Now that we have the presidential election behind us, we can all admit that it was an absolute train wreck! If mudslinging was an Olympic competition, our candidates would have not only easily qualified, but it would have been hard to name the winner! Whereas in times past there always remained a certain civility and decorum despite differences between the candidates, this election will go down in history as the least civilized in the entire history of this great country. At least that is how this author experienced it.
As a person who is always looking for solutions, and having been blessed with an inquiring and creative mind, I have been contemplating this election demise and what could possibly be done to return future presidential campaigns to the civility deserving of this great country and its equally great citizen.
And then one day, whilst I was sitting in traffic, I had an epiphany! Although I keep complaining about my daily commute to work, it occurred to me that I actually do my best thinking in traffic. (Hmmm, does that mean I should I be grateful for traffic? NO!) But I digress. I always do. Much to your dismay, I’m sure, since at this point you are dying to find out about my latest epiphany!
Alright, then. Forget about my traffic woes and close your eyes for a moment. Now, think about this recent presidential campaign. Do you feel warm fuzzies or cold, hard negativity? …Well, if you were actually following my instructions, you wouldn’t even know what I just asked you! Hellooo! Oh, never mind! Just keep your eyes open and let your mind wander. Let it wander towards bread. Fresh bread to be exact. Bread just coming out of the oven! Oh yeah! Imagine the heavenly scent of this freshly baked bread wafting towards your nostrils! Can you smell it?Just writing about this puts me in a positive place! Now, change gears and think about how you felt about the recent presidential campaigns. Oh, I’m sorry! You were trying so hard to forget those! I know, I know. My apologies, but I am just trying to make a point here and prepare you for what’s to come. It’s called “setting the scene”.
It occurred to me that I have not ever met a baker I didn’t like. We are all good people. There is something inherently good in the creation of making a staple which has been around for millennia, and this essential goodness seems to transfer to the person involved in its creation.
Now that I’ve prepared the scene, let’s get back to my epiphany of how to re-establish respect and civility in future presidential campaigns. It’s actually quite simple. Article Two of the United States Constitution § Clause 5: Qualifications for office needs to be amended. That’s right. That’s all it takes! Currently there are only two (2) requirements which need to be fulfilled in order to become eligible to run for President. And I have decided, that there really ought to be three (3). In addition to being a natural born citizen of at least 35 years of age with at least 14 years of residency, the future candidates must also prove that they have successfully passed a mandatory class titled “Baking and Breaking Honest Bread with the Less Fortunate”.
In this class the candidates would learn how to bake bread in its simplest form with four basic ingredients : flour, water, salt and (wild) yeast. If they tend toward aggression they would initially be instructed in the Bertinet method of slapping the dough and then progress towards the gentler, kinder dough preparations of stretch and fold. Once they successfully baked their loaves, they would then go out into the community and share the loaves they baked with the homeless population by preparing sandwiches, handing them out and sitting down with the less fortunate to partake of the product they created. In order to truly get the full experience of down to earth goodness, the potential candidates would have to have milled their own grain for their bread. Since the German people have been so flummoxed by the win of the guy with the weird hairdo and surely would want to contribute positively toward futures elections, German mill inventor Wolfgang Mock will be approached to provide his unique Mockmill milling attachment to the standard bread class KitchenAid stand mixers in an effort to bring down-to-earth goodness into the classroom as part of the optimal bread making experience. (Please note, that in the German language it is not uncommon to have long sentences like the one I just penned.)
Of course, this course would have to be taught by a person who exemplifies the qualities the class tries to instill in these future presidential candidates; qualities like compassion, kindness, respect and integrity. Since I am currently not available for such ventures, I was thinking of my good friend Ralph Nieboer of Breadworks . When I asked him which breads he would like to teach in this class, his immediate suggestion was humble pie, which of course, had to be disqualified because it is not actually a bread, but a pie. Imagine my surprise, though, when I found out, that it’s actually not even that, but merely an idiom in the English language! Really? I thought I had overheard people mention that they got to eat humble pie. So, apparently it isn’t a real pie, but IF it was, I would have to agree with Ralph, that the candidates, if not make it, should certainly partake of it. Especially the guy with the weird hairdo who is now our President Elect.
I was imagining Mr. Trump’s comments upon receiving the class schedule for “Baking and Breaking Honest Bread with the Less Fortunate”:
“I already make the best bread! No one bakes better bread than me. You can ask anybody!”
And then he would submit a petition to the Constitutional Bread Class Committee with the intent of having himself excused from this new mandatory requirement. But alas, since by now it would be an official amendment to the Constitution, not even a guy with a weird hairdo would be able to circumvent it, should he have any aspirations of becoming POTUS. Speaking about POTUS. For the longest time I didn’t know what POTUS stood for and so I invented my own expansion of the word e.g. “Prince Of The Underprivileged Suckers “or People’s Own True Unconstitutional Servant”. Even though I have now been educated on the real wording, I still like my versions better. Don’t you?
Seriously, though, I do believe that my proposed amendment to the Constitution is a win-win scenario. Baking bread, REAL, honest bread and sharing it with the less fortunate is one of the most satisfying and character building activities I can think of. While this blog post is just a quick snap shot of this idea, I think I will lay out the details of this behavior-changing class in my next post. Feel free to contribute your own thoughts and ideas to this project in the comments below.
I wonder if President Elect Trump would still be open to attending the class prior to being sworn in as POTUS in January? I seriously think our country’s citizens, if not the entire world population would rest easier if he did….
Over and OUT.