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You and Me for President!

Table of Contents for this Web page. (Links are internal; read on.)


My Presidential Campaign for 2016

You may know that my main thing has always been pure democracy in all branches of government, at every level of government. Thus, my presidential platform has always been one, simple thing: Every presidential action will be in accord with majority will. Period.

You will not be unduly surprised to hear that my campaign for democracy as an actual system of government, as opposed to just a beloved buzzword, has made little progress since 1996. I believe in it as strongly as ever, but, while waiting for everyone to catch on, a more immediate problem has raised its hideous head: our country has been exposed as a spy state. The U.S. has become the antithesis of everything it stood for, whether perfectly or not, for the first 225 years or so (subtract July 4 1776 from September 11 2001.)

Under the circumstances, I'm forced to put my practical idealism on hold. We really must decide which direction we want to go here. Thus, I offer you a choice of platforms. I promise to abide by the platform chosen by the people.

 
PLATFORM 1: The immediate cessation of all spying by the U.S. government:

AND IF ELECTED . . .
Every government agency involved in surveillance, foreign or domestic, will be dismantled completely.

The exception to that may be military surveillance in the case of the U.S. being attacked. But if we backed off from being the world's bully and started sticking our nose out of everybody's business, why would anybody bother about destroying us?

And until every agency involved in surveillance is completely shut down, every elected official in national government (except for me, because I'm the good guy here) will be trailed 24 hours a day by a video crew. That includes the bedroom, the bathroom, the doctor's office... everywhere. Every word spoken, every communication sent and received, in every format--yea, every computer keystroke--will be recorded. All this data will be streamed to the internet, and archived there.

See how they like it.

 
PLATFORM 2: The surveillance state über alles:

AND IF ELECTED . . .
In order to form a more perfect union, everything we do will be observed, recorded, and archived by our government.

This includes, of course, everybody on earth, not just us.

I'm really not too clear on this, but I think the idea is that it will eliminate all wrong-doing and move us directly into a state of utopia. (Personally, I'd implement a simple, efficient justice system based on the common sense and conscience of the people.)

In any case, negative reaction to our recently exposed spy state has been negligible, so, failing a "silent majority", one can only assume this is what we've always really wanted. Comments you hear fall into three main categories:

1. If you're not doing anything wrong, what are you worried about???

2. What's the big deal? We've known it all along. They've always been doing it.

3. If they want to watch everything I do, they're going to be bored to tears!

 
If elected, I will ensure that the job is not done halfway.

The Fourth of July will be discarded as the national holiday and replaced with September Eleventh, the date of our nation's rebirth. (I've always felt "9/11" to be revoltingly flip for such a world-changing event, but, if that's all the respect we can muster, then 9/11 it is.)

Memorial Day can remain, but now we will celebrate it by dancing on the graves of all those who died fighting for the exact opposite of what we always really wanted. Their sacrifices only served to impede the development of our Big Mama state by who knows how many scores of years.

Since these united states were never formally named, what better time to rectify that? The clear and obvious choice is Bin Ladenland, since that man did more to shape our society than a procession of ten thousand presidents could ever hope to.

Or, if we want flip, 9/11land. Has about the same ring . . .

 
Send me an email stating your choice: Platform 1, or Platform 2.


My Presidential Campaign for 2012

A change of strategy seems to be in order. The marathon campaigning of the big boys prior to the 2008 election was so off-putting to me that I didn't register my candidacy until several months into 2008. Not that I was worried about the media dragging me into that morass, you see, just that I couldn't bear the feeling that there was any sort of connection between me and . . . them.

The upshot was that I got nary a nibble on my candidacy - not one questionnaire from an organization of do-gooders pretending that non-major candidates deserve attention, too.

So this time around (writing in Oct 2009) I'm helping myself to a heaping head start. This isn't solely to give myself an unfair advantage; there's work to be done between now and then.

This time I am offering three different platforms, and in the three years leading up to the election, you get to vote on your favorite. Send me an email stating your choice: Platform 1, 2, or 3.

I promise to abide by the platform chosen by the people.

 
PLATFORM 1: Up until now, my presidential platform has always been one, simple thing - pure democracy in the White House:

AND IF ELECTED . . .
Every presidential action will be in accord with majority will. Period.

While my presidential platform and my proposal for a simple system of justice based on common sense and conscience called unarchy share the same foundation - a basic faith in majority will - I trust you not to confuse the two.

If elected, no presidential action will ever be taken without first taking a vote - a simple matter with telephone and internet technology. Everyone may cast a vote on every action. Everyone is, in effect, co-president. If I ever act in opposition to majority will, somebody shoot me.

If you want a campaign slogan: "A vote for me is a vote for you."

What could be simpler and clearer? Still, the radicalness of pure democracy provokes a continual stream of questions and comments and objections. Since these are often very similar, or exact repetitions, you might find responses to your own concerns scattered in the summaries of earlier election campaigns below. I believe they make pretty interesting reading. But, by all means, fire off any relevant question and I'd be happy to address it right here.

 
PLATFORM 2: Given that there's not a social problem we can hope to solve as long as the population continues to grow without bound:

Negative population growth, NOW!

After all, when we've choked ourselves and the earth into oblivion, none of the burning "issues" - security, justice, health care, education, poverty, you name it - matter one whit.

Wiping ourselves out also strikes me, personally, as an incredibly stupid thing for the most advanced race in the galaxy, if not universe, to do to itself. (See my "Human race is special" page.)

 
PLATFORM 3: In the event that by 2012 the American public is completely fed up with "doer" presidents:

No presidential action . . . period!

Yes, a president that will do nothing. The U.S. government will have to limp along on its other two legs.

And would that be so bad?

***

Discussion generated by 2012 campaign

Daniel Kingery (Oct 2011): Having reviewed what I could find of your Pure Democracy proposal for the Office of President of the United States, I would appreciate more details as to how it affects the legislative and judicial branches. How do you see the Democracy becoming official? What is to prevent the Democracy from reverting back?

DS: Pure democracy in the White House wouldn't directly affect the activity of the legislative and judicial branches. Of course, bills passed in Congress would now have to survive the veto power of the citizens, so they might as well take that into consideration while working on bills. And new Supreme Court appointees would need majority approval to be nominated by the President.

What might happen down the line is just speculation, but I can easily imagine the people, after "tasting the blood" of democracy, wanting it all. At that point, they would make it clear that they will only vote for representatives who themselves will act in accordance with majority will on every vote that comes before them. (Majority will of their own constituency? Majority will of the population? To my mind, that's just splitting hairs.) Note that at this point, representatives would become obsolete. We could just get rid of them and start deciding all issues with a quick, simple, direct vote of the people.

Involving majority will in our so-called system of justice is my dream. Out with legalistic machinations; in with common sense and conscience. See my Unarchy pages.

It's hard for me to imagine that once people have gotten used to making the decisions for themselves that they would want to hand it back to a power-drunk class. Keep in mind that if the people make a decision that they decide is a mistake or becomes outmoded, that is not a strike at the concept of pure democracy. The people would simply undo their mistake and move on.

***

Post-mortem for 2012 campaign

Once again, you and I lost. I'd also like to report that, while there is an organization called Project Vote-Smart that goes to tremendous lengths to inform the public about the candidates for national office, they keep a clamp on the contents of the page they generate for each candidate. So, if you came to VoteSmart's page for me, you would not find a word about my platform of pure democracy in the White House. And they would not allow me to get it in there somehow. Very strange...


2008 Campaign Wrap-up

No nibbles this time around from any of the media. Imagine that, not a single newspaper, from the big guns down to school newspapers, needing a gut-bustingly funny article on weirdo presidential candidates who have some idea or another for the people's consideration. Nor did I receive any questionnaires on my position on various issues from concerned organizations like Project Vote-Smart.

Anyhow, I hope you all got a lot more pleasure out of the two-year Presidential Campaign Road Show than I did.


2004 Campaign Wrap-up

(If you need more than the highlights presented here, which you don't, you may read all the discussion generated at my presidential election of 2004 page.)

POST-MORTEM: 2004 was my - and, thus, your - best shot at getting a bit of attention in the presidential race. There was a jaw-dropping coincidence, but the professional snoops into the private lives of public people were asleep at the wheel. Maybe they're burning out. Maybe the game has lost its fun. And that would certainly be a good thing - in general. But, in this case . . .

If the snoops had rooted a bit into candidate John Kerry's life, they would have discovered that he was a member of a club. It was a tiny club, with maybe 50 members on the books and just a handful of active members.

If the snoops then took it a step further and started poking about the members of that club, they would have uncovered the amazing fact that, of the mere 200-plus registered presidential candidates out of America's almost 300 million people, two candidates were members of this same, obscure club!

One was John Kerry (of course).

One was me.

The little, limping dog of a club was the Washington Guitar Society.

But the snoops were on siesta, and the best opportunity in the history of man for dialog on the merits of pure democracy in government was squandered.

On top of that, Kerry lost, thereby demolishing any lingering hope that the snoops might get back on track during his term as President.

Good going, John.

RIP, democracy.

(A moment's silence.)

***

Best from 2004 was a nice interview by TL Hines (TLH), who conducted several thoughtful interviews with "dark horse" candidates at www.TLHines.com.

TLH: Mr. Sauter, thanks for participating. Maybe you could start by telling us the central theme of your campaign.

DS: Every presidential action will be dictated by majority will.

TLH: Why are you running?

DS: I'm not running. I have an idea which people can accept or reject. (Note that if the majority rejects majority rule, we have a major paradox on our hands.)

TLH: What's the single most important issue to you?

DS: Ah ha, see? you don't get it! What's most important to me doesn't count for any more than what's most important to anybody else. We would all share the power equally. I have 1/200,000,000 of the power; you have 1/200,000,000 of the power; etc. We would all be, in effect, co-presidents.

But now that that's cleared up, I will tell you the single most important issue to me as a person - not as your ruler. It is justice, or more specifically, the complete lack thereof in this society. You can read about my thoughts on justice on my web site. However, if the majority are perfectly happy with our so-called "system of justice," I would not lift a finger to change it.

TLH: Well, Mr. Smartypants, I happen to know that our population is really 292,000,000, so we'd all only have 1/292,000,000 of the power. :)

DS: I have serious doubts about whether the majority is ready to extend voting rights down to the cradle.

TLH: Ouch! I walked into that one, didn't I? Okay, let's say 200,000,000 adult participants. So you'll do whatever the majority of the people want?

DS: That is somewhat sloppily stated. Every presidential action will be dictated by majority will. (Is there an echo in here?)

TLH: Yes, the palatial headquarters of TLHines.com are somewhat cavernous. We get that echo comment quite a bit. But back to your idea: you'll do what's determined by majority will, even if it's something you personally disagree with?

DS: Yes.

TLH: And how will you determine what the majority wants?

DS: I think you're asking, how do people vote when a presidential action is required? I imagine telephones would do a fine job. Also the internet. If we trust the internet to send money, we can surely trust it to send a vote. If the majority wants inefficient, old-fashioned methods of voting, we could stick with that. But this is really a nuts-and-bolts question that I shouldn't be suckered into unless you've signed off on the fundamental idea of majority rule. There's something much bigger here than getting hung up on rotary dial phones.

TLH: Hung up on phones. What a punster. Hey, and if it's a 900-number, you could charge for each call, thereby generating revenue: democracy and capitalism in action, all in one big, juicy pie. Whaddya think?

DS: I think it's great. As the Washington Post wrote in 1996, "Sauter would open a 1-900 line for voting on decisions. The toll call, he said, would make the voting system pay for itself and discourage frivolous callers."

TLH: Seriously, how would this work? Would people call in for each and every issue separately, or would they maybe call in once a week and be presented with a menu of voting options? "To vote FOR bombing Denmark, press 3..."

DS: Ah ah ah! Naughty, naughty! There you go again, trying to sucker me into an argument over simple nuts-and-bolts. When they were inventing the automobile I'll bet you stood there spluttering, "This thing'll never work! I mean, what're they gonna do about windshield wiper blade refills!??" Send me a signed statement, "I, Tony Hines, do agree with all my heart and soul that pure democracy in the executive branch knocks the spots off any power-crazed ol' politician making my decisions for me," and we can start talking about phone menus and web sites and listserves and newspaper columns and radio spots and tv news segments and office chats over the water cooler and... and... and...

TLH: How would you determine what should come up for majority vote? Would people have to call in to vote for issues for voting, and ... hey, I smell another major paradox in that.

DS: I'm not proposing any change in the mechanism by which matters come before the president for action. I can envision that once the people get a taste for democracy that the process by which their desires get placed in front of Congress and make their way through Congress will be expedited.

TLH: On the surface, it seems interesting, but I can see celebrities, media and others with instant access to a huge number of people being able to skew presidential decisions in their favor. What's to stop Martha Stewart from marshalling the masses to get herself a presidential pardon? That would be a lot more than a 1/200,000,000 share of the power.

DS: If more than half the people think someone should be pardoned, who are you to say he shouldn't be?

TLH: Martha Stewart is a she. At least, I think Martha Stewart is a she. You may be on to something there. Anyway, do you really think we as a society are ready for such unbridled democracy in action?

DS: Yes.

TLH: I mean, I don't know if I want the folks wandering the aisles at the local Wal-Mart making decisions for me.

DS: You'd be making the decisions together.

Do you know how many times I've heard this "But everybody else is stupid!" mantra? Funny thing is, I've never met a single person who said, "But this'll never work - I'm too stupid!" Did you ever stop to think that from the point of view of the other Wal-Mart shoppers, you're an "everybody else"? And not to belabor the Wal-Mart thing, but tell me honestly, how many times, when you walk into a Wal-Mart, do the other shoppers jump right in attacking and robbing you, or even just call you bad names?

I suspect not too often, but even if you can honestly answer, "Oh, yes, all the time," you're still not out of the woods. I will then ask, "But is it more than 50 percent of them?" If you can answer that in the affirmative, you still lose. I will say, "If more than 50 percent of the population believes it is good and right to beat up on Tony Hines, who am I to say they shouldn't?" (That's not to say, though, that I wouldn't cast my single vote in your favor when a trial comes up.)

TLH: Gee, thanks. It's nice to know you're on my side. You also say you don't want to be a ruler, but in a way, don't we WANT rulers in America? Yeah, we blab about democracy, and power to the people, and all that jazz, but I once again point to my Wal Mart example above. And, we've demonstrated a fondness for "royal" families in our country: the Kennedys, the Bushes, the Clintons.

DS: If you need somebody to make your decisions for you, vote for somebody else. I worked up a slogan for you some years ago: "If you want strong leaders... go back to kindergarten."

TLH: What led you to this idea initially?

DS: Actually something very specific. I served on a jury in 1989. It was the first time I saw our "justice system" in action. What I saw made me so sick I've never recovered from the experience. I won't go into details here, but I couldn't get it off my mind and one morning I had an epiphany - my simple system of justice without judges, lawyers and lawmakers; just large, randomly selected juries deciding disputes based on common sense and conscience. Then, just thinking so much about majority rule on juries got me thinking about majority rule in government. The thoughts went along two main lines: pure democracy 1) as a desirable end in itself, and 2) as a possible first step on the road toward eliminating government altogether. After all, if government just does what people would do anyhow, why have it?

TLH: So what would be your first official act as President?

DS: Not give a speech, as a first step in dissociating politics from show business.

TLH: But what if everyone called your phone lines and said they WANTED you to give a speech? (See? I'm picking up on this majority rule thing.)

DS: If the majority wants a speech, they get a speech. Somehow, I doubt that the majority goes around thinking, "Dang, I really gotta have a presidential speech - gotta have one right now!" Fifty percent of the population didn't even watch the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.

To make your question a little more interesting, you should go for broke: "What if the majority wants you to plow your car into a group of first-graders waiting at a bus stop?"

Again, I will say that you are being ridiculous; that the chances of that happening are so infinitesimal that I don't even think about it.

But you become insistent: "What if? What if?" And I say, look at my contract with the people: If I ever act in opposition to majority will, somebody shoot me. In this example, they would have to shoot me and install somebody else to do what they want.

Simple as that.

TLH: Lastly, if you're not making any decisions on your own, what are you doing? Why would we need you as president?

DS: Anybody with my vision would do. As it stands now, I'm the only show in town.

***

A blogger sent a nice little questionnaire on six specific issues, which I polished off as follows:

DS: Presidential action relating to...

will be dictated by majority will.

Q: Finally, what is, in your opinion, the most important role of the President?

DS: To act in accordance with majority will.

***

A question on another survey caught me in a spunky mood.

Q: Do you believe that there is any portion of your platform that isn't being communicated to the citizenry? If so, please elaborate.

DS: Sure. It's called "democracy". Funny thing, how the word has been around forever, but it's never occurred to anyone to try it as a system of government.


2000 Campaign Wrap-up

These are the highlights of the discussion generated by my candidacy in 2000. Everything I said then applies just as well now. If you need more than this (you don't), read the complete, long and boring questionnaires on my presidential election of 2000 page.

DS = me.

***

I liked the compactness of the questionnaire from SelectSmart.com, asking for my position on these issues:

Abortion issues: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Affirmative action: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Campaign finance: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Crime: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Defense spending: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Drug policy: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Homosexual issues: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Education money: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Environment: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Evolution: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Foreign policy: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Gun control: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Health care: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Moral issues: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Social security: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Tax policy: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Trade issues: Presidential action dictated by majority will.
Notes: none.

***

Q: If 51% of the people in a nation of "majority rules" are cannibals, then the 49% minority become dinner.

DS (answer 1): Which nation is that?

DS (answer 2): You would rather the cannibals be handed control if they were a minority?

DS (answer 3): Ask me any question of the form, "If the majority thought, did or wanted ______ (fill in the blank with the most ridiculously absurd and unlikely thing you can make up), would you still support majority rule?"

My answer remains, "yes".

***

Q: What is the one thing that you would say to compel a young person to vote and vote for you specifically.

DS: I am not inclined to urge anyone to vote for anybody or anything. A non-vote is a vote for the status quo. In fact, I sympathize with anyone who distrusts those people who are power-hungry and money-hungry enough to go through what one has to go through to get before the public eye and on a ballot of any kind.

The reason for voting for me is that you would share equally in the presidential power. We would all be co-presidents. Everyone of voting age would have a vote in every single decision the president makes.

Q: Would you consider participating in a youth debate (youth moderated and youth asking the questions) with your opponent?

DS: No, I will not engage in debates, interviews or other extroverted campaign activity. All anyone needs to know is that every presidential action will be dictated by majority will. If I violate that, somebody shoot me. What more needs to be said?

***

Q: List your most current, important issues for individuals with disabilities and how will you address these?

DS: Presidential action on any issue that comes before him will be dictated by majority will. The president himself will not generate lists of issues.

Q: What role would you envision for people with disabilities on your staff and in your cabinet?

DS: I have not given thought to staff and cabinet, beyond the obvious condition that any placements or removals must have the approval of the majority.

***

Q: Would you be willing to consider objective documentation supporting our [Political Voice for Animals] position on a particular issue?

DS: Yes, but my opinion would count for no more than anyone else's. Presidential action will be dictated by majority will.

***

One organization sent a very long, very detailed questionnaire devised by "84 leading political scientists" to each candidate. I gave my answers repeatedly in the somewhat stodgy form, "Presidential action will be dictated by majority will," instead of the more folksy, "Whatever the majority wants." The latter sounds too much like a promise, and there is certainly no assurance that the executive branch of the U.S. government can give the people any, much less all, of what they want. There is no guarantee, even, that any particular issue will come up for presidential action.

There were a few questions which needed a more extended reply.

Q: Will your Supreme Court nominees share your principles on abortion?

DS: Probably. Supreme Court nominees will have the approval of the majority. As such, it seems likely that they would agree with the majority on abortion, but that doesn't necessarily have to be the case.

Q: Do you support requiring at least a 2/3 majority (super-majority) vote in both houses of Congress to raise taxes?

DS: Probably not. It seems unlikely that a populace that chooses majority rule in the executive branch would want minority rule in the legislative branch. But you never know.

Q: Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime. (Death penalty; penalties; more federal prisons; serving full sentences; programs for prisoners; etc.)

DS: Presidential action concerning crime will be dictated by majority will. Personally, my sincere hope is that people will give serious thought to moving to a system in which a criminal is forced to make restitution rather than undergo incarceration.

Q: Do you support granting the President "fast-track" authority in trade negotiations?

DS: Yes. This would have the effect of giving "fast-track" authority to the people.

Q: Do you believe there has been a decline in moral and ethical standards in America over the last four decades? If yes, please explain in one hundred words or less what you would do as President to address this concern.

DS: You make it very hard for a mature adult not to say, "Duhhhhhh." As always, though, presidential action will support any majority-approved initiative to reverse, stop, slow or accelerate this decline (or perceived decline) in moral standards.

Q: Presidential Priorities. In 100 words or less, please explain what your top two or three priorities will be if elected President of the United States. If they require additional funding for implementation please explain how you would obtain this funding.

DS: Priorities will be set by the people. People will have to pay for the government programs they want. Fair enough? Personally, I believe the number one priority should be an overhaul of our system of justice, creating one based on common sense and conscience. Any movement in that direction, of course, would have to have majority approval. (Note that a justice system based on word games and dishonesty is apparently of no concern to the "84 leading political scientists" who devised this questionnaire; it does not come up anywhere in the 8 pages.)

***

Q: What do you believe are the most critical issues you as President would need to address?

DS: Those issues that the majority of Americans believe are the most critical.

Q: How do you propose your administration could accomplish what is needed regarding these issues.

DS: Every presidential action will be dictated by majority will. As such, no promises are made with respect to actual accomplishments, since the other 2 branches of government will remain free to act without regard for majority will.

Q: Do you feel the American government is in good shape?

DS: As President, my opinion on this or any other matter would carry no more weight than any other American's opinion. Obviously, my idea of implementing pure democracy in all matters is radically different from how government works now, so you can deduce that I feel the American government to be in poor shape.

Q: Why should we vote for you over the other candidates running?

DS: Understand that you are voting for an idea, not a person. As President, I would have no more or less power than any other American.

To not vote for this idea gives rise to a paradox. If the majority votes against the idea of pure democracy, then the people are saying that the majority cannot be trusted. But since that vote was a majority vote, then it can't be trusted, and the voted-down idea should have been the winner.

Q: Numerous polls show a decline in in American's faith and trust in government and elected officials. How do you propose to reverse this trend?

DS: Give all power to the people.


1996 Campaign Wrap-up

My 1996 U.S. presidential "campaign" got nationwide coverage in the form of the following Associated Press article. It was taken from the first half of an article appearing in the Washington Post (Oct 19 1996) which featured several local, unknown candidates. I feel a need to point out I didn't lift a finger to get the media attention - they came to me. [Comments added by me are in brackets.]

If you need more than this (you don't), read the complete AP article on my presidential election of 1996 page.

Presidential Race Has Room for Unknown, Quixotic Candidate

by Peter Maass, The Washington Post, Oct 28 1996

If he is elected president, Donald Sauter will spend little time agonizing over life-and-death questions that torment commanders-in-chief.

Instead, he will ask his fellow Americans to call a 1-900 phone line and tell him what to do, whether it's bomb Baghdad or ban abortion. Sauter will do whatever the majority of his callers want, even if he doesn't agree. He calls his approach "pure democracy."

"Every presidential action would reflect majority will - period," said Sauter. "We could all be co-presidents."

Very few have heard of Donald Sauter, but the Lanham resident has filed an official two-page statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.

According to the FEC, at least 272 other people have similar aspirations, including 22 in the metropolitan Washington area.

In many cases, the FEC statement is their first and last hurrah.

Excepting the big three - Clinton, Dole, Perot - and a cluster of national politicians who by now have dropped out, candidates such as Sauter are ordinary folks who have something to say and only ask that we listen.

"When you say 'running for president,' it sounds kind of funny to me," Sauter said. "I'm just a person trying to be heard."

Other candidates make constant appearances on tv, but Sauter doesn't even own one. His election might be the death knell for today's photo op/sound bite presidency. [It certainly would! My presidency would have no theatric element. I would not give speeches. I would respond in writing to written questions only.]

Sauter would open a 1-900 line for voting on decisions. The toll call, he said, would make the voting system pay for itself and discourage frivolous callers.

Even with ideas that seem extreme or nutty [or very sensible], candidates such as Sauter have a role in our political system, said David Mason, a political analyst for the Virginia-based Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

"I find it encouraging our system is open enough that it lets someone play who doesn't have any prospect of winning," Mason said.

Mason sees several strata of candidates. They include serious contenders, such as Republican and Democratic nominees, and independent candidates, such as John Anderson in 1980 and Ross Perot in 1992.

There are also standard-bearers for groups such as the Natural Law Party and the U.S. Taxpayers Party, which mount organized campaigns.

Then there are the lone-voice candidates.

"Frankly, they're oddballs, and I mean that with all affection," Mason "They have an idea and a few supporters around them, but usually not... They really don't give a darn.

[end article]

 

If I were given a chance to add anything to the article, I would have worked in:

Sauter claims his proposal is unassailable on logical, philosophical and practical grounds. To assume that minority opinions should supersede majority opinions leads recursively to the absurd conclusion that the most narrowly-held minority opinion is the one that should always be implemented. But he invites everyone to keep trying to shoot the idea down. Hint: don't waste your time serving up the self-contradictory "But everybody knows how stupid the majority is!"

Of the 273 registered contenders, Sauter is surely the only completely non-special interest candidate.

Sauter has a simple plan for getting any good idea from any source before the voters.

If this notion of democracy catches on, Sauter claims he has a plan to also make Congress and the Supreme Court responsive to majority will. While it wouldn't involve public executions, it would be a lot of fun.


End note: I gave this page the filename independent-presidential-candidate and mention the term here to aid in web searches. I don't use the term myself. Capital-I Independent sounds like a third political party which includes everyone who doesn't consider himself a Democrat or Republican. Small-i independent sounds like a loner without a single person in the whole country who agrees with him. I hope that's not the case.


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