My Presidential Platform
The American people deserve a choice. They deserve a candidate who will reject the failed policies of the past and embrace the failed policies of the future. It is my honor to announce I am throwing my hat into both the Democratic and Republican primaries (to double my chances), with the following platform:
Ensure Naval Supremacy And Reduce Wealth Inequality By Bringing Back The Liturgy
The liturgy was a custom of ancient Athens. When the state needed something (usually a new warship) it would ask for volunteers among its richest citizens. Usually one would step up to gain glory or avoid scorn; if nobody did, the courts were allowed to choose the richest person who hadn’t helped out recently. The liturgist would fund the warship and command it as captain for two years, after which his debt to the state was considered discharged and he was given a golden crown. Historians treat the liturgy as a gray area between voluntary service and compulsory taxation; most rich Athenians were eager to serve and gain the relevant honor, but they also knew that if they didn’t, they could be compelled to perform the same service with less benefit to their personal reputation.
Defense analysts warn that America’s naval dominance is declining:
Only 25 per cent of America’s 114 commissioned surface combatants (cruisers, destroyers, and littoral combat ships) are less than a decade old. By comparison more than 80 per cent of China’s 141 destroyers, frigates, and corvettes have been commissioned in the past decade. In the same time period, the United States commissioned 30 surface combatants . . . The nearly 600-ship Navy of the late 1980s deployed only 15 per cent of the fleet on average. Today, with fewer than 300 ships, the US Navy deploys more than 35 per cent to service its global missions, contributing to a material death spiral.
So America is short on warships. But it is very long on rich people with big egos. An aircraft carrier would cost the richest American billionaires about the same fraction of their wealth as a trireme cost the richest Athenian aristocrats. So I say: bring back the liturgy!
The American rich already enjoy spending their money on exciting vehicles - yachts for the normies, rockets for the more ambitious, Titanic submersibles for the suicidal. Why not redirect this impulse towards public service? Imagine the fear it would strike into the hearts of the Chinese when the USS Musk enters Ludicrous Mode in the waters off the Taiwan Strait, with Elon himself at the wheel. Imagine how efficiently the USS Jeff Bezos will deliver its payloads! And does anyone doubt that billionaires - usually careful to avoid taxes - will jump at the chance to do this?
The Athenians had a parallel liturgy for rich people who would select and sponsor theater productions, but I think we can skip this one for now.
Make Sovereign Citizens Real
As President, I would encourage Congress to pass sweeping legislation rewriting the US tax code to have bizarre loopholes based on the difference between “legal” and “actual” people, with special reference to World War I and the beginning of income taxes in the 1910s. These would include, but not be limited to:
Legal documents that use someone’s names in ALL CAPS will refer to something subtly different than ones that use names in lowercase.
Any court where there is a yellow fringe around the flag will be officially an Admiralty Court, whose rulings will only count insofar as their judges can link them to strained ship-related metaphors.
Any black person who claims to be a citizen of Morocco (in some sense) will be bound by the rights and obligations listed in the US’ 1786 treaty with Morocco instead of normal citizenship laws. If the US’ 1786 treaty with Morocco contains no clauses related to rights or obligations (which I am told is true) then I will renegotiate it to contain those clauses.
Accounts will be created in the name of every US citizen containing $630,000, which they can access only through extremely complicated legal-financial schemes.
I will direct the executive branch to release confusing and contradictory documentation about all these things, hinting at their existence without acknowledging them outright or giving a clear guide to their use.
Why? Because there are many existing tax loopholes and legal quirks, and nobody forms conspiracy theories or terrorist groups or right-wing militias around them. The feeling that they have secret information and are getting away with something fuels the modern sovereign citizen movement, who have been characterized as “dangerous”, “hurtful”, and “extremist”.
Once sovereign citizenship is made real, it will lose its appeal. Federal agencies will ensure that the procedures are so arcane that basically nobody ever succeeds at pulling them off, and will publish clear statistics (eg “only 0.001% of people who applied for a tax exemption based on their sovereign citizenship status get one”) which will further detract from its appeal. The few people who continue to be interested will get their knowledge from the IRS website rather than far-right forums, denying extremist groups a key method of recruitment and organization.
Probably a few people will pass through the web of bizarre demands and successfully become exempt from paying taxes. These people will have distinguished themselves by excellence in sticking to finicky rules even when lots of people are telling them it’s stupid to worry about it, and they will immediately be hired as inspectors to root out police corruption.
Fight Climate Change And Racism With Giant Statues
20% of CO2 emissions come from coal. But attempts to decrease reliance on coal have met political resistance. The industry of some key swing states centers around coal mining, and despite calls that coal miners should “learn to code” or go into the caring professions, re-skilling them has proven difficult and they’re unwilling to go on welfare.
Some environmentalists have argued that we should buy coal mines to shut them down. Fearing job loss, states with coal mines have responded by making it illegal to own coal mines and not use them.
One environmentally friendly compromise would be to buy the coal mines, mine the coal, but not burn it. But then what do we do with all the coal?
I propose building giant statues of black people. Coal is already artistically suited for this, and it would help address our nation’s 300 year history of racial oppression. If each statue were the size of the largest existing statue, the Statue of Unity in India, then it would take about five thousand statues to fully consume the US’ yearly coal production. Wikipedia’s List Of [Famous] African-Americans has about four thousand names, so that would only last us about one year. I would encourage more African-Americans to become famous, so we could continue using this solution to the environmental crisis.
Still, this would only buy us a few more years, and eventually we would have to think bigger. Mt. Rushmore (the whole mountain, not just the faces) is big enough that copying it would take twenty years of national coal production. Given that all the faces on Rushmore are white, I propose a companion mountain on the opposite side of the observation plaza, “Mt. Racemore”, featuring Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Henrietta Lacks, and Ibram X Kendi.
Probably this will also create jobs or something.
Universal Military Service For Datasets
Scandinavian countries are currently beating us in the all-important social science wars. Their universal military service means they do psychological and medical tests on every 18-year old male in the country, which can then be correlated with various health and economic outcomes years later.
I propose one week of mandatory military service for all Americans, just long enough to give them the ASVAB and a couple of other instruments. This will also let everyone reminisce about “back when I was in the military…” and feel good for having served their country.
Also, everyone including Republicans supports free government-sponsored health care when it’s through the Veterans Affairs system, so we can just make all these people eligible for VA care and solve the healthcare crisis.
Appoint Governor Jim Justice To The Supreme Court
Jim Justice is the current governor of West Virginia. If he were on the Supreme Court, people would have to address him as Justice Justice. I believe that we as a nation can and should make this happen.
I would also work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to see if we could get a tribe to appoint him as an honorary leader, in which case I would give him John Roberts’ job and he could become Chief Justice Chief Justice (or possibly Chief Chief Justice Justice).
Legalize Lying About Your College On Resumes
Colleges trap Americans in a cycle of burdensome loans and act to reinforce class privilege. I have previously advocated making college degree a protected characteristic which it is illegal to ask people about on job applications. But this would be hard to enforce, and people would come up with other ways to communicate their education level.
So let’s think different: let’s make it legal to lie about your college on resumes (it is already not technically illegal to lie on a resume, but companies can ask for slightly different forms of corroboration which it is illegal to lie on). Everyone can just say “Harvard,” and nobody will have any unfair advantage over anyone else.
Start An Internet-Pop-Up Trade War With The European Union
For too long, Americans have groaned under the weight of foreign cookie-related-pop-ups which they and their elected representatives have no control over. It’s time to fight back.
When I am elected, I will mandate that all American websites serve popups to European Union residents explaining why the GDPR is annoying and why it affects even Americans who have no say in it. If the Europeans want to be able to access Google, Facebook, Twitter, or any other US-based site without clicking “I understand” every time they reload it, they’ll have to pressure their government to do something about GDPR.
Appoint Donald Trump Constitutional Monarch
This would require a constitutional amendment, but I’m sure I could convince enough people.
The British experience suggests that the role of a constitutional monarch is to flaunt how rich they are, get 24-7 news coverage regardless of whether or not they do anything interesting, and have scandals. Donald Trump is the best person in the world at all three of these things.
Trump wants to be on top, but is not that interested in governing. Meanwhile, American liberals (by revealed preference) want to continue thinking about him every hour of every day forever, but also don’t want him to govern. Constitutional monarchy would satisfy everyone’s preferences. If Trump is destined to destroy democracy - and everyone agrees that he is - let’s make it happen as gently and non-destructively as possible.
Obviously the royal family can’t participate in regular electoral politics, which means no Trump would ever be able to run for office ever again. This is the only way we are ever getting rid of them, you know this is true, please don’t throw away this chance.
I would support reverse primogeniture-based inheritance - ie the youngest son takes the throne - just so we can have a “King Barron”.
Minimum Wage Of $9,999,999/Hour For New York Times Journalists
New York Times journalists play a central role in the American information ecosystem, and I believe they deserve this.
Defuse The Culture War By Bringing Back Castrati
Religious organizations are leading the fight against puberty blockers and hormones for transgender children, arguing that they amount to “castrating” adolescents. This is a bizarre and ahistorical coalition: for hundreds of years, religious organizations were leaders in castrating young people, whose lack of puberty gave them supernaturally beautiful voices for singing in church choirs. The church originally resisted human rights activists’ call to stop the practice, but eventually gave in in the 1800s, admitting that lack of meaningful consent made the operation an abomination.
But the current political climate gives us an opportunity for a win-win deal. I propose that religious conservatives drop their opposition to puberty blockers for transgender youth. In exchange for the government funding all sex reassignment surgeries, young trans women will do two years of community service in religious choirs, allowing the Church to recapture 18th-century hymns that have fallen into disuse.
Clean The Statue Of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is made of copper, and was originally a shiny orange-gold color. Over the years, it has tarnished to its current faded-green.
This is a little too on the nose as a metaphor for American society. As part of a general agenda of restoring liberty nationwide, I would order the Statue of Liberty cleaned until it is back to its original shining-gold state, and restored yearly thereafter.
A Vote For Me Is A Vote For Change
Together we can make America great again - which is not to imply I think it was ever better in the past - which is not to imply I don’t believe we’re currently at a time of unprecedented crisis. Sorry. Um. America has always been terrible and still is. But it could be better tomorrow!
The first step towards making this happen is getting me in the Republican and Democratic primary debates, which will require 65,000 unique donors. Governor Doug Burgum, who is independently wealthy, has promised that if you donate $1 to his campaign, he will give you a $20 gift card. I will soon be setting up a site where if you donate $2, it will give $1 to me, $1 to Doug Burgum, and he’ll still give you the gift card. That’s an $18 profit just by donating to my campaign!
But you can also take action in other ways. For the past fifty years, whoever won Ottawa County, Ohio, has won the overall election. So to stretch my limited resources more efficiently, I’ll be focusing my entire campaign on Ottawa County. Sure, some people say “causal reasoning doesn’t work that way”, but these are the same so-called “experts” who said Trump couldn’t win in 2016. So if you know someone in Ottawa County, please tell them about my ideas.
I am the only candidate who can credibly take on the elites. I have never served in government before and don’t even regularly watch the news. I have spent a total of about one week of my life in Washington DC, most of which was to participate in “The National Ocean Sciences Bowl” as a high school student. My team took second place, because taking first would have made me an elite, which I am not. That is my commitment to you. God bless America.