March 9, 2000
many papers are not carrying my column for the duration of
my campaign for vice president on the Constitution Party ticket
and most subscribers receive it by e-mail, a few newspapers still run it.
And one well-disposed editor has raised a point that has probably occurred
to other readers.
The question is whether I should use
this column to plug my own candidacy or that of my estimable running
mate, Howard Phillips. As a rule Id agree that I shouldnt,
and I usually avoid doing so. But on a few recent occasions Ive
mentioned it in passing, and I should explain why.
First, let me acknowledge the
Howard and I have about as much chance of winning as I have of pitching in
this years World Series. The party has almost no money, name
recognition, or television access. Its all we can do to get on the
ballot: the two major parties maintain tight control over the rules, which
they use to prevent competing parties from threatening their duopoly.
Antitrust legislation doesnt apply to politics, where it is most
needed. This is an area where politicians forget to demand
Occasionally I feel duty-bound to
remind the world that we exist. In a better world a Frank Capra
world my little peeps might lead to a word-of-mouth brushfire
that would sweep the nation, as ordinary Americans realized that
theyre living under a lawless government in the most literal sense:
a government that disregards the fundamental law of the Constitution. And
they would rise up, in a fine populist fury, and cast it off.
Alas, the world we live in
doesnt work that way. Political folk heroes like
John McCain always turn out to have a lot of powerful connections
I didnt enter this campaign
with the expectation of winning chilling thought! Becoming vice
president would be an intolerably tedious interruption of my writing
career. Its the other way around: I regard the campaign as an
extension of my mission as a writer to evangelize for the
forgotten principles of the Constitution. If we win, wonderful! If not,
weve at least offered our country a chance to return to its
So I have no wish to bore my readers
with campaign propaganda. I dont want my columns to sound like
stump speeches; in fact, Im afraid my stump speech sounds a little
too much like my columns, more analytical than inspirational. The Tenth
Amendment, my favorite topic, doesnt seem to fire anyones
blood but my own. So far Ive been unable to start a riot by quoting
it verbatim. As a demagogue Im an utter failure.
Whatever it takes to make a
successful politician, I just dont seem to have it. I cant
pretend I feel everyones pain. I dont have solutions for all
their problems. I dont feel generous pledging to spend other
peoples money on them. I hate to insult their intelligence with
extravagant promises. I dont even feel that their lives are
necessarily empty without me.
At the risk of sounding immodest, I
believe Id actually make a rather good king. After all, the best
kings were a lot like me. They knew they hadnt done anything to
deserve their power, so they used it sparingly. They didnt have big
dreams, didnt try to remake their societies from top to bottom,
didnt promise their subjects the moon. Even their wars were
mostly skirmishes, by modern standards.
Unlike Woodrow Wilson, Franklin
Roosevelt, and others I could name, kings didnt talk a lot of utopian
rot; in a democracy, you hear nothing else. And compared with modern
governments, most kings kept taxes low. Americans paid far less under
George III than under todays government. Blasphemous as it may
seem to say so, they were freer than we are. King George didnt care
a hoot whether you smoked or how much water your toilet tank held.
Thats how I would try to be.
All this may seem irrelevant, since
Im seeking the vice presidency, not (at this point, anyway) the
monarchy. But I want to assure my readers and editors that if a crown
were ever offered to me, theyd have no cause for alarm.
Archive Table of Contents
Return to SOBRANS home page