Once upon a time in America, libraries had a limited place in our society. During the days before the internet, the library was one of the only places you could freely access newspapers and magazines to read about sports. While works of fiction have always been laughably useless, I’ll concede that a select number of nonfiction books like Friday Night Lights and the Declaration of Independence should be required reading materials for any patriotic American.
But when Bill Gates created the internet in the mid-‘90s, the library went the way of elevator operators and the horse-drawn carriage. Hell, the internet arguably mooted the need for education altogether. I can literally do anything on the internet. If for some godforsaken reason I wanted to learn about the Ottoman Empire that America single-handedly ended in World War I, I plug the term into Wikipedia and learn everything I need to know in five minutes. Chemistry? Google it. English? Doesn’t matter now that we have spell check. Poetry? Never mattered to begin with. Physics? Not real, but still, you can go to physics.com if that’s your thing. Politics? Virtually every publication has an online comments section where you can become fully informed. Math? Your computer has a calculator. Need to read a book for class? Go to sparknotes.com or, if you need to write a paper, purchase a paper from an online bank.
The internet left an impressive trail of destruction in its wake. Movie rental stores, hard-copy encyclopedias, and waterbeds all have virtually disappeared from the American landscape over the last two decades (although I’m doing everything in my power to revive the later two). If these great institutions couldn’t compete with the internet, how could libraries? You’d think they would have been at the top of the trash heap. Libraries smell weird, they use some decimal system that doesn’t make any fucking sense, they are always infested with losers who have no hope of ever lettering in anything, and let’s face it—everyone hates librarians. Even Leslie Knope hated librarians, and she liked everyone.
And yet, libraries live on. Granted, they have largely become dens for those seeking free access to online adult content, but nonetheless, they remain. Private libraries I can begrudgingly stomach because if some rich asshole wants to finance stupidity, he or she is free to do so. That’s why we fought the Revolutionary War.
Public libraries are a different matter. Your hard-earned tax dollars are being used to ensure that the shelf of your public library is adorned with dusty copies of Lord of the Flies and A Tale of Two Cities that no one has checked out since the Reagan Administration (and understandably so—those books blow). Libraries are also occupying thousands of acres of prime real estate across the country. But that’s all about to change.
As most of you know, I have declared my candidacy for president in 2020 as the nominee of the newly-formed Lettermen Party. If elected president, I promise to end the American public library system once and for all and return America’s focus to the backbone of our great nation—youth football. We will accomplish this through the greatest public works project since the New Deal. I am calling it the Library Destruction Program (LDP). The LDP will put every wrecking ball and piece of heavy machinery in this country to work razing public libraries to the ground and erecting glorious, state-of-the-art weight rooms or football fields in their place. After-school literacy programs will be replaced with after-school weight training programs where kids can work on their power clean technique and improve their bench and squat max. Instead of sitting around looking at a book about the Cold War, kids will get to actively re-live it by hitting a “Red Square” blocking sled with faces of Stalin, Brezhnev, Khrushchev, Ceausescu, and Putin superimposed on it. Reading circles will be replaced the greatest circle of all—Bull in the Ring.
This is what America was always meant to be. It’s what our Founding Fathers envisioned. The time has come to make that vision a reality, and I’m the only person who can do it.
Just remember: An hour in the weight room is more valuable than a lifetime in the classroom.