One of the supposedly great things about America is that any person can run for President, so long as he or she is 35 years old and a native citizen. That’s the principle.
The truth and practice, though, is vastly different. If you don’t have the cash, you might not get on the ballot. Once you decide to run for President, you’ll have to garner a certain number of votes to get your name on the ballot in each state. In Illinois, for instance, the number is 25,000. But wait! If any of the parties already on the ballot wish to, they can challenge your signatures. You’ll then have to prove, in some fashion, that the signatures you’ve got are the real deal. This could stall your campaign for weeks. This law varies by state.
Once you’ve squared that away, you might want to get into the debates. However, this requires loads of money – loads of it – preferably from the same companies that sponsor the debates’ airtime. No Lincoln-Douglas stuff here; you need the bucks. If you don’t have it, you can’t participate. Unless, of course, you and your opponents agree to another debate that is not televised, but then you’re losing an audience.
And so it goes. There’s a reason we see a Republican and a Democrat every year: they’ve got truckloads of money to blow. That’s the very reason you need to seek out third party candidates; the two big parties spend money on convincing people that should they vote for a third party candidate (like you, if you were to run), it’d be a wasted vote. -pm
Posted in Politics