The Possibility Of Running For Political Office
Ladies and gentlemen, I have been asked to run for the office of President of the United States by people who agree with our ideological mindset. Because of this, we have decided to elicit the opinions of other progressives throughout the United States. To be clear, I am NOT stating that I am running. I am stating that we would like to see what other progressives think about the possibility of it. We have placed a form below for progressive visitors to this page to select “yes” or “no” if they believe we should or should not attempt this. There is also room to add additional comments. Everyone is welcome, but the form is only for progressive visitors who live in the United States.
We are not affiliated with any political party. Our ideology more closely resembles that of the Democratic Party by far, and our voting record reflects this. As an Independent without the support of one of the major political parties…it would be a major task to take on a run against two well-established political parties, who are ingrained into the fabric of the political landscape of the United States.
It would take big money to run as an Independent, because that is what our political system is. It is a system controlled by big money, in which a regular hard-working American cannot effectively run and obtain a high political office because of a roadblock called “big money.” We are regular hard-working Americans, like many Americans. To make the political system fair for all Americans, big money must be removed from politics. How can big money be removed from politics? An act of Congress, such as campaign finance reform signed into law by the President, can remove big money from politics. Campaign finance reform can get big money out of politics and create a political system that is fair to all Americans and represents a true democracy. Allowing big money in politics destroys the democratic process, which currently allows only those who have, or have access to big money, to effectively run for political office. Big money must be completely removed from politics, inclusive of lobby money and all other big money donations to candidates…who place the needs of their big money donors above the needs of their constituents. The Republic of the United States of America is governed through the utilization of a democratic process.
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines democracy as:
1 a: government by the people; especially: rule of the majority
b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
2 : a political unit that has a democratic government
3 capitalized: the principles and policies of the Democratic party in the U.S.
from emancipation Republicanism to New Deal Democracy —C. M. Roberts
4 : the common people especially when constituting the source of political authority
5 : the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines democratic as:
1 : of, relating to, or favoring democracy (see democracy 1) democratic elections a democratic government
2 often capitalized : of or relating to one of the two major political parties in the U.S. evolving in the early 19th century from the anti-federalists and the Democratic-Republican party and associated in modern times with policies of broad social reform and internationalism the Democratic candidate for governor
3 : relating to, appealing to, or available to the broad masses of the people democratic art democratic education
4 : favoring social equality : not snobbish disagrees with her very democratic husband
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines republic as:
1 a (1): a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2): a political unit (such as a nation) having such a form of government
b (1): a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2): a political unit (such as a nation) having such a form of government
c: a usually specified republican government of a political unit the French Fourth Republic
2 : a body of persons freely engaged in a specified activity the republic of letters
3 : a constituent political and territorial unit of the former nations of Czechoslovakia, the U.S.S.R., or Yugoslavia
Running for the office of President of the United States is not an easy task. The fact of the matter is it is a hard task, especially for an Independent. Independents run without the financial backing of a major political party. The Democrats and Republicans are the two major political parties in the United States. The political landscape in America is one in which a potential candidate is made to feel that the only way to get elected, is by aligning with one of the major political parties and running a primary campaign. This was seen in 2016 in the Senator Bernie Sanders campaign for President in the Democratic Primaries. An April 2–11 2018 Gallup Poll asked the question: “In politics, as of today, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat or an independent?” 24% identified themselves as Republicans, 29% identified themselves as Democrats, and 45% identified themselves as Independents. An April 2–11 2018 Gallup poll asked Independents the question: “As of today, do you lean more to the Democratic Party or the Republican Party?” The poll numbers are 39% Republicans + Republican leaners…and 49% Democrats + Democratic leaners. Some Independents lean toward the Republican Party ideologically, and some Independents lean toward the Democratic Party ideologically. These Gallup polls clearly show the power of the two major political parties.
President George Washington made some profound statements concerning “factions,” or in other words “political parties.” When you read these words, think about the political parties that exist today. President George Washington stated the following in his 1796 farewell address:
“To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government better calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.
All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
However, combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.
I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus, the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.”
-From President George Washington’s farewell address in 1796
One can clearly see from President George Washington’s 1796 farewell address, that he did not agree with the idea of political “factions” or “parties.” He accurately described today’s two major political parties. How much unethical behavior and corruption have you seen in the two major political parties? Concerning Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary…Donna Brazile, the former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, stated the following in a November 2, 2017 Politico article entitled “Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC,” excerpted from her book “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House”:
“The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical. If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.”
Concerning the Republican party, one can look at the media’s coverage of the Trump campaign, and the Trump administration. In a Vox article by Sean Illing updated on March 1, 2018 entitled: “The fish rots from the head”: a historian on the unique corruption of Trump’s White House,” presidential historian Robert Dallek stated the following:
“Trump is the head of government, and people know they can get away with things. Look at all the incidents of corruption I just laid out, and that’s not even close to a complete list. Like Nixon, Trump has created a culture in his administration in which people feel comfortable with corruption. Trump himself has shown a complete indifference to democratic norms, to rule of law, and that sends a pretty clear signal to the people beneath him.
Again, Trump’s lying is a big facilitator of all this corruption. This is a guy who will look right into the camera and lie without any hesitation at all. It’s hard to overstate what kind of tone that sets in an administration; it makes everyone more comfortable when they lie, when they deceive, when they cover things up.”
We just covered two examples confirming President George Washington’s views on political “factions” or “parties.” One example from the Democratic Party and one example from the Republican Party. The two major political parties in the United States make it impossible for Independents to compete effectively. The smaller political parties cannot even compete effectively with the two major political parties. It takes big money to compete effectively with the two major political parties. Campaign finance reform will make the playing field fair, as it will enable United States citizens from the poorest to the richest, to have the opportunity to run for high public office. Connections and big money does not have a place in United States politics. This is the vision for the future of United States politics. Let’s root out corruption and make the United States government truly a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
How much money would be required to run for the office of President of the United States as an Independent? The answer is “a lot of money.” How would an Independent run effectively? According to the Federal Election Commission, the first steps include obtaining a tax ID and bank account, obtaining ballot access in each state, establishing a campaign committee and appointing a treasurer. An assistant treasurer would also be necessary to perform the treasurer duties when the treasurer is unable to. According to the Federal Election Commission, “payments for day-to-day expenses, such as staff salaries, rent, travel, advertising, telephones, office supplies and equipment, fundraising, etc., are permissible operating expenditures.” Day to day operating expenditures would be paid by the campaign committee. The hiring of staff and the renting of offices in each state would be an important task, necessary for effective grassroots work throughout the local communities. As far as an Independent and money is concerned, the top political party in spending would have to be outspent by possibly as much as three to five times…especially for an Independent without fifty-state name recognition. To place this in the proper context…a Washington Post April 4, 2017 article by Christopher Ingraham, entitled “Somebody just put a price tag on the 2016 election. It’s a doozy,” stated the following information:
“Clinton's unsuccessful campaign ($768 million in spending) outspent Trump's successful one ($398 million) by nearly 2 to 1. The Democratic National Committee and left-leaning outside groups also outspent their Republican counterparts by considerable margins.”
According to 2016 campaign spending numbers, an Independent would possibly have to outspend the Clinton campaign by three to five times. The Clinton campaign spent $768 million. An Independent would possibly have to spend as much as $2 billion $304 million to $3 billion $840 million. This includes outspending super PAC's and other organizations that independently supported the Clinton campaign financially, through their own national advertising and grassroots efforts independent of the Clinton campaign. These are enormous amounts of money. Could an Independent win if they could just get on the ballot in each state? Anything is possible…but not probable if the Independent is not in a position financially to outspend the top political party. Now that dollar amounts have been established in this example, how would an Independent get these dollar amounts? Fundraising would be the vehicle through which an Independent would obtain these dollar amounts. As a result, an excellent fundraising staff would be required. Online and offline fundraising would be necessary. The Independent and staff would have to be prepared to campaign full time until either the office is won, or the Independent's campaign is ended. This would mean the Independent and staff working full time possibly 1,2,3 election cycles or more, which equates to 4,8,12 years or more. In this example with the Clinton campaign, the Republican candidate for President won the 2016 election. The Independent and staff would have to continue campaigning full time from 2016 until the 2020 Presidential election. If the office is not won in 2020, the Independent and staff would have to continue campaigning from 2020 until the 2024 election. The possibility of an ongoing nonstop campaign until the office is won would be a definite possibility for an Independent and staff. The good thing about an ongoing campaign is that an Independent candidate without name recognition would gain the ability to become well known throughout the United States. This would assist exponentially in raising the Independent candidate in the eyes of the people to the status of Democratic and Republican party candidates. The possibility of an Independent candidate participating in the nationally televised debates would exist. The Commission on Presidential Debates website at http://www.debates.org/index.php?page=overview, states the following information:
"Federal Election Commission ("FEC") regulations require a debate sponsor to make its candidate selection decisions on the basis of "pre-established, objective" criteria. After a thorough and wide-ranging review of alternative approaches to determining who is invited to participate in the general election debates it will sponsor, the CPD adopted on October 28, 2015 its 2016 Non-Partisan Candidate Selection Criteria. Under the 2016 Criteria, in addition to being Constitutionally eligible, candidates must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College, and have a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recently publicly-reported results at the time of the determination. The polls to be relied upon will be selected based on the quality of the methodology employed, the reputation of the polling organizations and the frequency of the polling conducted. CPD will identify the selected polling organizations well in advance of the time the criteria are applied."
An Independent candidate, according to The Commission on Presidential Debates website, "must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College, and have a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recently publicly-reported results at the time of the determination." In order to achieve this, everything we've listed on this page as necessary for an Independent to compete with the two major political parties, is confirmed as being necessary according to what is required to compete in the debates as outlined by The Commission on Presidential Debates.
In addition to everything outlined above, much more work would be required for an Independent to run effectively against the two major political parties.
We will continue to add text to this page as we see items we missed or would like to add.
"Democracy." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2018.
"Democratic." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2018.
"Republic." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2018.
President George Washington, September 17, 1796, Farewell Address. Library of Congress George Washington Papers, Series 2, Letterbooks 1754-1799: Letterbook 24, April 3, 1793 - March 3, 1797 https://www.loc.gov/resource/mgw2.024/?sp=229&st=text
Politico article by Donna Brazile. November 2, 2017. “Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC”
Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House by Donna Brazile
Vox article by Sean Illing, updated on March 1, 2018 “The fish rots from the head”: a historian on the unique corruption of Trump’s White House
Washington Post article by Christopher Ingraham. April 4, 2017. “Somebody just put a price tag on the 2016 election. It’s a doozy,”
Gallup Poll “In politics, as of today, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat or an independent”
Gallup Poll (Asked of independents) “As of today, do you lean more to the Democratic Party or the Republican Party?”
The Commission on Presidential Debates: An Overview http://www.debates.org/index.php?page=overview
The form below is for progressive visitors to this page to select “yes” or “no” if they believe we should or should not attempt this. There is also room to add additional comments. Everyone is welcome, but the form is only for progressive visitors who live in the United States.