You probably know, thanks to the media's already rabid coverage of the 2016 presidential election, that there are scads of Republican candidates running. But here's something I bet you didn't know: As of this writing, the actual number of declared Republican Party presidential candidates is 90.
That's right: 90. There also are 65 Democratic Party candidates, 102 independents, 33 "others" and 20 "none." In total, according to the Federal Election Commission, a whopping 397 people have already filed the necessary paperwork to run for president in 2016.
Knowing that, I think there's only one proper response: I'm With Stupid needs to run for president, too.
I'm going to let that sink in for a moment so you have time to realize what a great idea it truly is.
Of course, since columns aren't people and can't run for office (Can corporations? Do they already?), I guess that means I will have to run for president. And I know, right now, some of you are scoffing and saying, "You? What qualifies you to run?"
Well, let's see. I have as much political experience as Republican Party candidates Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson combined. And, like Trump is and Fiorina was, I'm a CEO, only I haven't gone bankrupt four times or gotten fired from my position. But, technically, those aren't requirements.
According to the Constitution (Article II, Section 1), to run for president I must be a natural-born citizen of the United States. Unlike declared Republican Party candidate Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada, I am, in fact, natural-born, having arrived on this planet in Connecticut. Check.
I also must have attained the age of at least 35. Check, just barely.
Lastly, I also must have been a resident within the United States for the past 14 years. Check.
So, by law, I meet all the criteria necessary to qualify me to run for president, but here's the tricky part: To actually be considered a candidate for president, you have to campaign. That means that you have to file paperwork with the Federal Election Committee after having already spent $5,000 campaigning or having $5,000 in contributions given to you for the purpose of campaigning.
As you can imagine, that puts me in a bit of a quandary, as there's no chance of me spending $5,000 of my own money. But -- and hear me out on this -- if I could spend $5,000 of your money, I would totally do it.
Basically, what I need is some sort of Kickstarter crowdsourcing thing to raise the money, but I checked out Kickstarter once, and it looked like such a hassle to actually start a fundraising campaign that I just gave up. Instead, what I'm going to do is appeal to my readers directly. In the words of Spinal Tap: "I'm looking for pound notes, loose change, bad checks, anything. Gimme some money!"
Think about it: If everyone who reads this column sends just $1, I'll only need to come up with another $4,983.
Now, naturally, if you're going to invest in me, you probably want to know what kind of candidate you'd be getting. That's a reasonable expectation, and I think you deserve an honest assessment, so let me sum myself up as a candidate in one word: unelectable. Absolutely, without qualification, unfit to hold any office whatsoever.
I realize some of you might consider that a shortcoming in a candidate, but you're looking at it the wrong way. The fact that I have no chance of winning means that I would be able to say whatever the heck I wanted to the American people in my campaign speeches without worrying about whether they'd vote for me. And as many of you may agree, there are some things that the American people need to hear whether they like it or not. I'd be glad to be the mouthpiece.
I'll elaborate on what exactly needs to be said to whom, and I'll outline my platform in subsequent columns after I've officially declared my candidacy, but let's not worry about that yet. For right now, the important thing to remember is that you need to send me your money.
With your help, I may not be able to win the Oval Office, but I can tell fart jokes during the debates and possibly move the conversation in a more fun direction.
And best of all, I could have the greatest campaign slogan ever: "Todd Hartley: The President With Stupid."
Todd Hartley could look very presidential in a suit if only he owned one. To read more or leave a comment, please visit zerobudget.net.