Earning Some Retirement Income

Ok, OK!! I’ll run. I can no longer withstand the pressure upon me by those who wish me to declare my candidacy for president. My fax machine is hot to the touch, the phone won’t stop ringing, and the phone company warns I may need a second line. My e-mail inbox is so stuffed that my ISP is complaining, and the mailman says the post office is considering hiring extra help to deliver the mail to my door. I give up! I’ll run!

Well, not run, exactly. Actually, I’ll stroll, at a leisurely pace. I’m far too old to run. And, although I suppose I should be flattered by the demands for my candidacy, I’ve read the Constitution’s description of the president’s job, and there isn’t so much to it. A high-school grad of my generation (literacy was a requirement for graduation then) could hold down the position. But the pay is good, the perks fabulous; and some retirement income would be appreciated.

A few carping critics may point out that I have stated my preference for anarchy, and thus must be a hypocrite to run for president. But the jump from enormous, fascist-type government to complete absence of government isn’t going to happen in one leap. I would try to bring it about gradually, so that non-anarchists might eventually realize that proper government plays so little role in their lives — and a negative one to boot — that it might well be abolished, while the anarchists discover that a truly Constitutional government is quite tolerable, even if not ideal.

Of course, I’ve got to have a platform. All candidates have them, and they are pretty much indistinguishable, one from the other, over the last few decades, at least. They promise benefits for some people, without acknowledging that they will be at the expense of all the other people. The promises are grandiose, and rarely if ever fulfilled, or even mentioned again after the election. My platform is different, because what I promise I will actually do, thus sparing the citizens the ephemeral dismay of learning, in summer, that what I had promised the previous fall wasn’t going to happen. So this is what I will do if elected, right up until the time of my assassination.

Foreign Policy: isolationism. The U.S. has involved itself in the affairs of virtually every other government on the face of the earth, and what has it gotten us? Well, the special interests by, and for whom, the government operates, have gotten a great deal from our foreign entanglements, but I won’t have their endorsement or support; and they can fend for themselves once I’m in that oval office. Specifically: foreign aid would end, instantly. I won’t hear any arguments that it must be continued pursuant to some law or another. Any law repugnant to the Constitution is no law at all, and binds no one, and never did. Goodbye, foreign aid. U.S. soldiers are in over a hundred countries around the world. Why? Beats me. They should be home, where they belong. The United Nations would be invited to leave the U.S., and our participation withdrawn.

Domestic Policy: the Constitution. A flawed document, no doubt, but giving it more than the lip service it now receives would revolutionize our society. Perhaps ninety percent of the present government would evaporate. In particular, I would re-introduce money into the American economy, replacing the credit which, unlawfully, displaced it a few decades back. Our mints would again provide coins of gold or silver, but without the word "dollar" appearing upon them, since the politicians can so easily change the meaning of that word to suit their (not your!) purposes. (This actually isn’t a very big change: the word "dollar" has no legal meaning now, so eliminating it will change nothing. The people, of course, can refer to the coins with any nickname they choose.) Rather, the coins would simply state the weight and purity of the precious metal of which they were made. Fractional reserve banking would, naturally, be unlawful, but this would be a matter for the states to enforce on local banks. Thus inflation would virtually cease to exist. Money plays such an important role in society, that without sound money, a sound society is impossible. Outer space? Well, if you want to form a private company to explore it, go to it! Food and drugs? Let those who consume them control them. Federal courts? Except for the Supreme Court, do away with them. War on drugs? I’ll admit defeat, and withdraw with as much grace and dignity as possible. Income taxes? The IRS would be required to reveal the very limited nature of the taxing power of the federal government, and the income tax on Americans would vanish, without changing a word in the law. Those in jail convicted of "tax crimes" would be released on the day after my inauguration.

Well, you get the idea. There’s a lot more, but I’ve got to reply to those faxes and e-mails, answer letters, and return those countless phone calls. Oh, and let’s save a few bucks and skip a convention, and all the legal paperwork. Just write me in!

Dr. Hein [send him mail] is a retired ophthalmologist in St. Louis, and the author of All Work & No Pay.

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