I’m not sure if I’m correct, but I think this is the first time an issue of Submerge has actually hit stands on New Year’s Day. I’m not sure why that feels significant to me, but it does. Maybe it’s because I’m more anxious than ever to get this year started than any that I’ve lived through in the past. I kind of feel sorry for 2020. It hasn’t even started as of this writing, but it’s like it’s already got all this baggage attached to it. For a start, it’s a leap year, so we’re going to have to put up with this shit for one extra day. More importantly, it’s census time, which is usually just a tedious but necessary process, but has now become yet another hyper-politicized lightning rod. And, you know, we’re probably going to be embroiled in an impeachment trial real soon, but what could possibly go wrong with that?

Of course, we’re barreling forward toward a presidential election that is sure to be a total fucking shit show. I’m not even going to touch trying to make a prediction about how that mess will resolve itself, but I’ve had this fantasy recently that, by some odd twist of fate none of us can foresee now at the dawn of the New Year, Mitt Romney ends up being our next president. I’m not sure how something like this would happen, mind you, nor would I be particularly stoked about it, but I would be somewhat relieved to have some boring, cardboard milquetoast occupying the Oval Office, and I can’t think of anyone more perfectly suited for such a role than Romney. Like, here’s an exercise for you to do at home: Go look at yourself in the mirror and repeat aloud, “President Romney”—I’m sure Mitt has been doing this himself for most of his adult life—as many times as necessary until a wave of relaxation washes over you. It might not happen right away; it took me about 300 times, but it works.

It’s really not that bad, right? President Romney. Maybe you’d just roll your eyes at the mention of it, then go about your day. You’re justified rage has been replaced by the mild feeling of disappointment you get when you go to a restaurant and ask for a Coke, but the server politely asks you, “Is Pepsi OK?” It’s fine. It’s … fine.

You might say to me, “but James, Romney’s not even running.” True, but again, I did say it was a fantasy. If the last few years have taught us anything, shit is as crazy as fuck right now. Maybe at some point during the Senate impeachment trial, Romney grows a spine and makes an impassioned plea to his party’s leaders and clears the dust out of the Republicans’ eyes. The spell is broken. Suddenly, they realize that they’ve sold themselves and the country short by standing behind someone who is basically just a human-sized Cheeto filled with rat droppings. Sean Hannity wakes up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and cries, “Sweet Baby Jesus, what have I done?” and then moves to Nepal and becomes a goat herder. The GOP rallies around their Lord and Savior Mitt, and a nation, relieved that this whole national nightmare is over, decides that it’s time to give ol’ Mittens a go.

You may also ask me, “but James, didn’t you vote for Bernie Sanders in the last primary? Why don’t you just want him—or some other left-wing nut job—to be president.” I mean, sure, I do. I’ve mentioned before that I like many of the potential democratic nominees for president. And yes, I’d love for our next president to usher in a new era of progressive politics and unicorns and rainbow farts. I mean, that’s who I am.

But I know what that will mean. The nation will have whiplash from going from one extreme to the other, and even more rabid “conservatives” will crawl out from under their online comments sections, win primaries with poor turn-outs, manage to get elected to Congress and we’ll be more or less where we started. I’m just sick of the circus, you know?

What I’m really saying is, I want to turn on a late night talk show and listen to jokes about something other than the president. I just want someone who’s going to Make America Boring Again. I’m not sure there’s anyone out there who’s more qualified than Mitt Romney.

Dude, if you’re looking for a campaign manager, call me.