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An Announcement

July 2, 2002

As we prepare to observe Independence Day, it seems appropriate to announce my availability for the presidency of the United States.

I don’t want to win the office. I only want to spend the next two years campaigning for it. From a sitting position.

I’m not going to run around the country making the same speech at every stop, raising money, or kissing babies. I’m not even going to try to get on the ballot. I’m just going to suggest that you write my name in on Election Day, 2004. If enough of you do it, I’ll serve — grudgingly — as your president.

I have essentially only a single pledge: to honor my oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution. I’d 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. I’m 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.

Restoring constitutional government wouldn’t 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 accurately.

[Breaker quote: I'm available in 2004!]I 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 Chris).

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 can’t 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; it’s 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 can’t be shown on TV.

But another reason, I think, is that it’s 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.

Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2002 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
a division of Griffin Communications
This column may not be reprinted in print or
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