America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
An Ethics Test for Presidential Candidates
23 September 2016
The U.S. Congress requests that all candidates for U.S. President take the following the ethics test.
Dear Candidate: For each question, please select the choice that best matches your beliefs, even if doesn’t match your own entirely. That is what political choice is all about.
1. Which term best describes your ethical code?
b. Humanistic / secular
c. Greed is good
e. Dick Cheney
2. As President, what is the best reason to close the Guantanamo Bay prisoner of war camp?
a. Obama promised that he would.
b. It somehow didn't even help us invade Cuba during the Bay of Pigs invasion so what good is it?
c. Tortured inmates at Guantanamo have confessed to the JFK assassination, sinking the Titanic with explosives, and fixing the 1919 World Series, thus illustrating the unreliability of tortured intelligence.
d. Violating the Geneva Convention has been bad for our reputation.
e. Disney wants to buy it and build a theme park and resort there.
3. Which of the following statements best characterizes your campaign promises:
a. Campaign promises reflect my core spiritual values.
b. All promises are meant to be broken. Ask my third wife.
c. I promise to fulfill my promises during my second term? I promise.
d. Campaign promises are empty verbiage used to manipulate the ignorant masses. The fluoride in the water helps them to forget.
4. Would you hesitate to use drones to attack targets that accidentally kill innocent civilians?
a. Creating the President’s drone kill list is the closest any human being can ever feel like Zeus, the king of the gods, hurtling thunderbolts down upon his enemies.
b. The more the merrier.
c. I hear it’s even more fun than playing Call of Duty 2.
d. I’m hoping they will make a Tesla drone.
e. At parties, I sometimes sing a “Send in the Clowns” parody called “Send in the Drones.”
5. What is your position on lobbyists writing federal legislation?
a. Smart lobbyists know to give money to both political parties.
b. Lobbyists should try to write fair laws as long as it fits their business model, like the lobbyists who wrote ObamaCare.
c. It’s fine if lobbyists write the laws as long as lobbies still donate millions to my Super PACs.
d. Who else but lobbyists even knows how to write legislation anymore?
e. Congress is for show. I will rule openly by Executive Orders.
6. What is your position on capital punishment?
a. Capital should never be punished. The capital gains tax should be lowered to 0%.
b. All human life has value. Even convicted murderers should have a chance at rehabilitation in a Swedish-style country-club prison and go free within ten years.
c. Life in prison with poor television options.
d. Murderers should be executed on the spot, by a civilian militia if possible, in order to avoid a lengthy trial, years of expensive maximum security, and the senseless waste of perfectly good poison gases that can better be used overseas.
e. Murderers who are also high net wealth individuals with in excess of $50 million dollars in assets should be allowed to fake their own deaths and escape to Brazil, as is their time-honored tradition.
7. Which statement best describes Social Security:
a. Social Security is the foundation of a dignified retirement in America.
b. Social Security will soon be seen as a temporary social program; its days are numbered just like middle-class retirement itself.
c. Social Security is an obvious Ponzi scheme dependent on fresh generations of indebted workers, especially immigrants, paying in to offset the declining birth-rates of navel-gazing millennials.
d. Social Security is a pot of money to be raided at will to balance the Federal budget like the Clintons did in the 1990s.
e. The importance of freezing Social Security payments at current levels is the chief reason the Consumer Price Index (CPI) will never again report meaningful inflation, even when bread sells for $39 per loaf.
8. Scenario: Imagine that the leader of a powerful foreign country publicly insults your physical appearance (for example, your small hands, ludicrous hairstyle, inadequate genitalia, or $12,000 ladies' pant suit). How do respond?
a. Ignore the insult and move on as mature political leaders are supposed to do.
b. Set up an economic embargo against the offending nation.
c. Order the CIA and their NGO proxies to foment a “color revolution” in that country to topple that leader and install a “democratic” puppet.
d. Nuke the focker.
9. How would you characterize our Europeans allies?
a. Undependable vassal states within the Pax Americana.
b. Chocolate-gobbling socialists who may morph into Commies at any moment.
c. A source of art house movies watched only by liberal snobs.
d. A declining but still important market for American tobacco products.
10. As President, whom would you give priority to kill using your amazing killer drones?
a. The terrorists.
b. The Russians.
c. Investigative journalists.
d. The “Audit the Federal Reserve” movement.
e. Julian Assange.
f. Michael Moore.
11. The Trans-Atlantic Partnership (TTIP) is vital to America’s future because:
a. Removing the 1.5% tariffs on EU imports will massively stimulate trans-Atlantic trade.
b. A US-European trade bloc is the only possible counterweight to the rising economic power of China.
c. George Soros says so, and he donated to my Super PAC.
d. Finally, Monsanto will get to ram GMO foods down the throats of Europeans.
e. It establishes private courts so that corporate executives’ crimes will remain forever unpunished.
12. The proper role of the American President is:
a. To be a tribune of the people, raising the quality of life for all Americans by creating jobs, and magically cutting taxes while simultaneously improving social services.
b. To wield the awesome power of the US military to preemptively annihilate all of our enemies, real or imagined.
c. To rule the world with an iron fist.
d. To serve my masters, the international banking cabal.
e. To secure my place in history by creating foundations and Presidential libraries for my eternal glory.
13. The world leader from history that I would most like to emulate is:
a. Emperor Caligula
b. Genghis Khan
c. Henry Kissinger
d. Dick Cheney
14. Which of these Supreme Court decisions do you most agree with?
a. Brown vs. Board of Education
b. Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Jerry Falwell
c. Kramer vs. Kramer
d. The justices’ unanimous decision to allow Justice Clarence Thomas to ask only one question in session every ten years.
e. Citizens United vs. FEC
15. Which of these books do you most agree with?
a. Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot
b. The Prince
c. Atlas Shrugged
d. The Bible (Old Testament)
e. The Bible (New Testament)
f. Das Kapital
g. The Art of the Deal
Your answers are strictly confidential unless they are leaked.
Dan Geddes is the editor of The Satirist and the author of The Satirist - Volume 1. Geddes' criticism in The Satirist has been widely cited in academic papers, books, courses, newspapers, and websites. Geddes has written for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Dry Bones Review, and The Modern Word. His satirical work has also appeared in GlossyNews.com.