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On Writing Myself In

“I’m rooting for me!”

-Michael Kay, The Michael Kay Show


I’m going to write in my own name for president.

I’m not voting for myself as a symbolic gesture, or because I have any chance to win, especially since I’m just now announcing my “candidacy.” My decision is motivated not by self-aggrandizement, satire or meta-commentary, nor by at attempt to reify the oft-uttered question we libertarians like to challenge statists with: “Who knows better than you how to spend your money and time?” Voting for myself is not an act of vanity; my healthy dose of self-loathing prohibits me from acting in a manner that prioritizes self-regard.

In my home state of New Jersey, write-in candidates do not need to file any specific paperwork in order for votes for that write-in candidate to accumulate. There are several states that require form(s) to be filed and a fee to be paid before a person may be considered eligible to receive write-in candidate votes, i.e., ironically, to be a “registered” write-in candidate. But, here in the Garden State, you only need to meet the basic requirements to be eligible for the White House, which you’d be aware of if you remember your middle school civics class: 1. Be 35 years of age, be a natural born citizen, and reside within the United States for at least 14 years.

I’m voting for myself because when compared to Trump, Clinton, Johnson, Stein, etc., it is quite apparent I am more qualified than the lot of them. I am a student of history and political science.

The lack of familiarity (whether it is due to disinterest and willful ignorance, or because it conflicts with a politician compelled by a dogmatic agenda) with our government’s legal framework is what separates myself from both the Republican and the Democrat nominees. Trump understands not one whit about how or why our federal government is structured the way it is; Clinton cannot be bothered to adhere to any sort of legal limit to her authority that would prevent her from delivering favors and handouts to her constituents.

In all the excitement in the run up to today’s election, the candidates, their sycophants and acolytes have all glossed over one thing: the president has clearly defined duties that he is supposed to perform. But, to hear Trump, Clinton, Stein, and yes, even Johnson (though to a lesser extent) speak, the promise that if they are elected they shall wave their magic wands and bestow upon us all the gifts of “Fairness,” “Justice,” and “Prosperity.” I put these words in quotations because they each define those words very subjectively.

I wouldn’t be shocked if Donald Trump has read neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution, and I’m relatively certain he could not spell “The Federalist Papers.” It’s probable that Clinton, as a Yale law student, read some or all of the Federalist Papers to study the rationales the Framers had for ratifying the Constitution…but I wouldn’t put any money down that if she had read them that she remembered them, and certainly not that she gave a damn about those texts.

Unlike Trump and Clinton, I would not use the federal government’s monopoly of violence to force constraints and burdens onto some unfavored groups, nor use it to “level the playing field” for demographics who have suffered general states of impoverishment. Unless in the case of crucial national defense, I would not issue any executive orders that serve as workarounds in case Congress doesn’t pass legislation I advocate for. I will not announce nor advocate for any military adventurism; unless Congress votes to declare war on a country or countries that pose an imminent threat to the lives of American citizens or the sovereignty of American soil.

As President, I would work with Congress to return powers to that body that it had, over the decades, ceded to the Executive Branch. I would veto any legislation that denies or contracts an individual’s natural rights, and his protections of life, liberty and property. Conversely, I would sign bills into law that expand individual rights to life, liberty and property, unless that legislation could only deliver on its promise by burdening one group in favor of another.

Are you sensing a pattern here? Allow me to elucidate: the Executive Branch is not the source of policy, but is the custodian and executor of policy. But the Executive has a greater responsibility than to just carry out any bill that passes through both chambers of Congress; the president has an obligation to veto any bill that does not protect the negative rights of all individuals, or that changes the form and function of government.

There are numerous aspects of Truman’s political career to take issue with, but there are two things about him in particular that showed he understood his duties as president. It is said that while president, Truman read the Constitution every day, and positioned on his desk in the Oval Office was a sign that read, “The Buck Stops Here.”

To execute the duties of the presidency, one must be objective, and it is of supreme importance for government to operate objectively, i.e. in accordance with the powers prescribed to the co-equal branches of federal government, and within an ideological framework that advances freedom over the passage of capricious and burdensome laws, which are all too often enforced in needlessly violent and inefficient ways. Objective enforcing of Constitutional laws are necessary for stability of limited government, which is necessary for individuals to flourish. Individuals must feel certain that they are all equal in their relationship to government, and businesses need stability and certainty so they can seek profits that will enable them to grow so that individuals may find employment, and prosperity.

If elected, I, unlike Trump or Clinton, will be sincere when I am inaugurated and promise to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.” I have much more faith in myself to objectively perform the duties required by Article II of the Constitution than any politician running in 2016.

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Dillon Eliassen is the Managing Editor of Being Libertarian. Dillon works in the sales department of a privately owned small company. He holds a BA in Journalism & Creative Writing from Lyndon State College, and needs only to complete his thesis for his Master’s of English from Montclair State University (something which his accomplished and beautiful wife, Alice, is continually pestering him about). He is the author of The Apathetic, available at Amazon.com. He is a self-described Thoreauvian Minarchist.

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