Dear Dr. Boli: What is a Presidents’ Day Sale? If I remember my Civics, Presidents are not a commodity; rather they are secured to us as an unalienable Right, through a government mandate to provide them to us free of cost. So how can Presidents be on sale? —Sincerely, A Confused Shopper.
Dear Sir or Madam: First of all, Dr. Boli would dispute your assertion that presidents are not a commodity. In a capitalist society, your unalienable rights are commodities just as much as anything else of value. The Declaration of Independence specifies three “unalienable rights,” one of which is “the Pursuit of Happiness”; but that does not mean that, if a good Pomerol makes you happy, the government is required to provide it for you free of cost. Nor is filthy lucre the only medium of exchange by means of which commodities may be purchased. Presidential candidates are marketed to you with the same fervor and enthusiasm displayed in the marketing of fast-food hamburgers or time-share resorts, and you bid on the candidate of your choice with your vote. Dr. Boli, for example, always gives his vote to whichever candidate promises to provide an unlimited supply of good Pomerol.
The Presidents’-Day sale, however, is not a sale of presidents; it is rather a sale of appliances and dry goods to which the presidents lend their title and goodwill. Every president comes to office with a promise to do something to support American business. On Presidents’ Day, for one day a year, he keeps his promise.