WWGD - What Would Groucho Do?

05/25/2011 12:30 pm ET
  • Tom Gerdy Building contractor and Community Activist

Among other strange and wonderful words of wisdom Groucho Marx left us, there's a quote that comes to mind as I watch this campaign. He has often been credited with saying, "Please accept my resignation. I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."

What we need in politics today is fewer politicians. To be a big player in the political arena you have to be a member of "Club Politics". I don't want to associate myself with or vote for anyone who has played the political game with enough skill that they can be nominated to run for president. If they have reached the national level in that "Club", they have often cut too many deals, done too many favors, sold their souls and in general compromised what they believe in to collect votes. It has sadly become the nature of beast.

As the media attempts to fill time, "Club Politics" members cut deals and campaign leaders attempt to discredit opponents, much is being said and done that embarrasses me as an American. We have been witness to a barrage of finger pointing, name calling, questionable accusations, subtle and not so subtle jabs, false claims, and twisting of words. It reminds me of children arguing on the playground and our country can't afford such foolishness. Attempts are made to draw focus and attention to insignificant or unrelated personal issues while true challenges go without any attention. We all have personal flaws so let's get over it and get down to real business of addressing our country's challenges.

That having been said, maybe it is time we look for a candidate from outside of the "Club". Business as usual being driven by the "Club" is not working. We need someone from outside of the professional politician's world. So today I am throwing my proverbial hat in the ring. I am announcing my candidacy for the office of President of the United States of America. I am a carpenter and not a "Club Politics" member. I have never run for an elected office unless you count my failed bid at becoming president of my eighth grade class. Just for the record, many thought I would have won if I had revealed that my opponent wasn't sick on Sept. 12, 1965. He actually skipped school, but I refused to go negative.

As I began planning my campaign, I realized that I didn't belong in either party or have any desire to belong to either of the major "Clubs". So I am starting a new party based the simple concept of Paying It Forward. There are only two planks to our platform. One is that if we are to leave the country and world better than we found it, we must be willing to get our hands dirty. We must participate. Not in politics, but in the community and in the world. The second is to simply Pay It Forward on a daily basis. Help someone take a step forward today. When that takes place, everyone wins. The power of the vote is a very small part of what will solve our challenges. There are two things we need to really make a change and they are at the end of our arms. No more excuses.

Did I mention that the election I am talking about is in 2012? You might think that it's a bit early, but in light of how things are going, I think the timing is just right. After all, 2012 will be here before you know it. Our political system is degenerating into a game of perpetual posturing for dollars and votes so there is no time to waste. If I am going to have any chance, I will have to start campaigning right now. I need to get an early start because the way our system is going, my campaign will probably cost 750 million dollars. Parking fees alone will probably be double what Hillary has paid and break the 1 million dollar mark.

Not only will I need a great deal of time to raise that kind of money, but I will need time to develop an ample supply of excuses, justifications and rationalizations for my good and bad decisions in life. I also need to start covering my butt relative to anything and everything I have said or done in my 54 years on the planet. If you want to hold a national office in this day and time every thing you do can make or break your career. So for the next four and one half years, I will not have an opinion, I will not stand for anything and I will not say anything controversial. I must stay pure and innocent. However, I will promise my hands will be dirty and I will never become a member of "Club Politics". The reality is that they would never have me as member which is why I would be a good candidate.

So in conclusion, please get your hands dirty and remember to Pay It Forward. Also, don't forget to vote for the Pay It Forward candidate, Tom Gerdy for President in 2012. Groucho would have.