Editors Note: At this point in January 2014, New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s chances to be president in 2016 look somewhat bleak, but you never know. I kind of like the guy, and there are just so many other Republicans that deserve misfortune more (Ted Cruz, Newt Gingrich ... the list goes on and on). But this article isn’t really about Governor Christie anyway ... it’s about me. 

I Can’t Get Elected Dog Catcher


Throughout Governor Christie’s bridge scandal, the press has obsessed over its effect on his presidential aspirations. The problem is it seems to confirm his image as an obnoxious bully, which is a shame, because Christie seems like a Republican who can work with Democrats to get things done — he seems like someone I could vote for.

Although I often get letters attacking me for obnoxious opinions, I also get mail (some of it, admittedly, in crayon) asking, “Why don’t you run for office?” But, there’s an old expression that applies here: “He couldn’t be elected dog catcher.” Evidently, in the hierarchy of elective offices, dog catcher is the lowest rung, and I doubt I could reach it.

Voters claim to like “mavericks,” but only if they share a candidate’s outside-the-mainstream positions. “Maverick officeholder” is a bit of an oxymoron, because the one thing mavericks share is their unelectability.

For example, the pendulum is now swinging toward marijuana legalization, and I’ve supported that since the 1970s. However, the same libertarian rationale for pot — (1) the drug war is very expensive, but doesn’t reduce supply; (2); it’s a medical, not a criminal problem; (3) the drug war creates criminal drug cartels and jails noncriminal users; and (4) it’s none of the government’s business what I put into myself — applies to all drugs.

Advocating decriminalization of crack cocaine, heroin and LSD won’t garner many votes among Democrats or Republicans, but it’s still a good idea. And now I’ve said it in print.

Another reason I can’t be elected dog catcher is I’ve never had any children. If this were because I couldn’t have kids, I might pick up some pity votes, but the truth is I’ve never really wanted them. I could appeal to environmentalists by claiming childlessness reflects my concern about overpopulation (which is a legitimate issue). But honestly, it’s selfishness — including my lifelong desire to keep diapers, their contents and their odors out of my home, and to avoid having anyone other than myself spitting up on me.

I enjoy other people’s children, but that’s because, afterwards, I can go home, where the closest thing to a child is my dog, whom I like. (I’m not really a cat-person, so there goes that voting bloc too.)

Then there’s guns. I don’t care much for the NRA, and Wayne LaPierre should be forced to walk around Newtown for a day, with his name and a “kick my ass” sign prominently displayed on his back. And I can’t even pretend to give a rat’s hindquarters about the Second Amendment. It’s one of my least favorite sections of the Constitution, just ahead of the part about blacks being three-fifths of a person and the 18th Amendment, which outlawed liquor. On the other hand, with 300 million guns in the U.S., that cow’s already out of the barn, so it’s hard to get enthused about gun control.

As un-American as this may sound, until someone arms the animals with AK-47s and teaches them how to shoot back, I don’t consider hunting a real sport. The only macho hunting story I ever enjoyed was the one in which Dick Cheney shotgunned his pal in the face while shooting quail. But though I support animal rights, I eat enough pork and beef to warrant a weekly angioplasty, so I don’t exactly have the moral high ground there.

Worse still, I haven’t been to church, other than weddings or funerals, since the Ford Administration. In a country where every president has been, or has had to pretend to be, a Christian, and not a single member of Congress admits to being a freethinking agnostic, my belief that religion is a bad thing is too politically incorrect to be tenable.

According to recent polls, most American voters would prefer a high school dropout, a mental defective or an alcoholic to someone who professes godlessness. People often ask me, “Surely you believe in a higher power?” but I think nothing supernatural exists, which is an answer almost everyone finds distasteful.

Even worse, I’m not even an especially big fan of Jesus. A guy whose theology is you either accept my religion, or my dad will pursue you beyond the grave and torture you for eternity in Hell doesn’t seem all that endearing. He sounds more like an abusive husband who threatens to beat his wife if she doesn’t tell him how much she loves him.

I know this sounds unpatriotic, but I find baseball and auto racing (especially NASCAR) about as exciting as watching paint dry. In addition, I think rap music is brain-dead, I have almost no Springsteen on my iPod, and I care as little about the British Royal family as I do about Honey Boo Boo’s family, the Kardashians and the homophobic hicks on “Duck Dynasty.”

Bottom line — the only way a child-free (yeah, I just used that adjective) agnostic who favors repeal of the Second Amendment and decriminalization of all recreational drugs could get elected dog catcher would be if Chris Christie were the competition, and he really did order those lane closings on the GW Bridge. And even then … it’s a long-shot.

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