The wisdom of seventh graders: Being President


Today is Election Day in the United States. Some years ago, seventh grade students (age 12) were asked to imagine they had just been elected president and to give an address to the nation on one thing they would change.

Remember, these are only the most entertaining ideas. Do not assume all student ideas are like these.

  • Ban "all types of non-purpose car racing."
  • Defend against zombie attack.
  • Withdraw from Iraq and use the money to fund electric cars and ban smoking.
  • Repeal all taxes.
  • Name Arnold Schwarzenegger as Vice President.
  • Shorten all school days to increase learning.
  • Build a holographic wall at the border. For the immigrants who don't fall for it and run right through, station border patrol just behind it.
  • Shut down all cigarette factories. "If you somehow manage to get cigarettes, we don't care."
  • Make chocolate milk the official drink.

And this sentence came from a student destined for greatness as a politician: "Something must be done, and I will make it happen."

Comments (28)
  1. Alexandre B. says:

    I'd vote for the second guy. The zombie threat is greatly underestimated

  2. asdbsd says:

    > Withdraw from Iraq and use the money to fund electric cars and ban smoking.

    Is this already with the jokes?

    [I included it more for its childlike idealism. I was careful to characterize these as the most entertaining entries rather than the funniest. -Raymond]
  3. Ben says:

    Repeal all taxes.

    Nice!

  4. uh ? says:

    What exactly is funny in "Withdraw from Iraq and use the money to fund electric cars and ban smoking." except for the fact that it would actually be a good plan (except for the tobacco industry and thus doomed to failure because of lobbies) ? It's unrealistic, but if you are not idealistic at 12, you will never be.

    "Shut down all cigarette factories. "If you somehow manage to get cigarettes, we don't care." >> Nederlands stance for light drugs, and most country stance for prostitution is not very different. In Italy for example, brothels are prohibited, prostitution not.

  5. Leo Davidson says:

    The holographic border wall idea is really thinking outside the box!

    (The box where it's cheaper and more effective to built a normal wall. :-D)

    It would be great for watching movies on, no doubt.

  6. Robo says:

    Thanks for making my day better

  7. Wow, kids really hate smoking.

  8. Defend against zombie attack

    !

    Why aren't any of the people running today making this their number one issue?  Are they in league with the zombie hordes?

  9. ERock says:

    A 7th grader calling for a repeal of all taxes? Either they are mature beyond their years or SOMEONE got help from their folks for that assignment. :D

  10. Bob says:

    @ERock:  My guess is it's someone who has learned how schools are funded.  No taxes == no schools == play all day.

  11. Bernard says:

    This is obvisouly a fake. No 12 year old would know how to spell Schwarzenegger correctly!

  12. bcs says:

    Regarding Iraq, electrics cars and smoking; can we legislate the creation of room temperature superconductors while we're at it?

  13. Josh Einstein says:

    Typical liberal kids with their cut and run and smoking bans. :)

  14. Some guy says:

    Shut down all cigarette factories. "If you somehow manage to get cigarettes, we don't care."

    Is a great idea, IMO.

  15. Mark S says:

    "• Shorten all school days to increase learning. "

    Sounds like "cut taxes to decrease the deficit."  But I long-ago concluded that bunch was about as wise and mature as seventh-graders anyway.

  16. Sunil Joshi says:

    Shorten all school days to increase learning – I think there may be evidence on this.

    If the school day is too long then this may be counterproductive due to fatigue etc.

    How much do people really remember of this last lesson of the day?

    It's much like how much work do you do ( and not have to redo) in the last half an hour in the office.

  17. Drizzt says:

    •Withdraw from Iraq and use the money to fund electric cars and ban smoking.

    •Name Arnold Schwarzenegger as Vice President.

    •Shut down all cigarette factories. "If you somehow manage to get cigarettes, we don't care."

    I'd vote fot those three :-D

  18. benjamin says:

    People would scoff at the 'prepare for zombie onslaught' idea, but I honestly think it has some merit. Maybe not necessarily because there's the potential for a roving horde of zombies, but because the kinds of things you'd do in a case like that are actually valuable preparedness ideas in general.

    Be aware of your surroundings, have a stock of non perishable food, know the quickest escape routes, have a communication plan, be familiar with how to barricade your home, know what you absolutely needed to grab (medication, identification, money, etc.) in the event you needed to leave the house in a hurry, etc.

    I think the emergency planning groups out there are missing out on not using that kind of thinking to get people to think about things. After all, "Emergency Preparedness" is boring, but "Don't get eaten by zombies!" is fun.

  19. Joel says:

    Are we sure the repeal all taxes kid isn't running in this election?

  20. 640k says:

    • Fire all stupid teachers.

    Out of a cannon, into the sun.

  21. Cheong says:

    @Bernard: Unless if his/her surname is Schwarzenegger, of course. :P

  22. Cheong says:

    @benjamin: Teaching people how to:

    • Prepare for zombie onslaught (X)
    • Prepare for being encompassed by mobster (O)

    The precautions for both situations are similiar, but the latter is more likely to happen.

  23. ErikF says:

    I like the idea of making chocolate milk the official drink. The government could get a sponsor for it and use that money to build the holographic wall, although I think that a prismatic wall would do a much better job (and keep zombies out at the same time!)

  24. Fil says:

    "For the immigrants who don't fall for it and run right through, station border patrol just behind it."

    What's the holographic wall for then?

  25. Matt says:

    @Fil

    Because its really, really cool :P

  26. mpz says:

    Re: Arnold Schwarzenegger as Vice President

    Could you actually do that? I know he's not eligible to run for the office of the president, but what about VP?

    Or what if he followed in the footsteps of Ford, ie. the VP resigned and he was first nominated for VP (outside the electoral process) and then to presidency?

  27. Kyle says:

    @mpz

    While there are many positions in the presidential line of succession that can be held by citizens not born in this country, succession would necessarily skip them because of 3 USC 19(e) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/…/19.html).

  28. Someone You Know says:

    @mpz

    No. Although you can, like Gerald Ford, become Vice-President and then President without being elected to either office, the rules for eligibility for the office of Vice-President are the same as those for President. Amendment XII to the United States Constitution states, in part, that "no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States."

    Kyle is correct that succession skips those who are not eligible to be President, but such a person could not be Vice-President anyway.

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