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How to: Run for the US Presidency and Win

How to run for president, if you aren’t a major candidate and want to make the most of it.

Should You Run?

Questions you should ask yourself before you decide to run include:

  1. Am I a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution?
  2. Have I attained the age of thirty five?
  3. Have I been fourteen years a resident within the United States?
  4. Did my relative (mother, grandfather, husband, etc.) run for president and win?

Run Unopposed

This is tricky. In fact, there’s not been a single campaign to pull it off.

Not even the [illeg.] Richard Nixon ran unopposed, and in 1972 he won in a landslide, only losing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to George McGovern and a single Virginian electoral vote went to John Hospers thanks to a faithless elector. That was 40 years ago.

Ronald Reagan holds the world record for highest number of electoral votes; in 1984 (28 years ago) he won 525 electoral votes to Walter Mondale’s 13 (Minnesota narrowly went for Mondale). But Reagan was opposed.

The popular theory is that there are two political parties, so running unopposed cannot be done, but the unpopular fact is that no one has really tried.

So, consider running unopposed.

The Next Best Thing

Aerial Warfare

If running unopposed doesn’t pan out, do the next best thing. Don’t run against your opposition. In modern wars, the USA and allies have complete air dominance. They don’t have dogfights. Although the opposition shoots at the planes and helicopters, they mostly miss.

Fly above your opponents. That means inventing new media forms that your opponents can’t touch.

While your opponents are busy printing bumper stickers and running television advertisements, you should be building trebuchets to deliver buick-sized pleas to your potential voters. You should be building tiny robots that will crawl onto their shoes while they’re waiting for the bus and stitch “Vote for [Your Name]” onto their shoelaces.

No Partisanship

Your opponents will expect you to align yourself with canned views. Don’t fall into this trap. Instead, base your campaign around debating scientists and field experts on a variety of issues. They can be partisans or independents, but they should be experts. Don’t be afraid of being wrong. Give your best arguments, and if they convince you otherwise, admit it.

You should pick your running mate out of the pool of those you debate. Showing you’re willing to work with those you debate means you’ll be able to give opponents a fair shake in governing.

No “When I’m President”

Too often, candidates only propose legislative and regulatory changes that would be enacted if elected. Why they stop there is a mystery. If you have a truly good idea, it should be put to use as soon as possible. This applies not only to your platform, but your opponents’ platforms.

If an opponent has a good idea, call for it to be enacted without delay. The 26th Amendment (giving the vote to all over 18 years of age) was an idea that should have taken no thought or delay to enact, and an equally potent idea, wherever it arises, should be enacted.

True Economy

Don’t restrict your ideas to policy. Call for sane extra-political business activity. Call for open markets where they are closed. There are many, and they could be generating massive economic growth. There’s an overwhelming reluctance to be critical of business unless it means new regulation. That’s ridiculous.

We do need some regulations, including some new ones, repealing others. That doesn’t mean regulatory knobs can solve the problems. Calling for better management of private interests is perfectly acceptable.

As an aside, a recent interview with Valve Software’s Gabe Newell revealed that Valve is adding three meter support to its Steam client software so that others can include Steam support on their own platforms. This is a great, forward-thinking economic decision. It’s the kind of thing a presidential campaign can and should highlight.

Open Mics

Give average people a chance to speak, both for and against your candidacy. If a heckler has something they really want to say, let them say it. Schedule a nice block before and after any speech to give people open mic access.

If the heckler speaks out-of-turn, tell them to wait for the open mic. If they won’t relent and they have to be removed from the premises, give them the option to return to speak during that time.


The current methodology of presidential campaigning reflects the current methodology of business and government. That is, a somewhat broken semblance of the real deal. As I mentioned Valve Software, there’s a need to have government, business, and campaigns operate in more modern and enlightened ways, just as Valve does.

That’s not to say Valve is perfect, but they are entirely willing to depart from the norm if they believe it’s advantageous. Most companies, politicians, and governments are entirely unwilling. To their detriment. Most won’t even entertain the idea!

If you run for president, you should eschew the mainstream candidacy practices. You probably won’t win, but if you run an innovative, revelatory campaign, you may be defeated, but you will not lose.

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