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Ralph Wiggum (I-Springfield) for President

If the presidential election were held tomorrow, I would vote for Ralph Wiggum (I-Springfield) . & I do not expect him to win, and if he does win, I do not know how the & Supreme Court would rule on the constitutionality of an animated character holding elected office.

But practicality does not change the primary reason for the vote: None Of The Above is not a choice on my ballot.

I consider myself a little & ldquo;l & rdquo; Libertarian. & I believe in personal responsibility and minimal government interference in personal lives. & That said, there are some positions where personal character takes precedence over agreeing with my policy views. & I want a president who I believe has good instincts for deciding the issues that haven't yet appeared. &

'Change' has become a popular word during the campaign so far. All the mainstream candidates seem to agree that change is good.

Despite the attraction of fiscal conservatism, the social nanny-statism of the Republican candidates is too much to take. While crying out for change, they seem to be racing to capture the evangelical vote to the exclusion of all others and in co-opting whatever goodwill President Bush has left by ratifying his most egregious mistakes.

Change appears to be nothing but a word about reprinting the letterhead to reflect a new regime, not a change in policy or direction. &

The Democratic candidates talk about change too. & I have no doubt there would be change, at least in rhetoric, under a democratic administration. The two frontrunners as reported in national polls - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - have conspicuous gaps in their careers as far as actually attempting to implement change. One notable example in my opinion is the issue involving the military's & ldquo;Don't Ask, Don't Tell & rdquo; policy regarding homosexual service members. & Both candidates claim to oppose the policy, yet neither has introduced legislation to repeal the policy in the Senate.

By voting for Mr. Wiggum, I know what I'm voting for. & A caricature whose personality has been molded and crafted by groups over the years based on ratings and consumer feedback. A fictional entity with no pretense toward free will or independent decision-making ability. & I'm voting for a cardboard cutout and if he wins I'll get a cardboard cutout for president. & That might not be much different than what I'd get if I voted for one of the other candidates, but my cardboard cutout will be here by choice, not by pretense and market research.

By voting for Ralph, win or lose, I also get what I want, which is to say loud and clear to the Republican and Democratic parties that enough is enough. This country deserves real leaders who can honestly debate issues, and have worked during their public careers to honestly address issues. The United States does not deserve to have someone as president just because they've avoided being pinned down on the controversial issues of the day. & That kind of track record does not lend itself toward honestly confronting controversial issues while in office and cannot earn my support. &

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