That day I got all kinds of calls from newspaper reporters and TV people and stuff, and the TV people wanted to come and take my picture and shoot videos while I was gonna be talking to the President. So the next day there were tons of trucks with antennas and stuff outside and reporters and cameras inside and there was barely room for me, my phone, Mommy and Daddy and Uncle UL. I actually got a little nervous to tellya the truth. Teehehe. Then at exactly 1:00, boom! The phone rang.
I picked it up, and this is what we said:
Barack: Hello, is this Lisa?
Me: Yes? Is this President Obama?
Barack: Yes it’s me. How are you today Lisa?
Me: I’m good. How are Malia and Sasha?
Barack: They’re fine, thanks for asking.
Me: And how’s Michelle?
Barack: She’s fine too. So nice of you to ask.
Me: Thank you. I think you’re the coolest President there ever was, by the way.
Barack: Well thanks Lisa, that’s nice of you to say, too. I have a favor to ask you.
Me: REALLY? ME? A favor? What is it?
Barack: Well, I really liked the email you sent me. I think you raised a lot of good issues and made some strong arguments. I have to give a speech before Congress next week. The State of the Union Address, the President has to give it to Congress every year.
Me: I know.
Barack: Well, I was wondering if you’d present your comments at my State of the Union speech before I give my speech.
Me: Well, I could… But can I say a little bit more than I said in the email? I have a few other things on my mind too.
Barack: Well, sure Lisa. Just make sure that we have a copy of the topics you plan to talk about, and make sure you include everything you said in your great letter. OK?
Me: DEAL! Oh boy. This is gonna be fun! Thank you Mr. President!
Barack: Thank YOU Lisa! I’m going to have some of my staff people get on the phone and talk to your parents and make arrangements to have dinner with you here at the White House on Sunday, if you’re available.
Me: Depends. What’s for dinner?
Barack: What do you like?
Me: Twin 2 ½ pound steamed lobsters, baked potatoes with chives and sour cream and corn on the cob.
Barack: What a coincidence, that’s what we’re having for dinner at the White House on Sunday.
Me: Good, then I’ll seeya for dinner. Byeeee.
Barack: Bye, Lisa.
So I started right to work on a speech I was gonna give before Congress in prime time on TV in front of everbody in the country. Wow. Wow! We flew to Washington and got to stay at a fancy hotel with a swimming pool and everthing, and Uncle UL even got some free towels, soap and salt and pepper shakers from the hotel and the restaurant. Uncle UL was teasing every waitress in town. He sure does wink a lot more when he’s out of town. LOL, Uncle UL. And sure enuff, when we got to the White House on Sunday they WERE having twin 2 ½ pound lobsters for dinner. They even had choklit cake for dessert. AND strawberry milk shakes. Not bad.
All week all these important hot-shot TV reporters and news people wanted to interview me. I told them whatever I felt like and made them laugh a lot. I tried to be as cute as possible because Uncle UL said that would make people want to hear me that would be taking advantage of my natural assets to advance my ‘agender.’ And I sure do have an agender. That’s for sure.
So the big night finally came, Tuesday night. Barack and I were waiting outside these big doors at the Capitol with a bunch of Secret Service guys and a bunch of other guys in suits, when the doors swung open and somebody boomed over the loudspeaker: “Mr. Speaker, The President of the United States.” And everbody applauded, and gave us a standing ovation. Then they did that all over a second time, I guess because it was so much fun the first time. :D
Barack, me and a bunch of those guys in suits walked up an aisle shaking hands with Congress people and stuff until we got to the front where the stage was. Vice President Biden and that guy who looks orange all the time, Boehner, were up there. Joe looked like he was having the time of his life. Boehner looked worried and all paranoid.
When everbody finally quieted down and sat down, Barack told them this:
I want to begin this State of the Union Address by allowing a very bright young woman to tell us how she’d like the state of the union to be a few years from now. So it’s my pleasure to introduce: LISA!!!
And everbody jumped up on their feet again and started hooting and hollering and applauding me. Wow. Wow! When they sat down I started to talk.
Me: Hi everbody. I’m Lisa. I wrote Barack to tell him what I think about what you people could do to make things a lot better in the world, not just this country. He liked what I wrote and if you like what I wrote and what I say, then just do it, don’t just applaud. I’ll say the same thing to Barack.
OK. Here’s what I think. Numero Uno. Treat each other a lot nicer. We’re all brothers and sisters. We’re one family and we need to not just be civil to each other, we should be loving each other even when we disagree. You people in politics have gotten stupid about this. You people up front, wearing the robes. That means you John Roberts and “Justice Antonin Scalia!” How dare you be rude to Barack when he’s giving speeches in here. In kiddie garten they teach better manners than you people have! Stop being mean! That’s numero uno.
Numero Dos. Nuclear weapons stink. And we have more and better ones than anyone else in the world. We have more killing machines than any other group of people in the history of the world. Since World War II we’ve been fighting wars all over the world almost non-stop. And we don’t even have any other countries trying to attack us! Russia and China also have nukes that can reach other continents, but they have borders with tons of other countries and we only have borders with two tinier countries, Mexico and Canada. We spend oodles of trillions on killing and almost nothing on feeding people or giving them clothes if they need it, or helping the disabled who can’t take care of themselves too well.
We have the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean between us and any other country that could seriously threaten us. Gimme a break. Stop that nonsense.
Numero Tres. What about all the smoke we keep pouring into the thin layer of gas around this planet. What am I gonna breathe 40 years from now, and what are my kids gonna breathe 80 years from now? Huh? Huh? Everbody and their brother in this country has a car, a refrigerator, a microwave, a washer and dryer, a heater, an air conditioner, a computer, and more. Now, because we made wanting THINGS so popular, everbody on earth wants things that ya gotta burn things to run. Like China and India now all want cars and refrigerators and stuff. And now THEY are all spewing out tons of smoke now too. Global warming and climate change IS real. Ya just can’t spit out that much smoke into the atmosphere for this long and not kill it. It’s beyond bad and we hafta stop it. That leads me to
Numero Quatro: What makes you think that we can have the economy expanding constantly, year after year, decade after decade, and century after century? And what makes you think that’s even a good idea? If everbody was working full time all the time there’d already be no oxygen left and we’d all be dead by now. Maybe EVERYBODY shouldn’t necessarily have a job? Maybe what is needed is a more equal distribution of the work that needs to be done instead. Didja ever think of that? Hmm? Didja? Equality in job opportunities, equal and fair pay and benefits, and planning for periods of no growth or even negative growth in the economy rather than constantly demanding more, more more! OMG. Greedy. The top 1% of rich people now have more money than the bottom 50%! That’s terrible! Spreading what we have more equally is more important than trying to always just make more stuff all the time. And speaking of equality, that brings me to
Numero Cinco: Justice! What ever happened to that??? Rich people get more justice than poor people, it’s that simple. Why should a rich person be able to post bond or bail and a poor person hafta stay in jail. And no poor person can afford to go to a trial so they have to plea bargain. And I know what our prisons are like. I’m young, but you can’t fool me. People get raped, stabbed, and tortured in prison. It’s a nightmare in there. One of the worst and most inhumane systems ever! AND once people go in they get so mad and go crazy so that when they get out they just commit worse crimes and it’s a revolving door. Meanwhile rich lawyers like most of you in this room make a mint off the whole process. We need to tear down the prisons and start from scratch. The court system needs to be changed completely so that rich and poor people are treated equally.
Numero Seis is making health care for me, for my Mommy and Daddy and for the kids I have someday a right and not a privilege. And NO PROFIT MOTIVE for medicine. I don’t want a doctor to be working on my Daddy when he’s really sick and making a profit off of treating him. I don’t mind people making a profit for cleaning furniture and carpets or for making lamps. But I don’t like profits being made by medical providers, prisons, schools, and weapons builders. And speaking of weapons,
Numero Siete is guns. Let’s outlaw handguns, more people are murdered by handguns than any other weapon and they serve no other purpose than to kill people. The manufacture, sale and possession of handguns should be a crime.
Numero Ocho is understanding that we have lots of problems in this country. We have crime, pornography, sex offenses out of control, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, political corruption, questionable elections and politicians and more. And yet we imagine that we have the right to send armed kids in uniform overseas to fight people in their own countries because we’re better than they are. Guess what? We’re not. I think that people who follow nuts like Daffy Muammar Qadaffy, or Saddam Hussein, or Hosni Mubarak, or Adolf Hitler—I think a lot of them actually think that they are also doing a good thing and don’t understand how whacky their government is. Just look at ours. Our government is definitely crazy most of the time and we’ve fought more wars and killed more people since WW II than any other country on earth. And I think our military people are well-motivated, but they are just being fooled by the idea that we’re better than the others. Just like the people around the other governments fight for their governments. EXCEPT that the people in the other countries are fighting on their OWN territory, we’ve been occupying and fighting on OTHER people’s territories. WRONG! So
Numero Nueve is recognizing that Dick Nixon, Dick Cheney, Spiro Agnew, Dubya Bush, John Roberts. Clarence Thomas, that Tanman sitting behind me, and all the nuts here in Washington are imperfect and human and that we need to stop trying to export their brand of ‘exceptionalism’ overseas. And
Numero Diez is final passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the constitution so that women have the same rights as men.
So I want ten simple things. Don’t forget them. And don’t say later. It really comes down to this.
JUSTICE! PEACE! EQUALITY! NOT LATER! NOW! NOT TOMORROW TODAY!
JUSTICE! PEACE! EQUALITY! HOW ‘BOUT NOW!
HOW ‘BOUT NOW!
HOW ‘BOUT NOW!
I CAN’T WAIT!
HOW ‘BOUT NOW?
And everbody got on their feet (well, half of everbody), applauded and shouted JUSTICE, PEACE, EQUALITY! HOW ‘BOUT NOW!
Mommy, Daddy and Uncle UL got onstage with me, and we hugged and hugged and hugged.
Then Barack gave a speech too.
This story was originally published on October 24, 2011