Bill McGaughey for President - 2016 New Hampshire Democratic primary
Meet Bill McGaughey, a candidate even more radical than Bernie Sanders *
See my report on the 2016 campaign for President in the New Hampshire primary
Post mortem - some further thoughts on race
The candidate left to right: at O'Hare airport in Chicago, a selfie taken at home in Minneapolis, in Red Square, Moscow
links to detailed policy statements:
my vision of a better future
about the socialist bugaboo
about the politics of gender and race
second time's the charm
(web site of McGaughey's first presidential campaign)
what I really hope to accomplish in this campaign
my campaign leaflet
McGaughey’s free-market approach is better than Bernie Sanders’ “democratic socialism” (which is a reinvigorated New Deal) and Sanders’vision is better than Hillary Clinton’s vision, which is mostly about her. To a large extent, we are living in a totalitarian political system where business and government power are fused, business being the senior partner. See where the Big Money goes in this campaign.
The Republicans have some good candidates but they are beholden to an ideology of war, tax cuts for the wealthy, mass deportations, and unwavering support for the state of Israel regardless of what its government does. This is not our better future.
Issues of gender and race loom large in this and other political campaigns. There is a crisis in white racial identity that undermines the national spirit. Middle-aged whites are the only group in the United States experiencing lower life expectancy. Instead of expressing current attitudes about race (e.g. "white privilege") over and over again and expecting a different result, Bill McGaughey believes that a new effort should be made to affirm the dignity and self-respect of white people. Join him on walks with that theme.
Bill McGaughey says: I have three planks in my presidential campaign platform.
To bolster productive employment and minimize further damage to the environment, I propose federal legislation to create a four-day, thirty-two hour workweek as soon as possible.
I support dignity for white people, especially white males. This plank does not require government action. All that is necessary here is for white people, individually and collectively, to embrace their racial identity in a positive way. Go on a walk with other white people (or with anyone else who wants to join us) in the spirit of solidarity. During the campaign, I will myself implement this action in each community that I visit. I will go on a “white man’s walk” and invite other interested persons to come along for as long a time as they want. Let's talk about race, gender, the state of politics, or anything else that comes to mind.
Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But, this time, consider positive alternatives. Trade can be used as a tool to improve people's lives, not just enrich international traders or enforce pharmaceutical monopolies. I proposed something in 2004 and will do so again in this primary campaign. It will be big. It will be bold. It will be beneficial for everyone.
Note: I have a track record in running for president in a Democratic primary. This is my second time. In 2004, I finished fifth among seven candidates (the others better known than myself) in Louisiana’s Democratic presidential primary, with 3,161 votes. I also wrote and published a book about this experience. While the vote total may not be impressive when stacked up against the major candidates, my 2004 campaign for president in Louisiana was significant in that I ran on a single issue, opposition to free trade, which has come center stage in this year’s presidential campaign.
In the 2004 campaign, I presented an alternative trade policy: employer-specific tariffs based on an importer’s labor and environmental record. (See my position paper.) Today, the leading contenders in both political parties are opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the latest free-trade agreement. I was ahead of my time. I had something to say then - still do. I'm not just against the present trade system but am proposing a constructive alternative. What are the other candidates proposing?
Now I have another ahead-of-my-time proposal which, strangely enough, bears a striking resemblance to something that the U.S. Senate passed in 1933, that Richard Nixon advocated in 1956, and that Eugene McCarthy and I published a book about in 1989. Maybe in the second decade of the 21st century the time has actually come to get this done. Hint: It has to do with good, productive, high-quality jobs. It also has to do with increased personal freedom and a better life for all. We need to talk about it.
"I'm fine with being excluded from the candidate debates. I'm not into political satire and am not focusing on our broken political system. In my view, if our elected officials addressed the real problems that we are facing, the American public would start to take an interest in politics and would show up at the polls and we could fix the political system. Right now, we need to inject fundamentally new thoughts and ideas into the political discussion. That's what my campaign is about." - Bill McGaughey
about the police shooting of Jamar Clark in north Minneapolis on Nov. 15, 2015
Contact: mailto:email@example.com (Please put "campaign" somewhere in the header so it will stand out in my spam-ridden email.)
See my report on the 2016 campaign for President in the New Hampshire primary
On the campaign trail: Bill will be leaving Minnesota for New Hampshire in early January to campaign actively in that state for 5 weeks. Send an email with contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to communicate with him during the campaign.
Note: Fund raising will not be a significant part of this largely self-funded campaign. However, campaign donations are welcomed. If interested, send a check to: McGaughey presidential campaign, 1702 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405.
Bill's personal website: http://www.billmcgaughey.com
I run for President in the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic primary
by William McGaughey
a rekindled interest in politics
In the early morning of October 18th, 2015, while lying in bed, I had the idea of running in another presidential primary. Why? I had written and published a book on a previous campaign for President that could be given to media people. I now had a track record on an important policy question. I was proud of the fact that in 2004 I had run for President on a ticket of being against free trade. Now the leading candidates in both parties had come around to that position. I was ahead of my time.
I thought of entering the South Carolina and Louisiana Democratic presidential primaries for the second time. Then that course of action seemed unwise. The South Carolina party screens the candidates on the basis of whether the national media considers them viable candidates. I would surely fail that test. However, the party no longer screens on the basis of loyalty. I had previously been rejected on that basis. On the other hand, there is also an election commission that could charge candidates up to $20,000 for running. I could not afford to pay that.
Louisiana had a primary scheduled for early March, but there was also a notice on the Internet that the state’s Secretary of State said that Louisiana might not be having a presidential primary election in 2016 because of the expense ($3 million). If that decision stood, I would not be able to run again in the Louisiana primary. Checking some time later, I learned that Louisiana indeed had a primary but I had missed the filing deadline of December 4, 2015 by five days.
That left New Hampshire. I did not enter its primary in 2004 because I missed the filing deadline. The filing period is in November. I could meet the deadline this year. The filing fee was affordable - $1,000. However, I learned that New Hampshire requires candidate to list their delegates and alternatives in November. It would be hard for me to contact New Hampshire residents to recruit delegates without going to the state.
My interest in electoral politics had been rekindled by exposure to candidates who would play leading roles in the 2016 race for the Presidency. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders came to Minneapolis in late May 2015 to stir support for a possible presidential campaign. The response had been so strong that his event had to be move to a larger venue, the American Indian Center on Lake Street. Lines of potential attendees stretched for blocks down the street and I was lucky to get in to hear the Senator. This was on Sunday morning, May 31st. Sanders’ campaign was off to a strong start.
I also watched the presidential debates on television starting in the late summer. The first Republican debate, on August 8th, began with a bang when the moderator, Megyn Kelly, asked all the candidates on the stage to commit to abide by the convention decision for a nominee. Alone, Donald Trump raised his hand to signal that he might consider an independent candidacy. Then, when Kelly asked Trump an insulting follow-up question, Trump let her have it.
This was unheard of. A candidate was actually challenging the authority of the moderator and getting away with it! I, too, was tired of all their stupid rules and questions and the 30-second time limits. I religiously watched most of the candidate debates for the remainder of 2015, developing an interest not only in Trump but in Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum as well. Ben Carson was another unusual candidate worth following.
Running for President myself was the last thing on my mind as I struggled financially through most of 2015. I expected an inheritance from my father to be distributed before the end of the year which would be used to pay back property taxes and other expenses while leaving money for discretionary purposes. This money arrived on December 14th. I also had a campaign contribution from a landlord friend. Suddenly, I could self-finance a campaign in New Hampshire, costing relatively little money and less than two months of my life, and then go on to the long-delayed project of publishing another book.
If I ran in New Hampshire, my issues would be the same as in my 2002 Senate primary campaign with the Independence Party: 1. a four-day workweek and 2. dignity for white males. I had a definite legislative proposal for a shorter workweek that could be discussed during the campaign. My proposal for the second item would be simply to have white people march to exhibit pride in themselves because of or despite their race. I could organize this myself. I would go on a “white man’s walk”, inviting others to join me. I would not be asking the government to do anything. I would simply be inviting white people to take walks evidencing their racial solidarity instead of being ashamed of themselves on the basis of historical guilt as the official line of argument dictates.
My racially tinged cause was a work in progress. While black people experience real injustices, I felt that awareness of this had progressed to the stage of putting white people on the defensive. The real victims, I thought, were the young. In numerical terms, they were mostly young white people with limited career opportunities a growing number of whom were addicted to drugs. New Hampshire, in particular, had a major drug problem.
Enough other people were lamenting racial discrimination against blacks. I would be the voice in the wilderness daring to express sympathy for the forgotten whites. I would give a full-throated, honest defense of these people in the face of media indifference. Where high-paying jobs were plentiful for persons of my generation, today’s young generation feels it must go into debt to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars to purchase an education that will get him or her to the starting line of the chase for decent jobs.
For shame, you educators and policy makers! Young whites have the reputation of being privileged but the reality of being outcasts in their own land. I would say something about this and, in the process, make myself thoroughly despised.
taking the plunge
The deadline to file for the New Hampshire primary was Friday, November 20, 2015. I then had enough money on hand to pay the $1,000 filing fee so on November 17th I sent a cashier’s check to the New Hampshire Secretary of State. When I was improperly registered as William H. McGaughey, Sr., the Secretary of State’s office I promptly changed my name to William H. McGaughey, Jr. at my request. Now I was set to go.
The New Hampshire Secretary of State requested that presidential candidates complete a form by December 11th listing delegates who would represent them at the nominating conventions. From an online discussion group I knew one person in New Hampshire but he seemed not to be interested in being my delegate. In the end, it would not have mattered.
After the filing period had passed, I compiled a list of all the persons who had filed as presidential-primary candidates in New Hampshire and contacted all the Democrats to see if any were interested in joint-campaign activities. A few responded positively but in the end nothing was arranged.
I thought I had a certain advantage in having retained the domain name billforpresident.org from a 2004 campaign in which I ran for president in Louisiana’s Democratic presidential primary. I had then finished fifth among seven candidates with 3,161 votes. The pages could be redesigned to suit the new campaign.
my campaign website
Viewers of the redesigned front page - http://www.billforpresident.org - were greeted by three pictures of me with a smiling face. The one in the middle showed me with a shaggy beard and unkempt hair. Then there were links to detailed policy statements: “my vision of a better future”, “about the socialist bugaboo”, “about the politics of gender and race”, “second time’s the charm” (a wishful suggestion that I might do even better this time than in 2004), “what I really hope to accomplish in this campaign”, and, as an afterthought, “my campaign leaflet”.
Finally there was a general statement about my campaign positions compared with those of some other candidates, a summary of the three main planks in my campaign platform, and a reference to earlier political endeavors. At the bottom was a picture of my automobile decorated with campaign signs that New Hampshire residents might soon encounter during my travels around the state.
I spent weeks creating and refining this website and its several pages. Traffic peaked on election day, February 9th, at 420 visits and 1,313 hits. The average traffic for the month was 290 visits and 535 hits, about triple the level in October 2015. Still it was unimpressive traffic compared with what some of the other candidates must have gotten. I poured out my heart and mind to a relatively inattentive public.
preliminary research and other preparations
I began to scout the political scene in New Hampshire. There were eleven daily newspapers in the state and thirty-three community newspapers which published once or several times a month. Another media resource was radio stations. I found eighty-eight different stations, both AM and FM, and four television stations, the largest of which was WMUR-TV in Manchester. I would try to use both print and electronic media effectively to get my message out.
Besides media, I targeted institutions of higher learning as places for political discussion. Twenty-four colleges and universities showed up in my Google search of New Hampshire institutions. Interestingly, Andrew Card, George W. Bush’s chief of staff, was president of one of the smaller colleges, Franklin Pierce University in Rindge. (Pierce, a New Hampshire native, was a one-term pre-Civil War U.S. president.) There were social organizations with military connections. My list of such organizations included 18 VFW (veterans of foreign wars) chapters and 19 chapters of the American Legion around New Hampshire. I also located 9 Elks Clubs. All these organizations represented possible locations for political discussion in cities and towns around the state.
Having identified a number of media outlets and educational or social organizations that might support political discussion, I grouped all these institutions by location. Whenever I visited a city or town, I would have a list of possible contacts. The newspapers had priority but the other places could also be useful to visit if I had time. I gathered the addresses and phone numbers of prospects in each city and recorded them on typed sheets. On a more personal note, my brother in law, Dean Morrison, gave me the name and address of Sanel Corporation in Concord, New Hampshire, which was the last stop on his route when he was a truck driver. Workers in the loading dock might remember him.
I also printed a list of Republican candidates’ visits to places in New Hampshire during 2015 to give me an idea of where campaigning might be done. Of particular interest was a “New Hampshire Primary Student Convention that would take place between January 5th and 7th at the Radisson hotel in Manchester. Several of the major candidates would be participating. I myself had rented a room on Concord Street in Manchester through airbnb between January 4th and February 10th, which was about a mile from the Radisson. Depending upon my arrival date in New Hampshire, I might use this convention as a means of becoming acquainted with the political scene in that state.
My trademark style of campaigning would be to carry a large printed sign with a political message while wearing a flamboyant Mexican hat that I had purchased from a thrift store fifteen years ago. Budget Signs of St. Paul would produce the two-sided sign mounted on a stick. One side read “Embrace your racial identity” and the other, “White man’s walk”. The latter message might be displayed if I managed to find someone, probably white, who would walk with me and discuss racial issues in cities or towns that I visited during the campaign. But even if no such discussion partners could be found, this equipment would make me a walking billboard for a certain set of issues that could stimulate political discussion and possibly win votes.
My wardrobe also needed attention. Besides socks and underwear, I needed to replenish my supply of dress shirts and pants. I also purchased a high-quality overcoat at a thrift store and heavy-duty dress shoes. My biggest purchase, however, was a new set of glasses obtained from the Walmart store in Brooklyn Center. This had stylish rounded frames and a split lens which would darken in sun light; it would be perfect for long-distance driving.
I decided to campaign in a 2005 white Pontiac Grand AM with 163,000 miles on the odometer which still belonged to my step-daughter, Jasmine, who was driving another car. First, we had to get the title switched to me. A neighborhood mechanic checked the car for needed repairs and found some minor problems which he corrected. Then it was discovered that neither front headlight worked properly. This problem was corrected at some expense at a service station not far from where I live. Even so, the headlight beams did not focus on a spot far enough down the road. Luckily, my night-time driving was limited during the campaign.
Finally, I purchased campaign signs from Vistaprint to paste on the sides of the car. A promotional offer gave me $70 worth of product for $27. I used this money and more to purchase four colored magnetic signs, roughly 12 by 18 inches, that would go on the side doors of the car, two on each side. On the front door passenger-side was a sign headlined “NH primary campaign, Democrat from Minnesota, William H. McGaughey”. The sign on the rear door, passenger side, had a large picture of my face, identifying me as “presidential candidate, William H. McGaughey, Jr.”. A sign on the front door, driver side, said “Bill McGaughey for President” above a flag-like design of stars and stripes. A picture of a red and blue rooster crowing below a caption that announced “a new day is dawning” was attached to the rear door on the driver’s side.
Besides the larger signs were smaller ones, 3 by 11 inches, with messages that read in a variety of colors: “for a 4-day, 32-hour workweek”, “Bill McGaughey for President (Democrat)” with a small picture of my face, “www.billforpresident.org”, and, more controversial, “white man’s walk”. These went on the front and rear bumpers, on the hood, and behind the rear doors. In summary, my campaign car was well decorated and set to attract the attention of politically interested New Hampshire residents.
my arrival in New Hampshire
All this took time to complete. The day after the right headlight was fixed, January 2nd, I set out on a trip across the eastern half of the United States, first to northeastern Pennsylvania and then New Hampshire. The first night was spent at a Motel 6 in South Bend, Indiana. From there I drove across the rest of Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, reaching Milford, Pennsylvania, in the early evening. The tenant had left the backdoor unlocked and made an extra key for my use. After a good night’s rest in an empty bedroom, I set out for New Hampshire on the following morning, first crossing the eastern part of New York state, Connecticut, and Massachusetts before reaching the Manchester area thirty miles inside New Hampshire.
I had purchased a book of maps covering New Hampshire put out by the DeLorme company of Yarmouth, Maine. This book had detailed street maps of the state’s larger cities as well as area maps for all parts of the state. Two pages were devoted to the city of Manchester. I had previously located my prospective residence on Concord Street, just west of Concord and Hall Streets. Fortunately, it was near Hanover Street which was one of the main entrances to the city from the bypass highway 93 that I had taken to enter the area. I could drive down Hanover for two or three miles, turn right for two blocks, and then be at my rented home.
The front door of the house was unlocked when I arrived. The key was near the door to the apartment on the second floor. The apartment itself consisted of three bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom, and large living room with a sofa and television set. I took the room at the opposite (south) end of the suite. It had two small closets and a bed. There was not room to unpack everything but enough to function day to day. I went back to the Hannaford supermarket in a shopping center on Hanover Street. The perishables went into a refrigerator and the rest in a closet. I had brought along some kitchen utensils. The landlord stopped by later in the evening to see if I needed anything. I was set.
an appearance at the student convention at the Radisson hotel in Manchester
My top priority in New Hampshire on the first day of campaigning, January 5th, was to attend what remained of the 2016 New Hampshire Primary Student Convention at the Radisson hotel in downtown Manchester. (The Carlson family of Minnesota owns this chain of hotels.) Fortunately, this was about twelve blocks from my rented residence. However, the area was covered with parking meters needing to be fed fifty cents every half hour or so.
I roamed through an exhibit area in the hotel where the different candidates and political organizations had tables. I learned it was possible for me to attend the student conference for $75 a day on each of the two remaining days of the three-day conference. However, I would be a mere attendee rather than someone on the program. Upon quick reflection, I decided to take my chances engaging students on sidewalks outside the Radisson hotel, rushing back periodically to feed the parking meter.
I had missed Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s representative, Howard Dean, on the first day of the conference. Candidates scheduled for the second day included (in order of scheduled appearance) New Jersey governor Chris Christie (endorsed by the Manchester Union Leader), Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Ohio Governor John Kasich, former Virginia Jim Gilmore, Carly Fiorina, and Martin O’Malley. I was too late for Christie but arrived in time to catch Kasich, if I was persistant. Kasich’s campaign bus was parked in the driveway just beyond the hotel entrance. I hovered around this area for what seemed hours, leaving periodically to feed the parking meter, with my gigantic campaign sign and Mexican hat.
At length, something seemed to be stirring. An attractive female photographer suddenly appeared wanting to take my picture. I cheerfully obliged. There may have been an ulterior motive in this request because, just as she had finished photographing me, the Kasich campaign bus began to pull away from the curb. In retrospect, I supposed that the Ohio governor and his retinue had sneaked past me to board the bus while I was distracted. I bore Kasich no ill will for this possible act of deception but did, frankly, hope to engage him in some way. However, it was too late. The Ohio governor was on to his next appointment as I stood on the sidewalk by myself.
Weeks later, after viewing television commercials, I decided that Kasich might be my favorite candidate among the Republicans, although I still liked Trump. Bernie Sanders remained my favorite candidate among the Democrats. But what did it matter? I was out here on my own.
My position in front of the Radisson hotel offered limited opportunities for campaigning. A few of the student delegates occasionally appeared through the hotel’s front door to take a smoke or experience a change in scenery. Several of them were from Louisiana where I had campaigned in a primary twelve years earlier. I had a roommate at my apartment on Concord street who was in the same group of students although he came from Australia. However, my campaigning at the student conference was meeting with limited success. The third and final day, on Wednesday, January 6th, was a half-day session featuring mostly policy work shops. I did not put in an appearance at the hotel on that day because I was beginning to feel ill.
getting started with the campaign
On Thursday, January 7th, I dropped off literature and books (On the Ballot in Louisiana) at a radio station, university, and television station (WMUR-TV) in Manchester. On the following day, January 8th, I went to Concord to visit state offices and the Concord Monitor where I left literature and books on my Louisiana campaign. Then, I drove up to Lebanon, New Hampshire, stopping along the way at Colby and New London where a radio station had promised to cover my campaign. Mr. Sarro himself was not in - he worked out of New Orleans - but I had a friendly conversation with another employee of the station. After that, I had to drive back quickly to Manchester because I was starting to feel ill.
Back at home, I later wrote a note to myself about the message to be conveyed in the campaign:
“I am running because I do not think candidates are addressing the right issues. I want to inject certain themes into the political discussion.
In fact, U.S. politics is organized according to the demographic vote. We are completely polarized according to race and, to a lesser extent, gender. This is a lop-sided discussion. If white people show some pride in themselves, this kind of politics can be overcome.
Our jobs are at risk. Need a shorter workweek and tariffs.”
I also wrote myself a note about a proposed method of campaigning:
“Don’t wear Mexican hat often. Briefly carry sign through downtown of towns I visit. Mainly approach people and introduce myself as I visit towns. Pass out leaflets. See if there is any interest in marches. Visit bars & restaurants and ask if I can pass out literature. If not, leave a leaflet or two for the proprietor.”
I also wrote down information about the forum for “lesser-known candidates” that would be held at St. Anselm’s college on January 19th.
During this time, I did some campaigning with the picket sign and hat along Elm street in downtown Manchester while distributing the half-sheet literature in my pocket. The temperature was in the single digits. Even so, there were some worthwhile encounters. I remember talking briefly with an attractive young white woman who said she agreed both with my racial critique and call for a shorter workweek. There was also a young white man who admitted to being a racist. These were meaningful encounters. However, the traffic on downtown sidewalks was relatively light and I did not campaign long.
My daily routine in the early days was to spend a few hours campaigning as best I could and then watch Manchester television, station, WMUR-TV, from 5 p.m. when local news came on until I went to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. An hour of local news was followed by the half-hour national news program with anchor David Muir and then another local news segment, “New Hampshire Chronicles” featuring a variety of stories. I thought I was beginning to get a feel for New Hampshire without campaigning too hard. Nine hours devoted to sleep in Manchester would help me recover from the trip.
Weekends tended to be dead time. I stayed in my room on Concord Street. So it was on my first weekend in New Hampshire. I did not do much that weekend because I was not feeling well. I could feel a bronchial condition coming on. This was an unfamiliar experience. There was first a sinking feeling in my chest following by spasms in my lower and upper lips. The convulsions continued for a minute and then gradually went away. A half hour later, the spasms might resume. I had never experienced this sort of thing before.
at the Trump rally in Windham
On Monday, January 11th, I learned that Donald Trump would hold a rally at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham, twenty miles or so southeast of Manchester, on the same morning. The rally would start around 11 a.m. in little more than an hour. Hurriedly, I dressed and climbed into the car. When I arrived at Windham and found Enterprise Drive, police had already blocked off this road. So I parked in a CVS Pharmacy Parking lot near that spot and, crossing the police blockade, walked down Enterprise Drive with a few other stragglers toward the conference center. Cars were parked on both sides of the street for more than half a mile. After turning right, I reached the press entrance to the building where Trump would be speaking. A few others were there on the porch. I gave them my literature. There were security people inside the door of the building.
Trump must have spoken for the better part of an hour. Then, first a few people and then more started to file past me as I stood in my campaign costume, hat and sign on the road. Most of the Trump people declined my offer of literature.
As the crowd of persons exiting the building grew thicker, a young security officer emerged from the building and told me I had to leave. I challenged him on the basis of standing in a public street. He claimed that Trump had rented the entire area. At this point, the incident caught the attention of two news photographers who started snapping pictures of me. The security officer abruptly abandoned his mission, leaving me with the photographers. One said he was with the Boston Globe and the other with a newspaper in Seattle. They must have taken dozens of photos. Afterwards, I walked the half mile back to the highway and to my car in the CVS parking lot. I never did learn if the photographs taken in Windham appeared in any newspapers.
After buying a few items at the DVS pharmacy, I decided that the day was still young. I had time to visit the one media outlet in Windham but had difficulty finding its address. The place was deserted when it found it. On my way back to Manchester, I also stopped at the newspapers offices in Londonderry and Derry which were open. The paper in Derry seemed quite receptive to my visit.
Later in the day, I decided to buy some winter clothing at the Mall of New Hampshire south of town. I also bought a wrist watch for twenty dollars which proved quite useful in future campaigning. Then, as a final piece of business, I decided to visit the Elliott hospital in Manchester to see how serious my bronchial condition might be. That visit was to change the course of my stay in New Hampshire.
five days in the hospital
I first went to the hospital itself, less than a mile from my Manchester residence, where I was referred me to its urgent-care facility on Queen City Avenue near the Merrimack River. The doctor who examined me there decided to send me back to the hospital for further examination and analysis. So, in the evening of Monday, January 11th, I wound up staying overnight at the hospital following tests.
Somehow I was kept in the hospital for four more days in room 5 as more and more tests were performed. My spasmic attacks slowly subsided during this time but the doctors were still concerned about my condition. In the back of my mind there was also a concern that five days spent in the hospital could be financially ruinous. I had Medicare Parts A and B but that did not cover everything. No discussion of expense ever took place. I was worried but helpless to do anything about it. (Six weeks later, I still did not know how much this treatment cost. Then in March the bill came. The gross billing from Elliot Hospital was slightly more than $25,000. The net amount due was $797.57. I could not complain.)
In the end, it was determined that my blood pressure was high and I had diabetes. I also showed early signs of frontal-lobe dementia and had something called “small-vein disease” in my brain, which restricted blood flow. I could expect to lose memory as this condition progressed. The doctors prescribed three types of medication that could be obtained at a nearby CVS pharmacy. These were designed to treat the diabetes and the high blood pressure.
There was no immediate condition to justify further stay in the hospital so I was released Friday morning, January 15th with an appointment to see a doctor in Hooksett (north of Manchester) on the following week, Friday, January 22nd, to check on my condition then. The better part of a week had been lost for campaign activities. In retrospect, I cannot remember what happened at the hospital. There was a small television set in my room but I must have slept much of the time.
my wife comes to New Hampshire
I had kept my wife Sheila informed of my health problems. Alarmed, she made immediate plans to come to New Hampshire to be at my side. Without informing me, she also purchased airplane tickets for me to return to Minnesota on January 30th, cutting my campaign short by nine days. Sheila had bought train tickets to travel from Minneapolis to Manchester, arriving on Monday, January 18th. She would stay in the Econolodge Motel near the Elliot Urgent Care facility in Manchester.
I meanwhile spent a quiet Friday and weekend at my rented room on Concord Street. That Sunday, I did the accumulated load of laundry at a laundromat near the Hannaford supermarket. I also purchased two sets of medications that had been prescribed. But the energy and ambition had gone out of me in the five days that I was hospitalized.
I met Sheila in front of the Econolodge motel Monday morning and then spent the day with her at the motel in room 415. She never visited my residence on Concord Street which was not far away. On the following day, Tuesday, January 19th, we visited St. Anselm’s college to scout out the scene of that night’s debate. The candidates initially gathered in a room outside the main hall where we each received a large poster about the 2016 primary put out by the Secretary of State’s office on which both the Democratic and Republican ballots were displayed. It was the 100th anniversary of the New Hampshire primary.
Note: The Democratic and Republican ballots were shown on a large placard created by the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the New Hampshire primary. Its header reads: "Commemorating the New Hampshire Presidential direct primary by election 100th Anniversary - 1916-2016." The image to the right (mostly cut off) is taken from the Manchester Union newspaper on November 5, 1892. The Republican presidential primary ballot was also displayed. There were 30 candidates on the Republican ballot as opposed to 28 for the Democrats. The poster also had pictures of the wooden ballot boxes used in elections a century ago.
the lesser-known candidates' debate at St. Anselm college
The six Republican candidates’ debate started at 6:30 p.m. The twenty Democrats, of whom I was a part, began their debate an hour and a half later. The event was covered by C-SPAN. The panel of questioners included political reporters for the Tribune company and ABC News as well as John DiStaso of KMUR-TV. The New Hampshire Secretary of State, Bill Gardner, made brief opening remarks. Without exception, the lesser-known presidential candidates from both parties were all middle-aged white males.
When our turn came, I sat in the second row of ten candidates somewhere in the middle. We each had a chance to make a two-minute opening statement. I was experiencing a loss of confidence. However, I did manage to let known the fact that my campaign was partly about “dignity for white males” as well as a four-day workweek and opposition to the TPP. Sheila’s brief recording of my presentation caught a candidate in the front row abruptly gathering his papers and leaving the stage, evidently in disgust, when I mentioned white males. But I was too distracted at the time to notice this.
In all, I may have spoken for three to four minutes total while some of the other candidates rambled on at length. Even so, my brief remarks were noted in a Manchester Union Leader story on the event dated January 20th. I also managed to catch John DiStaso, perhaps the state’s preeminent political reporter, on the way out. I handed him my card, half-sheet of literature, and copy of the Louisiana book. (But nothing ever came of this.) Then Sheila and I drove back to the Econolodge motel where we again spent the night. She returned to Minnesota early the next morning, having never visited my Manchester apartment. But her arrival in New Hampshire helped to restore my self-confidence.
In retrospect, I realized the surrealistic nature of this event. All the "minor candidates" for President in the New Hampshire primary, both Democrat and Republican, were middle-aged white males. ( White males were also in the majority among the major candidates. Hillary Clinton was the only female among the presidential candidates, and Ben Carson was the only African American.) They were all, I assume, staunch anti-racists. So here I was, a white male, making an issue of race in a manner sympathetic to whites and thereby conspicuously offending at least one of the other white-male candidates. And the only African American in the room was my wife, Sheila, who had come to New Hampshire because she was worried about my health. It's a crazy, mixed up world politically, isn't it?
trying to jump-start the campaign
The candidate debate at the Institute of Politics may have been the highlight of the campaign. It was widely viewed on cable television. Another version produced for the internet was said to have gone viral. But this opportunity was now in the past and I had another two or three weeks of campaigning left. A problem was that many of the newspapers, my target audience, were on monthly schedules whose deadlines had passed. I had to get busy reaching as many of these contacts as I could. I also had to mail the $600 alimony check to my step-daughter Celia, buy more groceries, and organize to reach media outlets in time.
Weekends were dead time for campaigning. If I had been closer to Milford (Pennsylvania), I might have spent time there. Instead, I attended church at the First Congregational Church in Manchester on Sunday, January 17th, and again on January 24th. I did not try to score political points in attending but instead wanted to experience a change of pace. My contact with parishioners after the service was limited. In New Hampshire, I was grateful occasionally to be doing non-political things.
Back in my apartment, I printed nine letters by hand on white sheets but left them unaddressed and undated because I did not know which newspaper editors, if any, might print them. The idea was that these would go to newspaper editors who gave an indication of willingness to publish them before the primary. A return address and telephone number were provided. These letters read:
I am one of 28 candidates in the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary - the only one from the midwest - who will be campaigning continuously in New Hampshire until the primary election on February 9th.
I am running in this primary to raise issues that the other candidates will not discuss. First, the electorate is excessively polarized by gender and race. The shrinking white majority is disparaged. To counteract that demoralizing situation, I announce that I like white people (being such a person myself) and support their legitimate aspirations. This does not mean that I oppose other people’s legitimate aspirations.
Second, U.S. jobs are under assault by products imported from foreign countries and by continuing advances in labor productivity. It will take a corresponding reduction in work time to maintain production equilibrium. After 75 years of the 40-hour workweek (while the productivity of labor has increased fourfold), it’s time to cut the standard workweek to 32 hours. I also call for rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and its replacement by a scheme (including shorter work hours) that addresses the global oversupply of human labor.
Right now, the candidates of both political parties are not addressing the questions of greatest importance to American voters. I will not be elected President this year, but, if all goes well, my campaign for President in New Hampshire could help shape the agenda of discussion in the 2016 national election and beyond.
If interested, please take a look at my campaign website: http://www.billforpresident.org.
It’s time to shake things up! I ask for your vote in the primary election on February 9th.
William Mc Gaughey (signed)
William H. (“Bill”) McGaughey, Jr.”
This letter was a good idea but, unfortunately, I did not find monthly or weekly newspapers that would commit to publishing it. In the end, the hand-printed letters remained unaddressed and unsent.
Even so, after a few newspaper editors indicated that they would accept letters to the editor from me, I began to think that the most efficient way to campaign would be to send letters stating the purpose of my campaign to the eleven daily newspapers in New Hampshire. I also thought, to explain the letter, that I ought to give a demographic analysis of the 2012 presidential election results to show that the electorate was becoming polarized by race and by gender. No matter what the ostensible issues were, demographics drove election results. Consequently, I revised my standard letter to the editor to emphasize such themes.
The following letter was the result of this new thinking. It was a template for what I sent the daily newspapers in New Hampshire in the latter phase of my campaign:
As a resident of Minnesota, I am a candidate for President in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary.
Why am I running? To stimulate a more realistic discussion of our economic and political situation at this time.
In 2012, Barack Obama received 93% of the African American vote, and Mitt Romney only 7% of this vote. Obama received 76% of the gay / lesbian / bisexual / transgender vote, and Romney 24% of this vote. President Obama received 72% of the Asian American vote and Mitt Romney 28% of this vote. Obama received 71% of the Hispanic vote, and Romney 29% of this vote.
On the other hand, Mitt Romney received 59% of white Americans’ votes and Barack Obama, the winner of the election, only 41% of this vote. Romney received 52% of the male vote compared with 45% for Obama. However, female voters favored Obama by a 55% to 43% margin even though married women gave Romney a majority of their votes.
Why does this matter? Because, if the U.S electorate is captive to its demographic identity, then political issues become largely irrelevant. Elections are then about the two parties appealing to their respective bases to get people to the polls. We are then not one nation but two. This does not bode well for the future.
As a white man, I have carried a picket sign in New Hampshire cities inviting people to join me in a brief walk to discuss racial and gender issues. I know not what else to do to address the political situation today.
Substantively, we must be concerned with the future of jobs in an age of robots and massive outsourcing of production to low-wage countries. Labor productivity has increased four fold since the 1930s when the 40-hour week was enacted. I call for an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act to reduce the standard workweek to 32 hours so that a 4-day week can become universal. I also favor rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership and its replacement by a more labor-friendly agreement that addresses the global shortage of jobs.
I am running for President in this primary because you will not otherwise get this kind of political message from the candidates. Please consider voting for me to send a message that you want fundamental political change.
William McGaughey (signed)
William H. McGaughey, Jr.”
an opinion piece for the New York Times
Finally, because I had hopes of doing well in the New Hampshire primary, I wrote an Op-Ed article for the New York Times that would be sent to that newspaper shortly before the election results became known. This was the article:
“Unspoken Realities in this year’s presidential campaign
I ran in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary because significant political realities were not being addressed.
Largely undiscussed in this year’s election campaign is the fact that the American electorate has become polarized by race and ethnicity and to a lesser extent by gender. The Democrats have the insurgent minorities; the Republicans, the white-male-dominated “majority”.
In the 2012 election, Barack Obama received 93% of the African-American vote, 76% of the GLBT vote, 72% of the Asian-American vote, and 71% of the Hispanic vote. Mitt Romney, the loser in this election, received 59% of white Americans’ votes.
Gender-wise, Mitt Romney received 52% of the male vote but only 43% of the female vote. Married women favored Romney while unmarried women went for Obama.
These election results seem to reflect a permanent situation. No matter what issues are discussed, Americans vote according to their demographic identity. Elections are then about the two parties appealing to their respective bases in an effort to get prospective supporters to the polls. We are not one nation but two. One would think that this dangerous situation would come up in political discussions but it has not
As a white man, I walked through the downtown areas of several New Hampshire cities carrying a picket sign that invited people to join me in a brief discussion of gender and racial issues. Few took me up on the offer. For white people, I think this is an area of embarrassment rather than opportunity.
My campaign also raised issues of employment. Labor productivity has increased four-fold since the 1930s when the 40-hour workweek was enacted. The subsequent failure to reduce working hours has pushed economic output into less “useful” areas of production such as gambling, corrections, health care, education and military preparedness.
In my presidential campaign, I called for an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act to reduce the standard workweek to 32 hours so that a 4-day week could be achieved. I also advocated rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership and its replacement by a more labor-friendly agreement that addressed the global shortage of jobs.
In summary, the current campaign for the White House overlooks certain matters of critical importance to Americans. I gave it a shot but was, of course, outgunned.”
I had my message. The presidential debate was not broad enough. We needed to discuss also the relationship between the voters and public policy. Were the individual voters locked into policy on the basis of how they were born? Were elections won by organizing birth-determined groups into majorities, while turning others into electoral minorities, so that there was no common electorate seeking policies good for all? Secondarily, I wanted to bring back a discussion of how to revive full employment so that people were more prosperous and secure. It was a tall order but one worth pursuing in a presidential primary.
ramping up the communication effort
Limited in my ability to travel around the state because much campaign time had been spent in a hospital stay, I was now trying to send a packaged message to large and important media outlets in New Hampshire, hoping that some would take me up on the offer to communicate in this way. The problem, of course, is that there were fifty-seven other candidates in the presidential primary who had similar aspirations. Some, even most, were much better known than I was. So I had to combine letters to the editor with other techniques of communication.
The main public library in Manchester was not far from my rented residence. Free street parking was available just a block or two away from the library. Even though terminal time was limited to one hour, I was able to type and print a number of letters to the editor to newspapers such as the Cabinet Press in Milford, New Hampshire and the Courier News in Littleton. Each such letter that was printed would, hopefully, be worth votes.
After Sheila went back to Minnesota, I tried to restart my sagging campaign. I had not yet been to any cities along the sea coast. That weekend, on Saturday, January 23rd, I decided to drive east from Manchester to the Atlantic ocean along highway 101 to previously unvisited places.
My brother Andy, now deceased, had graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1960, followed by a year at Harvard. Exeter, New Hampshire was just off highway 101, about ten miles from the ocean. Curiously, the current governor of New Hampshire, Maggie Hassan, is the wife of Exeter’s headmaster or, perhaps, someone who used to be in that position until recently. I stopped in Exeter for about an hour, visiting the administration building and taking an unexpected call from a tenant back in Minneapolis. I could not remember the name of the dormitory where my brother had once lived.
Then I proceeded to Hampton Beach on the ocean and drove through the largely deserted city. During the summer it must be bustling but in the winter the businesses were closed. I stopped briefly to view the Atlantic ocean and its deserted beach and then drove back home.
On Monday, January 25th, I decided to visit Concord once again. My brother-in-law, Dean Morrison, a tenant in the apartment building in Minneapolis, had previously been a truck driver with Stoughton Trucking Company of Wisconsin. His last stop on a particular run was Sanel Auto Parts in Concord, New Hampshire. He gave me the address of that firm with the idea that I would introduce myself to an employee who might remember him. I did find the firm and spoke briefly with a manager but this man seemed to have little recollection of Dean. I might have had better luck in the receiving department but did not ask to be admitted to that area.
Later, I parked near the state capitol in Concord, walking around the area with my sign. I did not attempt to enter the capitol building itself but did take photographs of several statues in front of the building. Then I took a lengthy walk with the picket sign circling the capitol area and then went back to the car.
While near the capitol, a man approached me who was also a lesser-known candidate for president. This man, Stephen Comley Sr., who was critical of the government’s handling of nuclear issues, handed me his card and photocopies of newspaper articles about his campaign. These included a photocopy of an article in the Manchester Union Leader reporting on the lesser-known candidates’ debate. Comley and I were both mentioned. I later put this article to good use in promoting my own candidacy.
I run afoul of the landlord in Manchester and have to move
But there were other, less comforting experiences, around this time. Generally speaking, I had seen little of the landlord since I moved into the apartment on January 4th. I had also been the sole occupant of the suite of rented rooms after the student conference at the Radisson hotel had ended on January 6th. My bedroom was at one end of the suite away from the kitchen, bathroom, and apartment entrance.
On the morning of January 26th, shortly after 8 a.m., I was sitting on the toilet in the bathroom still in my pajamas, when the landlord without warning entered the apartment through the exterior door and spotted me in the bathroom in what seemed to him an act of indecent exposure. He later sent me an angry email threatening to cancel my lease unless I promised that such a thing would not happen again. Although I do not remember the incidents, this landlord claimed also to have seen me wrapped in a towel after showering and, another time, seen me in my underwear.
This was the first time I had seen the landlord in weeks. I may indeed have been careless in allowing the bathroom door to remain open while I was using the toilet. To my knowledge, no one else had been in the suite of apartments in weeks.
Since the landlord wanted me gone and I expected that my health problems would force me to end the campaign early, I promised to vacate the apartment after completing the doctor’s appointment on January 29th. Then, wanting to continue the campaign through the February 9th election, I had a change of heart. The landlord agreed to suspend the eviction if there were no more incidents.
Unfortunately, however, there was another early-morning incident in which the landlord, again appearing unexpectedly, spotted urine on my pajama bottom as I was leaving the bathroom. This time he meant business. He ordered me to vacate the apartment the same day - by 1 p.m. I was not inclined to remain there under those circumstances and, fortunately, was able to find another place to stay.
On short order, I moved to the Motel 6 in Nashua, twenty miles south of Manchester. Since I would be staying there for ten nights, I was given the relatively low price of $50 per night which was, however, $15 to $20 per night higher than the previous place. My Manchester landlord did, however, agree to refund the rent to the extent of the unused time. It took me an hour or so to find the Motel 6 because I thought it was on the other side of U.S. highway but I eventually found the place and settled in. Even though my room did not have kitchen facilities, it was adequate and clean. The room was also right next to the motel office where coffee was served in the morning.
a visit with my sister in Maine and other business
Tuesday, January 26th, begun in the unpleasant incident with the landlord, was also a day when I had arranged to meet my sister, Margaret, in Portland, Maine, after she finished work in the U.S. Attorney’s office. My sister, an attorney who was seven years younger than I, headed the appeals section at that office. She proposed that we have dinner together at the Sebago Brewery restaurant on Fore Street, not far from where she worked, at 5:45 p.m. Since this visit would require a drive through previously unvisited parts of New Hampshire, I decided first to schedule stops at two newspaper offices on the way - the Portsmouth Herald in Portsmouth and Foster’ Daily Democrat in Dover.
Using my GPS device, I first tried to find the Portsmouth Herald office at 111 New Hampshire Avenue. For some reason, I became lost. I located the U.S. passport office and several businesses but not the Portsmouth Herald. Then I learned it was farther down the road. I dropped off literature, a card, and my book in the lobby.
My second destination, the newspaper in Dover, was even harder to find because many reporters worked out of a smaller office at 11 Main Street near downtown rather than the published address. But I found this, too, and then headed for Maine. Follow-up calls to both New Hampshire newspapers revealed that neither editor wanted a return visit from me; however, they might consider a letter to the editor.
Portland was about sixty miles up U.S. highway 202 and then east on highway 25. Being a bit early for the appointment, I walked through a commercial section of Portland for a few blocks before returning to the restaurant. Margaret arrived a short time later. She could not spend too much time with me because her husband, George, was ill at home in Brunswick, about 25 miles away.
We had a good visit. I assured Margaret that my health problems were not that serious. We caught up on news involving several relatives. Then we had a waitress snap two photographs of us together. It had been years, even decades, since I had spent time alone with Margaret. Afterwards, I drove back to Manchester, via Portsmouth, on interstate highways. Stopping for gas on the way home, I bought a New Hampshire sweat shirt in Candia.
Later in the week, I continued to prepare letters to the editor of daily newspapers that I had tried to contact. They were typed on computers at the Manchester public library. I also decided to buy some souvenirs at the St. Anselm Institute of Politics that were on display during the January 19th debate. These included three ceramic coffee mugs, a thermos bottle, and a wool jacket, all bearing the inscription of “St. Anselm College - first-in-the-nation presidential primary.”
On Friday the 29th of January, I had my ten-minute interview with radio station WNTK in New London, which Ben Sarro had proposed several weeks earlier, at 8:15 a.m. I thought it went well. Finally, on Saturday I decided to visit the Nashua Telegraph office in nearby Hudson, but it was closed.
Besides campaigning, I also stayed in New Hampshire for follow-up appointments to a doctor in Hooksett, just north of Manchester, which the Elliott hospital had arranged. The initial appointment was on Friday, January 22nd, around noon. A follow-up one was set for week later at roughly the same time. The doctor was Gus Emmick. On the 22nd, he interviewed me for around 20 minutes and sent me downstairs for blood tests. In particular, he gave me a memory test which I failed. It had to do with recalling three animals. I remembered one. The only positive development was that I had lost ten pounds. I used to weigh around 240. It was now down to 229.
Doctor Emmick told me that I had diabetes and high blood pressure. Medication was prescribed. He also told Sheila that I was in an early stage of dementia. I had “small vein” disease in my brain that restricted blood flow. I had a certain degeneration of memory in my left frontal lobe due to restricted blood vessels. All this came as a bit of a shock to me since, despite problems experienced during the last several months, I had always considered myself to be in relatively good health. But I was becoming aware of memory loss in the increasing inability to remember names.
I was given certain patient instructions during my visit on January 29th:
“When you return to Minnesota, Follow up with your doctor at Hennepin Medical Center.
Follow up for diabetes.
With memory changes, some of the neurologic symptoms would benefit from (Neuro-Psych testing)”
The third point was in enlarged lettering and bold print.
(Unfortunately, I forgot to inquire about neuro-psych testing when I returned to Minnesota. I admit I have a certain memory impairment. I have greater difficulty remembering names than before I traveled to New Hampshire.)
a decision to continue the campaign
Sheila had made a reservation for me to fly from Manchester to Detroit and then from Detroit to the Twin Cities on Saturday, January 30th, on Delta airline. I knew nothing about this. My need to stay in New Hampshire for medical reasons was past. I had to make a decision whether my primary campaign, now partially derailed, warranted further stay in the state. I decided to continue. The last week, following the Iowa caucuses, would be the critical period for campaigning in New Hampshire. Why abort the campaign at this time? The main difference would be that I would be campaigning from a residence in Nashua rather than Manchester even though Manchester remained the center of activity. Every day, I would have to drive 20 miles on the 293 turnpike, paying a dollar toll, and then drive back again for a night’s rest.
I was starting to receive interview offers from media producers covering the primary. Joe Lahr, with Manchester public television and radio station WMNH 95.3 FM, asked if I would participate in a show that he would do on Monday, February 8th, and Tuesday, February 9th, from the Radisson hotel in Manchester. I could stop by any time after noon on those dates and be put on the air.
A television producer, Rob King, invited me to participate in a satyrical news program that would be taped on Monday evening, February 8th. I would show up at 6:30 p.m. for the first taping. The venue was later determined to be at the Hilton Garden Inn at 101 South Commercial Street in Manchester, just down the road from WMUR-TV, in the Tower Suite.
A later offer came from Nathan Thornburgh, a former Time magazine reporter who now produced a show called “Roads and Kingdoms”. He and a cameraman were coming from out of town to cover the New Hampshire primary. They wanted footage from me.
Another prospect, which excited me at the time but which did not pan out, was an inquiry from Alyona Minkovski, who said she was with the Huffington Post. She asked if I was interested in being interviewed. I was, of course, but then I did not hear from her again until, when asked, she said she had a change in plans. There was also an inquiry from David Mayer, a reporter with the Stonybrook Press which might have been related to an educational institution. He did not follow up on my offer to meet.
From reading an ad in the Hippo alternative newspaper, I learned, finally, that a group called NHRebellion.org would be holding a “We the People Convention” in a tent pitched in Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Manchester, just across from the Radisson hotel on successive days between Friday, February 5th and Sunday, February 7th. There was a website to register for the event and view the daily schedules. I jumped at this opportunity because it would give me something informative and useful to do in the critical few days before the primary election on Tuesday.
the campaign is revived from my new quarters in Nashua
I felt relatively secure over the weekend of January 30th and 31st believing I could stay in Manchester through election day. But then a repeat incident with the landlord occurred and I suddenly had to move.
Monday, February 1st, was spent packing my belongings in the car and driving down to Nashua to check in at the Motel 6. Even though I had the address - 2 Progress Drive - it took me more than an hour to find this motel because, not locating it on the map, I mistakenly thought the Motel 6 was east of U.S. highway 3. As it was, the directions were rather complicated. But I did check in for ten days and paid $543.40. Hopefully, my previous landlord would give me a partial refund.
It was the date of the Iowa caucuses whose results I religiously watched on television that evening. Hillary Clinton won narrowly over Sanders. Ted Cruz was a surprise winner on the Republican side. New Hampshire would be next to experience the media onslaught. In other words, the show would move to this state. I could not find the charger for my two cell phones so I bought another at a nearby Radio Shack on the following day. Now settled in a new place, I wasted little time in resuming my campaign.
Tuesday morning, February 2nd, I again visited the offices of the Nashua Telegraph. Originally reluctant to meet, the editor, Roger Carroll, gave me five to ten minutes of discussion time in a conference room. I was off to a promising start. Then I drove west on highway 101A toward Milford. I think Hillary Clinton might have been having a campaign rally at the community college there because a large group of campaign cheerleaders with her signs was performing on the edge of the campus. Because its parking lot was full, I did not try to attend.
Next, I continued on to Keene in the southwestern part of the state and to its newspaper, the Keene Sentinel, which had been founded in the 1790s. I arrived around 1 p.m. I needed to speak with an editor, Anika Clark, but she had not yet returned from lunch. After waiting for a time, I decided to visit the other daily newspaper in the area, the Eagle Times in Claremont, and then return.
The drive to Claremont along state highways took at least an hour. Then I could not find its offices supposedly at 401 River road, west of town. I could not even find the address. Giving up, I tried to return to Keene but took the wrong road. Realizing this, I was just turning around to go back to U.S. highway 12 when, looking up, I spotted the offices of the Eagles Times just across the road. It was a surrealistic experience.
After dropping off campaign literature at this newspaper office, I raced back to Keene along the same winding highways as before, arriving in town around 4:45 p.m. The front door of the Keene Sentinel was locked. Fortunately, some departing employees let me in and I went up to the second floor. Anika was still at her desk. I made my pitch and left materials. She promised to review them. Then I had trouble finding the route back to Nashua, taking instead a road that would have gone to Concord. After all these mishaps, I did manage to find the Motel 6 in Nashua. I was exhausted and confused.
Democratic presidential debates on two successive days as a new health problem develops
Wednesday, February 3rd was the date of the first debate in New Hampshire among the Democratic presidential candidates. In fact, this debate to be held in Derry (less than ten miles east of Nashua) would be followed on the very next day, February 4th, by another one involving the same two candidates in Durham, New Hampshire. Martin O’Malley had dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses so both debates would be between the two remaining major candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. It was a double header that I could not miss.
I spent the earlier part of the day, February 3rd, calling daily newspapers around the state but was unable to reach anyone who expressed interest in doing a story. Mostly I left messages.
Later in the day, I left for Derry around 5:30 p.m., not knowing when or where the debate would be held. (It was at the old opera house on Broadway.) Ushers were already taking tickets which I did not have. However, I met a number of interesting persons including the son of another Democratic candidate, Rocky de la Fuente, who gave me his father’s campaign sweat shirt, and a female reporter for the Derry newspaper who interviewed me and took photographs. I was carrying my sign and wearing the large Mexican hat.
I hung around for an hour and then napped in the car before returning to the scene in front of the Opera House. The group of Jewish protesters who had earlier appeared in force had gone some place else. The two-hour debate between Sanders and Clinton would start at 9 p.m. Feeling physically uncomfortable, I left before it even started. But at least for a time I had been part of the crowd.
The strain of attending this event must have taken a toll on my health for the big toe on my left foot was swollen and dark. Pus had built up behind the toenail, which had turned black. I had trouble sleeping because of the pain. I decided to return to the Elliot urgent-care clinic on February 4th.
The doctor took this situation seriously. He even suggested that my big toe might have to be amputated if the condition worsened. In the meanwhile, the doctor cut into my skin to drain the pus and prescribed two types of antibiotic to fight the infection. He also recommended a Probiotic to aid in healing. I purchased these medications at a nearby CVS pharmacy. Now I was on six different medications, up from none when I arrived in the state a month earlier.
After addressing my medical needs, I undertook several quick campaign stops in Manchester. The first was to offices of the Hippo newspaper whose issues I had been reading each week. Unfortunately, there would be no further issues before the primary. Then I stopped by television station WMUR-TV to see if John Di Stasio was in. He was not. I left a message but he never called back. Finally, I drove over to the offices of the Manchester Union Leader east of town. The receptionist in the lobby called five or six different reporters but learned they had all gone to Durham to cover the MSNBC presidential debate.
There was nothing left for me to do but to join these reporters. I promptly drove to Durham, site of the second Democratic presidential debate at the University of New Hampshire. The crowds were much larger than in Derry a night earlier. With some difficulty, I found a spot to park my car not far from a place where I had bought a Subway sandwich. I then walked some distance to a place where I thought the debate might be held. Mistaken, I had to reverse my steps to enter a U-shaped road that led to the entrance of the debate. A small crowd was gathered there but no demonstrators.
My outlandish hat and sign immediately caught the attention of a film crew with the Young Turk Network who wanted to interview me. (The Young Turk Network - YTN - website describes itself as the largest online news show in the world.) I was obviously a white racist. The interviewer, Jordan Chariton, asked me a series of pointed questions that put me on the defensive for much of the time. I tried to explain why I felt white people needed to discuss their political situation and try to elevate themselves but was not doing well. None of my arguments seemed persuasive to the interviewer. At length, I revealed that I was married to a black woman. This revelation seemed to have some effect but it was uncertain what that would be. (See youtube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44bmQDEuhKk). This concept proved so interesting that a second part was added. That video is found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj8exK_YLYI. The first video had 4,516 hits as of 5/12/16; and the second, 7,505 hits.)
After the interview, I hung around this place for a time but was held back by security people as Clinton and Sanders arrived. I could see a group of boisterous demonstrators off in the distance but was unable to walk in that direction because the Secret Service was ordering people to stay back. Somewhat discouraged and in poor health, I decided to drive home and watch the events on television.
Surprisingly, the cameraman for the Young Turk Network, Eric Byler, openly expressed sympathy for me toward the end of the interview. If I was a white racist, I had an unusual background and attitudes. He later sent me an email saying it took courage to do what I did. For my part, I sensed decency and good will.
After I had returned home, this person emailed me to the effect that they wished to do a Part 2 of the interview focusing on my relationship with my wife. He and Sheila later had a brief conversation. She was a bit uncomfortable about what might come of the interview but gamely cooperated. (Was I using her as a prop to deflect criticism?) I, in turn, thought the follow-up interview held the promise of fostering a real discussion of racial issues.
the final stretch - two daysat the NHRebellion rally in Manchester
The next big item on my list was the three-day NHRebellion event in downtown Manchester, starting February 5th. As luck would have it, there was a heavy snow storm on that day. I decided to stay in Nashua instead of risking car trouble. I spent the day at the motel trying to line up radio interviews with stations around the state. My typed list included at least seventy stations, both FM and AM. Many had common ownership.
This activity, while promising, achieved limited success. It netted only one interview with a station in North Conway at 9 a.m. on the following day which lasted about 15 minutes. This, too, was a highlight of the campaign. But none of the station managers whose email addresses I had received bothered to get back to me. The station in Laconia supposedly had a call-in show on the weekend, but, when I tried to call the number, there was no response. I did speak with the manager of the station in Derry who said he might call me on Monday. The call never came. If I had tried to line up radio interviews earlier, my success rate might have been better.
Previously, weekends had been dead. But as the primary date approached, an organization that had advertised in the Hippo newspaper, NHRebellion, held an event, free of charge, in a park on Elm Street in Manchester. Having missed the first day because of the snow storm, I was determined to make the most of the opportunity on the two remaining days.
Mostly, I wanted to meet actor Sam Waterston who was scheduled to attend the event both on Friday and Saturday. Years ago, I had been in a play, Oedipus Rex, with Waterston in Davenport college at Yale. He had played the lead character while I had one line. Saturday morning, I did manage to talk briefly with Waterston. He remembered acting in the play at Yale. I gave him my card and half-sheet of literature but did not speak with him again before he left the event. Evidently, it had taken Waterston five hours to drive in Friday’s snow storm to New Hampshire from his Connecticut home.
Despite the star-studded lineup, the tent was only half full. The online schedule indicated that Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan had all been invited to participate. In the end, only U.S. Senator Corey Booker of New Jersey appeared, representing Clinton. But there were other interesting persons who did attend.
One was Jacqueline Salit from New York City who was with an organization representing independent voters. Back in January 2003, I had attended an event in lower Manhattan which she had helped to organize under the auspices of the Committee for a Unified Independent Party. Third-party presidential candidate Leona Fulani was head of this organization. Salit and I spoke briefly.
Hedrick Smith, formerly a Pulitzer-prizewinning reporter with the New York Times and more recently a producer for Frontline on public television, was interviewed during the noon hour. He stuck around for the entire afternoon. I decided to buy his recent book, Who Stole the American Dream? Smith generously inscribed the book for me. The inscription read: “To Bill McGaughey. So glad we met at the “We the People convention” to push for reform of the political system. Wish you well. Hedrick A. Smith 2/6/16” It was the kindest greeting I had received in a long time.
Another political luminary was Congressman John Sarbanes of Maryland. (I mistakenly thought he might be the author of the Sarbanes-Oxley bill but that was his father. ) Even so, John Sabanes participated in an intelligent discussion at the conference and stuck around for much of the afternoon.
Still another person of renown was Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream fame. He spoke for about ten minutes and made good sense. Then small portions of his product were served in the back of the tent.
Finally, there was Larry Lessig, a professor at Harvard Law School, who had distinguished himself by raising $1 million on social media sites to run for President of the United States. He also walked 185 miles from Dixville Notch to Nashua in New Hampshire but then suspended his presidential campaign in November 2015. Lessig wanted to lessen the influence of money in politics.
The Republican presidential candidates were having a debate at St. Anselm college Saturday evening. A group of participants at the NH Rebellion was planning to walk several miles from this convention to the site of the debate. I decided not to join them because I wanted to hear Lessig and other speakers at the end of the program. The event organizer allowed another presidential candidate, Fred Schultz, to speak briefly. I was waiting for my turn on the following day. I could and should have driven to St. Anselm to join the crowd of demonstrators but did not. The two Democratic debates had worn me out and I wanted to return to Nashua.
The NHRebellion convention continued for a half day on Sunday morning. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President in 2012, spoke at 10: 45 Sunday morning. I had a brief moment of conversation with her after she was interviewed outside the tent following her presentation.
The convention schedule indicated that some of the lesser-known presidential candidates might be allowed to speak briefly in the morning on Sunday. I asked an organizer of the convention on Saturday if I could be included. Sunday morning I was told that would not be possible. Persistent, I proposed that the microphone be kept open after adjournment. The chief organizer, Dan Weeks, agreed to this. So it was that I grabbed the microphone up front to make my case as a presidential candidate for a few minutes as the audience was filing out the tent or gathering in discussion groups in the back. No one seemed to be paying attention to my chatter.
Since I was downtown and parked in a place not subject to time limits for parking, I decided to walk down Elm Street in Manchester from the park to Bridge Street and then back again, wearing my Mexican hat and carrying the sign. It was a distance of about ten blocks. Occasionally, I ran into persons, mostly young, who were willing to talk. But even as a solitary activity, it was good exercise. There were no unpleasant incidents.
Back at the park forty minutes later, I ran into a young film producer who was interviewing Fred Schultz. He soon turned his attention to me. We conducted a taped interview for about ten minutes. There was also a middle-aged man, David Mittell, Jr. who was the editor of a small newspaper in Massachusetts, the Duxbury Clipper. This was an unexpected windfall for me. We engaged in pleasant conversation before leaving the scene. Meanwhile, organizers and workers connected with NHRebellion were busy dismantling equipment in the park and later the tent itself. Fortunately for me, the last thing to go were the public toilets.
campaign activities of the last two days
The climax of my stay in New Hampshire came on the following two days, February 8th and election day, February 9th. After repeated inquiries from me, the reporter for the Huffington Post sent a message to the effect that she would not be doing an interview at this time. But there were still at least three solid opportunities to gain publicity: the interview with Manchester public television and radio some time in the early afternoon, participation in the satyrical news show at http:thecrisp.network arranged by Rob King which would start at 6:30 p.m., and the interview at an unscheduled time with Nathan Thornburgh of Roads and Kingdoms who would be arriving in town soon.
The first-mentioned opportunity was available on a first-come, first-served basis. By the time I arrived at the Radisson hotel, six or seven other people were already on the list. The interview would take place in a large room hosting interviews with a number of different news organizations. A scheduler said she would try to put me on the list of persons to be interviewed by the Manchester station but ultimately was unsuccessful that day. She did arrange for me to be interviewed briefly by Juliana Spano of the student radio station at Hofstra University on Long Island, WRHU-FM.
Even so, it was exciting to be in this place, on the second level at the Radisson hotel, where intense media activity was taking place. There were several clusters of activity on this floor as well as others on the floor below. I eventually summoned the courage to ask several media people if they would be interested in interviewing me as a lesser-known presidential candidate. Some politely took my name while others immediately turned me down.
I repeatedly encountered my fellow candidate Stephen Comley in the upstairs hall. Another candidate who called himself “Vermin Supreme” also wandered by. He was a quirky character who wore a boot for a hat and had been a the subject of a film that I saw at a film festival in Minneapolis. I had bought his tee shirt. Finally I saw Dan Weeks of NHRebellion fame. We shook hands.
During this time, on Monday afternoon, I spotted David Muir, anchor of the ABC network news program, walking through the hallway on the floor below. An hour so so later, he walked by in the opposite direction. I approached Muir, introduced myself as a candidate, and shook hands. Then a number of other people recognized Muir and introduced themselves. Some took selfies with Muir who politely accepted the attention. At length he was able to enter an elevator and go on to his next appointment.
I was waiting for Nathan Thornburgh to arrive. He and a camera man did appear around 2 p.m. We went to a quiet place on the first floor to do the interview. By this time, I had developed a line of conversation that began with a racial and gender analysis of the 2012 election results involving Romney and Obama and ended with advocacy of a four-day, thirty-two hour workweek and opposition to the TPP. Thornburgh was a good interviewer so we also covered other topics as well. We did several different takes of my summary statement. Then Thornburgh and the cameraman hurried off saying they wanted to catch the late-night action at Dixville Notch in northern New Hampshire, site of the early election returns.
Seeing that further opportunities for publicity might be difficult at the Radisson hotel, I thought I might spend an hour or two demonstrating with my sign at the corner of Elm and Bridge Streets in Manchester. I parked my car four blocks up Bridge and walked to the busy corner. However, I did not wear gloves so my hands became bitterly cold. Within fifteen minutes, it was clear that I could not continue with my demonstration much longer. So I walked back to the car and sat there for more than half an hour warming my hands until I was reasonably comfortable. I then looked for a place to eat dinner. Ultimately, I found this in a Greek restaurant not far from the Radisson where I limited myself to a small sandwich. I happened to notice that Donald Trump would be holding a rally later that day, 7 p.m., at the nearby Verizon Arena.
My last appointment for the day was to tape Rob King’s show, “Doin It Live”, at the Hilton Garden Inn. Because I arrived early, the room for the interview was still locked. But I did not mind waiting in the lobby. Shortly before 6:30, I returned to the interview room which was filled with persons involved in production. The interviewer was a personable young African American man named Whit Blackwell. It turned out that he had grown up in Rochester, Minnesota, where his father was associated with the Mayo clinic. We had a lively ten-minute interview covering my standard set of topics. I was impressed with the professionalism of this operation. One of my fellow Democratic candidates, Lloyd Kelso, was standing outside at the door as I left the room.
My main business accomplished, I returned to a parking space not far from the Verizon Arena where the Trump rally would soon be underway. Although security was tight, no tickets were required for this event. I found a seat in the middle level in back with a good view of the stage. This was my first rally for any presidential candidate in 2016. Donald Trump put on a good show. Many spectators in my section held small cardboard signs saying “TRUMP - make America great again”,“The silent majority stands with TRUMP”, or some such message.
Donald Trump, an experienced impresario, stood at the distant podium delivering his standard monolog. He introduced his wife and his pregnant daughter who each briefly greeted the crowd. Occasionally, there would be disturbances in the stands when security guards would appear and whisk the offender away. But mainly the spirit was upbeat. “Make America great again”. Afterwards, Trump mingled with the crowd on the first level for an extended period. I gathered a few of the discarded campaign signs in my now-deserted seating area and returned to Nashua.
The primary election itself took place on the following day, Tuesday, February 9th. My only campaign event that day was to try to participate in the Manchester public radio show, “Radio Row”, that had begun on the previous day. The female scheduler successfully lined me up this day and I did the interview in the crowded broadcast area. I hung around hoping for another opportunity but my campaign was now essentially finished. Voting was underway in the state.
I tried to gain one more meaningful experience from the New Hampshire in attempting to join Bernie Sanders’ victory celebration which would be held at the Concord high school. A member of the radio crew at the Radisson had tipped me off as to its location. The high school in Concord is located more than a mile west of Highway 3. I arrived around 5 p.m. and easily found a place to park in a nearby residential area. There were two lines forming at the high school - one for media people and the other for members of the general public. I initially picked the wrong one but corrected the mistake.
A group of fifty to one hundred persons stood outside the Concord high school waiting to be admitted to the Sanders rally. It turned out that only students at that high school were authorized to be admitted. Sometimes security people flatly informed us that members of the general public would not be admitted to the building. Sometimes they hinted that the restrictions might be relaxed at a certain time. In any event, the mostly upbeat crowd gathered in front of the high-school entrance refused to go away - all but me, that is.
Around 7:30 p.m., I decided that it did not make sense to remain outside the high school in hopes of being admitted to the Sanders rally when I had a long drive ahead of me on the following day. So I returned to the Motel 6 in Nashua, packed my belongings for the trip home, and watched Bernie Sanders claim victory in the New Hampshire primary on the motel’s television set.
On the following day, I climbed into the car and drove back to my house in Milford, Pennsylvania. Then, on the day after that, I went to New York City to visit a girl friend from the 1960s. We talked for an hour at lunch in a small restaurant near her apartment. I spent another day in Milford and then, on Saturday, began the long journey back to Minnesota which took two whole days. I was able to complete the trip without difficulty. At this time I had no idea how many votes I had received in the primary. The complete returns were not reported in the Union Leader for February 10th.
The odometer in my car read 165,938 when I returned home to Minnesota. It had reported 161,260 miles when I left on January 2nd. That meant that the trip to New Hampshire had involved 4,678 miles of driving. My records indicate that the distance between Minneapolis and Milford is roughly 1,200 miles; and between Milford and Manchester, 280 miles. This would suggest that I drove roughly 1,700 miles in New Hampshire and Maine between January 6th and February 9th. Had I been in good health and able fully to campaign, the instate driving might have involved more miles.
With 60 percent of the vote, Sanders won a resounding victory over Clinton in the New Hampshire primary. Trump won the Republican primary with a third of the vote in a much more crowded field. How did I do? Not so well, it turned out.
A blogger on the e-democracy forum in Minneapolis posted a message to the effect that I had received only 2 votes in the primary election. That turned out not to be true, but the actual result was not much better. When all the primary votes were counted, I had received only 17 votes. My vote total put me in 22nd place among the 28 candidates in the Democratic primary.
I was stunned. It was a terrible result. To receive 17 votes as a reward for campaigning five weeks in a state like New Hampshire was not good.
Maybe I exaggerate the extent to which a candidate can risk becoming associated with white racism at this time in the nation’s political life. The whispering may have been there, but, on the whole, I thought my candidacy was well received. Or was it simply that persons with positive feelings about this would vote for Sanders or Clinton and not for a political unknown?
In any event, it was by far the worst result in any election campaign in which I have been involved. My political standing was near absolute zero. What else can I say? How dare I treat race in an unconventional way.
Even so, I do believe that race relations in the United States remain unresolved in a positive way. Slavery ended here a century and a half ago. Legal segregation, which existed mostly in the south, ended a half century ago. No race of human beings is completely perfect or imperfect. And, yes, we are going to have to reduce work time if Americans are going to remain reasonably employed. We are going to have to change many of our ideas about the economy and politics. This could be a pivotal year.
People are tired of political correctness. At some point, the human spirit is going to rise above this and, yes, even white people are going to become reasonably proud of themselves as human beings. Racial politics is going to be seen as petty and misguided some day. I may be in the grave at that time, but I will die believing that I did the right thing in going against the racial orthodoxy that exists now. I did what I could when I could do it and have nothing more to say at this time.
See (Manchester) Union Leader article, "Lesser-known presidential candidates seize the spotlight".
See also: "My career as a wingnut candidate for high political office"
If you're still interested, see: "Can a white man achieve identity heaven?"
And then this: My Identity Organization: a Call to Action (for straight white males)
As a white man, the issue of racism troubles me because this problem is identified with persons of the white race only. Racism might be defined as group selfishness where the group consists of persons of a particular race. Selfishness would be a tendency to see entire groups of people as good or bad. My racial group is good, of course. Someone else’s group is bad. But, it is individuals rather than groups who exhibit good or bad behavior. Depending upon our own sense of identity, we have a tendency to generalize in ways that give us comfort.
Having said this, however, I must confront the fact that the vast majority of white people in America condemn white racism, sometimes in the strongest terms. I do not have a sense that a majority of black people condemn black racism or even admit that it exists. There is evidently a double standard here. The issue of white but not black racism suits particular social and political agendas - unless, of course, only white people exhibit group selfishness.
A way to make sense of this situation would be to say that whites generally have more power and wealth than blacks so they do not need to be selfish as a group. Whites are competing mostly against other whites for the favorable positions in society. Blacks are found disproportionately among the disadvantaged so their race puts them in opposition to white people’s relative success. Racism provides a convenient explanation for this painful result.
For whites, however, an anti-racist posture is further evidence of their winning ways. They can renounce any advantage they might have as a result of being white and still be confident of success. On the other hand, white racists are losers, defeated both in attitude and in fact.
Being a white man, however, I am reluctant to go too far in condemning white racism because I do not think whites much different than others in their attitude towards persons of a different race. Furthermore, I think racial attitudes are more a private than public matter unless things get out of hand. Unless it can be shown that persons of influence and power act in discriminatory ways favoring their own racial group, race needs not be a political issue, certainly not to the extent that it has become.
You can see, therefore, that my attitude about race relations in the United States strays from the socially acceptable norm. Unless the concept of racism is applied even-handedly among persons of all races, however, it becomes little more than a political tool to help certain candidates and agendas while hurting others. It is unfair to lump downtrodden whites with whites who enjoy a social or economic advantage in applying the label of “white privilege” to them all. It is equally unfair to excuse the bad behavior of certain blacks in suggesting that they are all victims of racism. We cannot have a healthy multi-racial society if such attitudes become the norm.
Therefore, as a white man, I take upon myself the onus of racism in standing up for white people as a group, warts and all. I willingly associate myself with the stereotypical pro-white person on television or in Hollywood films whose hateful racial attitudes lead to vile behavior. I open myself up to charges or suspicions of racially discriminatory behavior in sympathizing with “white trash”. To the extent that I have aspirations of social climbing, I must recognize that this is not the way to get ahead.
I recently ran for President in the New Hampshire primary on a platform that included “dignity for white males.” One of my fellow candidates in the primary walked off the debate stage in disgust when he heard me utter that phrase. The voters, too, might not have wished to become associated with such views. I received 17 votes in the primary, good for 22nd place in a field of 28. To identify myself explicitly as a white person of normally selfish tendencies in regards to race is unacceptable in today’s political environment. But I do it to show how racial attitudes, in the name of tolerance, have become extreme.
Because I am not a glutton for punishment, this will be my last political campaign that raises racial issues. But I do continue to have sympathy for the masses of young white men and women, as well as for those of other races, who, unlike those in previous generations, are persuaded to borrow tens of thousands of dollars to purchase a college degree that they hope will land them a decent entry-level job. For those whites who fail to become successfully placed upon the ladder to career success, the concept of white privilege is not only unfair but insulting. There are structural reforms that could address our economic problems but race keeps people divided and unable to hold the politicians accountable.
Let black people be represented by blacks and other sympathetic persons. Since it is not socially acceptable to sympathize with white people in their racial aspect, I will be the one to do it. My only regret is that, in defending myself against accusations of being a stereotypical white racist, I felt obliged in an interview in New Hampshire to trade upon the fact that I am married to a black woman to thwart that line of reasoning. But my wife put up with this and we are still married.
Let me end with a slogan: “Intolerance of intolerance is intolerance, period.” Be responsible for your own attitudes and behavior and leave other people’s moral situation alone.
The basic idea is that we can have lives of greatly expanded free time without loss of real living standards in material terms and with an increase in human happiness. Much of what is being “produced” in our present growth-oriented economy is of little benefit to people. We would all be better off in failing to produce this and, instead, use our time as we individually would wish.
In expressing this vision, I am echoing Benjamin Franklin who wrote a friend in 1784: “What occasions then so much want and misery? It is the employment of men and women in works that produce neither the necessaries nor conveniences of life, who, with those who do nothing, consumer the necessaries raised by the industrious ... Look around the world and see the millions employed in doing nothing or in something that amounts to nothing ... Could all these people, now employed in raising, making, or carrying superfluities, be assisted in raising necessaries? I think they might ... It has been computed by some political arithmetician that if every man and woman would work for four hours each day on something useful, that labor would secure all the necessaries and comforts of life, want and misery would be banished out of the world, and the rest of the 24 hours might be leisure and pleasure.”
If Ben Franklin is too radical for you conservatives, then listen to Adam Smith. He wrote in Wealth of Nations: “Whatever be the actual state of the skill, dexterity, and judgment with which labor is applied in any nation, the abundance or scantiness of its annual supply must depend, during the continuance of that state, upon the proportion between the number of those who are annually employed in useful labor, and that of those who are not so employed ... The labor of some of the most respectable orders in the society is, like that of menial servants, unproductive of any value, and does not fix or realize itself in any permanent subject, or vendible commodity, which endures after that labour is past, and for which an equal quantity could afterwards be procured. The sovereign, for example, with all the officers both of justice and war who serve under him, the whole army and navy, are unproductive laborers ... In the same class must be ranked, some both of the gravest and most important, and some of the most frivolous professions: churchmen lawyers, physicians, men of letters of all kinds, players, buffoons, musicians, opera-singers, opera-dancers, et. Both productive and unproductive laborers, and those who do not labour at all, are all equally maintained by the annual produce of the land and labour of the country. This produce, how great soever, can never be infinite, but must have certain limits. Accordingly, therefore, as a smaller or greater proportion of it is in any one year employed in maintaining unproductive hands, the more in the one case and the less in the other will remain for the productive, and the next year’s produce will be greater or smaller accordingly.”
This generation’s economists and political leaders, by contrast, are like the walking dead. We are zombie-like herds, unable to think independently, who must be led by reputable persons in a way that serves today’s institutional interests. What about Keynes? Do his ideas appeal to you, Paul Krugman? Would it surprise you then to learn that John Maynard Keynes once called shorter work hours “the ultimate solution” to the problem of unemployment?
You economists ignorantly say that solution is based on a “fallacy” which you call “the lump-of-labor fallacy” which supposedly maintains that there is only a certain amount of work to be done in an economy. It’s a phrase invented by a journalist in the early 19th century, not a concept arising from serious study. Away with you, dogmatic economists. Open your eyes to the realities of our time - the realities of the oncoming robot revolution - and try to think in new ways. Stop being such zombies.
Well, polemics out of the way, I would propose that the situation that Benjamin Franklin and Adam Smith both observed continues in even greater measure in our own day. With respect to producing “necessaries”, only 2 percent of the U.S. work force is employed in agriculture. Only 10 percent is employed in manufacturing. And their lost employment is not coming back. It is not coming back because of machines. Machines are taking jobs from human beings. This can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. It can be a good thing if it frees human beings from the treadmill of excessive work. It can be a bad thing if work schedules are maintained at unnecessarily long hours to serve agendas benefitting narrow groups of people rather than people in general.
Let’s put this in personal terms: Is your time important to you? Is your life important to you? (They are really the same thing.) Then reserve time in your short life for interests and activities that you yourself have chosen instead of letting the blow hards of politics, business, finance, and education take it away from you. Support a political agenda of shorter work hours.
The alternative to shorter work hours is continued “growth” in such areas as law enforcement, corrections, law, insurance, the military, education, social work, gambling, financial planning, medicine, and, yes, politics. More and more, we are devoting resources to fighting “necessary evils” at the expense of living our own lives. We are making it so that working people cannot afford to have children; or, if they do, they cannot care for those children properly because they lack the time.
The concept is simple: Wages are stagnant because of a chronic imbalance in the supply and demand for labor. Increased labor productivity, in effect, adds to an oversupply of labor which keeps wages down. Trade imbalances, creating a surplus of imports over exports, have a similar effect. But shorter work hours reduce the supply of labor. This restores the balance needed for a healthy economy.
This is an unbalanced, bloated, constipated economy where everyone is competing to achieve what is euphemistically called “the American dream”. We are all slaving away to keep “America great”. I don’t care about American greatness if it means that Americans are becoming enslaved to excessive work thinking they are on their way to "success". Stop being a zombie. Act like you live in the land of the free and home of the brave. Wake up and smell your life slipping away. Do something about this while there is time.
OK, that’s enough negativity for now. I promised to describe our “better future” as I saw it. It starts with the four-day, 32-hour workweek, initiated by the federal government. (See shorterworkweek.com.) This could happen within a year if there were the political will. Bernie Sanders is calling for a “revolution”. I support that concept. It would take something of the nature of a revolution to turn our Titanic-like economy around and reorient it toward leisure. This need not be a violent revolution, however. Guns are not required. It would not be a better future to have Americans killing each other or peasants romantically storming the citadels of power with pitchforks as law enforcement and the military respond with machine guns. No, electoral politics can achieve this revolution peacefully. Bernie Sanders is on his way to doing that, but, in my opinion, he needs a little help from me in the ideas department.
Sanders, the avowed socialist, could actually be elected President in 2016. Admittedly, he has some disadvantages. He is not photogenic. His age (the same as mine) may limit his personal energy. His administrative experience is limited to being mayor of Burlington, Vermont. His campaign funds are limited to what can be raised from small contributions. He bears the odorous burden of socialism. On other hand, Sanders stands for something that resonates with people in the Democratic party and also, I believe, the nation as a whole. Being stuck with the socialist label may actually be an advantage because, if Bernie Sanders wins, he will have an undeniable mandate for change in our politics. Unlike others, he will be unable to renege. Sanders wants to give working people, ordinary people, a fair share of the nation’s wealth and prosperity. He is also a man of peace. And that’s enough for me. His heart is in the right place.
Then why do I run? It’s because Sanders’ vision is stuck too much with conventional ideas rooted in democratic socialism and the New Deal. Sanders is not supporting substantially reduced working hours, at least not to my knowledge. He has no plan to restructure international trade agreements. Like most or all Democrats, he is not ready to embrace white people explicitly because he could not get the party’s nomination if he did that. He needs credibility to win the nomination. I do not. That goal is out of my reach.
I can afford to try to open those closed doors because I am not a "serious" contender for the nomination. All I need to do is articulate my message effectively and win a sufficient number of votes in the New Hampshire primary - 5,000 votes would do it - for politically attuned persons to take notice. Then my efforts will be as effective as Sanders or any other candidate in setting the national political agenda. People can laugh at me but, if all goes well, it will make a difference.
The important thing is to get someone elected President in 2016 whose heart is in the right place. Bernie Sanders, not me, is that man. He is the electable candidate behind the needed change. Hillary Clinton, with her outlook and base of support, cannot be expected to assume that role. (But she's a fighter. You have to admire her grit.) Sanders does not need to be a skilled administrator. As President, he could hire as many highly skilled people as he needs to help him run the country. Maybe Martin O’Malley could be his vice president and take on the tough administrative assignments. Maybe Donald Trump, if he can take direction from others, could renegotiate trade agreements. The possibilities are endless. But we need someone like Sanders to make the ultimate decisions that will end the plutocracy and restore democratic government. We know that BernieSanders will steer the nation in the right direction if, as President, he is the ultimate decision maker. He will not say one thing during the campaign and do another as President. No, Sanders is the man.
With respect to race, it may be up to me alone to see what can be done. This disparagement of white people as a group is a sickness in our body politic. Of course, black people have suffered. All people have. Of course, some white people think they are superior to others. All people in some sense think they are superior. White people are no worse than any other group. God does not hate them or love them more than anyone else. However, the white race is being socially and politically hen-pecked; and this has to stop. White people can make it stop if they have the courage to defy herd opinion. So my little walks with white people in the campaign are intended to restore a measure of courage to persons of this race. Am I a white racist, then? Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. Whatever label you throw at me eventually comes back to you.
We need white Americans to get their mo jo back for a non-violent political revolution to succeed in America. Whites are racially demoralized by all this talk of white privilege and injustices perpetrated against blacks under the slavery and segregation systems. They dread being called racists. Instead of being passive aggressive, whites need to respond in an active but non-violent way. Instead of moaning about black slavery in the 19th century, they need to rail against the contemporary slave masters who force them to work excessively long hours to get ahead in their careers. We can do something about this neo-slavery if we have the courage and the will, where we cannot erase the race-based system of slavery that existed in the past.
Weep for yourselves, dear white people, not for someone else. You are not privileged. You are not “getting ahead” by being a smiling slave.
Bob Dylan’s song,”Only a pawn in their game”, sums up what is happening with respect to race. One verse says:
“A South politician preaches to the poor white man
‘You got more than the blacks, don’t complain.
You’re better than them, you been born with white skin,’ they explain.
And the Negro’s name
Is used it is plain
For the politician’s gain
As he rises to fame
And the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain’t him to blame
He’s only a pawn in their game.”
But this is only one aspect of the problem. The other is that the white person, his opinions and aspirations, are dismissed by the cultural elite. Whites are considered to be racial abusers or persons who have not really lived. Who cares what they are thinking. None of the foundations will contribute money to improving white people’s lives. Whites, then, need to turn their rage against the big media editors and reporters and commentators, the television networks and cable shows, the academics, the foundation managers, the politicians, judges, Hollywood producers, entertainment personalities, and government officials who talk and act against their interest. Blacks are not the problem so much as certain other white people. Rise up against them and take your country back. You can do that if you set your mind to it.
This is why the Sanders campaign, while not sympathetic to whites per se, is on the right track. The center of abuse is Wall Street and the politicians bribed by them. It serves economic and political interests that white people be kept demoralized so they can not challenge the present system. There is indeed such a thing as anti-white hate.
The Republican party, which ought to be grateful to white voters for supporting its candidates, is taking these people for granted and instead making a special appeal to groups that did not support Republican candidates but are demographically ascendant. (That’s the corporate approach to politics - always looking ahead, no loyalty or reward for past service.) Whites, on the other hand, are also not favored by Democrats who need to keep their lop-sided support from racial minorities intact by ragging on whites as a group.
All this can change. Whites need not be a group of gracious losers. The Democrats had better welcome whites if they want to win. The Republicans had better wise up and keep white voters in their column by doing something for persons in that group besides its representatives on Wall Street. There’s active suppression of white dignity by the nation’s elite. There’s active exploitation of white workers and consumers because that’s where most of the money is. I will bring this unrecognized racial wound to people’s attention. The election of 2016 is about change. When the spiritual sickness is healed, we can begin at last to address the substantive issues in the economy and in people’s lives whose solution will benefit everyone.
Let’s talk now about immigration. The best solution is something that neither Republican nor Democrat will mention. People come to the United States from Latin America and elsewhere because of relatively poor economic conditions in their country of birth. But suppose conditions were better? Then we wouldn’t need walls because far fewer people would try to enter the United States illegally. (In fact, there's a net outflow recently of persons back to Mexico.) So part of our immigration policy ought to be to encourage more economic opportunity in other countries. Under business-driven trade policies, that will never happen. We need trade policies that are friendly to labor and helpful in preserving the environment. I have proposed such a scheme.
I was an early opponent of NAFTA. I helped found the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition. I also self-published the first anti-NAFTA book (A U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free-Trade Agreement: Do We Just Say No?) and personally handed a copy to Bill Clinton when he campaigned for President in Minneapolis in 1992. A thank-you note from Clinton promised that he would read my book in the White House. * If he did, he may not have liked what he read. Ultimately, it was President Clinton who rammed NAFTA through Congress.
The point is, however, is that NAFTA was a major driver of illegal immigration into the United States. Specifically, it allowed cheap grain to pour into Mexico from the United States. This policy increased profits for agribusinesses (many of them in Minnesota), but it also undercut the price of grain in Mexico so that small farmers in that country could no longer make a living from corn. Driven off the land, those indigent Mexicans went first to the large cities and then they headed north to the border with the United States and, from there, into the United States illegally. Had NAFTA not been enacted, they might have stayed in Mexico. The United States would not have had such an immigration problem.
U.S. policy therefore ought to be to encourage rising living standards around the world. Industrialization is proceeding at a fast pace in all parts of the world. While this is a welcome development, it also poses a challenge both with respect to the environment and equitable income distribution. There is an oversupply of labor in nearly every country, including China and India. This includes both manual and educated labor. By the law of supply and demand, wage levels are depressed.
The continuing mechanization of production processes means that less human labor will be needed in the future. The only reasonable solution is to cut working hours. Hours need to be cut not only in the United States but in other industrialized countries such as China. How do we force China to cut its working hours? (China actually did this on its own in 1995. It is instead the U.S. government that needs to be “forced”.) We do it by slapping a tariff upon goods produced in Chinese factories that underpay its workers and schedule excessively long hours of work when those goods are shipped to the United States to tap the U.S. consumer market. The tariff should at least be sufficient to offset the cost advantage gained from substandard working conditions. But to do this and avoid trade wars, we need an international consensus as to the level of wages and hours appropriate for each country, depending upon its level of industrial development.
China is not our enemy except, perhaps, in terms of military and geopolitical rivalry. We need a trading order that includes China as a member in good standing. Therefore, the Trans-Pacific Partnership needs to be flatly rejected by Congress. Once that happens, the U.S. Government would be in a position to engage in discussions with other nations about a new trading order that addresses the need, not for pharmaceutical and entertainment companies to make even greater profits so that their CEOs can become even more highly paid, but for the twin problems of poverty and environmental degradation to be effectively addressed around the world.
All nations are in the same boat in regard to those problems so it is not a stretch to expect the U.S. government to be cooperative in working with other governments to solve them. We also need to adopt a more cooperative attitude toward the United Nations (which, after all, is headquartered in the United States) and with related agencies such as the International Labor Organization. We need to change our trade policies to authorize tariffs to be used as a mechanism to adjust costs in a way that would encourage businesses to be socially and environmentally more responsible.
Specifically, working hours need to come down in all nations - not to the same level but to a level appropriate to conditions in each country. The natural environment needs to be protected in all countries. Wages need to be fair. I have devised a scheme termed “employer-specific tariffs” to accomplish those goals. The idea is to preserve tariffs both as a revenue-raising device for government and an incentive to encourage multinationals to upgrade the labor standards of foreign contractors and have better environmental practices. While there is no way that the political decision makers in our country will allow this at the present time, that could change if Bernie Sanders is elected President of the United States. My role in this process is to make recommendations that would not otherwise be brought to the attention of policy makers. International-trade policy is part of my vision of a better future. (See "sketch of a new trading order".)
I have said that I am a radical - more radical than Bernie Sanders. That is because my vision of historical events takes the long view. I am a world historian whose book, Five Epochs of Civilization, was favorably reviewed in major publications in China, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and the United States. I have created a multi-lingual website at http://www.worldhistorysite.com that gets more than 4,000 hits a day. One of its pages, http://www.worldhistorysite.com/prediction.html was at time rated #1 on Google for the search words “predict the future”. While this site is no longer is so highly rated, the study of history does provide a basis for historical predictions; and I have mine.
First let me explain the importance of the 2016 election in terms of the dialectics of history. It has to do with the changing relationship between government and business. In the mid 20th century, the pendulum swung to a position that government would control business. The extreme position was socialism, especially where government nationalized industries or exerted a totalitarian influence over them. We saw the triumph of that politics immediately before and after World War II. But then came Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and others who championed business over government in the 1980s. Their political position reached a climax in the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. After that, there was only one national superpower and only one respectable political ideology, “free-market capitalism” which was actually crony capitalism in some cases.
Bernie Sanders’ election as President of the United States in 2016 would represent a swing in the other direction. His “democratic socialism” would not be as extreme as socialist systems that were established in the first half of the 20th century. However, it would also represent a point of departure from the conservative politics that was inspired by Reagan. The respective powers of government and business would be more evenly balanced. I think that power in society does need to be more evenly distributed to avoid the totalitarianism and resulting corruption that is associated with either extreme. The tax burden needs needs to be more equitably shared. Government activities need to be financed with adequate tax revenues.
At the same time, I depart from Sanders’ approach in suggesting that warmed-over New Deal policies cannot lead us to a better future. They depend on government too much for the solution to economic problems. More government spending puts a greater burden on tax payers which must take resources from other economic sectors. The political top should not outgrow the nonpolitical base. The New Deal was meant to address problems arising from a dip in the business cycle. It ultimately led to a war economy. Our problem not is not due to cyclical fluctuations but to the cumulative effect of year-to-year increases in labor productivity than have not been addressed in a sensible way. It is not sensible to have wasteful activities such as the war on drugs. It is not sensible to go to war to gain economic stimulus. We cannot “prime the pump” forever. Just scale back on unproductive enterprises and let people have more free time.
In the long view of world history, civilizations rise and fall. Societal institutions do the same; their relative power waxes and wanes. Since the Renaissance began six hundred years ago, two institutions have been dominant: business and secular education. But now their life cycles are on the downswing and, if history is any guide, they are destined to crash. This will not be a bad thing for humanity though it may be for the current holders of power. When individuals are free of tyrannical businesses that promote an ethic of long-hours work and are unchained to expensive and useless educational requirements, an advance will predictably take place in human happiness and well being. (See “using world history to predict the future of the third civilization.) That is why I am optimistic about the future. I want to be alive when this comes. I want to help hasten its arrival.
We are talking then about a society of leisure made possible by the work of machines. The first step is a four-day, thirty-two hour workweek. But that is not the end. Predictably, this experiment will succeed and people will want more. Maybe they will want to shorten the work day to seven or six hours. Maybe they will want to lop another day from the workweek and make it a three-day week. Maybe they will want longer vacations. Productivity gains achieved in the last 75 years have made this entirely possible.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the United States may then not be able to afford so many wars. It may have to cut back on lawsuits. Maybe more inmates will have to be released from prison because we cannot afford their upkeep. Maybe Americans can think of health in terms of things other than purchasing the prescribed drugs that they see on television. Maybe we all will see through the nation’s alleged exceptionalism. I, for one, would not shed a tear if this happens.
To the contrary, I would welcome a society where people spend more time with their children, and where more people grow their own food in ecologically sound ways, where water is conserved, and where people mend torn clothing instead of replacing it, and where people spend more time together in person instead of texting each other, and where people can become interested in philosophy instead of feeling pressure to train to become a welder as Marco Rubio suggests. (Scott Romney and I took a welding class at Cass Technical High School in Detroit in 1956 but neither us became welders. After welding together a single iron gate, I went into philosophy. He became a lawyer.) Or maybe we will have time to train for a variety of occupations if the fancy strikes us. But we will also have to stop ruining the earth. We need to consume fewer material goods for the sake of conspicuous consumption or prestige and use what we need more economically. This is what a society of leisure might make possible. The revolutionary election of 2016 could be a start.
The media will treat the New Hampshire primary as a two-tiered spectacle. One will feature a horse race between the three leading candidates: Clinton, Sanders, and O'Malley. The other will be a freak show involving the other twenty-five candidates. But I stubbornly cling to the idea that election campaigns can be about proposals to change government policy. The "minor" candidates actually have the advantage here because they have nothing to lose in advocating policies outside the political mainstream. That is my motive, anyhow. I am not afraid to stand for needed changes in attitude and policy that no one else will touch. If I do well in New Hampshire, some of these ideas could enter the political mainstream.
First, let me say that “socialist” is mainly a label - a derogatory one at that. It’s the next thing to being called a “communist”. I do not criticize Bernie Sanders for declaring himself a socialist. In fact, he is to be applauded for his courage. I’m waiting for Joe the Plumber to come up to Sanders and accuse him of being a socialist. That would make for a good comedy routine.
The theory of socialism is that the government takes over businesses, often without compensation to the previous owners. Historically, however, we must distinguish between the various types. Obviously, Bernie Sanders is not a Lenin or Stalin who would kill the Czar’s family on their way to seizing power. He is not a National Socialist like Hitler. The word Democratic Socialist has a much less menacing connotation. It’s the social system they have in the Scandinavian countries and other parts of Europe. It means that government runs the health-care system, allows longer vacations, encourages more equal incomes, and things like that. The Dalai Lama recently said he was a Marxist socialist. Now, if only Pope Francis did the same, we could put this label to rest.
The worst thing about old-style socialism is that it brings totalitarian government. Government power and business power are fused in a single structure under government control. But how about government and business power being fused in a structure under business control? Wouldn’t that also be totalitarian? Isn’t that close to what we have today in the United States? Totalitarianism breeds corruption according Lord Acton’s formula that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I don’t want this. Government should be under the people’s control.
I do not consider myself a socialist - after all, I'm a landlord who has spent years fighting city government - but I have friends who are. One of my friends is Brian P. Moore, who was the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party U.S.A. in 2008. He said he’d make me housing secretary if he was elected. I (unsuccessfully) helped him canvas for signatures to get on the ballot in Minnesota and also handled some of the paperwork for the other canvassers. As a Congressional candidate with Minnesota’s Independence Party, I got more votes than Moore did that year. But due to the socialist label, Brian Moore was asked to appear on Comedy Central.
But enough of labels. There is a useful discussion to be had about socialism if it means saying which functions government should handle and which functions should go to business. Where I differ with Sanders - and with most conventional Democrats for that matter - is in regards to jobs. Does government or business have the main responsibility for furnishing jobs? I say: business. He and many other Democrat say: government.
What is Sanders’ jobs policy? Go to his campaign web site. Under the category of “creating decent paying jobs”, his “key actions” include:
“Introduced legislation which would invest $1 trillion over 5 years to modernize our country’s physical infrastructure, creating and maintaining at least 13 million good-paying jobs while making our country more productive, efficient and safe.
Opposed NAFTA, CAFTA, permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with China, the TPP, and other free-trade agreements. These deals kill American jobs by shifting work overseas to nations which fail to provide worker protections and pay extremely low wages.
Introduced the Employ Young Americans Now Act with Rep. John Conyers. It would provide $5.5 billion in immediate funding to employ one million young Americans between the ages of 16 and 24, and would provide job training to hundreds of thousands of others.”
I do not necessarily disagree with these prescriptions. If we need to fix our crumbling infrastructure - as we do - then by all means do it. Government needs to take the lead in repairing highways, bridges, sewer pipes, and other public infrastructure. It needs money for such projects. An important byproduct would be that many well-paying jobs would be created. On the other hand, I do not conceptually favor work for the sake of providing jobs. Make-work projects are not the answer. There is only so far you can go with that approach.
With respect to the trade agreement, I back Sanders’ position completely. I was a co-founder of the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition. In 1992, I wrote and published the first anti-NAFTA book on the market (A U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free-Trade Agreement: Do we just say no?) and personally handed a copy of this book to presidential candidate Bill Clinton. But the result was disappointing.
With respect to $5.5 billion to fund young people’s jobs, I would not oppose this even as a make-work program because the need is so great. But $5.5 billion is a drop in the bucket. This proposal, too, falls far short of what is needed. The country is hurting.
It’s interesting that Bernie Sanders is working with Congressman John Conyers on the jobs program for young people. I, too, worked with Conyers on his shorter-workweek bills in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I wrote articles published in the Congressional Record and helped his staff draft legislation. But the powers that be frowned upon this approach. Conyers, a practical politician, moved on to other things. I remained on ideological hold.
But this is, in fact, where, as a presidential candidate, I differ from Bernie Sanders. We need to cut working hours to offset labor displacement from technology. The mechanization of production has previously reduced agricultural labor from 70 percent of the work force in 1830 to less than 2 percent today. It has reduced employment in manufacturing from 27 percent of the work force in 1920 to around 10 percent today. With advancing technology, employment in the productive sectors of the economy is shrinking. Even “brain power” jobs are shrinking; robots can handle this work just fine. No, we cannot educate our way to full employment. We can only recognize that full productive employment will not be possible at the present level of hours.
I know that shorter workweeks have a bad rap. They mean tough times when hours and incomes are cut. But I am not talking about changes taking place during recessions. Shorter hours are needed not to counteract dips in the business cycle but the long-term, year-to-year displacement of labor as so-called “labor-saving” technologies steadily advance.
We are only fooling ourselves to think that new industries will come along to absorb the people discharged from traditional industries. What are those new industries? How about corrections? How about military service to fight future wars? How about high-priced education or medicine? How about employment in the casinos? How about lawsuits to the max and high legal fees? (Read about some of my experiences.) Is this really what you think is a better future?
Yes, my proposal for a four-day, thirty-two hour workweek is a tough sell. But if Bernie Sanders can sell socialism, I can try to sell this. My proposal requires government action. It requires amending the Fair Labor Standards Act in several ways. But it does not require that government become employer of the last resort and, in time, have this type of employment expanded until government becomes the main employer. It does not require that people be paid without working.
No, just cut hours. Give working people part of their lives back. More free time means increased freedom in general. “Live free or die!” Isn’t this what people in New Hampshire and elsewhere want?
You are in a position to help make this happen when you cast your ballot for me in the 2016 Democratic primary. If my program is adopted, I promise to free those millions of people presently enslaved to long hours of work. You can call me "Abe".
My specific proposal is too long and complicated to be presented here. I have published more than fifty papers on this subject on a web site, shorterworkweek.com. Read the last article, “The New Overtime Income Threshold Could be Only the Beginning”, written in response to something the Obama administration did last May. It adjusted the income threshold for overtime pay up to $970 an hour. This was one of President Obama’s better moves. But now we need to follow it up with a full-scale, permanent reduction in working hours, starting with a 4-day, 32-hour workweek. This should have been done years ago. Incomes need not suffer.
Being a supporter of the free-enterprise system, I believe in the power of markets governed by the law of supply and demand. This law also applies to labor. If labor is in short supply, wages rise. If there is too much labor in relation to demand for service, wages are depressed. The latter situation characterizes the U.S. economy today. There are too many job seekers relative tothe need for their laboring service.
What leftists fail to realize or acknowledge is that the business community or interest groups favorable to its position have rigged the labor market to their advantage by systematically creating an oversupply of labor. How so? First, they have pushed for free-trade agreements that add millions of workers in foreign countries to the labor supply while consumption of the goods produced by these workers is confined to the United States. That puts labor in oversupply so that wages go down. Related to this, the government has issued visas to foreigners with special skills allowing them to work in the United States, again increasing labor supply. In both cases, the federal government has put its thumb on the scales of the labor market tilting the balance in favor of business and against labor. It has caused labor to be in oversupply.
The bigger threat, however, comes from the displacement of labor through technology. Robots and other machines aiding production allow more to be produced with a given amount of human labor. In effect, the supply of labor is being increased. How do we offset this? We reduce the hours of work. The supply of labor is defined in terms of worker-hours. It is employment times the average hours of work. If we reduce average working hours through federal legislation, labor supply is also reduced unless employment rises by an even greater amount, which is highly unlikely. My proposal for a shorter workweek would therefore put government's thumb on the scale to tip the balance of supply and demand in favor of the worker - for the first time since the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed in 1938. But business would also benefit from having a more robust and stable consumer market. It is only the self-rewarding CEOs and professional investors, who benefit from short-term gains in profits, who stand to lose if this change were put into effect.
To end this discussion of socialism, let me suggest that instead of attaching labels we try to decide which functions government or business can handle best. If we want creativity in delivering the product, then give the function to business. But if we want methodical, “stick-to-the-book” performance of a function, it belongs to government. In some cases, government and business can both deliver the same service - the U.S. Postal Service and Fed-Ex, for instance - each taking a niche.
By this criterion, I would not want government manufacturing new consumer appliances or taking over the entertainment function because the private sector’s creative drive adds value. On the other hand, I would question the value of creative accounting or creative lawyering because we want such services to be delivered in an even and impartial way. We want competent bureaucrats doing this work. In particular, I am in favor of socialized law because I have seen how bad the present system of dishonest judges and greedy attorneys can be. (See legal challenges.)
With respect to health care, I favor a national health service run by the government because doctors are supposed to be competent technicians of medical treatment. My own grandfather, Samuel McGaughey, was a government doctor. He examined the doughboys going off to World War I and later worked at a public hospital in Indianapolis. But, at the same time, there is a role for creative medicine to treat unusual ailments. So a dual health-care industry, with government handling people’s basic medical needs and private providers handling the more exotic or expensive stuff, would probably be best.
Higher education is another area that needs both private and public institutions. Here the principal need is to reduce unnecessary services to hold down costs. There is an upward creep in credentials required for many jobs. Higher education is becoming way too expensive. We are not treating our young people that well. In that respect, I am fortunate to have been born in the 1940s.
P.S. The U.S. Senate did actually pass Senator Hugo Black's bill for a 30-hour workweek in 1933 but the incoming Roosevelt administration did not support it. Yes, Vice President Richard Nixon made a public statement during the 1956 presidential campaign welcoming a four-day week which he thought might come in the near future. And, yes, Senator Eugene McCarthy, best known for his strong showing in the 1968 New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary which prompted a sitting president to leave office, was also chair of the 1959 Senate Special Committee on Unemployment which set the agenda for labor legislation in the 1960s. I was privileged to meet Sernator McCarthy years later and, due to our mutual interest in reducing work time, co-author a book with him titled Nonfinancial Economics: The Case for Shorter Hours of Work (Praeger, 1989).
economic effects of shortening work time
how shorter working hours and international trade are related
why Christians should support Shorter Workweek legislation
Samuel Gompers own account of the fight for the eight-hour day
The results of the 2012 presidential election tell the story of American politics today:
President Obama received 93% of the African American vote and Governor Romney only 7%.
President Obama received 76% of the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered vote and Governor Romney only 24%.
President Obama received 72% of the Asian American vote and Governor Romney only 28%.
President Obama received 71% of the Hispanic vote and Governor Romney only 29%.
President Obama received 69% of the Jewish vote and Governor Romney only 31%.
On the other hand, Governor Romney received 59% of the total white vote and President Obama only 41% of this vote.
Males favored Romney with 52% of their vote and Obama with 45% of theirs. Female voters favored Obama by a 55% to 43% margin.
Married women actually favored Romney, giving him 53% of their votes compared with 46% for Obama. However, President Obama won decisively among unmarried women of all races - 68% to Governor Romney’s 30%.
Clearly, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation drove the election results rather than economics or any other factor. Mitt Romney’s multi-millionaire status and unwillingness to cut tax rates for the rich did not seem to hurt him among white voters although poor people are well represented within that demographic. Whites seemed to identify with him more as a fellow white whether for “racist” reasons or other sense of kinship. The same is true of Barack Obama: Blacks seemed to identify with him as a fellow black.
In conclusion, the Democrats are the party of the Rainbow Coalition; Republicans divide what is left. That is the unmistakable truth about what American politics has become. We are completely polarized on the basis of gender and race.
This situation is ironic considering that Barack Obama first came to national attention as keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, while Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts. The best-known line in his speech, while catapulted Obama to fame, was the following. He said:
“There are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.”
I have no doubt that then Senate candidate Obama was sincere in his statement. After all, he was a biracial man who had experienced animosity from both racial groups. But after he was elected President, Barack Obama was embraced wholeheartedly by the black community and became reviled by many whites. His election accelerated racial polarization rather than easing it. And many of Obama’s policies relating to gays & lesbians, Hispanics, and other Rainbow Coalition members reflect the old politics of demographic division rather than the high principles Obama expressed at the 2004 convention.
I deplore the politics of gender and racial division. It means that you vote according to how you were born rather than in response to political candidates and their policy positions. Issues of policy become irrelevant to elections. All that matters is how many voters there are in each demographic group and whether candidates can inspire a large turnout in groups that favor them, Democrats being on one side and Republicans on the other. You cannot ask for a more polarizing type of politics.
Now let’s turn to the Republicans and, in particular, Donald Trump. Being a white man who is sensitive to white identity, I found his performance at the Fox News debate in Ohio on August 6th to be quite inspiring. You have to understand the context.
The Republican National Committee, well aware of how President Obama had beaten Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, was playing up the theme that Republicans had to become more friendly to non-white groups such as Hispanics who were approachable. They had to become more friendly to women. Otherwise, the Republican candidate in 2016 could not win. Whites were becoming a smaller part of the voting public and, in fact, would soon become a minority. The Republican Party therefore had to position itself to win future elections by aggressively courting female and minority voters. Otherwise, it would shrink into irrelevance as the white population steadily shrank.
This theme seemed tailor-made for candidates such as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Imagine the surprise, then, when Donald Trump came out swinging against illegal immigration. He was proposing that all illegals be deported and that an impenetrable wall be constructed between Mexico and the United States - and Mexico would pay for it! Trump was kissing off Hispanic support. By implication, he was saying that he could win without them. Trump’s poll numbers soared.
Then at the Fox News debate, when moderator Megyn Kelly tried to take him down with her questioning, Trump started swinging against her. This was unheard of. Not only was Kelly a network moderator, she was also a woman. However, Trump did not spare the attacks. The pundits grumbled about this. Donald Trump was now alienating the female voters so essential to a Republican victory in 2016. But again Trump’s poll numbers soared.
I have to admit that I admired Donald Trump in handling the first question: Which of the candidates on stage would not pledge to support the Republican-endorsed candidate next year? Only Trump raised his hand. What guts he had to do this! Then came Kelly’s insulting question to Trump and, again, a gutsy response. Someone was dishing it out to the media instead of just taking it. This set the tone for the debate. All eyes were now upon Donald Trump who would not be intimidated by the Fox News moderators.
What has this to do with white voters? First, recall the statement made by Attorney General Eric Holder when he first took office. Holder said that we were “a nation of cowards” regarding race. He was, I think, referring primarily to the white population. I think Holder was right. Whites do seem to be unduly sensitive to charges of racism so they do not reveal their true feelings about blacks. (And for good reason - to be a white racist can be a firing offense.) The same is true of political correctness in all its forms. All these racial, ethnic, and gender issues work to the disadvantage of straight white males. They are a political and social orthodoxy that cannot be challenged.
So along comes Trump like a bull in a China shop knocking things over and breaking all the rules. He was offending all those groups of voters deemed essential by the Republican National Committee right and left - insulting women and Hispanics and thumbing his nose at the Republican establishment. Republican voters loved it. Like corporate strategists, the Republican Party was taking them for granted while reaching out to groups that had not supported the party in the past in order to tap growth markets. Trump was their champion - white peoples’ champion - even if no one dared put it in those terms. His outrageous behavior combined with an invincible performance in the ring reminded me of Muhammad Ali and what he had meant to black people in the 1960s. I could not help but admire the man. Trump was our champion - if you know what I mean. Regardless of commentators who consider us whites a declining demographic, we're not dead yet.
Donald Trump may falter in the Republican race for the Presidency or he may be the party’s nominee. It remains to be seen. But even Trump cannot remain a viable candidate with an overtly white-racist message. Stereotypes remaining from the period of slavery and Jim Crow segregation are just too strong. However, it is safe to pick on Hispanics if this is done in the right way. That means distinguishing between Hispanics who are legal and those who are not because they crossed the border without authorization. Trump’s defense was to say that he would deport the illegal immigrants - the “law-breakers”, in other words - but then give them a chance to reenter the country legally. Fat chance! The road to legal immigration into the United States is long and uncertain, especially for the types of people who snuck across the border. How many of those twelve million could expect to be readmitted?
We are still a nation of racial cowards. I prefer to be open about my white identity and defend it against the many assaults made by academics, journalists, entertainers, politicians, and others. Therefore, I will make this a major theme of my campaign in the 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary. In case anyone misses it, I will carry a sign. It will not be a Confederate flag, or a swastika, or a hateful slogan but a simple message that I am not ashamed to be white. I am hoping that those whites who are ashamed about this will eventually become ashamed of being ashamed and, regardless of the political consequences, come out into the open and say that, even if whites once enslaved blacks, they’re OK being white now. They will be set free. This racial thing has been blown out of proportion. It really has little to do with actual black or white people but with the use of race to one’s own advantage, political or otherwise.
Now I wish to address “Black Lives Matter”. Is it just black lives or do all lives matter? Of course, it is the latter. But we do have the phenomenon of black people being killed by white police officers at an alarming rate. Yes, I do think that police target black people disproportionately for offenses, large and small, and there is much too much incarceration. It is also true, I think, that black people disproportionately commit those offenses. So we need to work on both problems. White police officers cannot kill blacks with impunity. Somehow, attitudes need to be changed. Attitudes also need to be changed in the black community to stop seeing themselves exclusively in terms of racial victimhood and take responsibility for bad behavior when this occurs.
Let me relate my own experience in Minneapolis. (I was not personally involved but did follow the events closely.) In May 2013, Minneapolis police shot and killed an unarmed black man named Terrance Franklin who, suspected of burglary, ran from police and hid out in a basement. Three armed officers and a police dog followed him to the basement. Somehow, Franklin wound up dead, with five bullets in the back of his head. Meanwhile, across town, a police squad car struck and killed a young motorcyclist named Ivan Romero as it crossed a busy highway against the light. The squad car was racing to join the search for Franklin a half hour after Franklin had been killed. Somehow this did not seem right.
The tough-talking female chief, Ranee Harteau, provided few if any answers. Instead, she pointed out that Franklin had a criminal record and it was hard being a police officer. I and others went on the attack against her stonewalling performance on a Minneapolis issues list called e-democracy.org. She said that the public would have to be patient until the county attorney did its investigation and, perhaps, convened a grand jury. That took months. The officers involved in Franklin’s killing were eventually exonerated.
With pressure building, however, the police chief decided to play the race/gender card - upon advice from an outside public-relations consultant, I later learned. She was a native American lesbian. Many of the low-ranking officers were males of European descent. Chief Harteau announced that she would aggressively fight white-racism in the police ranks. She convened her own panel of “community leaders” to advise her on the process. I was pushing for new policies and procedures to curb police abuse - something Harteau herself could have implemented. She was offering instead to purge white racists in the ranks. Chief Harteau also fired two white-male officers who had called her a lesbian while they were on vacation in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It worked like a charm. The furor about the two police killings died down as the police chief established her credentials as a champion of social justice.
What I took from this experience was the following: The cause of anti-racism trumps (no pun intended) most other considerations. I mistakenly thought and hoped that the Minneapolis public would demand better policing. The black community did, but the whites held back. A number of protest events were organized by blacks but they had little effect. Unlike the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, these protest demonstrations in Minneapolis were peaceful. No fires were set. No cars were overturned. That meant that, in the eyes of media, the police killings were not serious enough to provoke rioting. Therefore, they were not serious enough to warrant media coverage. In other words, you (black people) have to use violence for your protests to be taken seriously by the media and the public. Otherwise, a police chief, especially one with the right demographics, will control the discussion where there is little media coverage.
The other lesson learned from this experience is that whites are not motivated enough to protest police killings of blacks because they have been conditioned to believe the police. They also know that political correctness dominates discussions that have racial implications: The black victims probably were guilty and deserved some kind of punishment. Therefore, if whites hold back, any attempt to hold police accountable will become largely a black enterprise. The net effect is to turn what ought to be an issue of community-wide concern - ending police abuse - into a black political movement. It is to reinforce the politics of black victimhood. Hence: “Black lives matter” rather than “all lives matter.”
There is a crisis in white identity. Whites are not "privileged" as some suggest but are increasingly bedeviled by low self-esteem, prescription-drug abuse, and even suicide, resulting in lower life expectancy among whites aged 40 to 60. This problem needs to be addressed. It will only be made worse if the current political formulations are allowed to continue unchallenged.
I think the way out of the racial morass is to motivate white people to take pride in themselves, including their race. Then they do not have to become bitter about race relations. Loners like Dylann Roof do not have to kill. All this can then be sorted out through the political process if we have racial discussions open to all points of view.
White people, your racial sins are forgiven
the shootings in Charleston, South Carolina
I am not shamed/afraid to be white
Let white people march
My American identity (a book)
I am such a foolish person running for President of the United States when I am a political unknown who has never held public office. Right?
Do I really think I can be elected President in 2016? No. Do I even think I could get any delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia? The odds are better here though still unimpressive. Why, then, am I running? Am I a goof off or someone with delusions of living in the White House? Am I a freak? I hope not. Let me explain.
Contrary to the pretense of my running for President of the United States, I do not expect to be elected or even receive many votes at the Democratic National Convention. I am running because I want to inject certain issues into the political discussion. I want to make a proposal which no other candidate for President will touch. I want to challenge paradigms with respect to gender and race. I am willing to risk becoming seen as a fool to accomplish those things.
What makes me think I can accomplish anything in this difficult arena? First, I’ve been there before. I did not win but I was not skunked. This time, I’ll be spending more time and money running a campaign which I am competent to run. Being seventy-four years of age, I do not run to promote myself or future candidacies for public office but to promote issues that affect everyone. (See “second time’s the charm.") I expect my present candidacy to benefit both the Democratic Party and the nation. It will also be a meaningful activity for me.
There are things more effective than being elected President or a government official in any capacity. We need to fix the broken political system. We need to fix our broken economy with respect to jobs. Many people wonder if it makes any difference whether a Republican or Democrat is elected. There’s not “a dime’s worth of difference” between the two parties, someone once said. It doesn't matter who is elected; things stay the same. The political system is bereft of new ideas.
If I were elected President, I could not do what needs to be done without Congressional support. And in our gridlocked government, it is unlikely that I would receive that support. The special interests are so entrenched and the influence of money so great that, even vested with immense political power, it would be hard for me as an elected official to accomplish much of anything. The important thing is to change policy, not elect candidates who promise to do it but do not deliver.
I tell you this: If my campaign goes well in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary, I can accomplish some of the things that are needed. I can raise issues which, once raised, will not go away. I can engage in personal demonstrations that may inspire others to do likewise. This will change politics even more than if I were elected to public office. Political power does rest with the people.
Let’s talk about “gatekeepers” - you know: the political pundits, producers of news shows, editorial writers, academic experts, party officials, and others who control the political discussion. They will not let certain topics be discussed or, at least, be discussed in certain ways. Race is one of those topics. Cutting the workweek is another. I intend to raise both those issues in currently unacceptable ways. The gatekeepers cannot stop me. I will travel around the state of New Hampshire talking to small-media people and people on the street expressing concerns which may be on people’s minds but which they are not allowed to articulate. If my campaign gains traction, the political universe will be changed.
Why am I running for public office? Could I not do what I am planning to do in the primary campaign without running for office? Yes, I could, but there would be no score card. There would be no fact indicating the degree to which I had succeeded or failed in advancng my proposals. The number of votes that I receive in the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic primary will be a scorecard suggesting how strongly New Hampshire voters agree with my positions. And once the “score” is posted in the election records, the spinmeisters who control the political discussion will have to deal with that fact. I will have concrete evidence of voter sentiment with respect to the issues raised. The voters, not pundits, are the ultimate authority in politics. I hope to win their support.
I saw this happen once before. A bunch of Minneapolis landlords got together to challenge the city’s inspections practices. We first filed a lawsuit but that was thrown out of court. Then we agitated for change. We held monthly meetings that were shown on cable television. We testified at public meetings. We picketed police stations and city hall. We had a free-circulation newspaper. The upshot was that in the 2001 municipal elections, all but one of those mayoral or city council officials that we opposed were defeated while all those that we supported were reelected. That was the scorecard. Pariahs though we were in the city’s political culture for having rental properties in poor neighborhoods ("slumlords"), we rallied the people to support our point of view. Once the voters had spoken, no one could take that away.
Admittedly, I may fall flat on my face in this campaign. There are no guarantees in life. But there is also no upper limit. At this point, I do not know which it will be - success or failure or something in between? But you never achieve anything in life without trying.
Here is what happened in my 2004 campaign for President in Louisiana’s Democratic presidential primary: Then, as now, I was running in a single state’s primary. I knew I would not be elected President. But I also knew that the spotlight of national political attention would be upon the contest for the Democratic nomination for President.
Each week I watched CNN report the primary results from various states. I lived for the day when it would be reporting the results of the Louisiana primary. Wolf Blitzer would ask: “Bill McGaughey? Who is that?” Then someone would pass Blitzer a note explaining that I was a man from Minnesota who was campaigning against free trade. My name would mean little but it would start to register with media people and CNN viewers that someone out there was concerned with trade issues and was against free trade and maybe this sort of thing ought to be taken seriously. For me, it was worth spending five weeks of my life and $5,000 of my personal wealth to create that glimmer of awareness among the millions of Americans tuned to the CNN program as well as other media.
Regrettably, this did not happen. Why not? “Super Tuesday” came the week before the Louisiana primary, and on that day John Kerry cinched the Democratic nomination. Therefore, as I sat watching the election returns with a reporter in Alexandria, CNN was not covering the Louisiana primary returns at all. Instead, Kerry was shown giving a speech in another state. Had I not been kicked off the ballot in South Carolina at the express command of the DNC chair, I might have run a moderately successful primary campaign in that state and my vote total been among the campaign returns reported on CNN. I was counting on a 1-2 punch: a credible result in South Carolina followed by an even more impressive one in Louisiana once my credibility had previously been established. But it did not happen. There are no guarantees in life. Even so, the 2004 presidential race was a positive experience for me.
I enjoyed campaigning. Even though it required personal discipline and at times caused anxiety, the life of a solo campaigner has its rewards. I had the opportunity to drive around a beautiful state before Hurricane Katrina wrecked New Orleans and talk with newspaper editors about things of local and national interest, taking time out for the Mardi Gras parades. Yes, there must have been people who regarded me as a fool in running for President but, on the whole, most newspaper reporters understood what I was doing and why. We were co-participants in that great political experiment called American democracy.
Now I will be traveling through another state, New Hampshire, the granite state, which like my own state of Minnesota is in the far north of the country. Campaigning in the dead of winter may be a challenge but I can handle this if my car keeps running. My brother, Andy, graduated from Exeter in 1960. He and I went to China in 1987 with a group of Exeter alumni who included the former U.S. ambassador to China, James Lillie, and his wife. Another brother, David, graduated from Putney school in Vermont, just across the state line. They are both deceased. A sister, Margaret, lives in Brunswick, Maine. Although I attended college in Connecticut, I have not spent much time in New England lately but hope to become reacquainted. Honestly, this will be my first time visiting most New Hampshire cities and towns.
The New Hampshire primary is an American institution. In 1968, it made the political reputation of Senator Eugene McCarthy, who became my friend later in life; while, in the same year, poor polling results from New Hampshire derailed the presidential campaign of my father’s friend and business colleague, George Romney, who had previously been a front runner in the Republican contest for President. For me, it is the be all and end all of my belated career as a politician.
After I fail to win the Democratic nomination, I plan to publish a book in the field of big history titled History of the Triple Existence. (See bighistorysite.com.) This publishing activity, too, I have done before, with mixed results. I will also be helping my new wife raise a toddler, her grandson, Dale, who is half Ojibway and the other half, African American and Italian.
I think owe an explanation of this “white man’s walk” that I am planning to stage during the primary campaign. Yes, it is about white dignity and pride but it is not about opposition to other racial groups. It is not about claims of supremacy. Some Democrats and Republicans may not be happy with my raising this issue but walking and talking is good medicine to take in this age of increasing racial divide. I do feel that a political stigma is attached to the white race in America and this is my way of dealing with it. For a more extensive discussion, see “about the politics of gender and race”.
To summarize: I am running for President in the New Hampshire primary mainly to focus attention on the four-day, thirty-two hour workweek as a means of creating new jobs and improving people’s lives. I would be delighted if some of the other candidates also began discussing this. At some point, American policymakers will be forced to deal more realistically with the challenge of automated production, but it would be well for this to happen sooner rather than later.
I am also running to help cure the spiritual sickness that has resulted from America’s majority population - white people - having their racial identity denigrated and repressed to the extent that it is. This serves no one’s interest except for an exploitative elite. The beauty of this issue is that I do not have to beg government to give my positive identity back. I can claim it myself by refusing to be intimidated. Success, in this instance, comes when others join me on this “walk” and we enjoy each other’s company.
Why I am I running for President? Look, in this arteriosclerotic politics of ours, sometimes the issues or proposals that our nation most needs are blocked by insurmountable taboos. I have chosen two of the worst on which to base my campaign. I have nothing to lose by breaking with the conventional wisdom. The "major" candidates do.
Do you think that "Dancing with the Stars"- like candidate debates are the best way to pick a President? Then you will not have an opportunity to become acquainted with me or my views. But if we should happen to meet on the street or in cafes or other places, then we can discuss some of these topics that the debate moderators will never mention. I don't have to win the Presidency to contribute to the process of political redemption.
In that spirit, I look forward to walking the sidewalks of New Hampshire cities and towns in my star-spangled suspenders during the primary season.
William H. McGaughey, Jr. candidate for President in the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic primary campaign website: http:www.billforpresident.org
Goal: dignity for white people
No, I am not a white supremacist. I do feel, however, that white people have gotten a bad rap in the United States. They are subjected to the insulting concept of “white privilege” and historical guilt and unflattering images in the media and in entertainment productions. This serves to demoralize white Americans, rendering them incapable of resisting bad leadership in our country. U.S. politics is defined by racial division - minorities favoring the Democrats and whites favoring the Republicans. As a Democrat sympathizing with whites as well as minorities, I hope to help bring about a healthier politics centered upon issues affecting everyone.
Instead of displaying passive-aggressive resentment, white people need to affirm their positive racial identity. Be open and cheerful about it. No legislation is required to stand up for your white ancestors and yourself. Join me in a “white man’s walk” where we walk together and discuss race, gender, politics, or anything else. Your participation does not imply any particular social or political views. We need not demonize each other over questions such as this. Race relations can be openly discussed and all points of view will be respected. See: http:www.billforpresident.org/walk.html
William H. McGaughey, Jr. candidate for President in the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic primary campaign website: http:www.billforpresident.org
Goal: a 4-day, 32-hour workweek (also see other side)
I am in favor of federal legislation to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act reducing the standard workweek to 32 hours from 40 hours and making certain other changes to allow working hours actually to be reduced. Why? Because it will become hard to sustain human employment as robots and other machines assume economic functions. No other candidate is talking about this. I have expertise and a track record on this issue. See website: http://www.shorterworkweek.com.
We need shorter work hours to counteract the labor-displacing effect of year-to-year increases in labor productivity which has increased four-fold since the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed in 1938. Economic output per worker hour has increased four times. This is not a short-term fix but a sensible long-term adjustment. If organized labor will not champion shorter work hours, government has to do it. The U.S. Senate actually passed a 30-hour-workweek bill in 1933, but government staffers and outside business interests killed it. Instead of working to feed the government, we would be happier and no less prosperous in working only four days a week. Market forces would maintain the level of wages. You would have more time to live in your short life.