Having been granted the privilege of interviewing a presidential candidate for the first time, I was initially a bit nervous. Then, in an interview on the BBC, the candidate in question said: "No; I haven't noticed any difference in the way people react to me since I started running. Why should people react at all? I'm the same citizen. I'm on the same level they are. And if anyone tries any of that hero worship bullsh*t with me I'll simply tell them to pull their head out . . . of the clouds . . . and try to understand what America is supposed to be about. Even as the damn president, which I hope to be, if anyone says I give them a chill running down their leg I swear I'll start throwing hay makers. Because I don't really think democracy can long survive that level of ignorance. School children are absolutely NOT supposed to be singing songs about ANY president in office. In our country, the President works for the people. I am applying to be THEIR employee! Respect the office, fine. Now let's work together as equals for the betterment of the country. And if you get all weepy over who is president, either from hatred or admiration, PLEASE DO NOT VOTE."
That put the butterflies on sabbatical and I was able to get down to the business of having a conversation with the New Federalist Party candidate for the presidency.
You have steadfastly refused to discuss race and gender, and have even asked that people who cover you not bring it up. That is so refreshing. But what do you say to critics who want to make that an issue?
They are wrong. The president's gender and race are irrelevant. Anyone who thinks differently is as ignorant as they are condescending and I don't care what they think. If I were to become the first female president, I would find it demeaning if that was what people celebrated. If I were to become the first Chinese American president, I wouldn't want people throwing focus on something over which I had no control. This is a country of Laws and Ideas. If they can't commemorate my ideas, and commemorate them FIRST, then to hell with them.
You aren't the first candidate to openly call for the abolishing of the I.R.S. but you are the first whose party has made the end of Income tax a plank in your platform. This seems to put you out on the fringes. Ever feel like you're tilting at windmills?
If something is right, you have to believe in it no matter how far "out there" it puts you. And if something is wrong, you have to oppose it no matter how much of a behemoth it is. Yes, in a sense, I feel like I'm holding up the head of Medusa against the Kraken. But there is NO WAY that anyone can make a case for taking people's income. It is fiscally unnecessary and morally repugnant. And as long as the government can put a gun in your face and force you to pay, this country is not free. Tax property for the schools. Tax gas for the highways. Collect fees for garbage pick up and sewer maintenance. Tax sales of goods and services. That's part of living in a civilized society. But the great people who drew up the constitution would have marched against you with guns if you proposed to put your grubby hands into their wallets and bank accounts. I guess I'm just not into class warfare. That crap is for suckers and a truly enlightened person knows it. If the only way you can feel good about the world is to soak the rich, then pass a luxury tax on the items you think they buy so they can look down their nose at you.
Like yachts and such?
I was thinking of designer jeans and plastic surgery, but yeah.
So would you call yourself an advocate for the rich?
No. The rich don't need any one advocating for them. But on the other hand, how dare anyone hold a grudge against another and judge them for how much money they make? It's as petty and small minded as judging someone for how little they make. As president, my province is the law, before which we are all equal. We are all born with, and we all retain to our dying day, a perfectly infinite potential. Ours was supposed to be the government that stays out of people's way when they access that potential, and lets them deal with the consequences when they don't. What else could equality mean?
Should we help the poor?
What kind of loaded question is that? Damn right we should help the poor. Every private citizen with means should reach out, notice I didn't say reach down, and help people in need. I was raised lower middle class, but the vast majority of rich people I've met spend huge amounts of time and funds helping others. Most of the people I know from all walks of life have spent a chunk of their days looking out for the less fortunate. If you don't you're simply evil. But you're asking, "should the government help the poor." That's a separate question, and the answer is dicey. According to the Constitution, NO. I can promise you with absolute confidence that if the people of this country didn't have the government doing it by force, their hearts are big enough that they would be doing it privately, and voluntarily. There is an abundance of historical evidence to back that up. Anyone who proposes to take one person's money to purchase a vote from another is automatically dubious. That said, we have programs in place. They're wasteful, poorly managed, and end up subsidizing sloth and promiscuity. But there they are. And you can argue reasonably that there are people who have been helped by them. My party has NEVER proposed to end welfare or food stamps or medicare anything like that. We simply propose to turn it over to the states, where it can be managed more effectively. Similar to our position on education. Americans are not stupid enough to believe that a cloistered, glad handing politician in D.C. can better manage a situation thousands of miles away in Medford, Oregon. So, to encapsulate our position on the government forcing citizens to help others, there is an honest case to be made against it, and a heartfelt case for it. At this point, it might be too late for us as a country to be what the founders intended. But at least we can keep the money close to the situation it is supposed to remedy.
Last question--because this is for the Internet, and you know the American attention span: Are you worried about anything in your past that the press is going to dig up as we approach the election?
Not really. I think Americans are sick of media frenzy on any topic, and they are REALLY sick of personal foibles making headlines. If that turns out not to be the case, and the people are hungry for juicy details about my personal life, then maybe I'm in trouble. I might be too boring to be elected. But my party is about ideas. There was no metaphorical colonoscopy into my past and no focus grouping about my likability. You know what? I have predicted the winner in the last 7 presidential elections based solely on HAIR. That's really true. We want a good looking president, and we have, since Carter, always elected the candidate with better hair. That's the field a candidate is playing on. We're trying to change the game. Our cards are not focus groups, cool graphics, brainless endorsements from Hollywood elites and Internet pan flashes, nebulous catch phrases and an A+ in teleprompter reading. We have a different deck. It only contains ideas, principles, and historical precedent. And the Constitution. That's it. We think if the People want to play our game, the other parties cannot win. They can't. They can't and they know it. So I'm sure I can expect a media blitz because the press are motivated and controlled by their obvious political allegiances and their need for profit. Let them come.
Then the candidate inexplicably opened his/her mouth as wide as it would go, blaring out a loud beeping noise that filled the room, echoing out into the void of space. It took a moment to understand what was going on. Everything went blurry. I opened my sand man eyes, reached over, and turned off my alarm clock.