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The great fundamental principle of my life is to take any kind of money I can get. Related Gully Coverage

Rich and Humble George
What a combo!

U.S. Election 2000
Posturers, panderers, pretenders, and special interests.

bush and gore and egan

Gov. Bush, New York's Cardinal Egan, VP Bush. photo: Khue Bui

Election 2000


The Same Infernal Candidates

by Chuck 45

OCTOBER 23, 2000. In this season of contortionist politics and contradictory brain teasers, I've once again been forced to retreat from all major news sources, or face a derailment in the old thought train.

My repulsion goes beyond the obvious forked-tongued inconsistencies, Bush Jr. a proponent of both a hands-off government, and a hands-on ending a woman's right to choose an abortion, Gore Jr. 'inclusively' supporting the special rights of heteros over homos in the ripe and rotting Defense of Marriage Act.

Most nauseatingly evil was the utter silence from Al Gore, and in the media at large, when, in the first presidential debate, George Jr. explained his opposition to the Texas Hate Crimes law by gleefully announcing, "We already give these criminals the ultimate penalty. We kill them." He was smiling, so proud, so simple-mindedly, devilishly pleased with himself for murdering those who have murdered, a priest should have been called for an exorcism.

What we need is a real alternative candidate—so honest in his mediocrity, his pathetic war record, indifferent patriotism, evil plans for the poor and the elderly, and outright greed, that he's ahead of his time, and ours.

Without further ado, I give you...

A Presidential Candidate

by Mark Twain

I have pretty much made up my mind to run for President. What the country wants is a candidate who cannot be injured by investigation of his past history, so that the enemies of the party will be unable to rake up anything against him that nobody ever heard of before. If you know the worst about a candidate, to begin with, every attempt to spring things on him will be checkmated. Now I am going to enter the field with an open record. I am going to own up in advance to all the wickedness I have done, and if any Congressional committee is disposed to prowl around my biography in the hope of discovering any dark and deadly deed that I have secreted, why—let it prowl.

In the first place, I admit that I treed a rheumatic grandfather of mine in the winter of 1850. He was old and inexpert in climbing trees, but with the heartless brutality that is characteristic of me I ran him out of the front door in his nightshirt at the point of a shotgun, and caused him to bowl up a maple tree, where he remained all night, while I emptied shot into his legs. I did this because he snored. I will do it again if I ever have another grandfather. I am as inhuman now as I was in 1850.

mark twainI candidly acknowledge that I ran away at the battle of Gettysburg. My friends have tried to smooth over this fact by asserting that I did so for the purpose of imitating Washington, who went into the woods at Valley Forge for the purpose of saying his prayers. It was a miserable subterfuge. I struck out in a straight line for the Tropic of Cancer because I was scared. I wanted my country saved, but I preferred to have somebody else save it. I entertain that preference yet. If the bubble reputation can be obtained only at the cannon's mouth, I am willing to go there for it, provided the cannon is empty. If it is loaded my immortal and inflexible purpose is to get over the fence and go home. My invariable practice in war has been to bring out of every fight two-thirds more men than when I went in. This seems to me to be Napoleonic in its grandeur.

My financial views are of the most decided character, but they are not likely, perhaps, to increase my popularity with the advocates of inflation. I do not insist upon the special supremacy of rag money or hard money. The great fundamental principle of my life is to take any kind I can get.

The rumor that I buried a dead aunt under my grapevine was correct. The vine needed fertilizing, my aunt had to be buried, and I dedicated her to this high purpose. Does that unfit me for the Presidency? The Constitution of our country does not say so. No other citizen was ever considered unworthy of this office because he enriched his grapevines with his dead relatives. Why should I be selected as the first victim of an absurd prejudice?

I admit also that I am not a friend of the poor man. I regard the poor man, in his present condition, as so much wasted raw material. Cut up and properly canned, he might be made useful to fatten the natives of the cannibal islands and to improve our export trade with that region. I shall recommend legislation upon the subject in my first message. My campaign cry will be: "Desiccate the poor workingman; stuff him into sausages."

These are about the worst parts of my record. On them I come before the country. If my country don't want me, I will go back again. But I recommend myself as a safe man—a man who starts from the basis of total depravity and proposes to be fiendish to the last.

New York Evening Post (June 9, 1879).

Photo is of Mark Twain, 1900.

Related links:

For more about Mark Twain, an extraordinarily vociferous opponent of imperialism, slavery, and other 19th and 20th century skulduggery.

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