The second presidential debate was last night, and while it gave us a the enjoyable but bizarre image of women in binders, there wasn’t a whole lot of substance to it. How do we fix the debates, and more importantly, how do we fix our broken political system? The answer to that question is undoubtedly complex—or maybe it’s as simple as just electing a dog to be president. Not an ordinary dog, of course, as that would be ridiculous. We’re talking about a talking dog who is as smart as a person and maybe also wears a suit sometimes. Hold on, let’s take a moment to picture a dog in a suit and smile. OK. Done. Anyway, do you think a talking dog could be president?
Himes, canvasser: No.
I think becoming president has a lot more to do with appearance than your views or how interestingly you formulate your arguments.
Even if the dog has strong policies?
I think it would be a novelty and it might get a few votes, but I think it would run out real fast after a few debates.
Would you vote for this intelligent dog?
I would not.
Dogs don’t understand human values. It would be campaigning for puppy power and better dog food. I don’t really give a shit about better dog food.
They also shit on the street and you have to pick up after them.
Exactly. Even if you had doggy diapers I still don’t think it’s going to be that appealing to most voters. Plus, I don’t know if that’s where our money should be going as a nation.
Jason, body piercer: I don’t know, a dog as the president?
Yeah, but it’s super smart and has good policies.
Come to think of it, the dog is a man’s best friend. So if you consider it, maybe it might make sense.
So it has a chance because it can relate to people?
Maybe it could—there are some similarities. As we say, you relate to your dog and your dog relates to you.
Would you vote for this dog?
Maybe I might.
Anya, fundraiser: No.
Why is that?
Because it’s not a human. If it’s a president for dogs, that’d be super cool. If it were like standing up for the adoption of puppies and rights for dogs, I would vote for its policies. But if it were running for president I wouldn’t vote for it because it’s a dog.
Even though he’s man’s best friend?
Does he pay taxes?
He might. What if he’s an upstanding citizen?
OK so are we talking about dogs like also running pharmacies and shit like that?
No, this is just one dog that put a suit on and is like, “I want to be president.”
Look, if he brings on crazy energy policies and can cure AIDS I’ll think about it.
So he might have your vote?
Possibly. Consider me undecided.
Albert, interior architect: We have a dog running for president now.
So you think this dog would have a shot?
I don’t think that it’s possible in this world.
Would you vote for this dog?
Of course not.
You’d pick one of the other dogs?
I would pick the dog that has the most intelligence, let’s put it that way.
Do you think anybody would vote for a dog?
I’ll tell you one thing about the world, it never ceases to surprise me. I think people would vote for it.
Justin, pastry chef (left): No.
I don’t think dogs have the same logic as humans. That’s just me speaking from having dogs.
What kind of dogs do you own?
I have three dogs: two miniature poodles and a Havanese.
If those three were running for president, which one would you vote for?
Probably the poodle.
Esmahan, teacher: I don’t even know how to answer that question. I don’t really believe in government, so it’s kind of a hard question for me. I don’t believe in the idea of a president. I think if there was a talking dog I’d want it to be something other than a president.
What would you want the talking dog to do?
He should tell us what’s wrong with us from a different perspective.
So like a motivational speaker?
No, he’d just give hard advice.
You’d listen to a non-government-affiliated dog?
If it is was like a philosopher or a scholar—someone who is like a very neutral thinker—then yeah, I would.
Hayley, dancer: Absolutely.
He can’t be worse than the people who are running now.
Would you vote for this really intelligent talking dog?
Do you think the general public would too?
I think they might hesitate, but I think he could get a large following.
What type of dog would you want in this position?
A Shiba Inu.
They look like foxes.