I didn't want it to come to this, but I have been pushed to my limit. I am announcing my candidacy for the presidency of the United States of America. Because I have never held or even run for any local, state, or national political office, many will want to immediately label me unqualified. I beg to differ and offer that as one of my stronger qualifications.
We have arrived at this point in our country's history because for years professional politicians and lawyers have abused our political system. I am certain that the Founding Fathers did not anticipate or envision that, in just over 235 years, our system would degenerate into a game no longer focused on people. If they knew how dangerous the love of power and money would become, they surely would have put in place some additional and powerful measures to protect the generations that would follow them. That said, I offer the following as qualifications that should make you consider me your president. I am not a professional politician, and I am not a lawyer, nor do I want to be either. Furthermore, I am a carpenter and a small-business owner.
Historically, lawyers and professional politicians have filled a disproportionate number of the congressional seats and, therefore, have been in charge of our country. In March 2011, the Congressional Research Service report on occupations of the 112th Congress stated, "According to Congressional Quarterly Today, in the 112th Congress, law is the dominantly declared profession of senators, followed by public service/politics." This situation does not seem to work very well for our country. A declared profession of "politics" frightens me.
I am certain that the 56 brave men who signed the Declaration of Independence did not think that politics should be a profession or a career. Even elected officials who ran on the idea of term limits seem to forget that promise when they get on the congressional gravy train. The current system has created a situation in which our representatives make far too many of their decisions focused on reelection instead of problem solving. Between voting for self-preservation and the insane money spent on campaigns, we have a mess on our hands.
You don't have to look very far to find broken pieces of our political systems and processes. I offer as evidence two simple examples that the system run by politicians and lawyers is not working. The tax code in 1913 involved 400 pages. By 2011, the tax code had grown to an astounding 72,536 pages. One tax code growth guesstimate predicts it will reach more than 100,000 pages in fewer than 10 years if we continue along the same path.
The second piece of evidence of a broken system is the number of laws necessary to guide our country. On January 1, 2012, more than 40,000 new laws went into effect. The situation is so far out of control that there seems no way even to count how many laws we have on the books. My attempts to locate that figure proved futile.
Keeping in mind the record of accomplishment of our career representatives, I decided to spend some time thinking about and searching for the one change in our system that could start us back on the right road. I wanted to identify that one issue, above all others, that might again give us that rebirth Lincoln referred to in Gettysburg -- "an America of the people, by the people, and for the people." I saw my search as similar to Monty Python's quest for the Holy Grail or, as I like to call it, the "perfect political panacea."
I recently concluded my all-inclusive and exhaustive search for this magical piece of legislation. I rapidly discovered that about eight out of every ten citizens I spoke with mentioned the same simple adjustment to our system. Whether using the "new math," Fred MacMurray's Chismbop, or just plain old 'rithmetic, the number always came out the same. Of the voters asked, 80 percent want to see term limits! As I understand it, most representative democracies call that a majority.
Some opponents (aka professional politicians and lawyers) argue that if we have term limits, much of the experience and knowledge of the political lifers will be lost. If our current state of affairs is thanks to the experience of our long-term politicians, I am willing to take the risk with some new blood regularly.
The term-limit message was so loud and clear I decided I only needed this plank in my campaign platform. Who better to build a platform than a carpenter and small businessman? Or did you forget this was about my presidential candidacy? In fact, I hereby establish the Term Limit Party. So, when you vote, cast your ballot for the one candidate who will not spend the rest of his life working and voting to be reelected. Vote for Tom "The Carpenter" Gerdy of the single-plank platform Term-Limit Party.