July 2008

All Hail The Miser in Chief

By Thomas Vincent

According to supporters of the McCain Feingold campaign finance reform bill, the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down the bill’s so called “Millionaire’s exception” is both short sighted and anti-democratic. By eliminating the amendment, they argue, the Supreme Court has removed one of the only playing field levelers that exist between those who possess vast amounts of personal wealth to spend on their campaigns and those who do not. In other words, The Supremes have virtually assured that the only candidates who will get elected will be those with pots of money.

Personally, I don’t think the ruling goes far enough.

Enough of these mealy-mouth half measures. I say all elections should be decided by money and money alone. Hell, why not just eliminate those pesky elections altogether and choose our leaders solely on the basis of their net worth.

That way, the President would simply be the richest man (or woman) in the country. The second richest would become vice President. Governors would be the richest person in each state; Senators the second and third richest and so forth on down the line. Every four years, Forbes Magazine prints the list. If your name’s on top, you’re the man!

Sound crazy?

It’s no crazier than the current system in which people are purged from the voter roles, ballots are tossed out because of “hanging chads”, electronic voting machines count votes with no means of checking the result, and the Supreme Court ends up anointing the President. At least picking leaders based upon their personal fortune would be transparent. Besides, we have this weird cult worship of wealth in this country. Why not admit it? “All Hail the Miser in Chief!”

Think of all the advantages such an electoral system would provide. For one, none of our leaders would need to be paid a salary or retirement or health benefits. Think of all the money we’d save. While we’re at it, we could eliminate Air Force One. I mean, come on. A president who’s that wealthy can afford to buy his own damn plane.

Of course Old Glory might have to be changed to, say, a replica of the almighty greenback. “Ladies and Gentleman, my opponent isn’t patriotic. He refuses to wear a dollar bill on his lapel.” Uncle Sam would likewise have to be retired. The new symbol of America would be... Uncle Scrooge McDuck.

I figure the only exception to this richest guy rules rule, should be the Supreme Court. I think the Supreme Court should be comprised of the nine poorest men and women in the country. Why? You want to learn something about justice, go ask a homeless guy.