October 2015

A Line in the Sand: Who Would You Vote for?

Author: Barry Kaufman & Courtney Hampson

Barry Kaufman
Before I begin on all the reasons why I should be the next president of the United States (and there are many), I’d like to make sure we’ve at least established the proper point of reference.

As of this writing, our top scientists have not actually been able to ascertain how many people are, in fact, currently running for President of The United States of America. Suffice it to say, there are a lot. Many things can change between the time I write this and the time you read this, but at this moment, .094 percent of the earth’s population is currently on the campaign trail.

And while there are a hundredscore candidates out there, there seems to be a decided lack of candidates who should actually be allowed to be president. The current frontrunner is Donald Trump, and the hot story as I write this is that he is now engaged in a war of words with a professional magazine columnist. That the magazine columnist in question is Kareem Abdul-Jabar makes the whole situation feel like it was ripped from the pages of a partially completed Mad Libs from 1986.

Trump’s campaign so far seems to be centered on two key platforms: “Shut up,” and “No, you’re stupid.” And he’s winning. Like, by a lot. Which doesn’t say great things about the rest of the field. Or us as a country, if we’re being honest with ourselves.

Another candidate currently running for the highest office of the land is, and I swear I’m not making this up, a crawfish. An actual real live crawfish. Someone took a Cajun appetizer that hadn’t been fully killed or cooked yet, marched it down to the Federal Election Commission, and threw its tiny little hat into the ring. The crawfish is polling well on Facebook, but it obviously skews poorly among the highly coveted “people who walk barefoot in creeks” demographic.

And then I found out that Courtney was thinking about running. Can you imagine? I mean, a crawfish is one thing, but Courtney? Clearly, for the good of our country, I could not let her run unopposed.
Which brings me to my own candidacy, founded on the principles of “I can’t possibly be the worst thing for America.”

It’s fairly simple. As president, I promise to serve as the least of all possible evils. President Trump? The first foreign official who dares make an unsavory comment about the solid-gold-and-neon “TRUMP” the Donald would no doubt install on the White House is going to set off World War III. President Crawfish? Do you really want to see a Supreme Court full of crustaceans? We should probably admit that’s bad for America. President Courtney? Just hand the keys over to China, why dontcha.

Me, I’d be a different kind of president, as outlined by the following campaign promises. When elected (because “if” is for losers) I will immediately outlaw whatever it is that you don’t like. You know that thing you hate? Oh man, do I hate it too. And don’t even get me started on that other thing you hate. When elected, I will nuke that other thing you hate from orbit.

When elected, in keeping with the spirit of our forefathers, I will uphold the second amendment and immediately end any and all restrictions on the purchase, possession and selling of firearms. And like our forefathers I will define firearms as giant cartoony looking Johnny Tremain muskets that take three men 20 minutes to load properly. All other post-colonial era weapons will be banned. Good luck figuring out whether to chalk that one up as a win, NRA.

When elected, I will ensure that gay marriage is a legally protected right from the highest laws of the land to the lowliest backwater clerk of courts angling for a guest spot on Hannity. I will then immediately and irrevocably ban gay divorce, just to make certain they’re really really sure about it before they go through with it.

Now you’re going to hear a lot of empty promises from my opponent on the previous and/or ensuing pages, depending on how this gets laid out. Or you might not hear a lot of empty promises. Somebody let me know, because I rarely read her half of this thing. (And as an aside, has anyone ever seen her birth certificate? What are you hiding, Courtney?)

But I can promise you this. You know that thing you hate? She loves it. Think about that, America.
Thank you. And may God bless the men, women and crawfish of the United States of America. 

Courtney Hampson

Last month, I was flying home from California. It was smooth sailing until about 6 p.m. EST, when I finally shut down my laptop and decided to close my eyes for the remaining 45 minutes into Atlanta. I woke up at 7 p.m. to the pilot informing us that Atlanta airport was closed due to weather, and we were waiting for her (airports are female, right?) to re-open. Seventy-five minutes later, after making five laps of Atlanta, and just about the time it occurred to me that we just flew across the country and surely we must be running low on fuel (and boy is it annoying that we haven’t received an update in more than an hour), the flight attendant grabbed the microphone and ever so eloquently announced our “emergency landing in Huntsville, Alabama.” She quickly corrected herself, “Diverted. We’ve been diverted to Huntsville, Alabama.” And then she skulked down the aisle whispering to everyone who would listen, “We’re low on fuel.”

She won’t be winning any flight attendant of the year awards anytime soon. So, long story even longer, we “divert” to Huntsville, where we sit on the ground for two hours. After nine hours in the same seat, and fueled on a mere pittance of peanuts, we finally take off again to Atlanta.

As we prepare to land, flight attendant of the year grabs her microphone of malcontent and says, “There are a handful of people on the flight who still have a chance to make their connecting flights. According to my list (how about you show a little professionalism; it’s a manifest, toots) all of them are in the back of the plane. So, when we land, if you don’t have a connecting flight, or have already missed yours, please allow these folks to get off the plane first. I silently thanked her as I knew that as soon as the cabin door opened I would be running the greatest race of my life.

Smooth landing. Quick to the gate. Seat belt sign goes off and all 275 people on the plane stand up and crowd into the aisle. For the girl (me!) in 32A, this is infuriating. I don’t know why I am surprised. These people with zero common courtesy are the same people who rush to the gate to hurry up and wait when the gate agent says, “We are now boarding everyone who needs a little extra time boarding the aircraft.”

And those people are the reason that I am running for President of the United States of America. I just don’t want to live in a country where a lack of courtesy is a forgone conclusion. (I do however support a society where alliteration is prominent and practiced prolifically.)

But common courtesy is hardly my only campaign focus. As a public speaking professor, I am going to have to insist that politicians stop ending speeches with “God Bless America” (ahem, Barry). This isn’t because I don’t want God to bless America; it is because any good speech writer should know that you close a speech with impact, meaning, power, a kick in the pants, the wow moment that really drives your point home. If every political speech ends the same way, there is actually zero impact. We should know better.

Puppies. As you know, I love dogs more than most people. I haven’t quite worked through the details of enforcement (my Secretary of Canine Relations will handle that), but how about you only get a dog if you actually want a dog? Today, I read about a family in Beaufort County who surrendered their young Labrador last weekend to the Beaufort shelter. Why was she surrendered, you ask? Her owners were going out of town and all the boarding kennels were full. Yes, you read that correctly. I get that people are idiots, but I am going to have to insist, idiot or not, (and boy do I hope idiot family reads this column), that we do something about this. Must love dogs. That is all.

As a native of New Jersey, the jughandle state, I must insist that all traffic circles be eliminated from our roads. Why, you ask? Spend 14 seconds at the SC 46 and Bluffton Parkway circle and you’ll question me no more.

And, speaking of transportation issues (I may actually have enough to make it an entire platform), I will personally see to it that the High Road is paved—just to make it a little smoother for those of us who travel it often. In addition I shall line said High Road with margarita bars and taco stands. Heck, every day shall be Cinco de Mayo when I am president. Likewise, why not make every hour a happy hour during my tenure?
Certainly, there are other issues that rub me the wrong way and will get my utmost attention. The White House must be moved. Closer to the beach. But, if I am going to live beachfront, I am going to have to insist that all tourists be required to take a one hour how to work a parking meter and where to set up your tent (not near me) beach etiquette seminar. Further, Americans will be limited to just one hour of Kardashians per week; and Wheel of Fortune must go. Jon Bon Jovi will be Secretary of State. And, if you are not making drip-down-your-arm New York style pizza, you must stop making pizza. Forever.

Finally, with over five years of monthly debate right here in C2, plus the multitude of debates I have instigated as a result of general pot-stirring, you can rest assured that I will always fight for what I and you, the people, believe.

Pizza. Puppies. Cocktail Parties. New York pizza. New Jersey rockers. A new future for our country.

After all, I’ve already argued that we’re ready for a female president. Why not now? 


Surf on over to Celebrate Hilton Head’s Facebook page to cast your vote for Barry or Courtney for president!
The winner will not actually be President (because that’s nonsense), however they will receive a $200 check from this magazine.

Votes will be determined by the number of LIKES each campaign poster has by October 15 at midnight.

Political Posters Positively will be Posted on October 1.

May the Force be with you Candidates.

  1. Oh, dear. I was voing for Barry because he looks so presidential and a man, and I am merely a shallow woman, and that’s what we merely shallow women do – vote for presidential-looking men. HOWEVER, I am gojng to throw stereotype, caution and my shallowness to the wind and vote for Courtney. Anyone who would create a Secretary for Canine Relations (can we get a Feline Secretary, too, Madame President?) and who supports prolific alliteration is my kind of president. As for closing kick to my message, Vote Early and Vote Often.

    — Gwyneth Saunders    Oct 2, 02:15 pm   

  2. Sorry Barry…you lost to pizza. Puppies. Cocktail Parties. New York pizza. New Jersey rockers. A new future for our country.

    — Ed    Oct 2, 09:39 pm   

  3. You had me at Bon jovi, I vote Courtney

    — Brian callahan    Oct 3, 11:09 am   

  4. I don’t care for either. Can I vote for the crawfish?

    — Laurie    Oct 3, 08:13 pm   

  5. Barry Kaufman for President! Would love to see a head to head between you and The Donald!!

    — Aimey    Oct 6, 03:40 pm   

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