Most of the time, the measure of a man is defined by his career, power and the thickness of cash his money clip is clipping. If there is a job out there that encompasses all three perfectly, it’ll have to be the President. Not one of your community Karaoke Club, mind you. Nor your million dollar tech start-up. But President of your country.
What’s not to like? Work is all about dipping your toes in the finer things in life like traveling first class for diplomacy talks, signing off new policies while sipping Bourbon in your official presidential residence several football fields large, and waving a hand at screaming supporters (and growling haters).
The best part is, in exchange, you get to enjoy even finer things in life like using your leftover campaign money to fund a luxurious weekend getaway, to an exotic resort that no one has ever heard of. Or, how can we forget, a hospital stay that can rival a 5-star hotel staycation if an unexpected bout of cancer hits you below the belt.
The ever-present danger of being assassinated. But luckily for us gentlemen here in Singapore, we don’t quite have to always look behind our backs.
Realize Your Fantasy: Become One Of The Most Powerful Men
Since school days, parents and teachers alike have extolled the virtues of a career in engineering, medicine and law. Of course, those very same virtues being the annual income that could very well have you set for life (no need to worry about retirement, let alone hitting the CPF minimum sum).
But why stop short of the moon when you can shoot for the galaxy? Go for President! The monthly income can already have you set for life.
Let’s assume you have already been hustling in said career paths until you are 45 now, and you hold a respectable position. We’re talking CEO here. You boast some level of charisma and oratory skills, got a sharp eye out for dark suits and have an Instagram following of at least 25k. You got it? Great. Maybe it’s time to take your career to the upper echelons and become a political bigwig. Now let’s get you started on your campaign!
Part 1: The Prerequisites
a) Your social media posts
The way we see it, the elections can double as popularity contest. Start growing your social media presence if you’re an aspiring President in your 20’s. Because if you don’t, when the time calls for it, you will feel as though you brought a fork to a gunfight. Do not belittle the power of annoyingly lengthy Facebook status updates and Instagram selfies leading up to your future campaign, because you are expected to be amazing online as much as you would be offline. Just make sure you erase all trace of compromising photos that will, without a doubt, come back to haunt you.
b) Education background
All the world leaders have had education backgrounds that would make you question what in the blue hell you have been doing in school. All of them have also had some overseas education stints. If you are still undecided what you want to major in in University, consider the following: law, business, economics, political science.
For those who follow politics closely, you might discover another pattern on top of education. Some leaders, notably North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, have had military background. Oh look, what do we have here. NS and reservist! We’re almost there!
If you want to have a stamp of approval on your President candidacy application, you have to first be at top management level in government sectors. If not, a multi-millionaire head honcho of a privately owned firm. From graduation until you turn 45, you have about 20 years to scheme your way to the top. Pace yourself well, gentlemen. Or if you are one of those lucky 1-percenters, you could live the stuff of Korean dramas in which you inherit a globally recognized conglomerate founded by your grandfather.
You should know by now that over here at SM, there’s no sartorial rest. We are always dressed the part of the dashing gentleman, president or not. As presidential candidate, all the more you’d do well to have a master tailor as your right hand man. We guarantee you will have an edge over the other candidates who are very likely to spot poorly fitted black jackets over equally dowdy pink shirts. If George Clooney can look flawless at 53, there’s no excuse for you to fall short.
You’ll need ruthless aggression to make all the unpopular yet necessary decisions. Like putting out a dying dog on the streets with your bare hands. House Of Cards pilot, anyone?
Part 2: Electoral Clean Sweep
a) Keep the money pouring in
Unlike our American counterparts who can easily get financial backing from the political party they’re representing, you aren’t allowed to be on any side of the fence during the run up to Election Day itself. You’re on your own to raise a maximum of $600k to fund your campaign.
We suppose that is merely a minor speed bump considering you were a bloody CEO. If not, you can always turn to the very popular concept of 3 F’s: Friends, Family and Fools.
When you finally kickstart your campaign, you don’t want to just get by marginally. You want a landslide to convince people they made the right choice. And boost your own ego. Whether the landslide happens or not will largely depend on how effective your campaign is.
b) Pull off the perfect campaign
A lot of effective campaigning, as seen over the course of history, has its roots in powerful speeches, empathizing with the common man, kissing babies and how catchy your slogan is.
In recent times, “empathizing with the common man” seem to involve taking selfies with random Grannies at neighbourhood hawker centers. Capitalize on this opportunity to boost your Instagram following to a 6-digit figure.
In an exceptional case, Russian leader Vladimir Putin cemented his identity as a masculine, hands-on President with shirtless horse riding and boar hunting. The highlight of it all has to be the mobilization of soaped up, topless University girls to do a car wash. If you are actually entertaining this, as much as we would love to see it, scrape that. One of the qualifying conditions dictates that you must uphold good character, integrity and reputation, on top of being an advocate of a stable family unit.
So… get yourself a beautiful wife and have kids ASAP, if you haven’t already. Big advantage to your campaign if your kid happens to look cuter than little Prince George.
c) The Coup de Grace
Promising change that will benefit every citizen is a given. It’s not so much what you say as how you say it. Being subjected to rally crowds and national television is definitely going to heap a pile of pressure on you, but never reveal a bead of sweat. Punctuate every statement with a thumping fist and mean all your promises. Or at least appear to mean it. Ask any candidate or Parliament speaker and they will tell you that body language is the name of their game.
Editor’s note: It is utterly disappointing that trash talking your fellow candidates, which could quickly lead to defamation, is strictly disallowed. It takes the fun out of the elections.
Part 3: Get Sworn In!
Cooling Off Day is a public holiday (take our votes already!) and all campaigning will have to come to an end. You have done whatever you could, put in whatever money you could. Lean back in your reclining chair and sip a Bourbon, while visualizing yourself doing the exact same thing at the Istana.
On results day, there is probably going to be very little sleep. Especially so if there is recounting. But if you came out on top after all of it, congratulations! You fulfilled your fantasies of becoming the (not so) almighty President. But there is no rest for the weary; lots of media appearances await you as the whole world wants to hear what you have got to say about your big victory.
And you also have tons of citizens’ complaints to deal with on your official Facebook page. Good luck, Prez!
Final editor’s note: Down the road in your term, maybe you would have given a ravishing 20-something girl an opportunity of her lifetime to intern at your office. Let’s name her Monica. Even though she might have some pretty explosive junk in her trunk, please resist the temptation to bonk her on your teak desk. It would be most unwise to wash all of your campaigning efforts down the toilet overnight, just because you couldn’t keep your presidential pants up.