Two letters to George Washington
Dear President Washington: You don’t know me, but you’re one of my heroes. I used to keep lots of pictures of you in my wallet, but things got so expensive that I had to use most of them at the grocery store. Anyway, I thought I’d write to tell you about the big mess we’re in right now. You always were a smart and courageous leader, and I was hoping you could pop back for a few days and give Congress and our current president some advice. They don’t seem to have much experience with thinking and courage and good ideas and things like that.
The country you started is flat broke. We spent a huge chunk of our savings on wars, and we gave away a boatload of money to people who hate us. And I think we used a lot of money to fund really important studies like, “Can aluminum siding withstand a nuclear bomb?” There’s aluminum siding everywhere in our country, so I’m pretty sure someone asked for that study. Personally, I think nuclear bombs are stronger, but I’m not telling Congress since they didn’t pay me to study it. I don’t think you used any nuclear bombs against England in the Revolutionary War. I’m glad, because I really like watching BBC comedies, and I love English Breakfast tea. Anyway, we’re all out of money and we had to borrow a bunch from China. I know that sounds funny, but China is a superpower now. Get this! We have over $14 trillion of debt! Wow! What a number! Congress isn’t too good with money, but I guess it’s not their fault. As soon as they get any, they spend it or give it away. They just don’t have much experience holding on to it and studying it. Maybe we should make our money out of used aluminum siding. I bet politicians would study the value of a dollar then, if they could get a government grant.
Anyway, we sure could use some of your sane advice right now. A trillion is such a big number - it has 12 zeroes! And don’t get me started on all the zeroes holding office in Washington, D.C. By the way... about that town... we meant well when we named it after you. Sorry about the way it’s turned out. Just call it D.C. like I do. It’s less
painful that way.
The Second Letter
Dear President Washington: After I sent my last letter to you, I realized I might have depressed you with all the bad news that’s happened since you passed on. So, I thought I’d better cheer you up. I know you liked the Constitution, so I’ll tell you about the First Amendment. That’s the big one, remember? It’s the one that covers religion, and free speech, and the press. In case you’re wondering, we still have the same Constitution, but we’re always looking for new ways to interpret it, just to make it better!
Let’s start with religion. We can still worship the way we want. When I was growing up, we could talk about God in school, but that’s changed. The Supreme Court decided God didn’t need to go to the schoolhouse anymore, and we should just leave him home. Funny thing is, we’ve had a lot of problems with guns in those same buildings since then, but that’s the Second Amendment, and I’m not talking about that one right now. The press is still free, too. Most Americans can’t wait for the latest news about celebrities and athletes and shows where celebrities dance with athletes. The press covers elections and crime and important social issues, but that’s not as popular from what I can tell. I like reading news about celebrities! And I like cartoons too, but not the ones with dancing.
As you probably guessed, we still have freedom of speech! I don’t have to worry about going to jail for writing these letters, even if someone finds them and puts them in a newspa- per. And you should see what else “free speech” includes. An artist put a crucifix in a jar of something nasty, took a picture of it, and called it art. A lot of religious people were hopping mad, but others jumped in to defend his “right to free speech.” I bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you? Personally, I don’t like that kind of art, but I’m not going to say anything about it. You have to be very careful about what you say now, or people will say your words are “unforgivable” or something mean like that. Don’t get me wrong. We still have freedom of speech, but you just have to be very careful about how and when you use it... unless you’re an artist, of course.