The overwhelming majority of us will never hold ruling power over a vast group of people. There are virtual life and civil simulations like The Sims, Animal Crossing, and the Civilization video game series that offer a taste, but it isn’t the same. Most of us will never have the authority to instill laws and govern. Most of us will never have an international platform, or a lectern, to orate our plans for our country, our land, and the future of said country. There’s an early life path to take to find your way there, but it’s difficult to find and center one’s self on it. It’s either years in the making, or it isn’t.
But what if you were suddenly granted such authority? What if you had the governing means over your own country, your own ruling state? How would you, in the paraphrased words of Theodore Roosevelt, wield your new “Big Stick”?
On Tuesday, the Windy City Gridiron staff waxed poetic about the ideal Sunday (or Saturday). Wednesday saw your favorite Bears writers salivate over brisket and chocolate shakes. Yesterday, the group of us fantasized about our imagined super-heroism.
Today, we discuss the most important tenets of new countries we’ve been given power to rule over. Rest assured, we’d all be benevolent, fair monarchs.
4. You’re the ruler of your own country. What is the first law or set of laws that you instill?
Robert Zeglinski: In the hypothetical land of Rob-gea, I would mandate a more laid-back culture in the mold of the Spanish.
Over the course of the work week, every citizen would be required to take a midday siesta (around three hours) for their lunch break. If you’re not at home spending time with your family and friends and or napping in the middle of your workday, you are officially breaking the law. Decompress as much as necessary and take the proverb of working to live, not living to work, extremely seriously. No one is allowed to produce, produce, produce, and consume, consume, consume to the point of grinding their souls and spirits down. That is forever off the table within my borders.
Take care of yourself first and take your sweet time in the process in Rob-gea. Or else.
Do whatever you want otherwise!
Lester Wiltfong Jr.: I’ve never been a fan of politics, so that’s a hard pass on running a country. Unless ... (see next answer).
1) Thou shalt be a Chicago Bears fan.
2) If thou aren’t a Chicago Bears fan, then thou shalt not cheer for the Green Bay Packers.
3) Everybody will wash their hands and practice good hygiene. This is not negotiable.
4) Treat everybody with respect.
5) If thou shalt even mention the Detroit Lions, thou shalt be shamed.
Robert Schmitz: I’m big on local government. When we look back at Rome or the British Empire (or even current China and the USA) it becomes obvious how hard it is to scale federal government. With that in mind, I’d do what I could to empower local-level governance as much as possible while leaving only the truly nation-sized problems in the hands of the federal government.
The first set of laws I would introduce would likely mirror the Bill of Rights, though I’m sure I’d get the wording wrong. Though I’m personally a Christian, I’m not into theocracy and would therefore want my laws to reflect the ideals of personal freedom that Americans (and, to a degree, ancient Greeks) tried to instill in their nations.
Ken Mitchell: I have zero interest in politics and power games, so I’ll pass on this question.
Patti Curl: My first law would be that I get three more laws.
1. Elections: Primary elections will all take place on the same day. No campaigning is allowed and no politicians are allowed to accept or raise any money from any lobby, PAC, special interest or corporation. All candidates will have to individually list their donors and their donors’ affiliations monthly. But how will people be informed about policies? There will be a series of “debates” throughout an election cycle, they are pre-recorded and a panel of independent fact checkers will check everything each candidate says and facts about real estimated costs. Any lies the candidate says during their speech will scroll along the bottom of the screen. No plan or policy can be talked about without explaining how it will be paid for and what a realistic cost estimate will be. Election day is a national “holiday” to ensure higher voter turnout.
2. The Monday after the Super Bowl is now a national holiday. The first two weekends of the NCAA Tournament are four-day weekends, too. During the NFL season the work day starts 90 minutes later on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays for the Eastern and Central time zones to accommodate people staying up to watch their team.
3. There will be a free and independent press that is allowed to operate tax free as non-profits if they choose.
4. Driver’s education would be much stiffer and tougher, with an emphasis on safety and distraction-free driving. The trade off is that the country will have speed limit-free highways in rural sections.
5. Free public WiFi for everyone.
Bill Zimmerman: 1. All Packers fans would serve life sentences.
Stay safe and healthy everyone!
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