Though many papers are not carrying my column — for the duration
of my campaign for vice president on the Constitution Party ticket — and
most subscribers receive it by e-mail, a few newspapers still run it.
And one well-disposed editor has raised a point that has probably occurred
to other readers.
The question is whether I should use this column to plug my own candidacy
or that of my estimable running mate, Howard Phillips. As a rule I’d
agree that I shouldn’t, and I usually avoid doing so. But on
a few recent occasions I’ve mentioned it in passing, and I should
Why I should be king
First, let me acknowledge the obvious: Howard
and I have about as much chance of winning as I have of pitching in
World Series. The party has almost no money, name recognition, or television
access. It’s all we can do to get on the ballot: the two major
parties maintain tight control over the rules, which they use to prevent
competing parties from threatening their duopoly. Antitrust legislation
doesn’t apply to politics, where it is most needed. This is an
area where politicians forget to demand “campaign reform.”
Occasionally I feel duty-bound to remind the world that we exist.
In a better world — a Frank Capra world — my little peeps
might lead to a word-of-mouth brushfire that would sweep the nation,
as ordinary Americans realized that they’re living under a lawless
government in the most literal sense: a government that disregards
the fundamental law of the Constitution. And they would rise up, in
a fine populist fury, and cast it off.
Alas, the world we live in doesn’t work that way. Political “folk
heroes” like John McCain always turn out to have a lot of powerful
connections — and money.
I didn’t enter this campaign with the expectation of winning — chilling
thought! Becoming vice president would be an intolerably tedious interruption
of my writing career. It’s the other way around: I regard the
campaign as an extension of my mission as a writer — to evangelize
for the forgotten principles of the Constitution. If we win, wonderful!
If not, we’ve at least offered our country a chance to return
to its roots.
So I have no wish to bore my readers with campaign propaganda. I don’t
want my columns to sound like stump speeches; in fact, I’m afraid
my stump speech sounds a little too much like my columns, more analytical
than inspirational. The Tenth Amendment, my favorite topic, doesn’t
seem to fire anyone’s blood but my own. So far I’ve been
unable to start a riot by quoting it verbatim. As a demagogue I’m
an utter failure.
Whatever it takes to make a successful politician, I just don’t
seem to have it. I can’t pretend I feel everyone’s pain.
I don’t have solutions for all their problems. I don’t
feel generous pledging to spend other people’s money on them.
I hate to insult their intelligence with extravagant promises. I don’t
even feel that their lives are necessarily empty without me.
At the risk of sounding immodest, I believe I’d actually make
a rather good king. After all, the best kings were a lot like me. They
knew they hadn’t done anything to deserve their power, so they
used it sparingly. They didn’t have big dreams, didn’t
try to remake their societies from top to bottom, didn’t promise
their subjects the moon. Even their wars were mostly skirmishes, by
Unlike Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and others I could name,
kings didn’t talk a lot of utopian rot; in a democracy, you hear
nothing else. And compared with modern governments, most kings kept
taxes low. Americans paid far less under George III than under today’s
government. Blasphemous as it may seem to say so, they were freer than
we are. King George didn’t care a hoot whether you smoked or
how much water your toilet tank held. That’s how I would try
All this may seem irrelevant, since I’m seeking the vice presidency,
not (at this point, anyway) the monarchy. But I want to assure my readers
and editors that if a crown were ever offered to me, they’d have
no cause for alarm.
Copyright © 2011 by the Fitzgerald
Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved. This column was published originally
by Griffin Internet Syndicate on March 9, 2000.
Joe Sobran was an author and a syndicated columnist. See bio
and archives of some of his columns.
Watch Sobran's last TV appearance on YouTube.
Learn how to get a tape of his last speech
during the FGF Tribute to Joe Sobran in December 2009.
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