Saturday, October 8, 2016

Brett for President: Part One

"That's all I can stands. I can't stands no more." — Popeye the Sailor

One of my all time favorite quotes; and very likely the most unique opening quote to formally announce any candidate for the presidency in this great nation's entire history. But that just about sums up the reasons why I've decided to run for the presidency of these United States. I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore—speaking of great quotes.

I would ask, politely and respectfully, that you turn off the, "third party candidates have no chance and a vote for this candidate is a vote for Hillary!" machine and think about this for a minute. Ignore your gut feeling, which I know is there because I share it too, and actually think things through.

The purpose of the Constitution is to protect the freedoms of the People of the United States from an out of control federal government. This is the thing the Founding Fathers uniformly feared. This is why they made the president's oath of office what they did; to solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

This oath is not to the United States themselves. It is not to the People of the States. It is not to the lobbyists or special interest groups. It is not to socialist ideologies or big government programs designed to gain support for political candidates and transform our country into a communist tyranny where the federal government dictates every aspect of life to the People according to their vision. It is not to big business for the purpose of increasing or decreasing their wealth by regulating them past their endurance or creating big government programs to influence their behavior according to the whims of the occupant of the White House. It is not to the Capitalists of Wall Street, Main Street or any other place in the world. It is to the Constitution.

The Founding Fathers, in spite of all of their personal flaws, knew that big governments tend to run out of control and oppress, and sometimes kill, a lot of people. Their solution was to make the federal government as small and limited as possible and still be able to hold the nation together; assuming the States actually wanted to continue to be part of the country. They designed the Constitution to keep the federal government operating with only specific powers, and then added the 10th Amendment—the most important and most ignored law of the land—to be absolutely certain the federal government would not grow beyond those specific powers which are listed in Article One, Section Eight.

Our freedom as a People depends totally on this principle. It is only through ignorance or neglect of this fact that we can have presidential candidates debating and proposing things as outrageously unconstitutional as what Hillary and Trump have been promoting.

Let's take a look at two of these for example.

Hillary wants to use federal funding to invest in child care. This would make the care of our children a federal issue. In other words, the federal government of the United States, through regulation and funding, with all of its guns, planes, weapons, aircraft carriers, tax collectors, etc., would be in charge of babysitting your children. Now I invite you to look at the history of the federal government and ask yourself, "what could possibly go wrong with that?" [***SARCASM ALERT!!!***]

Trump supporters, I admire your passion and love of country—I really, sincerely do—but I honestly have to wonder if your enthusiasm is misplaced. Your guy actually suggested in debate that he wants to use the federal police forces of the United States to stop and frisk people. What could possibly go wrong with that? [***SARCASM ALERT!!!***] Now I have to very respectfully ask you; how could someone who proposes anything so flagrantly unconstitutional as that, keep his promise to, "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution"?

I know a lot of people who are only supporting Donald Trump because they figure he might, might, pick a constitutionally conservative justice for the Supreme Court. How is a candidate who suggests, in a national debate, turning our entire nation into an airport terminal, where the TSA, or similar federal agency, can stop and search citizens at random, without due process, probable cause or warrant, in clear violation of the 4th Amendment, ever, ever, ever going to nominate a good Supreme Court justice? My friends—and again I mean this with all of the respect in my heart—this is the very definition of a blind squirrel looking for a nut. If such a candidate were to nominate someone who would uphold the Constitution it would not be through his understanding of the principles of freedom. It would be, quite frankly, a cosmic accident.

Sure, outside of the constitutional discussion, Trump's policy would be better for many people in the country. But that's my point. It's outside the Constitution.

So again, to quote Popeye, "That's all I can stands. I can't stands no more."

For those Trump supporters who are as worried about Hillary becoming president as I am, I very kindly suggest to you that you are being presented with a false choice. The choice between Hillary and Trump is the apparent choice. Between the two the most apparently conservative is Trump. I get that. But I very kindly suggest to you that you're going to get a big unconstitutional government either way. The real choice you are making is Hillary or Trump vs. George Washington.

I used to be a straight ticket Republican. The damn began to break on that on March 27th, 2002, when George W. Bush signed the Campaign Finance Reform Act. I watched the signing ceremony live on C-SPAN as it happened, because I couldn't believe he was actually going to sign it. Here is a link to the full text of what President Bush had to say about it as he signed it into law. But the part that completely destroyed my faith was when President Bush said, "Certain provisions present serious constitutional concerns," and, "I also have reservations about the constitutionality of the broad ban on issue advertising, which restrains the speech of a wide variety of groups on issues of public import in the months closest to an election. I expect that the courts will resolve these legitimate legal questions as appropriate under the law."

WHAT?! EXCUSE ME?! You're job, Mister President was to, "to the best of my [your] ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," not to sign into "law" a bill that would overturn the 1st Amendment. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the president should sign any pile of crap act of Congress and leave it to the court system to sort out. You, Mister President, are supposed to be the person who stops that sort of thing from ever happening! That was your job. That was the oath that you swore in front of God and country.

As I said above, that's when the damn began to break for me. By the election of 2004, Kerry vs. Bush, I was in the same position as many of Trump's supporters; committed to vote for the lesser of two evils, because I care about the country that I swore to defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. And I too thought that he would pick Supreme Court justices who would only follow the Constitution. Now I know that this statement is ex post facto and as such is a little bit unfair, but how is Chief Justice Roberts working out for us now? Hmmm?

On one hand I have to say that for "W" to sign that bill was spitting in the face of everybody who swore to defend the Constitution with their life. On the other hand, at least he mentioned the Constitution and his concerns while he did it. Most of them wouldn't have even brought it up. In the bigger picture, however, it just shows the lack of concern in the part of the American People's constitutional protections, of almost every president who has ever served.

Well, here's the deal for me and why I've decided to run for president. There are all of the unconstitutional options, whether they be Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or otherwise. There needs to be a constitutional option; one who is already sworn by his life to defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic. I am already to the best of my ability, preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States.

 The only additional thing for me is to say that I, if elected, will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States. I promise that to you now, and additionally swear to you that I will do so or die in the attempt.

Even with all of the power of Congress gathered in the Oval Office, insisting with a gun to my head that I sign the bill to fund Obamacare, I swear to you now that I would VETO it and take the bullet. To do otherwise would be to slap the faces of everybody who ever served to defend this country's Constitution. To do otherwise would be to accept my place in hell as an oath breaker.

Of course there are some major obstacles for me to overcome in my bid for the presidency.

First of all is that I have absolutely no personal, individual, desire to be the president. It just needs to be done and there is nobody else—apparently—that is going to do it. Sure, the salary and pension of the office is more money than I would currently hope to make in the rest of my lifetime. The benefits are really kind of sweet if that's what's important to you, but if you look at it from the standpoint of my almost total lack of concern for my own personal wealth, it works out to be a positive. I can't be bought. I have no desire to make even that much money—sure I'll take it but only because that's the pay for the job—but no special interest would ever hold any sway with me. As for reelection, I would be honored to serve two terms but since I've got no personal interest in being in the office—other than support of the Constitution—itself, why would I accept money from special interests for reelection campaigns? So there it is. I am as much of an outsider as anybody who ever lived; with no political or special interest connections whatsoever, so I cannot be bribed. The pay and benefits of the office itself far exceed my desire to spend money.

The next problem would be that I belong to no political party. So I have to form one for myself.

I've thought long and hard about this, (almost six minutes, in fact) and what I've decided to do is form my own political party. Rather than taking some ambiguous term for a form of government, like "republic," and alter it to make it sound like an organization that would actually be attempting to bring about that form of government, I've decided to be more straight forward and use the actual words for what the party is supposed to do. So I'm going to call my party the, "I WILL FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION PARTY."

The platform is pretty simple. Let me explain this for those who still might not get it. I will follow the Constitution. If you support people who follow the Constitution you are supporting the platform of the I Will Follow the Constitution Party. If you vote for any candidate or law at any time or for any reason, this party is not for you. That's all there is to it. If you can honestly say it for yourself—I will follow the Constitution—and mean it, and back your intentions with actions consistent with that objective, then the I Will Follow the Constitution Party is for you.

As a thought that naturally follows the above paragraph, I'm not going to set up any kind of committee or organization to run my campaign. Don't send me money! I don't want it! If you want to support me, because you support the Constitution, what you need to do is take it on yourself to spread the word about me.

The next thing is that I will not be on any ballot anywhere. I can guarantee that. So you have to write me in. And you have to do so knowing full well that as far as 2016 goes, there is an exactly zero percent chance of me winning. In fact my odds of winning are exactly the same odds that we would get a candidate that would be interested, even vaguely, in actually following the oath that they are sworn to. So, when you are there in the booth, just write in "Brett Ashton" and think for yourself that, "I will follow the Constitution." It is not the victory that we are after here. It is the principles on which the country was founded, and without which the United States of America would certainly meet her untimely demise.

It has been frequently said that America cannot fail from enemies outside of the country. That if we were to fail it would be from within. This is exactly what was being spoken of. When we abandon the Constitution our freedoms, along with everything America is, will simply cease to be. We, as individuals, have to swear to follow the Constitution, exactly as we would expect the president to do. The responsibility is ours if the government sucks. We elected them.

So that's basically it. I'm hoping, assuming that you have no desire to support any of the other candidates, and assuming that you would like to support the Constitution, that you would be willing to give me your support as a write in. Certainly it would be a protest vote for the 2016 election. And that's the only benefit I can offer you as a candidate at this time. It is up to your own integrity what to do. I will likely run again in 2020, depending on if someone who actually wants to fulfill the oath is running who actually has a chance to win.

Please consider writing in my name, Brett Ashton, for president. Because I will follow the Constitution.

A vote for me is a vote for the Constitution.

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