Friday, September 30, 2022

Five Modest Proposals: Neutralizing Tecumseh’s Curse

     Neutralizing Tecumseh’s Curse


Being President is an affliction at the best of times, which these are not. The President elected in 2020 faces a plague, a depression, civic unrest, and also an Indian curse. According to legend, the Shawnee warrior Tecumseh laid a curse upon the Presidency; namely, that anyone elected on a year ending with zero will die in office.

          Tecumseh’s curse has accumulated a long list of victims: Harrison, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, FDR and JFK. Some were murder most foul, and some were health-related.

Only Zachary Taylor died in office without being elected on a zero year. There are two other exceptions, but they’re arguable. Reagan’s body survived, but his mind died; and unpopular Dubya left the office no stupider than he entered it, but his entire family’s political career died.

          Call me superstitious, but I wouldn’t face odds like that. Besides, the White House should bear an Indian curse. It deserves one, it’s earned it. Tecumseh’s legendary curse gives the White House street cred. The tale is colorful and poetic. It’s authentic Americana.

          I write to tell how to neutralize the curse. Consider the Dubya exception: he survived, but his family’s political career died. So the next zero-year President should try this:

          Set up a working Administration.

Then do something nice for the Shawnee.

Then resign for health reasons.

Then retire from politics.

So his political career dies instead of him. I figure that this sacrifice should keep him safe from Tecumseh’s curse.

He can risk waiting until he’s genuinely sick before he resigns; or he can lie by quitting the Presidency before the job sucks all of the life out of him. That’s his choice. For proof that the Presidency sucks the life out of people, just look at previous Presidents, before and after.

If he wants his resignation to be an act of power, then he can publicly denounce certain rich crooks, and take decisive but politically-suicidal action against their crimes, just before he retires. So if he wants to, then he can slam the door on the way out.

I recommend that every zero-year President, from now on, take these precautions. It would mean that every fifth Presidential campaign will really be about the Vice-President. That’s how it’s been, so far.



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