More than my close, personal friendship with President Obama--the man who once saved my life in 'Nam. More than my Pulitzer Prize, which makes for a dandy doorstop. More than my thirteen Olympic Gold Medals and one Nobel Peace Prize for love. More even than my Congressional Medals of Honor, which I quit accepting after my seventh, because I'm nothing if not humble.
More than all that is this, my column for Desert Exposure. I consider writing for the world's premiere magazine for arts and leisure in southern New Mexico the single greatest achievement in my life, and that is why I've decided to use this platform to make the following announcement:
I, Jim Duchene, am running for President of the United States of America.
I made this decision after much begging from unhappy Republicans and Democrats. Also, the Illuminati, which, for the record, doesn't exist.
"But I'm neither a Republican OR a Democrat," I told them.
"What does THAT have to do with anything?" they answered.
"Nor am I a member of the Masons."
"I was never in the Skull & Bones," I continued, in the interest of full disclosure.
"Pish, posh," they assured me, and began making rude noises with their lips.
To my wife I said, "I've asked God not to do this, but He didn't listen to me."
"Yeah, well, I've got a headache," my wife said, "so I'm not listening to you either."
"But, Jim," you might wonder, "won't you be stealing the presidency from the official candidates?"
As my dear old pappy used to say, if you're going to steal, steal from a politician. They're least likely to put you in jail.
"What about your qualifications?"
What about them?
"Do you have any?"
Well, since you ask...
My qualifications are as follows: Ever hear of the great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov? If you add the number of books he and I have published, the total comes out to well over FIVE HUNDRED BOOKS! Ask him yourself, if you don't believe me. If you can talk to the dead, that is.
Would you believe that when Obama ran for president, he only had 143 days more in the Senate than I do? It's true. How's that for a qualification? Not only that, but in the 1984 presidential election between Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale, I was only 13 electoral votes away from coming in second.
And, finally, I'm in the country illegally. That should count for something. Am I a minority? Well, let's do the math. I'm running for president, very few people have run for president, so, yes, I guess I am a minority.
Once elected, I'll make it a law that all primaries and caucuses (heh, heh... caucuses) have to be held on the same day. Only three presidential debates will be allowed, and those will have to be broadcasted on QVC.
Second, I'll abolish the IRS by instituting a Consumption Tax. In the meantime, IRS audits will have to be completed within two years of when the tax returns were filed. What will happen to those years they haven't gotten around to? We'll cut our losses, much like I had to do with my first four marriages.
Third, I'll get rid of the electoral college, because, as I've recently discovered, it's not really a college at all. It's more of a trade school for the mentally unambitious. I'll install an election by popular vote, because that's what the majority of people seem to want anyway. If there's one thing I've learned from my life as an innocent bystander, it's that you've got to kiss the majority's tuchus.
Fourth, I'll get rid of the obnoxious youth of America by reinstating the draft. Do you know what reinstating the draft means? It means more young girls for us older guys. Do you know what it does for those jerky Pokémon-chasing dorks who wear their pants below their bottoms? It gives them a salary, a dress code, and work experience that companies can ignore. Half of their salary will be kept in a special overseas account I have, and their funds sans interest will be returned to them once they leave the armed forces. That way they don't re-enter the private sector dead broke, like my in-laws.
What will I do for the illegal immigrant? I'll bring back the Don't Ask/Don't Tell policy from the Clinton Administration, except I'll call it Don't Get Caught/Don't Get Deported. Will these almost-Americans have the rights and benefits that come with living in a great country such as ours? Heck no.
My stand on foreign aid? What's in it for me?
My policy for Israel? What have they done for me lately?
NO MORE PORK OR EARMARKS! I'll replace them with TERM LIMITS! I'm serious. We politicians running for office really mean it this time. Honest.
Give me the line-item veto! You did? Dang right you did.
No budget cuts. Instead I'll institute a government freeze. Growth will absorb waste. Useful government agencies will absorb worthless government agencies, like Congress.
Finally, my fellow Americans, I promise you this: on the day I'm sworn into office, I will officially release the name of President Kennedy's real killer.
That's a special favor to Oliver Stone.
as published in Desert Exposure