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Campaign Promises We’d Like to See

October 26th, 2022 by dk

November ballots are in our hands. Political ads are expanding the definition of ubiquity. Debates are over and voting has begun. Campaign promises seem to grow more and more outrageous. Here are some campaign promises I’d like to see, ones that would actually improve our lives.

Every candidate promises to eliminate waste and inefficiencies. How about these?

  • Repeal “lather, rinse, repeat.” Ban shampoos that fail to do their job the first time!
  • No more dialing one before long distance calls. Americans have better things to  do with their time. And if you’re dialing a number with the same area code as yours, you should be able to skip those first three digits, just like the old days.
  • The Internet prefix “www” should no longer be spoken as nine syllables. Americans should say “triple w” (five syllables) or “trip-dub” for short, saving everyone’s breath and time!
  • Address prison overcrowding by arresting smaller people. Problem solved!
  • America should have only one fireworks show on the 4th of July, but make it so large that it can be seen from both coasts. Iowa owes the country this.
  • Some efficiencies are too much. Single-ply toilet paper? Outlawed on Day One.

Many inefficiencies come from confusion. A real hero of a candidate would promise to make modern life less confusing. Start with these:

  • Serial numbers, confirmation codes and other strings of random numerals and letters may no longer contain zeroes, ones, or the letters O, I, or L.
  • Every machine alert must emit a unique sound. Annoying ones must be changed. (Fun fact: the Internet was invented because fax machines’ connection handshake sounded so creepy.)
  • Medicare and Medicaid funding will be withheld if medical professionals report test results as “negative” to convey good news and “positive” to mean bad news.
  • Every grocery store must have the same layout, with a printed catalog of every item listed alphabetically available in every aisle.
  • “I before E” — always. No exceptions.
  • All child custody arrangements will follow the same schedule. This way, all divorced fathers will have their kids on the same weekends and single moms will have the   same weekends free. (Same sex parents will flip a coin to determine roles.)
  • Shoe sizes must be recalculated. Use a scale that goes to 100, giving consumers more precision and mending the gap between the halves and the half-nots.

We love candidates who endorse term limits. I agree there are terms that should be limited — or abolished altogether. For example:

  • “Datum” can follow “whom” as unnecessary, elitist, and condescending. “Data” is already singular with regular people.
  • Swap the meanings of “man” and “human.” Human will now refer to males in particular and “man” will refer to our species more generally, just so we can have a “chairman” or a “spokesman” again.
  • “Farther” and “further” aren’t both necessary. Let the American people decide which one to keep. Same with “capital/capitol” and “principle/principal.” And can we just admit that “its” looks better with that apostrophe that Americans insist on giving it?

If politicians ran on promises like these, voter turnout would vastly improve.


Don Kahle ( writes a column each Wednesday and Sunday for The Register-Guard and archives past columns at

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