Tuesday, June 23, 2009


By : President Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America; Former Alzheimer’s Sufferer; Winner of the Cold War; Convincing Thespian (deceased 2004); Citizen-Corpse.

My fellow Americans and friends, I have been out of the White House for twenty years now and I have been dead for five. I think about my days as President very often. I only wish that I could do more for America. After all, we live in challenging times. Sadly, we live in an era of injustice. The longer I remain dead, the more I see that America treats corpses and dead people without respect. We are treated like second-class citizens. In fact, no one pays any attention to us at all because we are not there anymore. In most cases we are cremated or buried. But we are people, too. Or rather, we were people. Just because our existence is now in the past tense does not make us any less American than every breathing soul in our great country. And we still are proud Americans dedicated to equality for all.

No matter where you look these days, government is helping some disadvantaged group. America helps Indians, poor people, disabled people, Spanish-speaking people and even Eskimos. All these people get preferential treatment. All these people asked for equality and they got it. But what about dead people? Who speaks for us? Who advocates our special problems? In our view, this is a gross injustice. Government expends massive sums helping Eskimos obtain housing and legislative representation, yet it does nothing to ease the plight of corpses and long-dead ancestors buried all over the country. When I read the words “all men are created equal,” I don’t see a requirement for "all men" to be alive. It doesn’t say all “living men” are created equal. Men can either be dead or alive. We’re dead, and government doesn’t give a damn about us. This is simply wrong and unfair. We are men. We might be dead, but that doesn’t change our status as Americans entitled to rights and equality.

Americans must wake up to the fact that we matter. Sure, we might not be around to talk to you at breakfast or even to play tennis. But we are still people. Dead people, yes; but people, nonetheless. We might not eat or sleep anymore, but does that make us inferior? We think not. In fact, we outnumber the living by a large margin. We have needs. We have desires. We demand attention. And it is not as if we are not influential. We are not some fringe group. We are your fathers and great-grandfathers. Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are with us. So is Julius Caesar and Alexander Graham Bell. How can America turn its back on such great people? In short, we are sick and tired of being ignored. It is a disgrace that America does not even consider a group in which George Washington is a leading member. As citizen-corpses, we insist that the United States take us seriously.

We knew an America once. It cared about its citizens. It made a place for everyone. It treated everyone with decency and respect. But that America is gone. Now we see that America doesn’t care one bit about dead people. Sure, people may say a nice thing or two about their dead grandfather or uncle, but what have they done for him lately? Maybe they throw a few flowers on a grave or look up at an urn containing his remains. But how does that help us? We have opinions, voices and personalities. We have beliefs and ideals. Tossing flowers on us does not help us express ourselves or communicate our beliefs. In short, America totally ignores us. It does not even consider us people. This is the ultimate insult. After all, without us, America would not be the country it is today. We worked our whole lives to build the United States, and how does it pay us back? It literally buries and forgets us. Well let me tell you something: We’re not forgotten. We’re right here. And we demand to be heard.

How can Americans think we don’t matter? We left them their property. We sent them to college. We built the institutions that now keep them safe. We nurtured their parents and won wars that made our country strong. If anything, living Americans owe us a tremendous debt. But no, they act like we’re gone. They say: “Ah, we buried old Ronnie in '04; we don’t owe him anything except maybe a champagne toast every Thanksgiving.”

As a citizen-corpse, you have no idea how much this hurts me. During my life, I did everything I could to help this country. Now the living act like I’m not even there anymore. Do you know how demeaning that is? Have you ever walked in a room and people act like you’re not there? Well, that’s what I’m going through every day, along with every other dead man and woman on earth. It ain’t fun, and it ain’t right.

But we are not disheartened. We may be dead, but we know we are strong. We refuse to accept second-class treatment any longer. We believe that America should represent every voice, not just living ones. What good is a democracy if it ignores its single largest constituency? What good is equality if the largest group is unequal? We are committed to restoring justice and equality to American life. To do that, we must completely reorganize the government. Thus, from this day onward, we, the Citizen-Corpses, hereby commit ourselves to establishing a Mortocracy under Law. If democracy ceases to address the needs of the people—including dead people—then it must be replaced. Believe me, this is true. Thomas Jefferson himself told me he wants to do this.

For those who don’t know, a Mortocracy is a government in which the dead rule. As citizen-corpses, we believe that we can restore faith in American ideals by addressing everyone’s needs, including ours. Until now, the American “democracy” has only addressed the needs of the living. In so doing, it ignored us and treated us like dirt. Worse, it engaged in discrimination while professing equal treatment for all. No matter how much we complained, the American “democracy” refused to pass legislation to protect dead people’s rights. It earmarked funds for health care. What about dead care? It required all property owners to make their lands accessible to handicapped living people. What about corpse access? It provided lower taxes for lower-income people. What about variable tax rates for the dead? It established social welfare programs for poor people. What about benefit checks for dead relatives? In all these legislative acts, we saw indignity. No one ever even thought to consider our needs, let alone debated them. In the ultimate insult, many living lawmakers said: “We only have resources to take care of our own, not people who died 500 years ago.”

Those days are over. Now, we will make the decisions. We might not have lungs to breathe or hands to grasp, but we are determined to get the treatment we deserve. We might be rotting in a coffin somewhere, but that will not stop us from taking America in a new direction—toward freedom. We might already have disintegrated into dust, but determined Americans get things done no matter what adversity they face, whether they're dead, decomposed or both. We might have been vaporized in explosions or reduced to ashes in a crematorium, but we nonetheless are unique individuals with opinions. We intend to show up in Congress. We intend to make laws to advocate our unique needs and wants. This is what America is all about. And we believe that a Mortocracy will better speak for all people than a mere democracy. A government that speaks only for the living is no government at all.

We are certain to face opposition from the living. No one likes to change a system that works, especially if it works for only a few advantaged people. Obviously, the American democracy works very well for the living. They are getting everything they want because they withhold so much from us. They are not going to like ceding their power to challengers from beyond the grave. But the living have grown complacent. They have ignored the dead for too long. Life does not give them a monopoly on American power. More to the point, we believe that the living have betrayed the ideals of justice, fairness and equality that made America great in the first place. They thought they could just press on without considering us. They were wrong.

We may be dead. But we have great ideas for this country. It is only right that America starts listening to us again. To be clear, we do not intend to forget living Americans. Just because they discriminated against us does not mean we will revisit the same injustice upon them once we take control. No, we are not vindictive. We merely want the same consideration as they receive. We merely want to fulfill America’s great promise of freedom, dignity and justice for all—and that really means all: living and dead. What good is freedom if only the living are free? What good is dignity if only the living can expect dignity? And what good is justice if only the living can claim it? If America truly wishes to fulfill its noble promises, it must make room for the dead, too.

Support the Mortocracy. True, it is hard for you to see us because we are dead. In many cases, our bodily remains have long since vanished. We are not thrilling speakers because we cannot stand upright. Corpses are not eloquent, nor can they excite a crowd because they are not alive. Corpses stare straight ahead; they cannot thrill audiences with subtle facial expressions, smiles, scowls and smirks. We cannot solicit campaign funds because we no longer have functioning mouths, tongues or palates. In most cases, our soft tissues have long since rotted away. We cannot even write brochures because we are dead; we have no hands to type or even pick up a pen. Even if we did have hands, they would not be moving. Although we acknowledge these difficulties, we are confident that our message will prevail. Dead we may be. But we are people just like you. When you think about American principles, ask yourself whether it’s fair to apply them only to living people. Doesn’t equality mean anything to you?

It is time to stand up for justice for all—don’t be selfish. You are not the only ones here. Think about the corpses, too. Think of it this way: You will be among us some day. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You don’t like discrimination, do you? As an American, you shouldn’t. That is why it is time to establish a Mortocracy. It is the only way to give corpses the influence they deserve. And we all have a voice. Let us hear them all—even if it is difficult to hear a corpse speak.

1 comment:

Timoteo said...


-The Grateful Dead