As election season ramps up, many people are falling into political camps and assuming that their candidate will be wholly different from either the current administration or the contenders in the other camp. But for the past eighty years, United States presidents have been remarkably similar once in office. Most presidents, whatever their promises as candidates (usually to shrink parts of government) end up waging wars overseas and expanding government control here at home. The problem is not any one politician, be it Barack Obama, or George W. Bush, or Ronald Reagan. The problem is the institution as a whole.

To commemorate the beginning of the 2016 election season, I’ve penned new lyrics to be sung to the tune ofI Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-Generalfrom Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance:

I am the very model of a modern US president:
When you say that you want more freedom I say you can’t handle it.
I oppose those greedy businessmen whose lives are decadent
You surely didn’t earn your wealth so now you will have less of it.
If you start a company than I say you did not build it
It’s government that made this country wonderful do not forget
We all chipped in to build those roads and educate your workforce too,
So pay up and obey our rules and please believe we work for you.

To fix a non-existent problem I passed Net Neutrality,
‘Cause ISPs are evil and that is just reality.
When you want commercial freedom I say you can’t handle it;
I am the very model of a modern US president.

I like to stand and rail against income inequality,
For I believe that concentrated riches means more poverty.
More government’s required to create a meritocracy
And let’s please turn a blind eye to DC’s own aristocracy.
I’ve rarely ever voted “no” on a new entitlement
And my feds-run education can help teach the perks of government.
I’m confident more government can make health care robust again
The system that gave us the VA is the one to trust again.

For all my good old corporate friends, I promise them all subsidies,
Taxpayers can foot the bill to help their noble companies.
If you want some laissez-faire then I say we can’t handle that,
Without those crony contributions I wouldn’t be president.

And if I ever stopped launching new invasions overseas,
If I ever stopped spying on those who didn’t vote for me,
If I didn’t consider the 4th Amendment trivial,
And if under me jailing whistleblowers wasn’t typical,
If my AG nominee didn’t believe in asset forfeiture
And if my logic for killing my people weren’t so circular,
If I didn’t say fears of government are juvenile,
You’d say a president had never been so Constitutional.

I ran for office on a promise to shrink down our government
But we both know that when it comes to lying I’m not reticent.
When you say you want more freedom I say you can’t handle it;
I am the very model of a modern US president.

This poem originally published on