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Some of you have asked if my campaign for president of the United States is serious or a joke. It's both. It's also a third thing, which has something to do with being a protest vote against the general incompetence of both parties, and a fourth thing involving the usefulness of thinking about things differently. This is America, damn it, and I don't have to be just one thing.

I'm also a spoiler of spoilers. If a conservative runs an independent campaign, and people see me as less conservative than the independent - at least about social issues, which I call freedom - I could drain as many votes from Obama as the other guy drains from the Republican nominee.

I recently learned that there is some dumbass law against a presidential nominee naming his appointees before winning the election. Therefore, I hereby recant anything I ever said that sounded illegal. But I think it's legal to say I would nominate people who are similar to people you might know, just to give you a general sense of what might happen after my election. In my case, I would have as my main advisor someone similar to Bill Clinton or New Gingrich or Mitt Romney. And by that I mean someone who is brilliant, experienced, and has a history of being all over the political map.

After I'm elected, I will host a reality TV show in which the best minds in the country debate the important issues. I would moderate the debates with lots of interruptions, like a Supreme Court justice, while my panel of fact-checkers with laptops keeps things real. Every day would be like the Scopes Monkey Trial. I'd have trials on supply-side economics, climate change, states' rights, drug policy, and more. I'd bring entertainment to government.

In my view, the main job of the President, after security, is giving voters the right kind of information to control Congress. For starters, I'd publicly identify the least competent members of congress from both parties and ask voters to replace them. As an independent, I could pick on both parties without appearing biased. I'd only target the politicians that have views at odds with the verdicts of my Scopes Monkey Trials.

One of the first trials I'd schedule would be on the topic of capping CEO pay for public companies. Everyone is in favor of capitalism, but no one is in favor of weasels that find legal ways to screw stockholders. If capping the pay of CEOs drives the best people into starting their own companies, maybe that's a plus for capitalism. I'd like to hear arguments on both sides of that issue, and so would you.

Summarizing my views from this post and prior ones, as President of the United States, I would do the following:
  1. I would host public debates on important topics, and publish my verdicts.
  2. I would shine a bright light on incompetent members of Congress, especially the ones that are governing by superstition, bad math, or ignorance of science.
  3. I would host a debate on the topic of limiting inheritance to $50 million. That's enough money to turn anyone into an insufferable douche bag.
  4. I would use the power of the Internet to give voters a simple "dashboard" to help understand the issues and keep Congress honest.
  5. I would require all voting to be by Internet, and make sure everyone had access in one way or another.
  6. I would appoint Supreme Court justices that match the majority views in the country, even if my own views differed.
  7. I would govern for the majority, except in cases where the majority is trying to discriminate against a specific minority. I don't like bigots and bullies.
  8. I would keep foreign policy about the same.
  9. I would use states as test beds for programs that are being considered by the federal government.
  10. I would flip-flop whenever it was warranted by new information or clearer thinking.
  11. I would appoint brilliant, experienced advisors with a history of crossing party lines.
  12. I would accept only $1 per year in pay and make up the difference later in speaking fees, book deals, and licensing.
  13. I wouldn't spend a minute campaigning for myself or anyone else, unless it was in the service of getting rid of an incompetent member of Congress.
  14. I would favor raising all Federal taxes by 10%, and cutting all budgets by 10%, unless Congress comes up with a better idea, which seems unlikely.
  15. I would not be a good role model for your kids. That's your job.
Keep in mind that I would be a one-term president. I say that to reduce my chances of being assassinated. And I'd be eager to cash in after the first term. A second term would have rapidly diminishing returns for everyone involved.

My prediction is that President Obama will easily win reelection by showing that he succeeded in many of the objectives he controlled (especially international stuff) and was thwarted by Republicans on domestic stuff. After President Obama is reelected, Democrats and Republicans will lock arms and march the economy off the cliff, plunging civilization into a thousand years of darkness.

Or you could vote for me. Realistically, I would be an awful leader, but I probably could keep us away from the abyss. A few years from now, if you're throwing rocks at birds just to get something to eat, don't say you didn't have a choice.

 
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Jan 11, 2012
Scott, I plan to vote for you ... Best. Serious. Joke. Ever. Even with its warts and potential for hacking, your plan is superior to anything the insiders have proposed for at least a decade. It'd also be a small reminder that politicians who take the base for granted lose votes. I only hope that the pegs and holes brouhaha doesn't force you down the drain like Herman Cain. That would be a shame--and unfair. I don't think that the way that that post reads represents you at all. I've been reading your blog since its inception, and I have known you as consistently fair-minded, rational, and reasonable. I understand your intent in at least 99% of your posts--even when I don't completely agree--but that one made me shrug (unless it was a baiting experiment, in which case it was brilliant ... but you should have stopped baiting in the after-discussions. To my shock and horror--I confess a bias for Scott and against "typical" women, whom I often find illogical--I felt that MEW had you beat, and your straw men made you look undeservedly sexist and arrogant).

For the record, I am female with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, 99th percentile reading comprehension skills, and a measured IQ that's well into the Mensa range. In fact, I joined for a few years but was a total misfit because I was too normal for them--and I have Asperger's. Go figger.
 
 
Jan 1, 2012
"8. I would keep foreign policy about the same."

So, spending a few billion dollars a week killing mostly civilians, including lots of kids, women, and old people, and giving the survivors a new passion in their lives, namely to take revenge on us, is working for you?
 
 
Dec 26, 2011
That's an imperfect platform Scott but by far the best I've heard for, oh, the last fifty years or so - you've got my vote!
 
 
Dec 25, 2011
Well when I was living in NY and Howard Stern was going to run for governor I was planning on voting for him just because I thought it would be funny. So I guess I can offer you the same courtesy if you run for President!

Hey, Scott, I would be interested to know what percentage of your blogites (just made that up) are Democrat, Republican, or Other? And also, what percentage that voted for Obama in 2008 are planning to vote for him again? I voted for McCain and thought Obama was all talk, false promises, and would be a disaster. I stand by my first assertion and will vote for anybody that runs against him.
 
 
Dec 24, 2011
I don't live in the US. Can you move to the country where I live, and run for President there ?
 
 
Dec 24, 2011
I noticed that you can do a lot of these things now. You just need national attention. Well, you kinda have that already. Use the power of Dilbert (the actual strip) to harness attention for your ideas. For example, write a series of strips about your reality TV show and what happens when Dilbert/Dogbert/Ratbert/Bob go on it and what happens when the Boss watches it, etc. Then you can actually make it a reality. You're a creative guy, Scott. Do your thing.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 23, 2011
>My prediction is that President Obama will easily win reelection by showing that he succeeded in many of the objectives he controlled (especially international stuff) and was thwarted by Republicans on domestic stuff.

Obama's main problem is his failing to live up to the ideas that he inspired in supporters. The youth vote basically elected Obama thinking that he was going to wind down the war on drugs, the empire, and affronts to civil liberties and he has done the opposite. Sure, Iraq is winding down, as he said it would, and he is focusing more resources in afghanistan, as he said he would, but there is no indication that he dismantling the security state or actively trying to end the wars overseas as quickly as possible. It seems like he is still busy trying to achieve Bush's security proposals rather than trying to get troops home. I think most people don't care about achieving many of the older stated goals of the invasions, and just want to get out as quickly as possible, even if that means we give up some strategic accomplishments along the way.

The problem isn't so much that Obama isn't doing what he said he would do. The problem is that he isn't doing what people hoped that he would do. That can be just as powerful. Plus, he's basically a dead ringer as "one of them" in the establishment. This election will have a completely different dynamic. The people who fear change will vote for Obama, and the contender will present themselves as the plucky idealist trying to bring change to washington. Basically just the last election in reverse.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 23, 2011
Knock! Knock! Scott

You seem to have forgotten that the ELECTORAL College elects the President and Vice President! To do any of the great things on your list, you actually have to get elected.

So, I recommend you start lobbying the electors who are owned by the two "parties".
(I'd like to rename them the SNAFU and the FUBAR parties, but it's just a dream)

Anyhow, something you CAN do is VOTE OUT INCUMBEDNTS in Congress (both parties).

Break the good old boy ties, the Wall Street Leash and corruption - if at least for only a few
elections. Remember, NEWBIES won't know where the bathroom is, and they will spend most of their incumbancy just trying to remember the names of the guys sitting next to them and the
lobbyists from their state. Might also upset "Big Pharma", the Unions and other derelicts.

www.voidnow.org

 
 
Dec 23, 2011
"I recently learned that there is some dumbass law against a presidential nominee naming his appointees before winning the election. Therefore, I hereby recant anything I ever said that sounded illegal."

why? you're rich & famous - laws don't apply to you... granted, you probably couldn't get away w/tossing homeless children off NY skyscrapers to use as skeet targets like Lloyd Blankfein or James Dimon could (a la Mel Brooks) but I'm pretty confident you're of sufficient stature to ignore obscure election laws...
 
 
Dec 23, 2011
Sounds good to me; you've got my vote.
And, as the first internet person to publicly go on record as a supporter I think I should be given a job in your new administration.
I get to pick. Let's see... I'll be glad to go as ambassador to Bermuda. Better, make my wife the ambassador and I'll just go with her.
Thanks President Adams.
P.S. - Perhaps you're related to some of our other "President Adams" from times past?
 
 
+9 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 23, 2011
That should be your slogan: "I can probably keep us away from the abyss."
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 23, 2011
Scott, what do you think of the Americans Elect 2012 Movement? Can we draft you there?
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 22, 2011
"3.I would host a debate on the topic of limiting inheritance to $50 million. That's enough money to turn anyone into an insufferable douche bag."
This is disturbingly specific. Why $50 million instead of capping inheritance in general? Throwing out a specific number seems like it would instantly bias the discussion. They would immediately latch onto that number and make decisions in reference to that. This would yield a suboptimal conclusion. Making it two questions, should there be an inheritane cap and what should it be, while taking longer, but eliminate the bias.

But then again, if there already is a cap, the debates already biased anyway...
 
 
Dec 22, 2011
I'm on board with almost all of your ideas. I wish you would do something about campaign finance reform too. One reason for the incompetence of congress is that they spend over 60% of their time raising money. This explains almost all of the "hard to understand" actions of congress.
 
 
Dec 22, 2011

I'm good at throwing rocks! I might also be able to forge some spears and arrows after the economic apocalypse.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 22, 2011
I am guessing that the president does not have the right to raise all taxes by 10% and cut all expensenses by 10%. Not by himself anyway.
 
 
Dec 22, 2011
Youve got my vote
 
 
Dec 22, 2011
"In my case, I would have as my main advisor someone similar to Bill Clinton or New Gingrich or Mitt Romney. And by that I mean someone who is brilliant, experienced, and has a history of being all over the political map."

This is one of those trick questions, isn't it? i.e. only one of those mentioned (at best) is actually brilliant...
 
 
+8 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 22, 2011
"5. I would require all voting to be by Internet"

So all future elections are to be handed to whoever has the best hackers - possibly China today. I think you'll need to flip flop on this one - but you could start with a debate amongst the best programmers and people who know how to rig elections on whether internet voting is a smart idea. My prediction is that they'll say it isn't.
 
 
+12 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 22, 2011
"8. I would keep foreign policy about the same."

That's a shame. If there's anything you would have control over as president it would be this. This definitely deserves it's own monkey trial.
 
 
 
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