Politics & Policy

I’m Running for President

(Adrees Latif/Reuters)
Before you call me crazy, read my platform.

It seems that everybody and his mother is running for president in 2020. Upon reflection, I have decided that I, too, should throw my hat into the ring for commander in chief.

I hereby announce my candidacy for president* on the following platform:

I pledge never to presume that I could speak for 325 million people.

I pledge to act according to the belief that Congress is the supreme branch of government and the sole institution that truly speaks on behalf of the public.

I pledge not to seize legislative power from Congress by executive fiat.

I pledge to enforce the law impartially, without injecting my own personal biases into its execution. In cases of legislative ambiguity, I will instruct executive officials to make their best guesses about congressional intent, and I will also encourage Congress to clarify such matters.

I pledge to nominate officers for the executive and judicial branches who similarly see Congress — and by extension the people — as the supreme authority in government.

I pledge to encourage Congress to reform itself in ways so that it represents the public will more completely.

I pledge to help make Congress an institution that no longer outrages and embarrasses the people.

I pledge to veto legislation that needlessly adds to the debt. The Preamble to the Constitution establishes the blessings of liberty for ourselves “and our posterity.” For too long, we have burdened future generations with debt so that we may live more comfortably today. Under my administration, debts contracted by the United States government will either be repaid within the next 20 years, or they will constitute a clear investment that future generations can enjoy.

I pledge to alert Americans to the impending crisis in social welfare spending, particularly Medicare. It is time for us either to subject ourselves to higher taxes, diminished benefits, or a mix of both so that we may pay for the costs of these programs.

I pledge to support capitalism and the right to private property.

I pledge to oppose crony capitalism and the unrepublican idea that differences in property ownership merit differences in political power.

I pledge never to tweet.

I pledge to answer questions from the press regularly in writing. The White House press briefing will be cancelled except in cases of national emergencies. Jim Acosta will just have to find something else to do.

I pledge to do no television interviews on Super Bowl Sunday.

I pledge never to hold a State of the Union address in person. Instead, I will return to the tradition of submitting a written statement to Congress that — as the Constitution requires — actually explains the state of the union.

I pledge to address the country from the West Wing or from Congress only in situations when the national attention must be clearly and forcefully directed.

I pledge not to use the instantaneous celebrity of the presidency to get in your face and generally annoy or frustrate you.

I pledge not to use the instantaneous celebrity of the presidency as a way to meet rock stars, athletes, and actors.

I pledge not to burden first responders by appearing at disaster sites for the purposes of photo opportunities.

I pledge to invite no championship sports teams to the White House; nor will I engage in any cheap stunts to get my name into the news (although I’ll keep the turkey-pardoning ceremony for Thanksgiving and tree-lighting ceremony for Christmas, out of tradition).

I pledge never to “fight for you,” to “take America back,” to “make America great again,” or any slogan that needlessly divides Americans into opposing camps.

I pledge not to make one faction within the citizenry feel more or less American than another.

I pledge to treat the presidency the way George Washington did — as an institution whose purpose is to represent the national interest by making suggestions to Congress and correcting it where it has gone astray.

I pledge always to try to find common ground with political and ideological opponents.

I pledge, in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, not to treat every disagreement of opinion as a disagreement of principle.

I pledge to serve only one term.

I pledge to take down the portrait of Woodrow Wilson from the White House.

I pledge to take down the portrait of Andrew Jackson from the Oval Office and hang in its place the portrait of James Madison.

* Not really. I have neither the experience nor disposition to be president (not that either quality seems to matter much these days). And let’s be honest: No sane person could possibly want this job, which is one of the main problems with our politics today.

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Jay Cost is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the Center for Faith and Freedom at Grove City College.


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