Thursday, June 2, 2011

What a Real President Sounds Like

I read a book once by a man who was running for president. The following is an excerpt from that book:

The President of the U.S. is the most powerful person in the world. He can personally make your life miserable or he can make it much freer. And when he can't do something personally, he can lead.

On my first day in office, by Executive Order I will:
  • Pardon everyone who has been convicted on a federal, non-violent drug charge, order the immediate release of those in prison, reunite them with their families, and restore all their civil rights.
  • Pardon everyone who has been convicted on any federal gun-control charge, order the immediate release of those in prison, and restore all their civil rights.
  • Pardon everyone who has been convicted of a federal tax evasion charge, order the immediate release of those in prison, and restore all their civil rights.
  • Pardon everyone else who has been convicted of a victimless federal crime, order the immediate release of those in prison, and restore all their civil rights.
  • I will make it clear to federal law enforcement agents and prosecutors that we want the violent criminals off the streets. No U.S. Attorney should waste his time or the taxpayers' money prosecuting people who haven't intruded on anyone's person or property. Every member of the federal criminal justice system should understand that prison space is only for criminals who have hurt someone.
  • I will announce a policy to penalize, dismiss, or even prosecute any federal employee who violates the Bill of Rights by treating you as guilty until proven innocent, by searching or seizing your property without due process of law, by treating you as a servant, or in any other way violating your rights as a sovereign American citizen.
  • I will immediately order that no federal asset forfeiture can occur if the property's owner hasn't been convicted by full due process- and I will initiate steps to make restitution to anyone whose property has been impounded, frozen, or seized by the federal government without being convicted by dur process. Over 80% of such seizures occur when no one has even been charged with a crime.
  • As Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, I will immediately remove all American troops from foreign soil. Europe and Asia can pay for their own defense, and they can risk their own lives in their eternal squabbles. This will save billions of dollars a year in taxes, but - more important- it will make sure your sons and daughters will never fight in someone else's war.
  • As Commander in Chief I will remove all American troops from under the command of the UN or any other foreign organization.
  • As President I will make sure the executive branch stops harrassing smokers, tobacco companies, successful computer companies, gun owners, gun manufacturers, alternative medicine suppliers, religious groups (whether respected or labeled as "cults"), investment companies, healthcare providers, businessmen, and anyone else who is conducting his affairs peaceably.
  • I will end federal affirmative action, federal quotas, set-asides, preferential treatments, and other discriminatory practices of the federal government. [...]

And then I will break for lunch.

After lunch, I will begin removing from the Federal Register thousands and thousands of regulations and executive orders inserted there by previous presidents. [...]

He goes on like this for a few pages. It's one of the most memorable passages from anything I've ever read. The man's name was Harry Browne, and the book is The Great Libertarian Offer. If you notice, it doesn't read like it was written by a politician. There are no platitudes, no clich├ęs, no uncertain terms, and no grandstanding or partisanship. It was clearly written by a man who had a specific plan and who intended on following through with it. It's a prescription for actual change that would affect real Americans immediately- none of that "I'll get to it in six months" or "Within ten years, we'll have X Y Z" garbage we hear from every other politician who rides a wave of empty promises into office. I believe such a platform would be very popular among the American people, but I guess I'll never know for sure; candidates with such views (when they exist) are barred from taking part in national debates. And that's a real shame, because any candidate who doesn't specifically address (and plan to make good on) at least five of those points isn't worthy of the office.

The reason I bring this up is to illustrate how much of a disgrace our current president actually is. He is truly an empty suit who is content to walk in the footsteps of his predecessors and who has absolutely no genuine interest in changing the United States back into the free nation everyone pretends it is. Any of the above bullet points could be executed with the stroke of the President's pen. Why do you think he refrains from doing so?

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