If I Could Be Queen of the World

My favorite #sandy tweet from yesterday was this one from Cory Booker:

Just spoke with Gov Christie. His team has been a tremendous support in this emergency & I appreciate his personally reaching out (again).

Cory Booker is the (Democratic) Mayor of Newark, NJ.  Chris Christie is the (Republican) Governor of New Jersey.  Doesn’t it feel good when bi-partisanship happens?

Previously in the day, Gov. Christie mentioned how helpful President Obama had been in terms of offering federal support.  All this goodwill made me feel safe and proud of my country.

I sometimes ask people looking for a new calling or a general life change:  If you were King/Queen of the World, what would you do?  

Today, it’s my turn.

If I were the Queen of the World, I would decree the following five things.  They would be non-negotiable, because I would be a bossy monarch.

1.  All Americans have to listen to this conversation between Alice Rivlin (the Democratic economist) and Pete Domenici (the former Republican senator) regarding the United States economy and the importance of bipartisanship in a democracy.

2.  The Electoral College would be abolished.  It’s obsolete and makes a vote in Ohio worth more than a vote in Montana.

3.  Citizens’ United would be overturned.  Our leaders should be chosen by independent citizens, not by corporations or unions.

4- Whoever loses the elections next Tuesday must announce that he/she will wholeheartedly support the winner for the sake of our nation’s future and well-being.

5- Once elected, all members of Congress are required to partner with a member of her/his opposing party for regular meals, outings, and – if they are praying people – prayer.  The only agenda for these meetings would be to get to know and care for that colleague and her/his family.  It’s harder to demonize someone on the other side when your kids have played soccer together and your spouses have exchanged recipes.

After a terrible storm, people come together in selfless care.  Coming together after an election is the least we can do for our country.

 

Image of the crown made for Caroline of Baden, Queen of Bavaria in 1806.  She liked pearls.

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14 responses to “If I Could Be Queen of the World

  1. Terrific, except I am a sinner and having a problem with #4. Will work on it
    🙂

  2. I’m ambivalent about the electoral college. I’ve read some intriguing defenses of it lately.

    One of the dangers of abolishing it is that rural areas would be completely ignored in favor of densely populated ones.

    • Good point re: rural folks. I’m trying to figure out how to get more votes to “count” personally in states that get no love from the candidates because of the electoral college.

  3. OBTW may I have the crown? Love pearls and it would help me assume my queenlines.

  4. That’s queenliness.

  5. You bring it & I’ll wear it.

  6. I got to meet you when you came through Kansas City and have been reading your blog ever since. Of many posts that I love SO MUCH, this is my very favorite.

  7. Kristi Elliott Desai

    Instead of being Queen why not run for the presidency yourself? I would vote for you! Especially if you passed all five of your non-negotiable rules above. Although I would like to hear a good debate on each one of them as there are always two sides to a story. i.e. the Electoral College. However, I really can’t think of one disadvantage when applying number 5 to ones life.

  8. One of the dangers of abolishing it is that rural areas would be completely ignored in favor of densely populated ones.

    Rural folks are basically ignored now—not enough people to hold a large rally—except for a few visits, maybe, in Ohio and Iowa. Just the same as the big cities on the coasts. The key is whether or not the state is competitive overall. And rural only (mostly) states, which I assume is what you mean, such as Kansas, Mississippi, Alaska, etc. are all off the table (again, with Iowa as a potential outlier as a stand in for all rural states). Just as large urban-centers like New York, California, and Illinois.

    The *votes* of rural folks (and why they will not vote for a constitutional amendment) are actually favored. An Ohio resident’s vote is not worth more than a Montana resident. At least not in what we would usually mean by worth. Some quick, simple math: Montana gets three electoral votes for one million people (on one EV for ~333,000 people). Ohio gets eighteen electoral votes for 11 million people (or one EV for ~611,000 people). A Montana resident’s vote is favored almost 2 to 1. Why would Montana ever approve a change?

    It is not altogether clear what would happen if the electoral college was replaced by a national popular vote. There is a strong case, without the electoral college, for Gov. Romney flying into Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, before a quick trip to Alaska (yes, I know large distances) then returning to Washington, Oregon and Utah for a couple rallies at small airports to gain statewide press coverage. He may only do it once to rally the base in these places (although maybe more than once in Utah combined with California and Utah) but he would want to run up the score among the western Mormon populations. Meanwhile, President Obama may spend his time on the coasts and internal cities to run up the score there. Certainly things would change from a campaign where the candidates visit Ohio daily. But it is not clear, at least to me, that would lead to more or less focus on rural America (or urban America)—my guess is that both would get more love in that system than today with the focus on soccer moms. Whether that is better for the country is an even more nuanced question that I am not sure can be answered on a blog.

  9. Just a quick follow-up, here is a great map showing my point on rural states not wanting to give up the electoral college. http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/11/all-votes-are-not-created-equal.html.

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