Friday, January 04, 2019

Let's Do This


I will never lie to you.

This rather ordinary-looking fellow in the rather fuzzy photograph (taken at my wedding on a cell phone) is me. Dave Naples, aka the Blowhard Pundit. For a couple of years now I have been venting my spleen on the internet, throwing shade at various and sundry failings of our government and our society. These have run the gamut from issues as trivial and unimportant as "how annoying is this new trend of just dropping ads in the middle of videos in much the same way my dog drops a deuce in the backyard" to such things as trump's emboldening of white supremacists, the failure of Congress to do their friggin' jobs and hold him in check already, and the fact that our nation has, for all intents and purposes, been completely taken over by corporate interests.

While there is a certain visceral satisfaction to making conservative heads explode by forcing them to deal openly with the cognitive dissonance of championing smaller government and states' rights while simultaneously advocating for a suspension of First Amendment rights (screaming about kneeling football players) and doing everything short of crowning trump king in their efforts to shield him from being held accountable for his own dumbassery, I got to a point where I just couldn't deal with the unprecedented levels of stupid. And so I came to a decision: I was going to check out.

Which I did. For about a month, with the exception of eulogizing John McCain. And I gotta be honest ... it was kinda nice to step away. I didn't have to deal with idiot conservatives screeching about "Make America Great Again." I didn't have to deal with semi-intelligent conservatives whose main method of "debate" is to wait until the other guy makes a mistake -- no matter how trivial -- then attempt to weaponize that mistake and use it against them for the next 18,000 years. I didn't have to deal with intelligent conservatives who were able to muster good, logically sound, internally consistent arguments in favor of policies that were just so horrible they weren't worth arguing about. I was able to watch every episode of every series of Star Trek (including the animated series) as well as every Star Trek movie ever made (well , except for the last two ... I'm waiting until they emerge from behind the paywall).

I also didn't have to deal with liberal brainstems who demanded that I agree with whatever idiot thing they came up with, then getting angry when I asked simple things like "Why?" and "Who are you, again?"

The problem is, me checking out doesn't help anyone else1, and quite frankly we need all the help we can get at this point. I had considered other means -- volunteering for local candidates, writing op-eds, and so on, but the problem with all of these avenues is that they simply perpetuate a broken system. So I have reached a decision.

I am running for President in 2020.

I am running as a Democrat.

I am running as an unabashed, unashamed, profane, proud liberal.

Right off the bat, this is going to be dismissed as a vanity project, as nothing more than a way for me to get some attention2. To some extent this is true; I have no illusions about my chances of actually getting elected. But, believe it or not, I am using donald trump as my inspiration: if a backward, intellectually incurious, bigoted, shallow, narcissistic, angry, mean, narrow-minded, arrogant, unintelligent sociopath can be elected President, then why not a big goofy-looking middle-aged dad from Pennsylvania?

For the past two years, we have had to put up with with a serial fabricator in the Oval Office, someone who thinks we are the only nation that allows birthright citizenship (to be fair, we are the only country in North America that isn't Canada or Mexico that does), or that three million people voted illegally in 2016 (they didn't), or that Mexico is going to pay for a wall spanning thousands of miles to stem the flood of illegal immigration across our southern border (they won't, and mainly because it's a stupid idea but also because we have had net zero immigration across that border for years), and who routinely conjures up various wild distractions to divert attention away from the real damage he and his cronies in Congress are doing.

I could go on and on listing the various ways in which trump has fallen down on the job, worked against the interests of the country to line his own pockets, etc. etc. None of that is news. Everybody knows it already. What I will do, however, is to make a very solemn promise to you.

I will never lie to you.

Sure, in the future I will be laying out policy objectives, detailing my plans to address the issues of the day -- everything from economic inequality to the water in Flint, Michigan, to the Middle East, to climate change -- but for now I am merely introducing myself and telling you that, regardless of the issue, I will not lie.

I will not prevaricate.

I will not spin.

I will not fabricate.

The American people deserve a President they can trust. They need someone they can take at face value, without having to parse the President's words looking for hidden meanings. Above all, they need someone who isn't in it to line his own pockets, who doesn't view the United States treasury as his personal ATM, and who thinks the Constitution actually has some validity.

I gotta lie down.

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1I know of several people in a certain Facebook group who would disagree with this statement, and who would maintain that me going away is actually quite beneficial and I only need to give it more time to see the salutary effects. Those people are wrong.

2If nothing else, slogging through the bureaucracy to get on the ballot everywhere is a mind-numbing exercise in tedium, and I am more than happy to accept a volunteer who wants to handle that for me. Just sayin'.

Changing tack

About a week or so ago I announced that I was taking a break from politics. As it turns out, this is not entirely true. In fact, I am taki...