I’m thinking about running for president.
Might as well join the hordes of others who’ve already jumped into the race since there doesn’t seem to be a very high barrier to entry.
I have a birth certificate to prove I was born in the USA. That is, I have what the state sends you when you request a copy of your birth certificate. If someone asks for my “long-form birth certificate,” I may have a problem.
I guess the long-form version is that paper I occasionally would see folded up in a cigar box with a bunch of other important things, like old public-transit tokens and proof that my parents once paid a $10 deposit to NOPSI to get the gas and electricity turned on, redeemable when the time finally came to get the gas and electricity turned off.
The birth certificate looked like it was something shot with a miniature camera and smuggled out of a hostile foreign capital. The background was black and the writing was white. The paper was thick and stiff.
The Constitution doesn’t present many prerequisites for becoming the commander in chief of the most powerful military in the history of the planet. There’s the native-born thing and the stipulation that you must have lived in the country for the previous 14 years. The required minimum age of 35 is definitely not a problem.
Announcing a presidential campaign doesn’t take much, either. Sure, there are people who want to make a big spectacle of it, like our governor. He’s said he’ll announce his intentions June 24 in New Orleans, by which he means Kenner.
But we’re living in the age of what some big-brained people like to call “disintermediation.” Remember that “middle man” we were always trying to eliminate? Well, we may have finally succeeded at that.
You don’t have to walk into an actual book store to buy a book, or into an electronics store to get a computer. You don’t even have to rely on paid, professional, experienced and highly skilled journalists to get something called “news.” You can go to a website that shares your political biases and find confirmation of your views in apocalyptic stories that indicate the utter depravity of the other side.
And nowadays you can announce your candidacy with a tweet or an Internet video and get that part of the campaign over with quickly. So, I just need to find me a GoPro — but a smartphone video will work in a pinch — create my statement and drop it on the public.
Oh, the places I will go after that. I’m too late for Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride motorcycle event. But that may be for the better; I’m not sure an event that features a pig in its logo makes for good optics. Besides, aren’t we supposed to be throwing red meat to our supporters, not the Other White Meat?
There still will be time in the months to come for many state fairs, funnel cakes and fried butter sticks. So I haven’t missed much so far.
What will my platform be? Does it matter?
Lyndon Johnson beat Barry Goldwater by portraying the Arizona senator as a war-monger. And we all know how that turned out. Ronald Reagan ran against the ballooning national debt, and once he was in office, the debt kept on ballooning.
Probably not much will change after my four or eight years in office (except that maybe we will have figured out a way to send out our campaign announcements telepathically by then). But will anybody really care?
Dennis Persica’s email address is email@example.com.