I told Dooley that at age five he was technically too young to run for President but he believed the so- called “dog years” adjustment qualified him for a run. He also reminded me that there is nothing specifically in the constitution prohibiting a dog from running….and, he reminded me, running is one of the things he does best. I wished him good luck but I knew he would never have the gumption to fill out the forms, organize an exploratory committee or gather the required number of names in each state to enter the primary races. Besides, how would ever raise the $600,000,000 now deemed necessary to gain a nomination in this country. A few days later we got a letter from the Federal Elections Commission, addressed to Dooley Lincoln, accepting his candidacy. Apparently, he had long been an admirer of Lincoln and a last name was required on the forms. I knew, then, this dog was serious. “What party are you affiliated with”, I asked, “The Flea party?” “ No” , he said,” I’m running as a Dependent.” “The majority of voting dogs in this country identify strongly with dependency. Our slogan is, “What’s good for your owner is good for us.” There are over 80 million dogs in American households and considering only 130 million people voted in 2008, I could easily expect 55% of the votes, allowing for the indifference of some of wealthier breeds like those damn Yorkies. So, you’re looking for a broad appeal of both owners and dogs… nice angle”, I said,” do you have a platform? What about foreign policy? Dooley jumped to my favorite footstool and looked pensive…a look I’d never seen from him before. “Our relations with foreign nations will be determined largely by how a nation treats its animal population, both domestic and wild. Happy animals are a far better indicator of a nation’s worth in this world than their political ideology. “I like that. How about education? “, I asked “My stand on education is, perhaps, my most controversial platform plank. I would eliminate formal schooling completely. This country spends almost 600 billion dollars a year to educate its young when, in fact, everything anyone needs to know is available for free from books, the internet and life experience. There would be a need for an incentive program that would include not just financial rewards for demonstrations of self- education achievement but a recognition and sharing of that achievement that would lead to better jobs and associations with others who could mentor them in their chosen field.” So, in simple terms,” I asked,” if I learn to roll over and sit up, and demonstrate that ability, I get a treat. That could work. How about taxes and the economy?” Taking a breath, he said, “Taxes are a complicated issue and related directly to the economy. This country was sparked by what was perceived as unfair taxation of tea in 1773 and over the years we have forgotten that. Taxation is now a solution for bad management and the wholesale wasting of the taxpayer’s money. It’s not that taxes are too high; it’s that we have too many taxes, too many fees. Then Dooley pulled out a crudely written list. I suspect the chickens helped him with this. On the list were over one hundred taxes, fees and examples of double taxation and indirect taxes (fines, penalty taxes} we all pay. It was and eye opener. “All the taxes on the list were not in existence 100 years ago. “ He added. “Nice statement of the problem. Sounds a little like tea party talk. What is your solution Mr. President?” I asked. “The fundamental issue for all our problems, not just taxes, misspending and greed , is true representation of the American people by our lawmakers. How many times have you heard politicians say in the first person,” My beliefs and convictions don’t allow me to vote for this bill.” Shouldn’t they be saying instead, “ My constituents believe this bill is not right for the country at this time”? Who are they representing?” he said, twisting his head a bit to the side looking for, I believe, a “good boy” reaction from me. I was silent. “So first,” he went on, “ I would seek to revote special privilege from congressional members. Pay would be equivalent to the median income of the American people. They would be required to pay for their own healthcare. They would be subject to all laws and have no special immunity. It would be illegal for them to accept any gratuity, in any form, from anyone. I would declare a moratorium on new laws. Congress would have to spend the next two years removing and simplifying laws instead of…….” “Wait a minute, Dooley,” I interrupted,” how, as President, are you going to make all this happen. Do you think any congressman would vote to make these changes?” I asked. “I would tell them to.” he snapped, jumping to his most fearsome stance. (No, it’s not too fearsome.) “It doesn’t work that way, my friend,” I said, not wanting to deflate him too much. “Then I’ll write my own laws,” he retorted. “The President can’t, that is Congress’s job.” I explained. “But I heard Mr. Romney say that Obama should quit asking Congress to make changes and write his own legislation because he was the President,” he said. “I know, I heard that too, after the State of the Union Speech. That just indicates that Mr. Romney is ignorant of the fundamentals of the office he seeks,” I said. Dooley looked puzzled. Then he said with renewed conviction, “ Then , I want to be King”
Don’t we all, Dooley, don’t we all.
On the Story Trail
4 days ago