Now there is a statement I would have sworn I would never say. I have no money, no qualifications, no experience in politics, no name recognition, no fan base, no connections to any individual or groups with power, money, fame or clout. I am not hoping to be on the local city council, in the state legislature, or reporting to Capitol Hill. I want to sit in the Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
I will have to change my voter registration. I am disillusioned with both major parties. I do not know much about the alternatives. I will have to do some research on third parties. I wonder how much time and effort and money it might take to create a new third party? I might call it the NOBODY CARES party. I am the 'nobody'. I am quite certain no one has ever gone from 'nobody' to President without some intermittent experience at the local level.
I have a long list of campaign promises. None of them have to do with the economy. Or how to deal with North Korea. Or pulling troops out of somewhereistan. Or sending troops to godforsakenistan. Or lowering taxes for the poor or raising taxes for the rich. Or building walls. Or never playing golf. Or rewriting the American education system. Or justice for all. Or whose lives matter. Or….
I will, however, promise to tell the truth. The three words you will probably hear most frequently as I campaign will be “I don't know”. But, I will do my best to find out – a daunting challenge to be sure, considering the vast scope of what I do not know. I promise not to blame or to bad-mouth others for the multitude of problems we face as a nation. I, myself, have not always voted wisely. I have seldom spoken out for the causes I support. I have self-righteously defended my civic mindedness with “Well, at least I voted”. But rarely have I devoted much time to studying the various candidates.
The founding fathers were an elitist group. We are leery of labels like “elite” today. We have the Hollywood elite and the academic elite and the military elite. The elite of Capitol Hill and the elite banking / corporate / $$$$$ world and the football / baseball / basketball elite. We think of members of these groups as being snobbish, self-centered, arrogant…, and as having a world view that is blind to those of us who never have and never will achieve fame and fortune. Their attitude toward us is, at best, condescending, and, at worst, totally unconcerned. We do not want elitist groups running the country.
So, what would you do if you could be President for a week? A month?.… I am guessing your top priority would involve whatever your most pressing problem of the day is. If you are struggling to pay bills, you want tax breaks and a raise in pay. If a loved one is seriously ill, you want better, cheaper health insurance and more stem-cell research and medical marijuana. If your loved one is in the military, you want peace on earth. If you want to go to college so you can become a doctor / lawyer / Indian chief, you need low-interest student loans or free tuition, or…. We all want better education for our children, cheaper prices at the gas pump and the grocery store, good police protection, fewer potholes…. No one can promise to fix all of that.
The founding fathers came to this country to get away from elitist ideas like my bloodline qualifies me for kingship. I am Herbie XXIII, therefore I am entitled. Our founding fathers were well-educated rebels. And they were men of faith. They understood that good government was dependent upon a well-educated populace with high moral standards. They understood that EVERY citizen was entitled to certain rights – rights “endowed by their creator”, not endowed by the state. They understood that Joe the plumber and Mary the third-grade teacher and farmer Brown were every bit as important, as essential to making the world work, as Senator Soandso, or Governor Giterdone. Without corn and wheat and tradesmen and the Three R's and some kind of code of ethics, we will ever achieve much. And when I say achieve much, I am not talking fame and fortune. I am talking about life and liberty and the pursuit of your happiness, regardless of how you define happiness – as long as you do not stand in the way or make negative judgments about another man's definition of happy.
I cannot promise you happiness. I cannot promise that only the “good guys” will run for office in the future. I cannot promise to stop the greedy from raping the planet. I cannot promise peace on earth. I can promise to try to find the best minds to help “fix” problems. I can promise to do my best to adhere to those “Christian” values I lay claim to believe in. And I will expect the same from those I choose to work with me. I will admit I have not always been successful in meeting the high standards I espouse. I will probably fail again before I am through. But I will keep trying. I would ask of you only that you try to do the same. And encourage each other to do the same.
Peace be with you.
NOTE: Wouldn't such an idea make a great social experiment! It worked for a while, starting 230 years ago (1788) when the Constitution was ratified. Should we try again?