Why I won’t run

By Burt Prelutsky

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As it now appears a certainty that, come November, it will be Bush and Cheney vs. Kerry and Edwards, a number of you have let me know you’re hoping I’ll toss my hat in the ring. I appreciate the thought, but, one, I don’t believe in third parties and, two, for all my misgivings, I fully intend to vote for the Republicans.

Some might be surprised I’m not 100 percent behind President Bush. For my part, it’s enough that I’m 100 percent against Kerry. Right now, my biggest problem with Bush is he seems overly concerned with how the situation in Iraq is playing on CNN, the BBC and especially Al-Jazeera. If I were running things, Fallujah would be nothing but a bad memory by this time, and so would Moqtada Sadr.

If I were president, I would give a speech like the one that FDR gave after Pearl Harbor. I would declare that a state of war exists between the United States and Muslim fascists. I would go on to say that only muttonheads and enemies of America actually believe that Arab terrorists merely want us out of the Middle East – where they really want us is off the planet. They want us dead.

While I was at it, I’d probably invade Saudi Arabia and take over their oil fields. Leftists keep claiming we only go to war over oil. I say, let’s finally do it and have it over with. Liberals would get to say, “See, we told you so,” and we’d have all the oil we need without having to kowtow to the Saudi royal family.

When John Kerry recently anointed John Edwards to be his running mate, I was reminded that non-Catholics often scoff when new popes are elected by their colleagues in the College of Cardinals. I mean, one minute a fellow is just another Polish prelate, and the next minute a puff of white smoke above the Vatican proclaims his infallibility.

We have a similar situation in this country, only it’s political, not theological, and hardly anybody scoffs. One minute, guys like Kerry and Edwards are just a couple of mediocre senators whose main claims to fame are that they became extremely wealthy by, respectively, marrying rich women and by chasing ambulances; the next minute, millions of Democrats act as if these two twits just stepped down from Mt. Rushmore.

To me, the most astonishing thing is that Kerry believes that Edwards – a rather vacuous, inexperienced, blow-dried lightweight, who looks as if he should be a local news anchor – is the one man he needs to help him run the country. Who knew that Kerry had been carrying a torch all this time for Dan Quayle?

If I were to wake up in November and find that a write-in campaign had put me in the White House, there is one thing I’d try to get done before impeachment proceedings began. I’d acknowledge that where taxes are concerned, there are two clear-cut points of view. There are those who think they’re too high and those who think they should be even higher because, after all, politicians spend our money far more wisely than we do. The obvious solution I’d propose is that the people in the first group would pay less and those in the second group would pay more. Lots more. Furthermore, anyone in the second group who balked when the tax collector came around wouldn’t be audited – he would be taken out and shot – that being the only way to guarantee they’d never again spout such nonsense.

But if I’m not elected, you are no doubt wondering who will be. Well, if I were a betting man, I would wager that Kerry, like Gore in 2000, will win the popular vote by running up huge pluralities in places such as New York, California and Massachusetts, but Bush will win the electoral vote. And for the next four years, the Democrats will whine about the Republicans using the Constitution to steal yet another presidential election.

Which, when you get right down to it, is as it should be, seeing as how the Republicans are much better when it comes to governing, while nobody can beat the Democrats when it comes to griping.