Everybody’s hat is in the ring, including mine

Of the several thousand people expected to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, two of the early entrants are senators Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

Harris says she’s running out of a “sense of duty” and “love of country.” Gillibrand styles herself as a “young mom” who will “fight for your children” as hard as she would fight for her own.

Me too. After months of soul searching and exploratory committees, I’ve dutifully decided to run as a “young uncle” who will “fight for your nieces and nephews” (a long overlooked demographic) and other marginalized groups.

Like other campaigns, mine will be all about compassion, compromise and inclusion. Also money laundering, grand juries and special counsel investigations.

My platform will begin with the perennially favorite cause of every Miss America contestant who ever lived: the always-elusive “world peace.” We will also have planks for every fringe element and warring faction, all designed to “bind up the nation’s wounds” and “knit the country back together again,” to wit:

Border security - Straddling the chasm between Republican walls and Democratic green lights, my administration will use simple map lines drawn on the desert floor, plus strategically placed speed bumps to get things under control. A few thousand dollars should cover the whole thing — or, at government rates, a few billion.

Anchor baby compromise - Simply put, if your parents aren’t citizens, you won’t be either, even if you’re born on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. However, once your parents do become citizens, then you, the dependent child, will automatically be a citizen too. This will keep families together and appease both left and right. You’re welcome.

Middle East - I’m with President Trump (don’t quote that) on getting out of Syria and Afghanistan. If your country is tribal and all your factions genuflect to a different bible, you can just fight it out amongst yourselves like we do here in America, with no outside help except from the Russians.

National debt - My huge budget surpluses (gleaned from the ever-popular elimination of waste and fraud) will be earmarked for the most urgent fiscal priorities, such as shoring up unfunded presidential pensions.

Global warming - We’d all rather be warm than cold, regardless of our political stripes, so let’s all support it. If New York City and Florida get submerged as a result, someone should have thought of that before building so close to the water.

Medicare for All - Despite widespread funding concerns, my financial advisors think we can cover many other “inalienable rights” besides health care. Vote for me and you’ll also get a guaranteed house, car, food (including proximity to a good pizza joint), season tickets, legal counsel, grievance counselor, comfort dog, Pez dispenser, house cleaner and cook. As my bumper stickers will say: “If we’re going socialist, let’s do it right.”

So long as my naïve new budget director, the socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, can figure out how to pay for all the above (including at least three toppings on the pizza), or just neatly sweep it all under the rug, I’m in. A.O.C. may dance better than me, but this “20-20” election needs a clear-eyed visionary leading the ticket.

As for personal traits, I’ll not lie to you, the gullible American voter, unlike every politician you’ve ever known, including young Sen. Gillibrand. When she ran for the U.S. Senate last fall, she promised New Yorkers she’d serve her full six-year term. Now she’s already angling for the White House. She says this change was necessitated by the “sudden urgency” of confronting President Trump. Sudden urgency? Please.

If I’m elected president and something better comes along, I’ll just say so. (“Folks, an attractive young woman wants me to run away with her to Paris.”) I’m sure you’ll understand, especially if my pension is still unfunded.

Finally, as your new leader, I pledge to do my full share of mandatory presidential tweeting. I have no Twitter account at present, but my White House interns (nieces and nephews I’ll pardon) will sign me up and invent a catchy “handle.” Then just stay glued to social media like you do now.

“And so, my fellow Americans” (as I will memorably close my first Inaugural Address), “Follow me on Twitter. Like me on Facebook. Hug me in real life.”

Just don’t vote for Kirsten, Kamala, Tulsi Gabbard, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Julian Castro, Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, Beto O’Rourke, John Hickenlooper, Jimmy Carter or any of the others.


Mark Godburn is a bookseller in Norfolk and the author of “Nineteenth-Century Dust-Jackets.”