It has long been my position that the only way to save our democracy is to start electing teens to Congress. Not just any teens, either. Mean ones. The kind of teens who can sit together for 10 minutes and promptly identify the deepest fears and insecurities of the people around them and then make all of those people cry. Think like Regina George in Mean Girls. That kind of teen. But in Congress.
My reasoning here is simple: Adults are terrified of teens. They don’t know what the teens want and they don’t know how to communicate with the teens and they are hopelessly afraid of being revealed as out-of-touch and old, because every adult has a tiny voice inside their head telling them they are “cool” or “with it,” despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary. This fear is what can bring us together. Fear reaches across the aisle. Politicians will be less likely to tell obvious lies and engage in chicanery if they know teens will be allowed to roast them on the floor in front of everyone. I know this. I’m sure of it.
Think of it this way. Picture, say, Paul Ryan. Anyone politician in either party works, but Paul Ryan has power and is crafting big policy initiatives, so we’ll start here. Let’s say Paul Ryan gets up in front of the House to pitch his latest plan to cut taxes and Medicare and Medicaid. Let’s say he thinks it went very well. Suddenly, from the back of the room…
“LOL how you gonna pay for that?”
“Yeah you washed-ass mayo sandwich.”
“Men’s Wearhouse-wearing bitch.”
“Why are your eyes so close together?”
“Yeah, nice face, close eyes.”
And so on. He’ll bang his little gavel, of course, but any high school lunch monitor will tell you that this kind of thing only makes it worse. You don’t antagonize the teens.
“Aww, Cwose Eyes has a wittle gavel.”
“Can’t hold a full-size gavel, Close Eyes?”
“Hold still, Close Eyes. I want a clear picture of your weird face for Insta.”