Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Congratulations to "What Would You Do If You Were President?" Half-Thoughts Contest Winner: Anthony Hamilton, 16, Eagle Ridge, CO

Four months ago, in the heat of a historic presidential race, Half Thoughts opened up a contest for high school students (and ASPIRING POLITICIANS???) across the nation to write an essay about what they would change as president. Thirty-seven applications and many sleepless nights later, WE HAVE A WINNER! Congratulations to Anthoney Hamilton of Eagle Ridge, Colorado. Two of three Half-Thoughts bloggers were impressed enough with Anthony's 500-word essay that they didn't feel the need to read the thirty-two (32) remaining essays. See below to read Anthony's 500-word essay, and congratulations to him on his prize, a $15 gift certificate to iTunes - don't (or on second thought, do!) spend it all in one place!!!

Before Anthony's essay, a word on our methodology: Half Thoughts, a St. Louis-based think tank with outposts in Laramie, WY and Knoxville, TN, was mandated by court authorities to take part in a public works project as punishment for running a somewhat successful timeshare Ponzi scheme. We are herein required to offer an official apology to the town of Branson, MO, and Hank Williams III in particular for involving them, unwittingly, in a criminal enterprise.

Of my own accord, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Tyles' wife and family, as well, for his multiple convictions and his five year mandatory minimum sentence that I am arguably responsible for. I would also like to point out to them that I did not escape the situation unscathed - my credit rating took an inestimable hit, I've had to register all of my aliases on an FBI watchlist, and I cannot apply for a job at a federal credit union for the rest of my life (not to mention the 500 hours of community service!).

In July of 2008, the two remaining (unincarcerated) Half Thoughts bloggers submitted to the Twenty-First Judicial Circuit of the State of Missouri and the Honourable Walter Staples our plan for a community service project that would fulfill the obligations of the court's ruling and take advantage of our medium, the zeitgeist, and our peculiar talents. The plan was to open up a 500-word essay competition to high school students across the country who would answer what they would change if they were president. E-mails to guidance counselors were sent, parole officers were consulted, and four months later, we yielded thirty-seven responses!

Our methodology in the review process was as follows: Ashby would scan for the following disqualifying buzzwords - socialism, redistribution, change, "end the war in", "the poor", torture, check, balance, "pursue indictments", Guantanamo, "was really behind 9/11", and diplomacy. Then, it was up to me to actually read for content. I ignored such typical indicators as presentation, organization & development, and thesis and instead focused on if the writer had that intangible "it" quality. Anthony had it in spades - he says he loves this country more than anyone else ever, frequently tells on classmates who misbehave, leads the pledge of allegiance every morning and writes down the names of students who don't say it aloud, often thinks about military service, frequently reflects on 9/11, and never trick-or-treated because he doesn't believe in begging. He knows that change happens when it's ready to happen, and that it's socially dangerous to try to force it. As the son of a successful small business owner, he is disgusted by Americans who profess disappointment with the country. "They should live in Baghdad, and then tell me how bad it is here," he said in his cover letter. "If the slaves could talk today, they'd say thank God they were brought here, because they could see how bountiful are the lives of their children."

Here is Antonin's essay. We offer him our most sincere congratulations.

My Dad Is An American Hero
By: Anthony Hamlton
The tyrannical code of equality shrouds us in darkness. Man's rapacious intellect provides him with the capacity to pursue his own happiness, he need be reliant on nothing but his own ability. Take, for instance, my father. He pays so much taxes that it is amazing that his business hasn't failed. His business involves for instance selling sports wares, leasing ATVS, and to rent tennis equipment. Barack Obama would make my dad even more taxes to help poor people who don't work as hard as my dad. It is also hard because he has to pay high minimum wages to people who also don't work as hard as he does. This makes it hard to be competitive, and when business doesn't compete, it is communist. My grandpa didn't fight the japanese to become a communist.

As president I would cut taxes to people like my dad, who deserve more money. My dad is a hard working man who would help the economy if he made more money. Since most people are in small businesses like my dad, most people would help the economy too if I cut taxdes. But I wouldn't cut taxes for everybody because they woudln't help the economy so much because they don't make enough money. People who don't make enough money should get any breaks becuase like my dad says if you work hard in America you'll do fine.

As presidnet I would help the enviornment by cutting carbon emissions by making everyone walk to work, including liberals who think everyone should walk to work except for them. Liberals complain a lot because they are lazy and think government should work for them when they should work for themself.

As President I would win our wars by bombing more. Every day people say why don't we win Iraq I say because we don't bomb enough. If we bomb m ore we wouldn't lose anymore troops because they would leave the cities before we bomb them. After we bomb them they will be safe for democracy. Even though Iraqis act like they don't want democracy now, they'll be happy for democracy, liek slaves were happy to be in America after they came to America.

As President I would help healthcare and education by putting them on the market. My dad says people who can afford healthcare and education should get good helathcare and education, and people who can't afford it should be punished. I think if people are punished for not having enough money, they will get themselves more money to afford healthcare and education.

As president I would not let gays get marryed. If gays get married that means my family won't mean as much to me, because then EVERYbody could have a family. And if families don't mean as much to me, then that means family doesn't mean as much to anyone, and if family doesn't mean as much to anyone, then families will break apart and we can't have an ecnomy if we don't have families.

In concluding, I think I would make America a better place as president. Small businesses would do well, families would help the economy, everybody would get healthcare and education, we would win our wars and then we would tell countries to do what we say is good because I would show that America is good.


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