Column: I’m running for president

Braden Hajer, Copy Editor & Columnist

Editors note: Braden’s column is broken into three parts due to its length. Sections are marked so that readers may find part II if they have already read part I in print.


Part I: Transportation, Infrastructure and Mental Health

I am proud to announce that I, Braden Hajer, am running to be the 50th President of the United States of America in the election of 2040. 

I understand the problems America is facing. In fact, we’ve been facing the same problems for over 150 years, and they aren’t going anywhere any time soon. So far, no candidate in history has been bold enough to pose real solutions to our deep-rooted issues.

Until now.

On my first 100 days in office, I will shatter the fossil fuel industry. For too long, we have been terrorized by their greed and ignorance. The Keystone Pipeline, the BP Oil Spill… the list of disasters is endless. However, we cannot simply point the finger at the suppliers. Big Auto is equally to blame for their oil-driven permeation into the American lifestyle. The federal government’s wars in the Middle East to secure our oil interests have been calamitous. We need to pull the dirty, oily wool out of our eyes and realize that dinosaur juice never was and never will be the future: steam is. 

Think about it: steam is efficient and environmentally friendly yet undeniably industrial. We have left this technology untouched for eons, but under my administration, this will change. I will create the Department of Steam to research how to best integrate steam back into America’s movement. The cars of today will be unrecognizable by 2058.

That’s right. The cars of the future have four legs, a thick coat of fur, a bushy mane and are horses. It is a time-honored fact that animal companions reduce stress and promote general healthiness. It is equally time-honored that horses are both speedy and reliable. With dino car-smoothies out of the picture, I will take great gallops to bring back horses through the soon-to-be-created Department of Horses. Every eligible adult will receive a complimentary horse for their day-to-day relaxation and transportation. I will be proud to be the first president to truly combat the mental health crisis with a legion of furry friends.

Now, you may be wondering, “how do we transport goods across the country without trains?” You see, this is where we bring out the big guns: two horses. With two horses at the helm, the overall horsepower of the machine doubles.

Let’s hold our horses for a bit and talk about infrastructure. America is notorious for its crowded highways and broken infrastructure. We have blissfully ignored one of the fundamental facets of infrastructure optimization: the more roads you have and the more lanes you add, the less efficient they will be. This is because a larger highway incentivizes a disproportionately higher amount of people from farther away to use it than it is built to handle, making traffic worse. In my first year as president, I will cut back on our cracking, bloated highways to four. These four roads will be the most efficient, speedy and attractive cross-country pathways America has ever seen.

Let’s trot back over to horses. Now, you may be wondering, “how is international travel even possible with the exclusive use of horses?” Did you know that horses can swim? Through the use of an intricate, complex horse-cargo caravan system, we will be able to transport even the bulkiest of shipments to our international friends (or enemies, in the case of Portugal).

The social component of boating will also be bolstered by this equine evolution. The aristocratic yacht parties of today will quickly be replaced by the maritime hoedowns of the future. America will finally be able to come back to its roots, and those roots will be floating on the Atlantic (and also in the form of horses).

I’m ecstatic to launch this campaign and solve America’s most impossible problems. Of course, the above policies are only a small fraction of my full list of proposals. In fact, right now there are two other similar documents to this one containing much of the rest of my big ideas. To learn more about the Hajer for America 2040 campaign, make sure to check out the Central Times website.

See you at the polls, my fellow Americans.


Part II: Combating Hyper-Partisanship and Sectionalism

Americans can’t seem to get along. We are uniquely averse to both speaking and listening to those we see as the “opposition.” Gridlock has hardened into a concrete wall for a nation whose success has come from its everlasting sprint towards the future. However, we must recognize that all partisan divisions are inherently geographical. Different regions have different visions and needs, and different parties will fight for those interests. Sectionalism and polarization are the same issue.

Urban against rural. Left against right. North against South. If America is to survive, it must overcome one of its most central vices. As the 50th president, healing the country will be one of my top priorities.

 America has become a fat and bloated nation. Anyone who has studied the Civil War at the elementary level knows that the addition of states to the Union exponentially amplified the country’s divisions, yet after the war, we kept doing it! It is no wonder that our problems have only worsened with time. With this level of ignorance blemishing our past, this challenge may feel insurmountable. Worry not, my fellow Americans, for I have a solution. 34 of them, to be exact. Let me be blunt with you: Do we really need Nebraska? 

The ultimate counter to sectionalism and partisan divisions is to reduce the number of sections. The logic is as infallible as it is pristine. “Unfortunately,” this means that the vast majority of the territory comprising this great nation of ours will need to be “trimmed.” 

The good news? America will finally be united as a nation again.

The “bad news?” 325/330ths of you will need to prepare your Bhutanese passports.

Now, am I truly asserting that I’m about to donate the vast majority of our nation to Bhutan as a new supercolony? Not necessarily. However, I would be a liar to stand up in front of you and tell you that I’m not doing that. The passing of deeds will be done through auction. As an An-Cap, I believe that the best of politics is settled by the highest bidder (except, of course, for Portugal, which goes without saying). If Bhutan wants to pony up, I will be the last man on Planet Earth to stop them.

This may sound like a confusing process. Indeed, the removal of 34 states from the Union, while absolutely critical, is no easy task. To simplify this process for the average current American, I have included a handy chart for you at to follow to figure out if your state is going to get cut.

Tragically, I fear that even with this massive concerted effort, the dark horse of sectionalism may continue to roam free through the remaining states. In dire situations like these, excommunication is key. I’ve done the “math,” and I’ve come to a conclusion that we as a nation must come to terms with: the perfect portion of people to comprise the populace is 5,308,483. This number was achieved through an extensive series of mind-melting computations, and I believe that America would be a utopia once it has reestablished this gold standard.

So, to the rest of my ever-dwindling body of fellow Americans, I welcome you to our lean, prosperous future. To everyone else, I welcome you to Bhutan.

See you at the polls, my fellow Americans.


Part III: Bringing Our GDP Back Down to Earth and The 2040 Campaign


Let’s be honest, America: we’ve run a little bit wild with our economy. 19.39 trillion USD? No country needs that much money. The fact of the matter is, 19.39 trillion dollars is more than any horse could carry on a wagon. In fact, I doubt even the might of two horses to haul such a burdensome load. This is clearly unsustainable in the long-run. As the 50th president, I will take great strides to ensure the reasonableness of our economic value. It’s time to calm down a bit.


Step 1: Shutting Down the Mega-Corporations

Disney, Amazon, Google and others hold an unimaginable amount of influence on our economy. As an An-Com, I hold a deep disdain for these gargantuan corporate machines.  The problem here is obvious: they want to make money, and they’re very good at it. In my first 100 days in office, I will break up the pseudo-monopolies that currently dominate the American market.

Not only will this give consumers more choice in who they’d like to support when purchasing goods and services, but it will also lower the overall GDP. This is because the profiteering ventures of these corporations will be diluted amongst the competition. Liberty will finally reign over greedy tyranny. 


Step 2: Shutting Down the Moderate Corporations

Wrigley’s, Nerf, Alienware and others hold an imaginable amount of influence on our economy. As an An-Com, my distaste for these decently sized corporations is just enough for me to act upon them. The problem here is somewhat clear: they want to make money. 

Frankly, the demise of these companies is long overdue. The despotism of Wrigley’s Gum in particular must come to an end at all costs. These measures will finally bring an end to the institution of wage slavery in service of our grossly, domestically-produced infamy.


Step 3: Profit

The American people will become happier and healthier once the weight of holding up our unbelievable GDP is off their shoulders. Once any hopes of America being an economic superpower ever again have been thoroughly dashed, we will finally be able to focus on what really matters: rebuilding this nation from the ground up.

A bold push into the future is what this campaign is all about. The human spirit is stubborn. The natural consequence of this is the rise and fall of empires through the ages. No system can last forever, but no nation is willing to sacrifice what it knows for what it needs. 

My 2040 campaign challenges this idea. We’re Americans. We change with the times. We adapt to our environment. Our current way of life that we’ve known all our lives is failing us. By the time our career politicians realize this, it will be far, far too late. We need to act now… in 20 years, when I’m president, of course.

We will save our environment by embracing a new form of technology and transport.

We will rise above the petty partisan squabbles of our past by exercising restraint in our state count and population.

We will facilitate this phoenix-like rebirth by turning away from our endless pursuit of monetary gain.

We will gallop towards a thriving future, my fellow Americans.

See you at the polls.