Most of what you hate about the political process is aided and abetted by the Electoral College. The fact that a third-party candidate can never make a run as anything more than a spoiler for one of the major parties is due in large part to how the Electoral College picks the winner of the presidential election every four years.
Because electors come through a winner-take-all state-by-state process, winning a large number of votes or even a couple of states means almost nothing in the big picture.
The system creates a situation where votes in predominantly Republican or Democratic states also mean almost nothing.
Candidates know that they have those electors in hand so there is no campaigning there (read huge loss of money for broadcasters, newspapers and other businesses that cater to campaigns) and the values of the voters don’t even figure in to the overall policy platform.
Campaigns are tailored to the opinions of the wishy-washiest voters in the wishy-washiest states.
In order to secure a party’s nomination, contestants try to impress the party faithful. After becoming the candidate, they squeeze their square peg beliefs into the round hole of independent voters in a few swing states.
That is something I am hoping to help eliminate - and I have found the perfect running mate to complete the ticket and help fight the good fight.
Like Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan, the selection was carefully guarded for more than a week. We held high-level meetings at clandestine locations - typically one Chinese restaurant, but it does have particularly dim lighting. We didn’t want the news getting out before we were ready to release it.
We held several meetings over lunch where we appeared to be like every other customer. Like Ryan sneaking around airports in a baseball cap in blue jeans so he wouldn’t be recognized, very few people could have figured out what significant negotiations were being held when we met over that egg drop soup.
Many great candidates were considered after I discovered that the Kansas Affidavit of Write-in Candidacy for President required me to select a running mate, but only a few were finalists.
After the finalists were vetted, one candidate stood out as a great running mate for a write-in campaign.
Todd Natvig has agreed to join this rare and unique ticket.
There were so many reasons that Natvig was chosen.
Obviously I am partial to names with only four letters. He can play the fiddle and - as a trainer of jet pilots - could actually fly Air Force One in a pinch.
Our previous partnerships have included storm chasing across south central Kansas. During these assignments, Natvig proved he will fearlessly and recklessly follow instructions.
When we were approaching a tornado in Argoina, Kan. earlier this year, he had no idea where the tornado was, and when I told him to keep going, he did - in his own minivan.
Our campaign motto will be the same as our storm-chasing motto: “Man the Windstar. We’re going in!”
Like me, my running mate has great foreign policy experience. I traveled through Europe to Ethiopia twice in one year. My feet touched American, German, Dutch, Sudanese and Ethiopian soil in 2011.
Natvig spent a year in Norway after high school. He learned to speak the language through emersion.
He was used to learning strange languages in this way because he was born in Mankato, Minn. The Norwegians have nothing on Minnesotans when it comes to funny languages - uff da!
In the spirit of full disclosure, I want to congratulate a few of the finalists who narrowly missed the cut.
I considered Augusta (Kan.) City Councilor Matt Childers. However, he was eliminated after photos of him alongside Kevin Yoder appeared on Facebook. No one on this ticket can be tied - even indirectly - to skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee. The prime directive of this campaign will be to stay classy.
I also considered Sarah Palin. She isn’t really doing anything right now, and she has visited this county during her book tour. For some reason, no one on her staff returned my emails.
It is probably best that I didn’t choose Palin. I don’t want to be on a reality show after this election is over.
Also, she had too many letters in her first name for my comfort. If it was spelled S-A-R-A, things might have worked out differently.
Natvig wasn’t selected primarily because of his foreign policy experience, fiddle playing, status as a pilot or even blind loyalty.
He is the total package and, together, we will do our part to bring down the monster that is the Electoral College.
Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta (Kan.) Gazette.