Your presidential write-in choice for '96

by Lydia Eccles

1. THE BOYS. Clinton, Gingrich, Powell, Perot, Forbes, Dole, Gramm, Lugar, Alexander, Dornan, Keyes, etc.

2. HE'S HOT! His favorability ratings may be low, but his name recognition is close to 100%. We won't need to hype him--he's already hyped. A Unabomber write-in campaign can surf the media wave. He's the perfect imposter to undermine the presidential election process as it unfolds, and turn the fraudulent election process against itself.

3. THE VISION THING. "The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race." Regardless of what you think of the Unabomber and his analysis, the right issues are finally raised. Can you even conceive of any legitimate candidacy, election, or debate which will allow the real questions to be put on the table? We need to dish them out before they cool off...They're giving an election, but we can crash it and have our own referendum on corpo-technocracy. If the Unabomber put a hairline crack in the myth of progress, we should apply a wedge now--the Unabomber's fifteen seconds are just about up. But an election lasts a year. An anti-technological rallying point only came into being because of the criminal chase. There's not going to be another opportunity.

4. CRASH THE PARTIES. The election offers a "choice" once all the real decisions have been made. On top of being an anti-republicrat vote, the Unabomber campaign is a counterfoil to faux "populist" outsider-insiders like business magnate Ross Perot and Gulf warrior Colin Powell (a.k.a. the military-industrial complex.) The third party "alternative" is designed to safely channel voter alienation into a centrist, media-sanctioned agenda and immunize the system against real change.

5. IF ELECTED HE WILL NOT SERVE. It's a nobody-for-president vote. He's not running, so this can be a bottom-up free-for-all campaign. Campaign literature, posters, sound bytes, platforms, pranks, the rest: have it your way.

6. DON'T WASTE YOUR VOTE. The media's like a psychiatrist--and you can't NOT communicate in an election. If you boycott the polls, you'll be counted as apathetic, complacent, or still worse, contented. If you vote for the mainstream lesser of evils, who don't actually represent your views, you've affirmed the political system and buried your voice. Either way you've wasted your vote. To vote for the Unabomber is to vote and boycott at the same time. If nothing else, it's a vote against the election charade. It can be only seen as absolute protest, ridicule, or a "none-of-the-above" spurning of the political menu. You can cast an anarchistic vote you feel good about, and send the message that the presidential elections are a fraud. And you can still vote in local races and referendums where your vote counts for something.

7. VOTE AGAINST THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE. The Unabomber did an end run around the media monopoly, and published without editorial clearance. The Unabomber has, by the magnitude of his plan, exposed the media as a closed communications system, making it very clear--in case anyone hadn't noticed--that it's a communications war. Mass media are launched from a heavily-secured fortress. Other terrorists seek publicity as a means to other ends. The Unabomber used terrorism to gain publicity as an end in itself. Notice how the press seeks to channel interpretation of the Unabomber story, covering it as a serial-killer story of crime and insanity, while excluding consideration of the ideas themselves. They would have us believe that it would be disastrous if media weren't controlled from the top. Op-ed pages resounded with journalists lamenting, "Why didn't he have to get editorial approval? What if copy cats are aroused, crazies who actually want access to the media, rather than simply being passive target markets for political and commercial propaganda?" Imagine mass communications not subject to corporate control. People might say anything...even things not "fit to print". Exactly. When ABC Nightly News gets renamed Disney World, you'll cherish the memory of your Unabomber vote.

8. HE'S GOT THE CREDENTIALS. The Unabomber's use of violence should not disqualify him from consideration. His willingness and ability to effectively use violence to achieve strategic political goals merely demonstrate the essential qualifications to be president. After all, Colin Powell's ONLY qualification is his performance as an effective killer. No one's called him a serial killer, or said he craved attention. No running candidate has condemned the Gulf War genocide. This is a country that played war like a video game in a high-tech funhouse. We aren't even allowed information as to how many Iraqis, civilian or military, our tax dollars blew away. That Bill Clinton avoided the draft and hadn't killed was considered a lack of qualifications. Luckily he picked up points for presiding over numerous executions in his home state of Arkansas. Occupational deaths and diseases...Violence? Cancer deaths caused by toxins in the air, in food, and workplaces...Violence? A minimum wage that is half the poverty level, with the hunger, stress, disease and early death that ensue...Violence? The media just finished re-elaborating the rationale for bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki...Violence? Terror? Anyone bringing up violence should put it all on the table, not just select attacks on the power structure. Anyone who can truly take a stand against violence in any form--and that would include the American Revolution--can say the Unabomber shouldn't be president on that basis. But he's not running anyway, and even a landslide wouldn't actually put him in office. That's the beauty of voting for a fugitive from the law.

9. ENTERTAINMENT VALUE. Watch your favorite TV pundits try to swallow, digest and regurgitate a Unabomber constituency. It's a message that can't be neutralized or explained away. The most minimal Unabomber returns would disrupt the usual discussion of false problems and false solutions (usually known as "reform".)

10. DON'T BLAME ME--I VOTED FOR THE UNABOMBER. You can sport your bumper sticker after the election...but not on a car!

The player who trespasses against the rules or ignores them is a "spoil sport". The spoil sport shatters the play-world itself. By withdrawing from the game, he reveals the relativity and fragility of the play world. He robs play of its illusions.