July 2, 2002
As we prepare to observe Independence Day, it
seems appropriate to announce my availability for the presidency of the
I dont want to
win the office. I only want to spend the next two years campaigning for it.
From a sitting position.
Im not going to
run around the country making the same speech at every stop, raising
money, or kissing babies. Im not even going to try to get on the
ballot. Im just going to suggest that you write my name in on
Election Day, 2004. If enough of you do it, Ill serve
grudgingly as your president.
I have essentially only
a single pledge: to honor my oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution.
Id be the first president since Franklin Pierce or James Buchanan
to do so. That should be sufficient to get me impeached.
I might as well print
up bumper stickers reading ELECT/IMPEACH SOBRAN. Im toying
with a possible campaign slogan: Vote for me or go to hell.
Another possibility: I want to take away your Social Security and
Medicare. My role is to lead, not to ingratiate.
constitutional government wouldnt solve all our problems, but
confining the Federal Government to its allotted powers would be a huge
improvement. Toward that end I would veto virtually every bill that
reached my desk, especially (but not exclusively) those assuming powers
not authorized by the Constitution. I would impound most funds already
appropriated. I would issue executive orders directing the Internal
Revenue Service to cease collecting income taxes; I would also work for
the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment.
I would call off any
war already in progress and withdraw U.S. military forces from all foreign
countries. I would leave the new Department of Homeland Security in
place, since it is merely doing what the Department of Defense is
supposed to do, but I would abolish the Department of Defense. Or at least
rename it the Department of Invasion, which describes its function more
would ask the resignations, or seek the impeachments, of most Federal
judges and members of the U.S. Supreme Court.
I would seek to
restrict the franchise to citizens who receive no income from the Federal
Government, while working to ensure that as few citizens as possible
receive such income.
Should any state
choose to secede from the Union, I would use no coercion to prevent it.
To avoid any
temptation to compromise my principles, I would serve only a single term
as president. I would write my own speeches and keep them short. Upon
retirement, I would write my own memoirs, with no ghostwriter (though I
might invite the editorial assistance of my beautiful, witty daughter
This is all if I win, of
course. Not much danger of that.
The real point of my
sedentary campaign is to remind Americans, at least until Election Day, of
how presidents are supposed to think, talk, and act; and to offer them at
least the option of a president who will stick to the principles of a
constitutional republic, an option the two major parties will once more
deny them in 2004.
As July 4 comes upon
us, I cant help recalling that when I was a boy, our Independence
Day observances still execrated King George III as the tyrant from whom
we had secured our liberty. George III is pretty much forgotten now;
its hard to work up any indignation against him.
The chief reason may
simply be that the United States of Amnesia simply has no historical
memory to speak of; we hardly remember anything that cant be
shown on TV.
But another reason, I
think, is that its gradually sinking in that Americans were actually
freer under British rule than under the kind of self-government or
self-inflicted government we have today. In those days even
tyrannical governments were less intrusive and bullying than any modern
democratic state. No doubt they would have been much worse if they had
had modern weaponry and communications.
But what does it say
about modern democracy that any gains in freedom it once promised have
been more than nullified by the means now available to all modern states,
whether they are called democratic or dictatorial?
If elected, I will seek
to make Americans at least as free as they were on July 3, 1776.