Here are my executive cabinet choices for a pretend Michel Evanchik presidency. Making these choices was a good thought experiment to define my own political preferences in some specific and tangible ways. It’s a fun intellectual exercise that my readers should try as well.
These are largely symbolic choices, and a final choice might be changed in consideration of administrative ability (and the candidate’s willingness to serve). As we have painfully seen in the forty-third President’s administration, enthusiasm is no substitute for competency:
- Agriculture: Willie Nelson, country singer and friend of the small farmer
- Interior: Robbie Cox, President of the Sierra Club
- Commerce: Cory Doctorow, free software advocate and corporate copyright skeptic. I’d let him clean up the Patent Office.
- Justice: Nadine Strossen, President of the ACLU
- Defense: Wesley Clark, the last successful American general
- Labor: Andy Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union
- Education: John Taylor Gatto, 1990 teacher of the year and writer of this essay denouncing the dumbing down of compulsory education.
- State: Bill Clinton, former U.S. President, world class schmoozer. I liked his foreign policy as President and he was good at making America popular abroad.
- Energy: Larry Niven, science-fiction writer and advocate for nuclear energy
- Transportation: George Haikalis, mass transit advocate
- Health and Human Services: Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Congressman and Democratic Presidential candidate. He could implement a universal, one-payer healthcare system.
- Treasury: Paul Krugman, economist and New York Times columnist.
- Homeland Security: I would abolish this evil manifestation of American fascism.
- Veterans Affairs: Colin Powell
- Housing and Urban Development: Rudolph Giuliani. Heck, he might be a Republican and a blowhard, but he was a great Mayor of New York City.
- Vice President: John Edwards. He makes a good speech. He’ll look good at state funerals. He’ll have very limited responsibilities.
- Chief of Staff: Edward Markey, Congressman from Massachusetts. I’ve just always been impressed by this guy.
- Office of Management and Budget: H. Ross Perot. He deserves the credit for making budget balancing politically respectable.
- United States Trade Representative: Pat Buchanan. America first, baby!
- Environmental Protection Agency: Ralph Nader, corporate gadfly and consumer advocate
- Office of National Drug Control Policy: Keith Stroup, Founder of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
- Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System: Robert Rubin, because he did a good job as Secretary of the Treasury, even if he is a money-grubbing rich guy. He’s competent, he speaks thebanker’s language and he is not totally evil.
- Commissioner of the Social Security Administration: Tom Harkin, Iowa Senator and trustworthy old liberal
- Director of National Intelligence: William Bratton. I think a good cop would have the investigative acumen for this position, and after running America’s two largest police departments, he should have the administrative skills as well.
I’d love to hear your suggestions, criticisms and alternatives to my proposals.