Nobody For President

So there are the Trumpers, #NeverTrumpers, Bernie-devoted #NeverHillary-ers, and Republicans for Hillary. There is a Libertarian vice-presidential candidate who told NPR last week that he won’t propose ending Obamacare, and that he has issues with the core Libertarian platform concept of self-ownership.

Issues like a federal deficit $162 billion higher than anticipated bear down upon us, but are not getting addressed in Washington. In the campaigns, things seem uniquely confused with party disarray and intra-party disputes on core principles across the board. In part we’re living Charles Murray’s observation that the country cannot be fixed by the Congress, by the courts, or by the administration; that maybe the constitutional experiment is over. Murray’s solution is (gentle) civil disobedience against the regulatory state’s excesses, to “pour sugar into the regulatory state’s gas tank.

While achieving and advancing our liberty through the political process seems problematic to say the least (see my 6-second video above), it’d be nice if there were just one more chance, though.

As it happens, our D.C. office is moving this week to new headquarters up the street (my Competitive Enterprise Institute colleague Richard Morrison has this nice salute to our current headquarters).

During cleanout, I ran across an old “Counter-Campaign ‘76” direct mail kit urging “Vote for Nobody” that had been given to me long, long ago, I think by my Dad. A sticker it contained appears here:

In the Bicentennial year, folks were as frustrated as today, perhaps moreso with Whipping Inflation Now and all that. Put together by two young guys in California, J. Neil Sculman and Victor Koman, the “Vote for Nobody” campaign included postcards and leaflets like the one at the bottom of this article (for a contemporary interview with the “campaigners,” see Robert Balleger, “Let’s Elect Nobody For President!, Bay News, May 7, 1976).

But my favorite capsule was the radio spot they ran; here’s the text:

"Many Americans feel that Nobody in the Presidential race really speaks for them. They feel that Nobody is giving them a fair shake. Well, Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Citizen, let’s look at the record of OUR candidate:

Last year, Nobody lowered your taxes. Nobody stopped inflation’s rise. Nobody ended the spiraling crime rate. This year, return the favor–VOTE FOR NOBODY!

Yes, Vote For Nobody! Nobody keeps his campaign promises. Nobody deserves to live off your taxes. Nobody should run your business and your life. In our Bicentennial year, the choice is clear–Nobody deserves your vote.

Nobody will put your contribution to good use."

One wonders if “Nobody” might even beat out “None of the Above.”

Originally posted to Forbes