Stump Speech 1 for (whoever)

A theoretical stump speech for a putative candidate for president

Good evening, my fellow Americans.

I come to you today as a candidate for President of the United States.

I do not seek this office out of a sense of entitlement nor because I have some grandiose sense of self. I would prefer to leave this job to someone more worthy than myself. I know that the job of President is one of the most difficult jobs anywhere, and despite the many perks, would bring great stress and at times, misery, to my beloved wife and children.

I do not seek this office to enrich myself. I live a comfortable life and have never sought fame nor wealth.

While I care about my legacy on this earth, I know that my likeness will never be etched alongside the greats on Mount Rushmore. Our divided nation will perhaps never again agree upon an individual to universally hail. Even were we to unite in admiration of some individual, the line of those more worthy than I of such an honor is long indeed.

Why then should I bother you with my request that you consider me for this office? Why seek such a title if it is one I would prefer not to bear?

For this reason: the man who sits in the Oval Office today is utterly unworthy of his title, and I fear that those who have announced their intent to replace him may not be up to the task.

Americans, I tell you this: our country is imperiled by the current inhabitant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. That man is a bully. He is small-minded. He is petty. He cares only for himself.

This man, Donald John Trump is a misogynist. We have all seen and heard how he treats women who dare to take issue with him. He believes that, being a man, he does not have to treat women as equals.

Donald John Trump is a racist. He first came to prominence due to his and his father’s discriminatory real estate practices. In every phase of his life he has revealed himself as a man who believes that, due to the color of his skin, he is superior to those whose skin color differs.

Donald John Trump is a nationalist. He believes that his status as an American puts him above citizens of any other nation. As well, any American citizen who dares to disagree with him and his policies is un-American. This lazy thinker has not been able to grasp that the core of what it means to be an American is the individual pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Liberty, in particular, he disdains, except as it applies to him.

Donald John Trump is, quite frankly, a wannabe-dictator. He admires only thugs and autocrats. He will not brook any disagreement or contrary view. He does respect the laws of this nation. He makes a great show of embracing the flag while in every action betraying the sacrifice of those who died to found this nation on the principles of freedom from tyranny.

I seek this office because I feel that I stand the best chance of building a coalition of like-minded Americans who can take the fight to this evil man and to oust him from the golden throne built from the sweat and blood and tears of those he has spent his life trampling.

That is why I seek this office.

It is not enough, though, to state my eternal opposition to neo-fascists such as Donald John Trump. You must know more about what I would do as president. Americans should not simply vote for someone who opposes that man. It is not enough to vote against Trump. You must invest your vote in someone who represents a vision of America that you share.

I have five simple values that will define my candidacy and which would be the inviolate filters through which all of my actions as president would need to pass:

  1. All citizens are to be treated equally.
  2. I serve the people of the United States of America.
  3. The government of the United States must behave honorably.
  4. Prosperity must be measured by how we elevate those most disadvantaged
  5. What is best for the nation must be valued above what is good for any political entity.

You will hear more from me in the coming days on each of these five fundaments.

I know that we have all grown cynical regarding the promises of politicians. It is reasonable to be skeptical; so many have failed to live up to their ideals.

I believe that compromise is essential to political progress. If we are to achieve our largest goals, we must be prepared to work with all parties. The times ahead will not be easy, and we must be willing to listen to competing views, to meet others half-way; to consider that we may not know all the answers and our initial plans must be improved by the input of those who know more than in us in certain areas. Dialog, debate and compromise are at the heart of the democratic process.

Where we can not compromise, however, is in our principles. I promise you that I will never compromise on these 5 essential elements.

Our road is uncertain. Donald John Trump will use every tactic, legal and otherwise, to attempt to cling to his unfortunate seat at the center of our democracy. Even should we prevail in the election, this man will attempt to thwart the will of the people. Be certain of that. We must anticipate his recalcitrance to obey our Constitution. After all, he has been doing little else for the past three years.

We must be strong. Resolute. We must remember that it is we, the people, who own this country. We must recall that all public employees exist to serve us. We must link arms and drive this despot from our only national city. And unified in that effort, we must then work to return this nation to a course about which we can be proud.

I hope that you will consider me as your president. I promise hard work, dedication and honesty. and I will strive every day to live up to the good ideas upon which this nation was founded.

One more thing: I don’t play golf.

My name is (whatever) and I would like to serve you as President of the United States. I can defeat Donald John Trump. I would serve all of America. I do not need military parades, endless hateful rallies or “yes men.” I only need your support.

Thank you.

Fun with rental cars

The family and I had an awesome trip to Chicago this summer. Atypically, we decided that renting a car for the trip to the airport would be better than taking our car and paying for it to sit in the airport parking lot for a week. So, I rented a car from Avis.

That did not go well. I picked up the vehicle the day of our trip. I had reserved a full-sized car, but when I got to the local Avis counter, I was told that they didn’t have the vehicle that I had reserved. They would substitute an SUV. The man behind the desk acknowledged that gas would be more expensive in this vehicle versus the one that I had reserved, so he was going to indicate in the system that the vehicle was three-fourths full, though it was actually totally full. So, when I returned it, I wouldn’t need to gas it all the way up to full. Such a deal!

That was the high point of my experience with Avis regarding this rental.

See my letter to Avis below to learn more:

To whom it may concern,

I write in response to your letter of July 16, 2019

The facts of my rental experience that you reference in the letter are these:
1) I reserved a vehicle of a different class than that which was assigned to me. Why this substitution was made, I do not know.
2) While I was invited to expect the exterior of the vehicle prior to accepting it, no mention was made of investigating the state of the tires, nor am I an expert who could likely identify a failing tire
3) The vehicle experienced a blow-out on Highway 99. There was no contact with other vehicles or items on the road. The tire simply failed. No other vehicles in front of me or behind me experienced any road-related issues.
4) When I spoke to the individual at the Avis counter over the phone once I had managed to pull safely off the road, he indicated that the vehicle had just come back from an extended rental, implying that it might have experienced issues or had some existing issue that they had not taken the time to investigate before handing it over to me.
5) The vehicle had no spare tire. Had there been a spare, I might have changed the tire and been able to deliver the vehicle as planned.
6) During my emergency phone call with Avis’ “Roadside Assistance” agent, I was informed that I had to get the vehicle off of the highway before they would send any assistance. This required me, on your failed tire, to navigate across a merging highway, endangering the lives of my family and a family friend, as well as those merging, since the safest speed I could attain was approximately 10 miles per hour.
7) Avis’ “Roadside Assistance” was much more concerned about whether I had paid for your insurance than in actually resolving the issue and providing actual assistance.
8) Ultimately I was told that someone could be there in “2-3 hours.” This was on a day where temperatures were in excess of 100 degrees.
9) Your vehicle, which I had hired for a short drive to the Sacramento airport, failed. I had to seek my own transport to the airport, barely able to make it prior to my flights’ departure.

As a result, I will not be paying for any costs you incurred from the failure of your vehicle.
Furthermore, since your vehicle failed and was unable to deliver me to my destination, I demand that you refund all charges.
Additionally, I incurred $64.00 in Uber costs for picking up myself, my family and our family friend by the roadside where we left stranded by your failed vehicle and your “Roadside Assistance.” Please also reimburse me for that cost that I only incurred due to your failed vehicle.

If you do attempt to process the charge as stated in your letter, I will instruct my credit card company to reverse the charge.
I await your apology and a check covering the outrageous costs I incurred due to your inability to provide a safe, functioning vehicle.

et cetera