For Immediate Press Release

I would like to announce—and I may be alone here—that I am not running for president.

It’s not that I don’t have vision. I was once deemed legally sighted when I had my eyes checked. And it’s not that I have a problem with gathering unlimited quantities of corporate free speech for my campaign. Get while the gettin’ is constitutional, I say. No, I elect to remain unelected because of social media.

focus groupOh sure, every candidate has social media these days. Candidates love to interact candidly with their campaign staff, who then draft tweets for focus groups and media consultants, whose feedback modifies the tweet until it says nothing whatsoever. Only at this point does the staff release it to the general public.

This sort of spontaneous interaction is designed to woo the tech-fluent demographics. And it works great! Except for the one teensy flaw that every presidential candidate must be, in accordance with the Missouri Compromise, at least thirty five years old. This means that no legal presidential contender today can find where they saved their sticky note of passwords.

You think I’m exaggerating. Let’s look at random examples of technological aptitude. Republican Ted Cruz does not own As of press time, the site supports President Obama, whom Cruz’s polling crew has identified as Satan. And Hillary Clinton, a leftish blue-state candidate, embodied her campaign in a graphic featuring a red arrow pointing right. This logo also utilizes all the design capabilities of the Apollo 11 lunar shuttle.

These, cherished readers, are the people competing to run the free world and lord it over the less-free parts. This would be my competition if Congress reconsidered that thirty-five year rule. But I would still choose not to run because I have, and more relevantly I have had in the past, personal social media accounts.

red eyeYou see, these accounts were not filtered by campaign strategists. They were not even filtered by my own judgment of what my grandparents ought not to see, let alone prospective constituents. And even though I am always and entirely innocent in my actions, other people’s posts never filter out my red camera eyes.

In fact, because of other people’s posts, I’m quite certain that in a few years no one will be electable ever. And thank goodness! Because I’m already exhausted by the next presidential election taking place in… carry the seven… drop the four… count the boxes… EIGHTEEN MONTHS?

That’s it! I cannot simply watch as pre-presidential politics result in another year and a half of television commercials recorded with Boeing-quality decibels. It’s time I focus even more of my energies on revamping my social media presence.

This step is not mere writerly procrastination. I am a MODERN writer, and MODERN writers build platforms. It’s rather a lot like how the US Forest Service builds roads. It all makes a lot of sense, once you stop thinking about it.

Of course, I cannot revamp my social media presence alone. I need someone who understands what an Instagram is, and how it differs from a LinkedIn. That’s why my little sister set up my Tumblr account.

Tumblr is not quite a Pinterest, and definitely not a Snapchat, I don’t think. I did right to coerce her to descend in my place, because she is the youth vote, and her own unaltered words were, “I am determining that Tumblr is a scary place, just based on the list of suggested usernames it tried to give me.”

I can’t make this stuff up, because you readers apparently expect the guise of honesty. So I will transcribe the text messages my sister machine-gunned me faster than I managed a single response:

“Let’s see I just started to set up an account again and got
“Chocolate Student Goatee. Lovely Spooky Donut.
“The other ones were worse. These are a lot, better?
“Speedily Fancy Poetry. Zealous Taco Tragedy. Sweetly Furry Triumph.
“You could do this all day.
“Too Nut Basement. Dope Kitten Galaxy.
“Zealous Fart Typhoon. Always Salty Time Machine.
“I am going to keep texting until you respond.
“Just kidding I need to do homework. But I am thinking about changing you to the Zealous Fart Typhoon.”

sausage tacoDoes any one of our current prospective presidents has the moxy to handle a zealous taco tragedy? The savvy to spin an always salty time machine into a sometimes salty time machine? I guarantee they do not!

Yet the candidates get away with dodging the issues, because they can build their platforms by selling dinner tickets at $50,000 a plate. So in exchange for your contribution, I, as President Fart Typhoon, promise not to post your most unflattering pictures! Even if I remember where I saved them.


This Fool’s Gold originally appeared in The KC Post and is forthcoming in the New Mexico Mercury.

(Featured image, “oko eye,” copyright Martin Marcinski/CC. Focus group copyright worldwaterweek/CC. The sausage taco – which is a tragedy where I come from – copyright Stefan Andrej Shambora/CC.)


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