Soon We Will All Be Little More Than Organic FedEx Packages

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On Saturday the New York Times ran this headline: “Christie Proposes Tracking Immigrants Like FedEx Packages.” We are, of course, supposed to be scandalized by this. After all, if “anchor babies” is dehumanizing to immigrants, surely treating them like FedEx packages is nothing short of brutalizing. The article goes on to explain:

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said on Saturday that if he were elected president he would combat illegal immigration by creating a system to track foreign visitors the way FedEx tracks packages. Mr. Christie, who is far back in the pack of candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, said at a campaign event in New Hampshire that he would ask the chief executive of FedEx, Frederick W. Smith, to devise the tracking system.

Uh huh. This is, of course, part of the Trump-inspired “can you top this” game of being tough on illegal immigration. That’s a bit of a yawn, though, since we went through the same thing during the 2012 primaries. What’s more interesting is that Christie’s schtick is Trump-inspired in an entirely different way: pretending that business people can be slotted effortlessly into government positions where they’ll kick some free-market ass and get our government moving again. Trump started this by claiming that he’d send Carl Icahn over to China because he’s a “killer” and would quickly put the Chinese in their place. Now Christie is following suit.

So what’s next?

  • Hillary Clinton says she’ll hire Bill Gates to run Obamacare.
  • Ted Cruz says he’ll get the Koch Brothers to whip the EPA into shape.
  • Ben Carson says he’ll ask Warren Buffett to run the IRS.
  • Scott Walker says that Jeff Bezos is the man to fix the GSA.
  • Bernie Sanders says he’ll pick Oprah Winfrey as his education czar.
  • Jeb Bush says he’ll bring in Sergei Brin to run the CIA.
  • John Kasich says he’ll nominate Mitt Romney to get the VA on track.

Who else would be able to fix up an inept government agency in a few months? Or maybe it should be the other way around: Are there any government agencies that couldn’t be reformed in short order by the right kind of steely-eyed business leader?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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