In the words of our late, beloved Richard Milhous Nixon, I say, "Let me make this perfectly clear ..." I am now today casting my hat in the ring, or is that, my ring in the hat? Whatever, you are right this minute reading this here and not having to wait for the 6 o'clock news.
My fellow Americans, I in this time of great social and political unrest the moment has arrived when the citizens of this great nation should have a teeny weeny bit more of a choice of candidates than what has been presented to us so far. It seems that one -- not naming any names, mind you -- is blustery and says way too much, and the other candidate -- again, not naming any names (cough, cough) -- is way too secretive and has a problem with maintaining a trustworthy image. (Well, you can forget that!)
A third candidate from New Mexico seems not to have a sterling understanding of world affairs or geography. What the heck is Aleppo, anyhow?
During this election campaign so many terms and metaphors have been bandied about. Oddly enough, they seem to be references to house construction. One candidate says, "I will build a wall!" Another says, "I will break the glass ceiling."
One candidate encourages the inflow of refugees and wants to open a window of opportunity for them. The other is less welcoming and prefers to show them the door. I again ask the question about "a house divided against itself?"
The American public is looking for transparency in their candidates. After all, there's so much dubious precedence. Lyndon Johnson said, "I will not send your boys off to war." Nixon claimed he knew not the faintest thing about the Watergate break-in. George H. W. Bush said, "Read my lips. I will not raise taxes." Charmingly and convincingly, Bill Clinton said, "I did not have sex with that woman."
So much for transparency.
During this election campaign so much has been made over the state of health of the presidential hopefuls — and their age. Trump is 70 and Hillary is pushing 69.
As a candidate, let me put my cards on the table. I'm 74. I don't like it, but I am, and there you have it.
As to my health. Hmm ... I wish I had a little bit of wiggle room here, but I don't. I'm somewhat of a physical train wreck. I have a heart condition and take all sorts of medications to keep the ol' ticker pumping. I'm blind in one eye and have extremely little vision in the one "good" eye. The next bit of info might be telling. I can see only on the right side.
Also, I have ambulatory issues. Whereas Hillary Clinton had secret service men surrounding her as she stumbled into her SUV (One of her bodyguards was fairly successful in blocking the camera's view of her mishap), I shuffle along with the aid of a walker. Admittedly, it would be a challenge for me to climb the steps of Air Force One -- I would need a forklift, no doubt.
Now, to the crux of the matter: my platform. Forget the millenials! I'm for senior citizens. The aging population is growing. We need to care about the elderly and I don't mean care for them only in nursing homes.
Forget all you've heard about computers reducing the amount of paperwork we encounter in our daily life. There's not less paperwork but more. Everything, and I mean everything winds up in print, and worst of all, it's print that's too small to read.
I plan to introduce legislation that will ensure that all documents must appear in 16-point type. All government paperwork and that includes medicare forms, medicaid documents, and Food Stamp applications. I want all directions on prescription bottles to be easy to read. I want all lists of ingredients on grocery products to be legible without the aid of a microscope. I also want to rescind this nonsense of phasing out incandescent light bulbs. Fluorescent lights are terrible! You can't read by them.
I want all streets to be one-way. I want to know where a car is coming from and where it's going when I'm standing at the curb, waiting to cross the street. Come to think of it, I want to do away with curbs. All sidewalks should be wheelchair friendly and blend smoothly into the pavement. After all, where are these ramps when you need them?
And what about Daylight Saving Time? Who needs it? I think the sun should rise at sunrise and set at sunset. At noon, it should be directly overhead. Plain and simple. We folks of advanced years don't need to set our clocks backwards and forwards come fall and spring. I go to bed with the chickens, for goodness sake! And get up with them too. And I don't know one solitary chicken that operates on Daylight Savings Time.
While in the White House, I'll make certain to have a rocking chair in every room. I also will have rocking chairs lined up across the front porch, think "Cracker Barrel." And in deference to my age, state dinners will be held between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. so that I can retire to my family quarters and watch "Antiques Roadshow" before I turn in for the night.
A reminder: my name will not be on the November ballot. You'll need to write it in. (Please print in 16 point bold type.) Thank you, my fellow Americans.
Whipple, of Williamsburg, has published several books.