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Slightly Fictional Short Story #8: No More Deaf, Dumb and Blind Presidents
The President of the United States shut the door to his Camp David study, and sighed deeply. At long last he was alone.

It was a week before the 2018 State of the Union address, and he was a lucky man. The media praised him as the most astute man to ever hold the office, but he knew that was nonsense. In reality, he was the first to literally have his finger on the pulse of most Americans.

The President had no idea how his predecessors had functioned without realtime data about the emotions and reactions of citizens. When he stepped to the podium next week, his teleprompter wouldn't just scroll one set of words. There were an almost unlimited set of words that could run across his screen, depending on the reaction of viewers.

Most American homes now have sensors that pinpoint exactly who is in each room, and who is watching which program. His researchers can correlate that data with the bioresponses gathered by a multitude of watches, wristbands, headsets, health monitors and even voice analysis devices.

As a result, within 10 seconds, the President's sentiment analysis program would indicate which proposals provoked positive reactions, and which went the other way.

It sounds like I'm the most wishy-washy leader in history, he thought, but the truth was it saved him months of fruitless haggling over proposals doomed to failure. Outside of a certain midrange, the program could determine with 95% confidence which proposals would be approved, and which would fail.

As a result, speechwriting became a dynamic If/Then process. (If health proposal tanks, spend more time on Reinvestment plans and announce at the end of the speech that based on America's reaction, we are going to do some more work on our healthcare options.)

How, he wondered, did Presidents Obama and Bush manage to sleep at night given the constant bickering and debates about which party had America's mandate? They had no idea. In truth, Americans were so frustrated, no one had a mandate.

As the President poured himself a scotch, he looked forward to sitting by the fire reading a mystery novel. At least how to govern America was no longer a mystery.
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