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Why I am Running for President: Special Victims Unit

May 30, 2008
When presidential candidates are asked why they are running they invariably say something like "I'm bursting with so much love for this great country and its people that running for President is the only patriotic thing to do". These candidates are also quick to assure us that they do not simply love our country in the abstract, they love each and every one of us personally.

Of course our candidates are human (with the possible exceptions of Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton), so they do tend to love some of us more than others. While sometimes I feel a little bit slighted by this, I am comforted by the fact that politicians show special affection for America's special victims. This is evidenced by the fact that every stump speech now includes a reference to a tale of at least one hapless citizen that provides the candidate with that extra motivation to soldier on to victory. Every presidential candidate nowadays is winning one for the "Gipper".

George Gipp was just an unlucky football player. Today's special victims have to have encountered evil forces that threaten the foundations of the republic. They also had to pass through metal detectors and encountered the candidate long enough to relate their tales of woe. This is more of a challenge than you might think, because listening closely and attentively to other people is not a skill that most politicians have in any great abundance.

It is also clear that not every victim's tale of woe makes it into a candidate's stump speech. We would never hear the candidates recount problems like, "your secret service detail had my car towed" or, "I don't want to be photographed shaking your hand at this restaurant because the woman sitting next to me is not my wife." Nay, such ordinary complaints do not warrant mention.

In order to make it into a stump speech as a special victim, a tale of woe cannot be trivial. It must be truly awful and most importantly it must underscore the correctness of the candidate's campaign platform. Not surprisingly then, different political platforms call for different special victims. Republican special victims do not suffer the same woes as Democratic special victims.

From a Republican candidate you might hear about someone like this: " I am running for President to help folks like Louella Farnsworth. Louella's late husband Quincy was a great American innovator and entrepreneur. He invented the self fastening American flag lapel pin that I now proudly wear. Sadly Quincy's company became the victim of a frivolous lawsuit brought by a rapacious trial attorney who falsely alleged that the pin was manufactured with trace metals that caused a rare but deadly skin condition".

"Despite the frivolity of the claim, a punitive and compensatory damage judgment in excess of $100 million dollars was awarded and Quincy lost his company and most of his fortune. Disheartened and distressed by this gross miscarriage of justice, Quincy sank into a deep depression and died shortly thereafter".

"Louella next suffered yet another calamity, this time at the hands of the IRS. Down to her last $50 million dollars in assets, she had to pay fully 40% in death taxes, leaving her not only heartbroken but nearly destitute. When I met Louella at a town meeting, with tears in her eye she pressed into my hand one of her few remaining $1,000 bills not taken by trial attorneys and the IRS. So ladies and gentlemen, I fight on not for myself but for those like the Farnsworths who were victimized by rapacious trial attorneys and the IRS".

From the Democratic candidate you might hear about someone like this:" I am running for President for folks like Mavis Smith,a 70 year old former school teacher living on a fixed income in Cleveland. Last summer she was walking her beloved beagle, Bugle Boy, outside an abandoned chemical plant that had shut down and relocated to Mexico, costing Cleveland over 2,500 jobs. Her beloved dog accidentally waded into a toxic waste pool that the EPA failed to detect because of the administration's war on the environment".

"Bugle Boy was left gravely sick. Mavis dipped into her food budget to pay for the steep vet bills to save his life. Bugle Boy pulled through but several months later in an effort to economize Mavis bought a "Big Box" store brand of tainted dog food imported from China. And Bugle Boy died. I met Mavis a few weeks ago at a town meeting and she pressed Bugle Boy's dog collar into my hand and told me not to forget. So ladies and gentlemen, I fight on not for myself but for those like Mavis Smith".
About the Author
Michael Sack Elmaleh is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Valuation Analyst. His book, "Financial Accounting: A Mercifully Brief Introduction", has received wide critical acclaim. He has nearly 30 years of accounting and 10 years of teaching experience.His web site is understand-accounting.net
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