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The Times
  • Kent Bush: All Bush-Natvig voters promised the nice list?

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    Arthur Clarke once said, “New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can't be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it's not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!” My write-in presidential campaign has followed a similar path. 



     
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    Arthur Clarke once said, “New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can't be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it's not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!”
    My write-in presidential campaign has followed a similar path. 
    However, it was more like, 1) I should do that. It would be fun and shed light on how bad the Electoral College system is. 2) That’s crazy. No one will care or understand and you’ll be left embarrassed and angry. 3) I knew it was a great idea all along!
    What convinced me?
    As official write-in candidates in only one state, my running mate and I find our campaign in very good company.
    After all, Santa Claus is an official write-in candidate for president in Maryland, state elections officials say. Unlike myself, the jolly old elf hasn’t named a running mate yet.
    Like Santa Claus, I'm not a candidate in the true sense of the word.
    I am only a candidate in Kansas and even then, only as an official write-in choice.
    But having been an official candidate for almost two months and having written, talked and campaigned about this issue for the entire time, I find it difficult to believe that someone would think I am "mocking" the electoral process or hoping people will "waste" the opportunity to vote.
    A vote for me is a waste in the sense that I can't really even become president or even win an entire county in Kansas. But it is not a waste in the sense that you are making a real statement in a way that a vote for President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will not make.
    Without the Electoral College, the 38 states that are more ideologically consistent would still have value to presidential campaigns. Winning by one vote in Kansas would no longer be equally valuable to winning by 250,000. A vote in Kansas would carry the exact same weight as one in Florida, Ohio or Wisconsin.
    The reason I am running with my vice presidential candidate Todd Natvig is because we know no one would really want a couple of marginally entertaining amateur storm chasers making decisions about our country's foreign policy or tax rates.
    So obviously, any vote for us indicates that you're tired of this system that plays favorites. The presidency is the only American elected office not directly decided by popular vote.
    The Electoral College was intended to be an homage to federalism and states’ rights. But the antiquated institution gives residents of some states more value than others.
    America can survive with the Electoral College in place. But utilizing the popular vote would be far more consistent with American principles and ideals.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Electoral College is inherently unfair. It was the result of backroom deals to curry the favor of rural slave states in order to create a union. There were 13 colonies then. We have 50 states and the District of Columbia who cast electoral votes now but we use the same slanted system to award them.
    It makes no sense.
    Other original ideas included in the U.S. Constitution have been amended to keep the document relevant to contemporary culture.
    I don’t know why a Maryland voter would write in Santa Claus. 
    Perhaps they would hope to move from the naughty list to the nice list.
    We can’t offer something of that value. But voting for Bush-Natvig on Nov. 6 would tell those in power you want your vote to have the same value and impact as any other voter in any other state.
    Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta (Kan.) Gazette. 
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