You read that right. No joke. I'm really running for President in the next election.
This morning, as I ate breakfast, I watched the news and saw a story about the usual bunch of assholes gathering for some kind of thing called Politics and Pie, or some such shit. In that moment, however, I realized something: for the first time in my life, I can be one of those assholes.
There are three requirements to run for US president: you have to be born in the US, you have to have lived in the US for the last 14 years and you have to be a minimum of 35 years old.
I was born in Elmhurst, IL, which is firmly placed in the heartland of the US. Not only have I lived here for the last 14 years, I've lived here for the last 36 years. Which means, by the way, that I am 36 years old.
I can run for president, so I will, but not for the reasons you'd expect. I did a little research into what you need to do in order to run for president. One part sounds easy. The other? That's a bit more difficult.
The easy part: fill out this form. That is, if you plan on spending money for your campaign. Which, if you really want to win, you should probably do. I won't be doing this because I won't be spending any money. That's right, my campaign is going to cost me zero dollars. Any contributions sent to me will be returned posthaste.
Since I'm not going to spend money, I'm certainly not going to do the harder part: getting on the ballot. If you run for president and want to win, you will need to get 50 petitions together in order to get enough signatures to make it onto each state's ballot. (Unless you know a few secretaries of state. Some states allow their secretary of state to put you on the ballot without the petition.) You need something like 1% of the population to sign each petition. While I have the organization to do that, I know I wouldn't succeed at it. That's crazy talk, and it's a lot of legwork for something that's just not going to happen.
However . . . some states have write-ins on their ballot. If you feel that I would make a kick ass president, feel free to put my name on that line.
But chances are, I'm not going to win. Hell, I'm not even registered to vote, so not even I will be voting for me. Why am I running for president if I'm not going to win? I hear you ask. The better question to ask is, "Why run if you don't even want to win?"
Because I don't want to win. I have zero plans on how to make this a better country. Ask me how I'm going to reform our tax system. No. Seriously. Ask. Or how's about my plan to turn back inflation and return value to the American dollar? Am I coming for your guns? Am I going to legalize PCP?
I don't fucking know. I don't care, either. I'm really running for president because I have a new book to promote, and I can't think of a better way than to see if I can get on TV as a presidential candidate. Perhaps I can convince the American people that the secret to saving the nation is within the pages of POOR BASTARDS AND RICH FUCKS. Speaking of which, I'm looking for a running mate who also has a new book out to promote. Any suggestions? Volunteers?
And I can hear you Negative Nellies. "YOU CAN'T RUN FOR PRESIDENT! YOU'RE NOT MARRIED, YOU'RE AN ATHEIST, YOU'RE A DRUNK, YOU HAVE A PICTURE OF YOUR PENIS ON YOUR WEBSITE AND THERE'S A LONG HISTORY OF YOU DOING QUESTIONABLE THINGS." Well, those things only matter if I want to win. And even if I wanted to win, I wouldn't deny these things. I'm pretty proud of most of these things. There will be no lies from me. No cover ups. Nothing but the truth. Which means I'd make a lousy politician, I guess.
Anyway, I guess I'd better start writing my press release and start sending out requests to be interviewed. Maybe I can run on a platform of raising awareness of writers. Tell the people that we don't make as much as Stephen King. Maybe I can get a bill going requiring publishers to pay authors 20-cents per word for short fiction. We currently make the same (if not less) than the pulp writers of the 'Thirties, and considering inflation, that makes no sense. Got any more ideas for my platform? Let me know. I'll leave you with my campaign slogan:
ZERO CHANCE OF WINNING
JOHN BRUNI 2016
(I want to add on BUY POOR BASTARDS AND RICH FUCKS, but I think it ruins the flow. Maybe I can put that in parentheses at the bottom in small letters, so it looks like more of an afterthought.)