Keeping the White in White House
I've never doubted that Aliso Viejo's Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, was deluded, but until now I've never suspected he's delusional as well. Gilchrist tells the rightwing news service WorldNetDaily that he's seriously considering running for President of the United States.
Gilchrist told WND the only candidate he would support as the Republican Party presidential nominee in 2008 was Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.
"If John McCain enters the race for president," Gilchrist said. "I will definitely run. John McCain should have forfeited his right to run for president on the Republican Party the moment he put his name on immigration legislation with Sen. Ted Kennedy."
What sets Gilchrist apart from McCain or Kennedy or even Tancredo is, of course, the fact that he's has never been elected to any public office before. But he's willing to start at the top, which I suppose shows, what may politely be called, a great deal of confidence in himself. Where this confidence comes from only Gilchrist and Christ know. Last year, Gilchrist demonstrated that he couldn't get elected to Congress from what, with the possible exception of the district that sent David Duke to the Louisiana House of Representatives, should have been the most favorable district to him in the country. Now he thinks he'd be a viable candidate for president, telling the WND's Jerome Corsi, "the country is ready for a third-party candidate, just like the country was ready for Ross Perot in 1992."
But Gilchrist won't be trying to fill the big earmuffs left behind by Perot at the Reform Party, if he runs. He'd be running as the candidate of the Constitutional Party (the party formerly known as the U.S. Taxpayer Party), one of those organizations that newspapers politely refer to as a "fringe party", when they refer to it at all. That affiliation may come as a bit of a surprise to those who followed Gilchrist's unsuccessful congressional bid. Then, he ran as the representative of the American Independent Party, the party founded back in 1968 by arch-segregationist George Wallace, who ran on a platform of making sure white people could always find plenty of seats in the front of the bus. In 1972, the party, then known as the American Party, selected barking mad rightwing OC Congressman John Schmitz as its candidate for president. (Schmitz, you may recall, was so pro-family that he kept two of them, much to the surprise of the voters and the woman he was legally married to. Schmitz's family values have been passed on to his daughter, Mary Kay LeTourneau, the trailblazing pioneer for a whole generation of teachers/statutory rapists.) Then in 1976, the party split with what passed for moderates in the group remaining the American Party, while the more extreme element reclaimed the old Wallace name of the American Independent Party. Those are the people Gilchrist chose to associate himself with.
Unfortunately for Gilchrist, not many besides him want to associate with the American Independent Party– its failure to attract voters and members has cost it official recognition just about everywhere but California, that happy land where every party can find a member, and every cult can find a follower. To maintain its fringe status in national politics, the American Independent Party is now the state affiliate of the Constitutional Party, which is why it is the natural home of Gilchrist for President.
Whatever one thinks of Gilchrist running for president– and I think it would be great, given the high potential for much hilarity– you have to concede that he'd be a more honest candidate than our current president was. After all, it's unimaginable that Gilchrist would sing along with performers belting out the national anthem in Spanish at campaign rallies, and have a Spanish language version of "The Star Spangled Banner" performed at his inaugural, only to turn around and condemn such things when it's political expedient.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts