I know how to fix the political divide in America; the one that threatens to ruin lifelong friendships, split families apart, and ensure that life-changing actions will be forever stalled.
Elect a toddler to be president.
The other day, my husband and I were snuggling in bed with our 19-month-old boy when he raised his arm into the air. He turned his head to look into each of our eyes, and clearly commanded through his pacifier: “Up.”
We both obeyed by raising our arms into the air, and following his lead, we pretended to reach for the ceiling, straining and grunting in mock frustration.
We lowered our arms shortly thereafter and began a conversation. It was only a brief moment before the toddler was again commanding us: “Up.”
We laughed and obliged once more.
“You rule the world, little Rexy,” I laughed while nuzzling my nose into his neck.
And that’s when it hit me:
Everyone wants to make a toddler happy
Because toddlers are just so darn cute. Their chubby faces can make even the stuffiest jerk-face crack a smile. And most people will oblige a toddler’s request just because it’s so cute to hear that request and see the grin that follows.
Just as we were willing to forego our interesting conversation and raise our arms into the air, members of congress will be willing to stand on their heads, play peek-a-boo, and make googly faces in hopes of a smile.
“Ahem, Madame President. This idea is just the worst idea in the history of all ideas, and I am going to detail at length the reasons why.”
“Oh, you like my shoes? You want to wear them? OK, somebody help Madame President put on my heels. Now what was I talking about? Doesn’t matter. Peek-a-boo!”
How can amazing, unifying decisions not result from a meeting like that? Both sides of the aisle will make compromises just to keep the toddler happy.
A toddler in charge is going to wind down. It’s going to get tense. She’ll start rubbing her eyes and shouting nonsense at the members of her cabinet.
“But Madame President, we just need you to sign the veto right here after this X.”
She’ll scream a loud NO, throw the pen across the room and start walking in circles while she rubs the back of her head.
Her caretaker will march in. “Alright, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for Madame President’s nap. And I suggest you all follow suit.”
After a satisfying 2-hour nap, everyone will wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the matter of the veto again. Only now, they’ll have new perspective and will find a more harmonious way to handle the issue.
When mid-morning rolls around during the meeting on the budget deficit, everyone will begin to get grumpy. But nobody will outmatch the grump of Toddler President.
Her caretaker, ever astute, will notice the signs of an impending meltdown and begin passing around bananas, peanut butter, and graham crackers to Toddler President and all meeting attendees.
Toddler President will then require 30 minutes of Sesame Street before she can even consider discussing anything presidential. By the time everyone has finished filling their tummies and singing along with the Sesame Street gang, the mood will be lighter and happier.
Brains will be buzzing with new possibilities.
The budget deficit? Solved, in one mid-morning.
There is nothing that can match the warmth and happiness of a toddler hug. Did you know toddler arms are not proportioned the same as adult arms?
It’s true. Raise your arms in the air, and your head will come up to your elbow or thereabouts. When a toddler raises his arms into the air, his head comes up to his wrists.
T-Rex arms, if you will.
I believe this is one of the many reasons toddler hugs are the greatest thing in the world: the pint-sized arms reaching around an adult’s neck are nothing short (haha) of bliss.
Plus, toddlers often mimic the “Ahhhs” adults make when giving hugs to toddlers, as well as the pats on the back.
Imagine if every congressional meeting began with Toddler President walking around the room giving short-armed hugs to everyone while saying “Ahhh” and patting their backs! Each meeting is a guaranteed success.
Short Attention Span
The attention span of a toddler is only slightly longer than that of a goldfish.
And that’s a great thing once a heated debate gets going in the Oval Office.
“Madame President, could I please direct your attention over here? No? Oh, OK. Let’s all go see what’s in the box. Probably more interesting than what I had to say anyway.”
“Oh, and now we’re going to dance? Alright then.”
Soon, everyone will be dancing and clapping. Grumpiness gone. Problems, prepare to get solved.
Stuffed animals = peace around the world
“Toddler President, our intelligence tells us Country A’s dictator is at it again, messing up the lives of his citizens. Meanwhile, Country B, sensing an opportunity in the civil unrest of Country A, is getting ready to attack. What should we do?”
“Teddy bears!” comes the reply of Toddler President.
“Send them all teddy bears?”
When Country A and Country B receive their shipments of teddy bears, their hearts are softened. Crisis averted. Thanks, Toddler President.
When Toddler President stands to give the State of the Union Address, all of America will clap and shout hooray at every single thing she has to say.
Because her excitement is contagious.
It will be impossible to disagree with anything she says. We’ll be a completely united country.
Time to call it quits
And when Toddler President starts giving everybody crusties, that’s when we all know it’s time to go home. No need to drag things on.