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My Presidential Campaign Update - Dilbert Blog

My Presidential Campaign Update

Some of you have asked if my campaign for president of the United States is serious or a joke. It’s both. It’s also a third thing, which has something to do with being a protest vote against the general incompetence of both parties, and a fourth thing involving the usefulness of thinking about things differently. This is America, damn it, and I don’t have to be just one thing.

I’m also a spoiler of spoilers. If a conservative runs an independent campaign, and people see me as less conservative than the independent – at least about social issues, which I call freedom – I could drain as many votes from Obama as the other guy drains from the Republican nominee.

I recently learned that there is some dumbass law against a presidential nominee naming his appointees before winning the election. Therefore, I hereby recant anything I ever said that sounded illegal. But I think it’s legal to say I would nominate people who are similar to people you might know, just to give you a general sense of what might happen after my election. In my case, I would have as my main advisor someone similar to Bill Clinton or New Gingrich or Mitt Romney. And by that I mean someone who is brilliant, experienced, and has a history of being all over the political map.

After I’m elected, I will host a reality TV show in which the best minds in the country debate the important issues. I would moderate the debates with lots of interruptions, like a Supreme Court justice, while my panel of fact-checkers with laptops keeps things real. Every day would be like the Scopes Monkey Trial. I’d have trials on supply-side economics, climate change, states’ rights, drug policy, and more. I’d bring entertainment to government.

In my view, the main job of the President, after security, is giving voters the right kind of information to control Congress. For starters, I’d publicly identify the least competent members of congress from both parties and ask voters to replace them. As an independent, I could pick on both parties without appearing biased. I’d only target the politicians that have views at odds with the verdicts of my Scopes Monkey Trials.

One of the first trials I’d schedule would be on the topic of capping CEO pay for public companies. Everyone is in favor of capitalism, but no one is in favor of weasels that find legal ways to screw stockholders. If capping the pay of CEOs drives the best people into starting their own companies, maybe that’s a plus for capitalism. I’d like to hear arguments on both sides of that issue, and so would you.

Summarizing my views from this post and prior ones, as President of the United States, I would do the following:

  1. I would host public debates on important topics, and publish my verdicts.
  2. I would shine a bright light on incompetent members of Congress, especially the ones that are governing by superstition, bad math, or ignorance of science.
  3. I would host a debate on the topic of limiting inheritance to $50 million. That’s enough money to turn anyone into an insufferable douche bag.
  4. I would use the power of the Internet to give voters a simple “dashboard” to help understand the issues and keep Congress honest.
  5. I would require all voting to be by Internet, and make sure everyone had access in one way or another.
  6. I would appoint Supreme Court justices that match the majority views in the country, even if my own views differed.
  7. I would govern for the majority, except in cases where the majority is trying to discriminate against a specific minority. I don’t like bigots and bullies.
  8. I would keep foreign policy about the same.
  9. I would use states as test beds for programs that are being considered by the federal government.
  10. I would flip-flop whenever it was warranted by new information or clearer thinking.
  11. I would appoint brilliant, experienced advisors with a history of crossing party lines.
  12. I would accept only $1 per year in pay and make up the difference later in speaking fees, book deals, and licensing.
  13. I wouldn’t spend a minute campaigning for myself or anyone else, unless it was in the service of getting rid of an incompetent member of Congress.
  14. I would favor raising all Federal taxes by 10%, and cutting all budgets by 10%, unless Congress comes up with a better idea, which seems unlikely.
  15. I would not be a good role model for your kids. That’s your job.

Keep in mind that I would be a one-term president. I say that to reduce my chances of being assassinated. And I’d be eager to cash in after the first term. A second term would have rapidly diminishing returns for everyone involved.

My prediction is that President Obama will easily win reelection by showing that he succeeded in many of the objectives he controlled (especially international stuff) and was thwarted by Republicans on domestic stuff. After President Obama is reelected, Democrats and Republicans will lock arms and march the economy off the cliff, plunging civilization into a thousand years of darkness.

Or you could vote for me. Realistically, I would be an awful leader, but I probably could keep us away from the abyss. A few years from now, if you’re throwing rocks at birds just to get something to eat, don’t say you didn’t have a choice.