A Better Way to Pick a President

presidentThese days, the Presidential Race reminds me of a clown car: just when you think there couldn’t possibly be any more candidates, out pop a few more. Which is good, I suppose, since a wide field presents lots of options…But the debates feel more like popularity contests and publicity feeding frenzies, with substantially more pointing and shouting than solid, helpful responses.So how do ya weed out the viable candidates from the nutbags? How could we possibly get meaningful information from each of them that will aid our decision to select the next President of this country?

Why not a test?

In this country, we test everyone: job seekers, citizens, beauty queens, college applicants… why not a test to help determine who might be a more qualified President?

Personally, I’d propose a combination of questions in various formats from the following sources:

  • Dating sites such as Match and eHarmony
  • A senior executive job interview
  • The Conversation Piece book
  • The U.S. Citizenship Exam
  • A college-entrance application
  • James Liption’s Ten Questions (from The Actor’s Studio TV show)
  • The SAT
  • The Miss America Beauty Pageant Scholarship Program

Scoring for only-one-correct-response questions would be conducted by a nonpartisan team previously selected and approved by all political parties – and all responses, along with this score, would be presented on a website for public consumption.

What would the test look like?

Here’s a peek at my take…
(Fair warning: there are a few trick questions in here.)

NOTE: all responses must be presented in 20 words or less.

  1. Describe the 4th amendment.
  2. What sound or noise do you love most?
  3. On the back of this sheet of paper, draw the state of West Virginia.
  4. Provide an approximate month and year forthe last time you smoked marijuana.
  5. If it’s 8:30am in Boston, Massachusetts, what time is it in Des Moines, Idaho?
  6. In the year 2020, a woman will appear on the $10 bill. Which American woman would you like to see on the first printing of the bill and why?
  7. List below all languages in which you are fluent.
  8. What is the square root of 376?
  9. Perform the following:
    a. List your top five campaign promises, should you be elected President.
    b. Select one of these campaign promises and debate it from the opposing side.
    c. Describe why this debate is not valid.
    d. Tell us if you’d change your response to question 9b.
  10. What was the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
  11. Name two powers that are guaranteed to each state, according to the US Constitution.
  12. Why do you think domestic abuse occurs?
  13. A is the father of B. But B is not the son of A. How is that possible?
  14. Do you believe that God created all men equal?
  15. Which amendment or federal law would you recommend be abolished, and why?
  16. Why should I consider hiring you?
  17. Which country do you consider to be our country’s greatest ally and why?
  18. One the back of this sheet of paper, draw a heptogram, then draw a parallel line through its center.
  19. List below your U.S. legislative representatives.
  20. True or False only:
    a. The electoral college is out of date and needs to be abolished.
    b. Women should have affordable, safe and convenient access to an abortion.
    c. I would confidently nominate a qualified, minority transgender person to the Supreme Court.
    d. English should be the official language of the U.S.
    f. I believe in creationism.
    g.We should help people who already live in this country become U.S. citizens.
    h. I’m glad gay people can finally legally marry.
    i.Social Security should be shut down over time, with people instead receiving tax credits for their private retirement savings.
    j. The ACA should remain in effect, provided all necessary tweaks are swiftly implemented.
    k. A family of four can live on $17,000 per year.
    l. Legally, companies are not people.
  21. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
  22. What would the one person in the world who can’t stand you the most say about you?
  23. Describe two times when you helped mediate and resolve a situation, where everyone was pleased with the outcome.
  24. If you had to change the National Anthem, what would be your suggestion?
  25. In the space below, list the original 11 colonies of this nation.
  26. If you knew you would die tomorrow, how would you spend today?
  27. All of Kay’s brothers can swim. If this statement is true,which of the following must also be true?
    a. If Fred cannot swim, then he is not Kay’s brother.
    b. If Dave can swim, then he is not Kay’s brother.
    c. If Walt can swim, then he is Kay’s brother.
    d. If Pete is Kay’s brother, then he cannot swim.
    e. If Mark is not Kay’s brother, then he cannot swim.
  28. What is ‘the rule of law?’
  29. What is your favorite movie of all time?
  30. Name the current US Secretary of Agriculture.
  31. What was your greatest failure?
  32. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
  33. Name two writers of the Federalist Papers.
  34. Have you ever had a nickname? If YES, what’s the story behind it?
  35. Name two states that border Oklahoma.
  36. List the person in this room whom you consider to be your leading opponent, and describe why.
  37. Find the error in the following sentence: After hours of futile debate, the committee has decided to postpone further discussion of the resolution until their next meeting.
  38. What is your current job and why are you good at it?
  39. What kinds of things really make you laugh?
  40. Select the correct response to complete this sentence: “When for the first time the United States imported more oil than it exported, Americans should have realized that an energy crisis…”
    a. was imminent and could happen in the future
    b. could happen imminently in the future
    c. will be imminent and happening soon
    d. is an imminent thing
    e. might be imminent
  41. What is your favorite curse word?
  42. Name three promises that you make when you become a U.S. citizen.
  43. What do you believe is the number-one problem in the country and how do you propose to solve it?
  44. A total of 120,000 votes were cast for two opposing candidates, Garcia and Pérez. If Garcia won by a ratio of 5 to 3, what was the number of votes cast for Pérez?
    a. 15,000
    b. 30,000
    c. 45,000
    d. 75,000
    e. 80,000
  45. .Who’s your top role model and why?
  46. Describe the perfect first date.
  47. How many U.S. Presidents has this country had?
  48. Do you feel that Miley Cyrus’s twerking was artistic?
  49. Provide below an annotated list of five promises you made in your last election campaign. Next to each, note YES or NO to indicate whether you kept them.
  50. Circle all grammatical and punctuation errors you can locate on this test.
  51. Attach your resume (maximum two pages on white paper) to this test.