Unless you're the one fortunate SOB with no access to television, radio, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Tumblr, and LinkedIn (at which point, you aren't reading this) then you already know that last night, Hillary Clinton became the first female in American history to be a party's nominee for president of the United States.
Good for her.
The accomplishment serves as an inspiration for people seeking dreams seemingly beyond their grasp. People facing federal indictment now have a shining beacon on which to gaze when they wonder whether, they too, can achieve the American Dream.
Little girls can now aspire to heights never before thought achievable. Hillary is the Jackie Robinson-esque trailblazer on whom they can pin their hopes and dreams.
"To every little girl who dreams big: Yes, you can be anything you want - even president." - Hillary Clinton
What a wonderful thing to say. What a wonderful message. What an inspirational mantra.
What a lie.
No little girl, no little boy, no average American woman, no average American man, has any hope whatsoever of ever becoming president of the United States.
Fundraisers who specialize in this sort of thing estimate it'll cost a couple of billion dollars (billion with a B) to win the presidency in 2016. Now, I've got a fairly deep sofa, but even I can't find that much money lodged between the cushions. I did find some Doritos though, so there's that.
It is economically impossible. None of us, no not one, will ever have the resources.
That's why at the end of the day, we're left with the choice between a woman who talks about income inequality while wearing a $12000 Armani coat...
...and a billionaire, so rich he can say whatever nonsensical, inflammatory thing pops into his self-tanned head without fear of reprisal.
“Real” people, without access to billions of dollars, cannot become president of the United States.
It’s unfortunate because real people are running, but you just don’t know about them. According to the Federal Election Commission, roughly 1,800 people filed to run for president in this year's presidential election. Even after you separate the wheat from the chaff among those 1,800, the crackpots from the candidates with something to say, that still left a lot of people not named Trump or Clinton.
You’ve probably never heard of Robert Macleod Jr.
Looking like a guy straight from the casting room of Duck Dynasty, he's the “Uncle Si” of the 2016 campaign. A proud, gray beard–wearing, hardworking mechanic by trade, a dyed-in-the-wool American patriot by blood. “I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat. I am not an Independent. I am an American,” is Macleod’s mantra. He lives in a town called Americus. Seriously. You get can’t much more red, white, and blue than that.
How about Temperance Lance-Council? She's the self-proclaimed “anti-hypocrisy candidate” who fashions herself not so much as a politician but as a “poli-acto” (short for politician-actress), like Senator Al Franken and the late Senator Fred Thompson. She founded the Anti-Hypocrisy Party to, as she says, “fight back against politicians talking out of both sides of their mouths.” Lance-Council has run for president every election year since 2000. Her catchphrase? “You didn’t land on Wall Street; Wall Street landed on you!” I have absolutely no clue what that means. Maybe things would have been different all those years had she gone with “Make America Great Again.”
Over in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where anyone in a thong bikini is an outlaw, and cannabis stokes the passions of men so idealistic they believe it’ll one day take us back to space, you’ll find Libertarian candidate Keenan Wallace Dunham. This self-described Mensa high-IQ genius scientist wants to colonize the moon, abolish the IRS, legalize and tax marijuana sales, and use revenue from cannabis to pay for space colonization and to trigger an industrial revolution.
That’s quite the aggressive agenda.
Okay, so maybe that’s not an agenda for the masses, and Macleod, Lance-Council, and Dunham aren’t the candidates for the masses. But there are well more than a thousand others from which to choose. Contrary to what an Establishment system of politics would have you believe, most of those people aren’t crackpots chasing a Pollyanna dream. They know they have no chance, not in a rigged system, anyway. And that’s a shame.
What these citizen politicians are doing, right there at the grassroots, is eliciting conversation, thought, and new ways to look at the same issues—something you can’t find in an Establishment that lauds backbiting, party infighting, back room deals, and cronyism.
This country needs more Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and less Scandal.
So, the next time you hear someone say if you work hard enough, you can be president of the United States, tell them, “I’d love to run but that’s an Establishment lie. Meantime, I’m voting for that guy who wants to use weed to put us back on the moon.”