Are You Serious?
I’m well aware that launching an independent campaign for president is unlikely to ever actually put me in the White House. Even if I had millions of dollars to spend on it, it would be a fight against a deeply entrenched party duopoly. It’s extremely difficult to get on ballots and virtually impossible to get into the debates, even if you have much greater means (and name recognition) that I do.
But we live in the age of the Internet. While the old guard has not surrendered its power, the people have ways to get around it…if they want to. You no longer need to run pricey prime-time TV ads to reach the people. A good viral video can have more reach for free in less time.
Even if this campaign doesn’t come anywhere close to winning, it can have an impact. The ideas can spread and gain more public support. The money raised can go to future campaigns for lower offices. So yeah, I’m serious. I wouldn’t have filled out all that Virginia SCC and U.S. FEC paperwork if I wasn’t.
Is This a Money-Making Scheme?
No. This is a real campaign with a real campaign committee, both of which have been registered with the U.S. Federal Election Commission. I must comply with all U.S. laws and FEC regulations dealing with campaign finance.
Any funds donated to this campaign, or raised through product sales, are in separate accounts from my personal funds and cannot be used on personal expenses. Every dollar I raise for this campaign will go to campaign expenses including advertising, marketing, and administrative costs.
If the campaign becomes unexpectedly successful and needs my full attention, I will resign from my job and campaign full-time. I am not independently wealthy and still have a mortgage and car payment, so in the unlikely event that this happens I will pay myself a salary from campaign funds. This would be subject to the limits on candidate salaries, which “must not exceed the lesser of the minimum annual salary for the federal office sought or what the candidate received as earned income in the previous year.”
What if it Fizzles Out and Dies?
I still have my day job. Oh well.
What if You Win?
If I win, I will serve. I will “solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
I will govern as best as I can in accordance with the promises I make during this campaign. Obviously I will need to work with Congress, which is unlikely to support much of my agenda, but if nothing else I would have the opportunity to veto every unconstitutional law that comes across my desk.
With regard to actually running the executive branch, I would seek to appoint a competent and experienced cabinet that would be able to get me up to speed as quickly as possible. Are you an experienced politician or government official who is willing to join the campaign? Please contact me!
Why Not Join a Party?
My political views do not align with any of today’s political parties, even when I include the “third parties.” So there’s the practical matter that if I joined a party, it would be difficult for me to win a primary even for a much lower office than the presidency.
Philosophically, I fall somewhere between the Republican Party and the Libertarian Party, but with a few shots of Democratic Party ideas here and there. If I had to choose a party, I would probably be a Libertarian. I have great respect for the Libertarian Party, despite having some serious disagreements with its platform. If I had to join one of the big two, I would join the Republican Party…but I would find myself in the ‘red headed step-child’ division along with a small handful of other principled “conservatarians.”
I despise the party duopoly. Our political system is designed in a way that makes it almost inevitable that two dominant parties will emerge, but the way the Republicans and Democrats conspire with each other to exclude other parties and independents is downright disgraceful. The evidence for this is the fact that the Libertarian Party, even with great ideas and a national footprint, has a hard time getting on ballots and a harder time winning. If they can’t do it, pretty much nobody can.
As an example of how unfair the system is, in many states (including my own home state of Virginia) the two major parties get taxpayer money and get state-run primary elections. Why on earth are tax dollars going to internal political party activities? Political parties are private organizations and should receive no public funding. At minimum, funding made available to the “major parties” must also be made available to third parties and independent candidates. It’s an equal treatment under the law issue.
And that’s not all. Third-party candidates are excluded from presidential debates. The ‘slate of electors’ system that most states use guarantees that, even if an entire Congressional district voted overwhelmingly for an independent, that candidate would still receive no electors. So the deck is stacked. I’m not interested in being part of that system.