These are heady days in the world of science. Rapid advances in robotics, computers, and nanotechnology all promise less work and better living. Genetic engineers tell us we can expect designer children and designer pets within the decade.
And perhaps best of all, scientists are offering cautious hope of designer politicians.
Can you imagine? No more having to choose between Evil and his twin Lesser. No more will politicians be ruled by narrow ideology and short-term self-interest. No more will, as Henry Kissinger once observed, ninety percent of politicians give the other ten percent a bad name.
Those days will be over. A new age is dawning.
The people will be able to design representatives who stand up to special interests, and address the real crises that face ours and future generations, such as in energy, the environment, poverty, healthcare, civil rights, women’s rights, voting rights, education and innovation. We will design representatives who will say what they will do, and who will do what’s right, not just what’s safe, or just what their K Street handlers want.
These designer leaders will be genetically hardwired to address only the important issues and challenges of our day, biologically incapable of being distracted by trivial issues that matter only to the most vocal minority. They will always stand and fight, and never bob and weave. They will take positions simply because they are right and damn the political consequences.
Designer leaders will understand that the paths to our national goals are measured in years and decades and not in months and election cycles. They will understand that each generation is judged by how it provided for the nation’s future, and by how it met its obligation to assure that its children inherited a cleaner, safer, and healthier world.
Of government they will understand that its job is to prepare for the future, not ignore it; prepare to solve problems, not create them. They will know that government is society’s means to collectively address problems that are too large or costly for individuals to handle. They will see government’s purpose as primarily to safeguard the right of all its citizens to realize their potential, to think and dream as they wish, and to live richer, freer, and longer lives.
Showing regard always first for the public good, designer leaders will share a common vision of opportunity and well-being for all. They will be programmed to care about people rather than only about what they think. Insisting always on a just society that does not discriminate based on gender, race, orientation or creed, they will constantly remind us that a nation cannot remain great unless the avenues of opportunity are opened to all, and the scales of justice are balanced for all.
Designer leaders will not be peddlers of fear - only peddlers of hope. Always will they inspire hope against fear, compassion against injustice, and power against powerlessness. To the dustbins of history will go politicians who bring fear to our doorsteps, and for the small price of a vote promise our safety.
Rather, these leaders of a new age will stroke us, comfort us, bond with us, share our worries and our hopes, and tell us that far from being forgotten we are each a priceless asset, an essential part of the national story. It will never occur to them to divide us along fault lines of fear, intolerance, and religion.
That awful gene will be deleted, permanently.
Designer leaders will be strong on personal responsibility, on social responsibility, and on the link between. They will remind us that what happens to any of us affects all of us. They will champion a decent and responsible nation that never turns its back on its own people.
Designer leaders will have a moral compass genetically embedded that will always guide them down Main Street before down Wall Street. They will be the champions of the Have-Nots, not of the Haves, and of the common good over private gain. Gone will be the days when politicians allowed corporate interests to trump human interests. Designer leaders will stand up to corporations, and remind them that it is possible to do well while doing good.
These designer leaders of tomorrow will lead out of an interest to form a more perfect union, provide for the general welfare, and make this country worthy of the principles and values upon which it was founded.
Shoot, there’s only one problem. Seeing as how there were sixty-two million Americans who voted for George Bush in 2004, scientists will need to figure out how to intelligently design voters, too.