The 2020 presidential race is beginning to get underway. I can hear the engines starting to rev up. And it gives me an idea – an idea that I think will help unite America, and solve a few of our political problems, while re-balancing the three branches of government (legislative, executive and judicial).

My idea is simple. DOG PRESIDENT.

There would be precedent for a dog president. America has several small towns that have elected or appointed dogs (and, in a few cases, cats) as mayor. What is a mayor if not a chief executive, and what is a president but a very fancy chief executive?

You might be wondering, what sort of dog? Dog President – or, more formally, President Dog – would have to be American, for sure. I lean toward a mutt, in honor of America’s traditional role as a cultural melting pot (and because all my dogs growing up were mutts from the pound and they were Very Good Boys). If a purebred is necessary – so thorough background checks can be properly performed – it should be an American breed such as the Carolina dog, the Texas blue lacy or the Australian shepherd, which, despite its misleading name, is all-American. Breed aside, President Dog should be between the ages of 3 and 5 – young enough to have the energy necessary to carry out his or her duties, but old enough to be housebroken. (Being housebroken would be a constitutional requirement.) President Dog would also have to know how to “shake paw.”

Because President Dog’s executive orders would be unintelligible to us, since nobody speaks fluent BARK BARK BARK (and in all likelihood the orders would most likely translate to “Let’s go for walkies RIGHT NOW”), if anyone in Congress wanted something done, they would have to pass legislation for it. And they would have to pass it by a veto-proof majority, because while we can certainly dip President Dog’s paw in vegetable-based ink (just in case he licks it off) and point him toward the legislation, we cannot predict if he will stamp his paw on it, or if he will chew it up instead. Congress could not rely on executive actions to accomplish their goals – they would have to do it themselves.

(President Dog could also save us money on the Secret Service, because he would be able to guard the White House and bark whenever someone rang a doorbell.)

Diplomacy is where President Dog would truly shine. After all, international peace treaties are much easier to negotiate when all parties are rubbing the same belly. What could be more perfect and professional than President Dog strolling into a room, sitting and shaking paw with everyone present? President Dog does not judge others by race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion. President Dog would happily sniff everyone’s butt equally – but he would be willing to growl, possibly even snap, when he sees other countries playing unfairly. Dogs take kind, fun play very seriously.

In all seriousness, folks: You know the old litmus test, “which candidate would you rather have a beer with?” Well, I can’t have a beer with any candidates, on account of being a recovering alcoholic. But I did see someone propose a new test on Twitter: Which candidate would you trust to take care of your pet while you’re away from home?

I don’t currently own a dog (sad, I know) but I do have a cat. I would not trust our current president to cat-sit, because I wouldn’t trust a man who brags about not changing his children’s diapers to scoop out my cat’s litter box. For the record: I would trust both of Maine’s current senators, despite their flaws, to watch my cat while I’m away. I would also trust Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden (although Golden seems like more of a dog guy). And, yes – I would trust Elizabeth Warren to baby-sit Juno.

Now, the real question is – would I trust President Dog to watch my cat?

Juno is a live-and-let-live kitty; she likes dogs who are chill, but she knows no fear and will happily “pepper” a barking dog who gets too close with her pointy claws. She will “pepper” a dog right across their snout. In fact, now that I think about it, she has many excellent vice-presidential qualities: quiet, aloof, snooty, hawkish.

Perhaps President Dog could run on a bi-paw-tisan ticket …

Victoria Hugo-Vidal is a Maine millennial. She can be contacted at:

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Twitter: mainemillennial