Dear Aunt Sophie,
I’ve hit on a way to solve the world’s problems but I’m having trouble getting people to take it seriously.
Ask yourself – when you’ve had a problem with a friend how did you solve it? You talked it out over a cup of chamomile tea (or whatever agony aunts drink), right? For us men it’s beer. When we have a problem we sit down over a cold one and settle it.
I suppose by now you’ve heard about the African-American Harvard professor who was arrested in his own home, Professor Gates. Everyone in Cambridge knows who he is, so what happened to him was quite shocking. He was apparently having trouble opening his front door and the police were called. By the time they arrived he’d gotten in. But the cop couldn’t believe an African-American might belong in that neighborhood and told him to come outside to talk. This was after he’d said he lived there, so he naturally concluded that it was because he is a black man in America. A perfectly reasonable assumption. Well, one thing led to another and he wound up being arrested. Now maybe the cop had a point. It’s not for me to say. I’m just the President, not a judge. I didn’t know ALL the facts, but it was pretty obvious to me that the police acted stupidly. So I said so.
The reaction to my comment was unbelievably extreme. People shouldn’t be so quick to criticize me, especially when they don’t know all the facts. Anyway, I didn’t want this to blow out of proportion so I apologized. I said they had both probably overreacted. And I invited them to the White House for a beer.
That’s when it hit me.
Nations have the same kinds of problems that individuals do. One overreacts to something another one did, that one overreacts to the overreaction and shazam! – a problem. If you think I’m exaggerating try a thought experiment: Imagine what the world would be like if Israel were not constantly threatening to wipe Iran off the map. See what I mean?
I happen to believe a lot of problems could be solved over a beer. And doesn’t “Beer Diplomacy” have a great ring to it? It’s sort of like “Kitchen Cabinet” – you know, sleeves-rolled-up, unbuttoned informality. People respond well to that. I suppose if I were going to sit down with, say, President Ahmadinejad we might not call it “Beer Diplomacy”, but we could sit down over a good strong cup of tea. Of course “Tea Diplomacy” doesn’t have quite the same je ne sais quoi, but sometimes you give up something to get something.
Am I brilliant or what!
I can’t imagine a more original way to solve diplomatic problems than schmoozing over some cold suds (yes, we agony aunts do occasionally tipple). You’re missing a bet, though, if you limit this approach to enem…er, pre-friend heads of state.
While you’re shipping the Secretary of State off to Russia with a couple of kegs you mustn’t neglect the folks back home, who might need an intoxicant to help them understand why they have to purchase cars for their neighbors while simultaneously paying off their own mortgages, car loans and credit card balances.
Your health care plan would encounter less resistance, too, if you were to sit down with each American over a beer. Of course it would make unacceptable demands on your time, but you could send proxies, say, census workers. Or Acorn employees. Buying beer for each of the seventy-eight million households in the country would provide economic stimulus, too. It’s a win-win. After downing a few Buds, who wouldn’t clamor for health insurance that mandates periodic end-of-life counseling for Mom and Pop?
By the way, how come this attention is to be lavished only on seniors? It’s discriminatory. And fiscally irresponsible. The old parasites are going to croak anyway. But imagine how much the government could save if, instead of intervening with suicidal teens, it stood back and let them snuff themselves. Shazam! – the taxpayer is off the hook for a whole lifetime of acne treatment, flu vaccines, rehab and statins.
Actually, gun control, air bags, toxic dump cleanups and DUI laws are all counterproductive. With a few minor changes in our regulatory environment we could balance the budget just in time for Social Security to go broke.
The creative use of regulated substances could solve other problems as well: A lot more people would buy those funny light bulbs - the ones with the poisonous vapors – if the True Value man were required to slip a six-pack into their save-a-tree tote bags along with each purchase.
As for A-jad, beer is definitely not his thing. He might respond to the nuclear version of Cash for Clunkers, though. After all, it’s worked with North Korea .
Good luck and God bless.