In a previous column, I observed that "the presidency is ... a Superman's job. Nobody should be given - or trusted with - that much power and responsibility. Nobody can possibly handle it.
"By abandoning our Constitution, in which the legislative branch is supreme, we have permitted the executive branch to assume a centrality it was never meant to have. The president is now said to be our 'leader.' He's expected to provide governance, protection, economic expertise, geopolitical cunning, and inspiration, among other things; and of course he also has to have a talent for raising money and winning elections.
"Rare is the man who can master even one of these disparate, unrelated, almost miscellaneous skills. Requiring all of them is like asking a single individual to excel at playing the harpsichord, logical theory, standup comedy, chess, and pole-vaulting."
This, of course, raises the natural question, Why, then, am I running for the presidency? Am I arrogant enough to believe I possess all these qualities?
Not at all. Some people find me cocky, but at least I'm humble enough to admit I'm mortal: aging, slowing down, with thinning hair and thickening waistline. I'm incapable of ruling the world. Elect me, and you'll at least get a president who knows his limitations.
As for raising money and winning elections, well, let me just check the coffers here ... nope, still empty. Actually, I haven't asked for campaign donations. I'm not planning to cross the continent seeking votes, giving speeches, shaking hands, kissing babies. I'm planning to campaign on the cheap, right here at my keyboard, and let the Internet work its magic. Either people will get the message and write in my name, or they won't.
Not surprisingly, the liberal media are ignoring my campaign. So are the conservative media, which is not surprising either, since they don't want conservatives to know there is actually a presidential candidate who takes the U.S. Constitution seriously, even when it interferes with the right-wing agenda of making war all over the place.
Which brings me to my campaign promise: as president, I will veto any act of Congress I deem unconstitutional; I will impound any funds Congress appropriates for unconstitutional purposes; and I will refuse to enforce any Federal law on the books if it isn't authorized by the Constitution. I will ask Congress to repeal most existing Federal laws and spending programs.
Faulty decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court will also be unenforced. In fact, no Federal law will be enforced in the former Confederate States of America, since I will recognize the right of those states to secede from the Union and consider the Lincoln administration's denial of their sovereignty grossly unconstitutional. I will abide by the Declaration of Independence, which declares that all the states "are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States."
All this will guarantee my swift impeachment and removal from the presidency, since Congress will surely regard keeping my oath to uphold the Constitution as chief among "high crimes and misdemeanors." But I can always run again in 2008, 2012, and so forth.
In the unlikely event that I am allowed to serve out my term, what will be my economic policy? Since I don't have the infinite foresight socialist planning and "running the economy" require, I will try to see that every American is permitted to spend his own money as he sees fit. My "policy" will simply be to respect all private ownership.
Foreign policy? Since I regard virtually all existing foreign governments as forming an axis of evil, I will avoid engagement with all of them. I will seek peace and friendly commerce with all countries; if they choose to make war with each other, the United States will remain aloof. Such a peace policy, now absurdly labeled "isolationism," was commended by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Civil rights? I will try to restore one of the most basic of them: the right to associate, or to refuse to associate, with any person. Compulsory association, racial favoritism, and restrictions on the use of property aren't "civil rights."
Adherence to these simple principles won't put much of a strain on my meager abilities. It seems to me the only way an honest man can exercise the awesome power and responsibility of the presidency.
[This column was published originally by Griffin Internet Syndicate on January 2, 2003.]
The Reactionary Utopian by Joe Sobran is copyright (c) 2012
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