Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saving The Nation

My father, now pushing 94 and still going strong mentally, is only the latest in my circle to be swept up in what has been called the "Trump Summer". He writes to his old missionaries from the California Arcadia Mission at General Conference time. One of his lesser-known qualities is his penchant for satire. When most people think of who L. Brent Goates is, the first thought is he was a conservative, even stodgy, old Church leader not much given to light-mindedness. With this latest installment of his self-styled "Heart Lines", however, he breaks the mold.

October, 2015


There were 22 candidates for President of the United States in a survey, and a pack of 17 were on the Republican ticket. The shocking news however, was that Donald Trump was the front-runner. Yes, that real estate billionaire, reality TV star and the same one called by some the “clown prince of slime” led all the GOP candidates. This forebodes a catastrophe. So, what else could a red-blooded patriot like me do except to throw my hat in the ring?

President Goates (r) with his running mate,
 President Monson (l)
Admittedly, I don’t have an Abraham Lincoln countenance, but I’ve got a grizzled, haggard face that mothers love to love. And just because I’m bent over with spinal deformity doesn’t mean I’m “crooked”. And the votes are pouring in. I can count on two from my sixth-grade traffic patrol, four from my Wasatch Elementary dance club, and maybe 75% may recall I came in last in the vice-president race at Irving Junior High School. There’s just no stopping that kind of snow-balling support.

As presidential candidate and sole member of the STAP (Straight Talkin’ American Party), I’m convinced that my platform charisma will win over the public. And if my personal magnetism isn’t enough, there are always my forthright stands on the big issues. . .

. . . Like POVERTY. I'd say, “This is the richest nation in the world, and we’d be even richer if it weren’t for all the poor people. Still, you just can’t give poor people money. They’d only go out and use it to buy food and clothes and pay the rent.” (Such pithy statements of policy make other candidates fade into stunning irrelevance.)

I started out my campaign by getting an admiral’s commission in the Great Salt Lake Navy, but fell out of a canoe while bringing my candidacy to the local Indian tribe. I’m still aiming for appearances before the National Press Club in Washington, and appearances at auto factories along with the keys to many cities. After viewing my bumper stickers, posters and sweatshirts, they wanted me to don a turban and show up at a pier in Vancouver, B.C., so I could walk on water for the edification of the crowd. I declined on the grounds that might sink the campaign.

But, I will appear in skits. I do well playing a solemn “Smokey the Bear”, where I warn viewers the number one cause of forest fires is trees. I might make as good a presidential candidate as anybody. I know what the average American wants. In fact, I’d like to get a little of it myself.

And so, I’m hitting the hustling campaign trail, clutching my press books and handouts. And the campaign chest is filling up. A recent 89-cent-a-plate testimonial dinner in Hollywood yielded a whopping $351.55. The Sisters of the Poor co-sponsored the bash.

I want to say unequivocally that if the public is swayed by my glamor and elected me, it wouldn’t go to my head. I will always be aware of my humble station in life as a common, ordinary, simple savior of America’s destiny.

California, which produced Ronald Reagan, is always a key battleground state. There was always a lot of talk for Reagan in California, but a lot of talk, too, for Donald Duck, who lost a close race with Reagan.

Some people think my campaign talk is too light-minded, but here is some evidence that I can handle the sensitive, hot issues of the day.

GUN CONTROL: Who knows when you might encounter a moose sauntering down Main Street? In such cases I think guns might be useful, but still dangerous for the public at large.

SUPREME COURT RULINGS: I have no sympathy for the Supreme Court ruling on the rights of accused criminals. Why should we have to tell embezzlers, kidnappers, burglars and murderers their rights? If they don’t know their rights, they’re in the wrong business.

FLUORIDATION OF WATER: It was first put into water supplies and drinking water in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1822. It’s powerful. Not one of those people is still alive today.

SEX EDUCATION: I am four-square against sex education. The teaching of (you know what) in our public schools delivers such a devastating psychological blow to the student who flunks the course.

SOCIAL SECURITY: I’ll tackle Social Security too. They said back in 1932 that it would take care of the whole “old-people problem”. Look, we’ve been paying into it for 83 years and what good has it done? There are more old people now than when we started.

On all of these issues and many others, I am neither left wing nor right wing, but more or less middle of the bird.

To prove my point, I plan to attend the conventions of both major political parties. All I asked was for the privilege of making a two-minute speech at the Democratic convention. But the Arrangement Committee apparently felt with my penchant for light-mindedness I might interfere with their serious caucus which has first priority. They get caucused right there in front of everyone, some of them two and three times a day! My speech, they felt, might detract from the habitual popping of balloons, tooting of paper horns and parading around in penguin suits. This, mind you, from folks who never misbehave at home.

I believe I will get many write-in votes in November, so I’m not letting up. I’ll keep working for an invitation to “Meet the Press”. Who’s to say I’d be worse than some of the numerous clowns running?

This thing started out as a big joke and ends that way too. Sometimes I just get bored with the restrictions of old age, and then I turn to my trusty old IBM Selectric typewriter. I push the fantasy-humor keys and you see what results. But to my prime audience of missionaries, there is a disclaimer. This is the only time you do not have to believe what you read in “Heart Lines”.

Keep that smile,

President L. Brent Goates

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