Everywhere he goes, fans tell broadcaster, filmmaker, self-made millionaire and libertarian-moralist Adam Carolla that he should run for president.
Now Carolla’s done the next best (and much smarter) thing: His new book, President Me: The America That’s In My Head, serves up Carolla’s contrarian, politically incorrect prescriptions for fixing our broken society.
Like his previous bestsellers (and his hugely successful podcast), President Me is pure, unfiltered Carolla. He somehow combines the candid common sense of an old-fashioned Everyman with a freak savant’s audacious ingenuity.
True, Carolla’s raw, frat-boy prose will turn some readers off. That’s a shame, because there are a lot of truly original (and non-partisan) ideas in President Me, mixed in with the crude jokes and curse words.
(By the way: If you’re a longtime “Carolla-tard” and figure you can skip this book because you’ve heard all the material already, you’re wrong. I’m a daily listener and there’s a lot of stuff in here that Carolla has kept “chambered” — as he’d phrase it – especially for President Me.)
Each chapter is devoted to a different federal department. Here are candidate Carolla’s promised reforms for ten of them:
11. The Federal Election Commission
“We shouldn’t tell the candidates when and where [the presidential debates] are going to be. The whole thing should be off the cuff. The presidency is a job where you have to think on your feet. We should be able to see this in action. How great would it have been if they had told Romney he was going to a fund-raiser and Obama that he was going to a photo op with a business owner and when they walked into the building there was a capacity crowd and we forced them to sit down with George Stephanopoulos and explain the differences in their health care plans.”
10. The Department of Commerce
“One American business that is doing just fine is the tattoo industry.
“[T]he reason I want to get the government involved in this issue is that I don’t think it’s a great sign for our future. There are more people under thirty who have tattoos than ones who don’t. This makes me shudder. It shows that the next generation has no plans for the future. (…) This ‘f— the future’ attitude is the cause of many of our nations’ biggest problems.”
“Last year the city council in D.C. proposed a waiting period for tattoos. I’m down with this notion, and will make it a federal law. I also think the waiting period should apply based not only on age but also on tattoo. No matter how old you are, if you want to get Wile E. Coyote on your t—y, you’re going to have to wait while we check to make sure you’re not on government assistance.”
9. The Department of Energy
“We’d never have to build another hydroelectric dam or dig another coal mine if women would stop blow-drying their hair (…)
“No wonder women can’t think. They spend a significant portion of their lives with a deafening device deep-frying their brains. (…)
“I think the reason we don’t have an equal society where women get the same wages as men and they’re all engineers and other unrealistic stuff is because they spend all that time on their hair and not on the brain right beneath that hair. Don’t get me wrong: if guys did this we’d be in the same sinking boat.
“And this is why all hairdressers are flaky and nuts. They’re all on their third marriage, believe firmly in guardian angels, and their best friend is a macaw named Blue Man who doesn’t judge.”
8. The Department of Transportation
“My Department of Transportation will also mandate that crash-test dummies need to get fatter. I’ve seen all that slow-motion footage of test wrecks. The dummies in those crashes have a far smaller body mass index than most Americans. This could tie in well with my get-rid-of-airbags decree. Most Americans are now coming with their own airbags…”
“As budget cutter in chief, I hereby declare NASA gone. I’m going to put all of that money and brainpower toward fixing problems here on Earth. Let’s figure out how to get a car from L.A. to Vegas without stopping for gas first, and then we can focus on a manned mission to Mars.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m into the technology. (…) Though I do think we could do a better job naming the shuttles. The last one was called Atlantis. Why would you name your spacecraft after an underwater city? What does that have to do with flying through space? And the bottom of the ocean is not the image you want to conjure up when thinking of a space vehicle.”
6. The TSA and the FAA
“But as commander and idea man in chief, I’ve come up with a way to make airport security fun and profitable for all Americans. This is an idea I’m in love with. Are you paying attention TV executives? Consider this a pitch. It’s a competition reality show.
“We’ve all seen the guy who’s late for his flight, just made his way through security, and is rushing to get to the gate and trying to get himself together after taking off the belt, emptying his pockets, taking out the laptop, losing the shoes, removing the hat and being grunted at by Mo’Nique’s angrier sister. Well, this show is about families competing to see who can get their s— back together while on the move and dodging other passengers. You have to get from the end of security to your gate in the fastest time. (…) It’s Family Feud meets Wipeout in an airport. I call it – Terminal Velocity.”
5. The Department of Health and Human Services
“This next section may get a little controversial, but like I said, I’m President Truth Teller. I don’t think that half of the people that claim to be disabled actually are. I bet if you took the list of people currently getting disability payments from the government, sent them a letter saying they’ve been entered to win a million dollars in the Dr. Pepper Cadillac Challenge at the Cotton Bowl, and all they had to do was throw a football through a hole in the P of a giant Dr. Pepper can, 85 percent of them would be on a plane the next day. As president, I’m going to enact this sting operation and save us billions. (…)
“By the way, I always notice a ton of handicapped spots in front at the Home Depot. Why? Are there a ton of quadriplegics putting additions on their houses? Maybe that’s how they got handicapped in the first place, falling off a roof trying to install a skylight.”
4. The Department of the Treasury
“I don’t know what the budget is for the Secret Service but I think I can significantly cut down the cost. As President Carolla, I won’t need a bunch of guys in sunglasses and black suits. I just need some crows. A flock of attack crows would be the ultimate in security.
“They could live on the White House roof and all we’d have to do is put out a can of corn once a week. Then, whenever the motorcade left, they’d follow along. And if anybody got too close to me they would swoop down in a sea of black wings and razor-sharp beaks and talons. Death from above.”
3. The Department of Education
“There is competition in the world. Kids need to fail, they need to know that they’re not doing well, but that if they work hard they can recover. Right now we’re heaping praise on everyone for just walking through the door and minimizing the accomplishments of kids who do bust their asses. Our kids are going to look back on us and be pissed we didn’t give them the skills to go out in the real world and thrive. I know they talk about the three Rs in school but we need to add a fourth and most important one – Resiliency – the ability to know that you’re not perfect but that you can get better if you look within, internalize the struggle, and work harder, instead of bring everyone else down.”
2. The FCC
“When Mitt Romney talked about ending the subsidy to PBS and everyone went apes—, I was completely on board. This is a plan I will enact in the Carolla administration. Why should my tax dollars pay for this? Shouldn’t Sesame Street make enough off Elmo merchandise alone to fund PBS for the next sixty years.”
1. The Department of Labor
“Here’s a major culture shift that is going to begin in my administration. We will phase out the birthday and incorporate the ‘worthday.’ This is a day of achievement that you celebrate annually. That would be more satisfying. It will add an element of drive. The day you got your Ph.D. or bought your first house will be your standing worthday until you beat it.
“This will also encourage competition. You’ll be at your neighbor’s or relative’s worthday party thinking, ‘He passed the bar and I’ve got a GED, I’ve got to buckle down and earn a better worthday.’ Think about it, one man’s worthday is winning a Pulitzer Prize, and another’s is finishing the Pig’s Trough at Farrell’s.”
“I worked at McDonald’s and made $2.43 an hour. If I had made ten dollars an hour, instead of talking about the value of hard work in my third book, I’d be talking about the value menu over my shoulder.
“I’d still be there.”