Hypothetical Election Day Eve Speech: “I DON’T Want Your Vote!”
“I DON’T Want Your Vote!”
“Hide Yo’ Kids, Hide Yo’ Wife, He Hatin’ EVERYBODY!”
“Bring me Americans!
Delivered in Washington, D.C., the day before Election Day- the candidate’s final election speech. Another speech has been prepared and is scrolling down the teleprompters- but the candidate ignores them and recites this, instead. It does not matter which presidential election this is, which party this hypothetical candidate represents, or who he is- so let’s use Sam the Eagle.
The time has come for the American nation to undergo once more that greatest of rituals which has defined our civic life throughout our history. Tomorrow, millions of Americans will go to the voting booths- some returning again to that hallowed shrine where their feet have trod every four years for decades, others approaching the altar of democracy for the first time in their lives- and by the power of democracy, the people of this great country shall elect the statesman who will lead them at home and represent them abroad for the next four years. It is a heavy responsibility, not to be taken lightly.
The statesman they elect will forever be entitled to at least a few pages in the history books, and whether his chapter is entitled “The Age of ________” or “__________-Gate” will be largely a matter of his character, his vision, his charisma, and his ability to bear the burdens and joys of leadership with grace and dignity. Perhaps upon his death, his supporters will erect a monument for him in this great city. Perhaps scholarships will be given in his name; the first biographies written will be either far too celebratory or far too accusatory, but in every case too partisan. Only after decades will our grandchildren know the true legacy of the man who takes the Oval Office next January. He will go down in history at the very least as a member of that most exclusive of clubs- the Presidents of the United States of America.
Perhaps, at this final moment before you make your choice, I should be pandering to you, my fellow Americans, as to why I ought to sit in that seat- why I ought to hold the office of Washington, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, and Kennedy. Perhaps I should be informing you of why votes for my rival are votes for the devil, or why a vote for me is a vote for peace, pride, and prosperity. Perhaps it is incumbent upon me, now, to make one final desperate plea for your votes, one last statement of plank and principle, to inform you that *I* am your savior, and I need your votes! I do not doubt that my wealthiest backers wish for me to do so.
But I do not have it in me. I have spent enough hours and weeks throughout this campaign informing you of what I see for America, and what I hope to do about it; nothing I say now would alter your views of me a damn, and therefore I’ll leave my rhetoric about a strong and prudent American government abroad, a vivacious and prudent American government at home, and an active and patriotic American citizenry in every city and county and town and household, for whatever sort of speech I deliver after the last votes have been counted and announced.
No, my fellow Americans- now, hours before you vote, I come before you to inform you of why I DON’T want your vote.
If you despise your fellow American because he is a Muslim, I don’t want your vote.
If you disregard your fellow American because she is an atheist, I don’t want your vote.
If you cannot take seriously your fellow American because he is a Christian, I don’t want your vote.
If you reject your fellow American because they are Baptist, Evangelical, Catholic, or Mormon- I don’t want your vote.
If you would vote for a candidate specifically because he was a Christian, or because she was an atheist, or because he was a Muslim- I don’t want your vote. If you would not vote for a candidate because of the religion they profess, I don’t want your vote.
If you hate your fellow American for believing in feminism, I don’t want your vote.
If you diminish your fellow American for believing in ideals of manliness, I don’t want your vote.
If you would prefer to hire someone because they were a woman, or would not hire someone because they were a woman, I don’t want your vote.
If you would prefer or defer an individual for a position or an honor because he was male, I don’t want your vote.
If you believe your homosexual neighbor is any less a citizen and a man than you because he is homosexual, I don’t want your vote.
If you believe your transgender neighbor is a bad influence on your children because she is transgender, I don’t want your vote.
If you believe your traditional moralist neighbors are hateful oppressors because they do not stamp LGBT on their foreheads, though they treat every man or woman with equal respect and dignity regardless of gender or sexual orientation- I don’t want your vote.
If you believe that this country is built and run upon institutions of unjust white domination, I don’t want your vote.
If you believe this country is suffering due to the growth of non-White populations, I don’t want your vote.
If you believe that it is wrong and treasonous to be a Texan, a Californian, a New Yorker, a Virginian, an Iowan, an African-American, a Latino-American, an Irish-American, a Scots-Irish-American, a Chinese-American, an Arab-American, a German-American, an Indian-American, or a Native American- if you believe it is wrong and treasonous to be any of these things, I don’t want your vote.
If you believe that it is more important to be a Native American, an Indian-American, a German-American, an Arab-American, a Chinese-American, a Scots-Irish American, an Irish-American, a Latino-American, an African-American, an Iowan, a Virginian, a New Yorker, a Californian, a Texan- if you believe it is more important to be any one of these things than it is to be an American first and foremost- I don’t want your vote.
If you despise another nation beyond our borders with special fury, I don’t want your vote.
If you love all other nations, or a single other nation, as much as or more than the United States of America- I don’t want your vote.
If you support the interests of another nation, another prince, before you support the interests of the United States of America- I don’t want your vote. If the status and health of France, Britain, Mexico, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Taiwan, or South Korea matters more to you than does the status and health of the United States of America- I don’t want your vote.
If you despise the rich man because he is rich, I don’t want your vote.
If you loathe the poor man because he is poor, I don’t want your vote.
If you would join the rich man in stamping down the poor, I don’t want your vote.
If you would join the poor man in tearing down the rich, I don’t your vote.
If you would put the property interests of the rich or the entitlement interests of the poor before the general interests of the prosperity of the United States of America, I don’t want your vote.
If you would blandly throw around the term “middle-class” as a catch-all statement of implacable purity, I don’t want your vote.
If you would despise the common man for his simplicity, if you would despise the rich man for his opulence, or if you would laud and praise either for just that- I don’t want your vote.
If you would shirk a man because he came from the countryside, I don’t want your vote.
If you would turn away from a woman because she came from the urban cores, I don’t want your vote.
If you would overlook someone for coming from the suburbs, I don’t want your vote.
If you would judge a man as either romantically simple or disdainfully unsophisticated because he was a garbage collector, I don’t want your vote.
If you would ignore a woman because she was a farmhand, and presumably was not sufficiently cosmopolitan, or if you would raise her up as a virtuous yeoman farmer, I don’t want your vote.
If you would criticize a bureaucrat for corruption that is not there, if you would slander a journalist for ulterior motives that were not there, if you would demean a cop for racism that is not there, if you would indict a banker for greed that is not there- and moreover, if you would praise any of these professionals for their supposed sense of duty and therefore absolve them of the very human flaws endemic to our breasts, and give them a free hand- I don’t want your vote.
If you would suppose a skater to be rude because she is a skater, a hunter to be vicious because he is a hunter, a rapper to be criminal because he is a rapper, a churchgoer to be self-righteous because she is a churchgoer, a rocker to be hedonistic because he is a rocker, an investor to be manipulative because she is an investor, and environmental activist to be clueless because she is an environmental activist, a lawyer to be crooked because he is a lawyer- if you would dismiss these individuals for their way of living, I don’t want your vote.
And most saliently- if you despise liberals for being liberals, conservatives for being conservatives, moderates for being moderates, and extremists for being extremists- if you despise an individual on the basis of their political thought alone, I don’t want your vote.
For in the end, my fellow Americans, it does not matter who is right or wrong in their opinions- in the end, the thing that matters for the health of the nation is the character of its citizens.
I speak not in favor of diversity for the sake of diversity. I speak in favor of Americanism for the sake of Americanism. And any American who holds that to be an American is not a thing of the heart and soul and character, but a thing of profession or race or class or ideology, is not really an American at all. For America is in the heart, and from the heart comes the very best.
Bring me Americans, Americans of all sorts, all shapes and sizes, from every end of the Earth and every walk of life!
Bring me Americans who would lay down their lives for the Star-Spangled Banner should duty call in time of crisis! Bring me Americans who would spend their lives using their talents to build their communities, to strengthen their country! Bring me Americans who would vigorously endeavor to improve the civic life of the Republic, who would celebrate joyously its culture of Democracy, who would earnestly believe in the majesty of a cause greater than self!
Bring me Americans who would build strong families and raise good children, teaching the young of the next generation of the true value of responsibility, integrity, hard work, patriotism, and compassion! Bring me Americans who would be good mothers and fathers, good aunts and uncles, good grandparents, who would teach tomorrow’s leaders how to stand straight, how to live right, and how to give back! Bring me Americans who would build great American families!
Bring me Americans who will never rest with themselves as they are, and will forever strive to increase their capabilities, to enhance their talents, to improve their usefulness to themselves, those around them, and the broader society and world they inhabit! Bring me Americans who value pluck and pride, who would enhance their brains and brawn not merely for the sake of getting rich or inspiring awe or feeling fit, but for the esteem that comes from within with the knowledge that one’s own excellence has been the fruit of one’s own strivings! And most of all, bring me Americans who value the quality of their own character and virtue above all other still-noble pursuits of prowess, intellect, and charisma, and far above all lesser rewards of wealth, pleasure, fame, and satisfaction.
As these are, again, qualities of character and choice, it is important to note that most critical caveat ever uttered concerning the American identity: that we must all be judged not by the color of our skin, nor by those other divisive yet identifying bits and pieces of identity from ideology to origin to religion to gender to class, but by the content of our character. And may the content of our character forever remind us that first, we are all Americans. Republicans and Democrats, I might remind you that we are ALL Republicans, and we are ALL Democrats; in culture, we are a democracy, in politics, a republic. And it is the character of its citizens that will define the future greatness or weakness of that great democratic republic.
In line with these admonitions for the future greatness of our nation, I will explain now that I have attended so many events with the Boy Scouts of America, the American Legion, and the Daughters of the American Revolution over the last six months of my campaign, at the expense of fundraising and other publicity opportunities, for the simple reason that these civic organizations embody the values of Service, Family, and Excellence so necessary for the quality of American civic life that can and will rejuvenate our country. Their missions are noble; their intentions are pure; and I thank them more than any other organizations, even my own party and my own donors, for giving me the strength and inspiration to lead in this campaign.
By this point I have probably enraged a good portion of those previously in my coalition, and by offending just about every American constituency, completely removed my chances at attaining the Presidency, and my party’s chances for entering the Oval Office.
But even if this is so, I will rest happily tomorrow night, knowing that I received votes only from the true Americans.
And regardless of the results announced tomorrow night, I will continue serving this great country as best as I am able, until I have become the dust of the Earth. I implore you, my fellow Americans, to join me as we move forward into the next great chapter of the life of the Republic. Thank you for support, but the job isn’t finished yet- we owe to it to our forebears, and we owe it to posterity, to give the country the best we can offer.
Good luck in the endeavor. May God Bless You, and may God Bless the United States of America, the union of liberty one and inseparable, now and forever!
RePost: Edmund Burke on the Nature of Democratic Politics
Here Edmund Burke, in his magisterial ‘Reflections on the Revolution in France,’ comments on the French National Assembly, newly-installed. ‘The National Assembly’ could easily be replaced with any major party in any democratic country today, but especially those in the United States. A sober meditation that would be a fine wakeup-call for a nation drunk on democracy and demagoguery.
“To make a government requires no great prudence. Settle the seat of power; teach obedience and the work is done. To give freedom is still more easy. It is not necessary to guide; it only requires to let go the rein. But to form a free government; that is, to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint in one consistent work, requires much thought, deep reflection, a sagacious, powerful, and combining mind. This I do not find in those who take the lead in the National Assembly. Perhaps they are not so miserably deficient as they appear. I rather believe it. It would put them below the common level of human understanding. But when the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents, in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides, of the people. If any of them should happen to propose a scheme of liberty, soberly limited, and defined with proper qualifications, he will be immediately outbid by his competitors, who will produce something more splendidly popular. Suspicions will be raised of his fidelity to his cause. Moderation will be stigmatized as the virtue of cowards; and compromise as the prudence of traitors; until, in hopes of preserving the credit which may enable him to temper, and moderate, on some occasions, the popular leader is obliged to become active in propagating doctrines, and establishing powers, that will afterwards defeat any sober purpose at which he ultimately might have aimed. . . .”