a moral code of sorts.  Think Dexter with drones and Hellfire missiles.

10. Lie Through Your Teeth

Are you killing to enhance your own political power and further line the pockets of your corporate clients? No, protecting American lives with precise kinetic actions targeting confirmed militants.

Are you working to dismantle Medicare and Social Security? No, fighting the good fight on behalf of the middle class.

But certainly you are spying on all Americans, right?  What a silly question; that would be against the law.

You get the idea…

Ben Schreiner is a freelance writer living in Oregon.  He may be reached via his website or at bnschreiner@gmail.com.

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Ben Schreiner is the author of A People’s Dictionary to the ‘Exceptional Nation’.  He may be reached at bnschreiner@gmail.com or via his blog.

CounterPunch Magazine

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