Are you a big enough kook to be the leader of a modern Western country? Take the test below, and see.
Q: An organization calling itself the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) has been massacring Christians and other Muslims. It has also promised to invade Italy as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Muslims in many different Western countries have shot up newspaper offices, delis, military bases and other public places, and declared certain parts of cities in those Western countries off limits to citizens and police of those countries. As the leader of a modern Western country, how do you respond?
One: Join forces with any other country that is serious about wiping out ISIS as thoroughly and expeditiously as possible, using overwhelming military force.
Two: Make a lot of noise about preserving freedom and domestic order, but beyond that, do absolutely nothing.
Three: Order some sporadic air strikes, then go play golf.
Four: Deny that people are Muslims who yell “Allahu akbar!” as they gun down their victims, insist that ISIS stands for International Society of Itinerant Shoemakers and has nothing at all to do with Islam, point out that, hundreds of years ago, Christians did bad things, too, so it’s hypocritical to criticize ISIS for putting a man in a cage and burning him alive—and then go play golf.
Q: Your country’s economy has been tanking for several years now, and nothing you do seems to help. A huge percentage of the workforce remains unemployed, with more people on more government assistance programs than ever before. What do you do?
One: Consulting history, you discover that cutting taxes and reducing interference from the government causes the economy to grow; so you pursue that course.
Two: You get your country involved in a new war to distract people from the economic troubles.
Three: You double down on federal spending programs, reasoning that, “Okay, it isn’t working just now, but it’s bound to turn out right someday.”
Four: You declare amnesty to tens of millions of illegal aliens, all at once, who can’t speak English, have few marketable skills, and dump them en masse into your ailing national economy because the one party assures you it’ll mean cheap votes, keeping you and your ilk in office until the sun goes dark, and the other party assures you it’ll mean cheap labor.
Q: Your country’s massive system of socialized medicine is really sucking wind, people aren’t getting the medical care they need, and the whole thing is about to bottom out financially. You’re the leader: what do you do?
One: In conjunction with other economic reforms, you try to find more money for actual medical care by cutting back on administrative bureaucracy, with a view toward gradually re-privatizing your healthcare industry because, let’s face it, whole-hog socialized medicine turned out to be a disaster.
Two: Tell the nation that it’s not that bad, there are other countries much worse off than theirs, reassure the people not to worry, the best minds in the country are working on it; and frantically, behind the scenes, try to find more money somewhere. Anywhere.
Three: Continue to cut services, ever adding to the list of procedures and medicines that won’t be paid for, while promising the people that better times are just around the corner, “national health” will soon be healthy again.
Four: Combine options Two and Three, but add the exciting spectacle of the government health service paying out big bucks to do “gender re-assignment surgery” while being no longer able to provide such mundane therapies as hip replacement, dental work, or treatment for chronic back pain. Convince the public that you laugh at the problems of ordinary people and are only concerned with helping exotic weirdos.
How are you doing so far? Do you have what it takes to lead a modern Western country into oblivion?
Give yourself one point for each question that you answered “One,” and so on, up to four points for each answer of “Four.”
3 points: Go back to being an engineer or something. You are definitely not leadership material.
4-5: You have potential, but probably need some seasoning in the U.S. Senate or the Canadian Parliament.
6-9 points: You may be not quite ready to destroy your country, but you might make a satisfactorily awful governor, or mayor of a major city.
10-11: You’re ready!
12 points: Mr. President, don’t you have anything better to do than take silly quizzes?
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.