American Candidate

A democracy of the people, for the people, to air on Showtime

| May 20, 2004

Sick and tired of George W. Bush's bumbling stubbornness? Maybe John Kerry's aristocratic demeanor doesn't suit you either. Well, then, check out the pictures and sound bites of everyday citizens posing as challengers in 2004 at as you listen to Jimmy Hendrix jam 'The Star-Spangled Banner' in the website introduction. Twelve finalists will be selected next month to compete in 10 episodes on Showtime between August and October. 'The winner gets $200,000 and a nationwide media appearance after the show so the 'American Candidate' can make his or her address to the nation,? the website states. Who knows? Maybe your next-door neighbor really will be a candidate for president.

Until June, though, everyone who applied to American Candidate is still in the race. Female, male, black, brown, white, gay, straight, single, or married -- it matters not. Let your fellow Americans judge you on your views and your ability to convey them. Richard Mack from Provo, UT, would abolish the IRS because, as he says, 'freedom cannot survive such a Gestapo-like organization.' Ann Carletta from Edgewater, NJ, proclaims herself 'born to run ... for office,' while seated in her hot, red sports car. Shaye Harty of Arcata, CA, encourages us to 'leave a legacy of love, not war.' Joseph Wight, an existentialist from Boston, MA, says 'I'm raising my hands against the existing order of life.' Bruce Friedrich of Norfolk, VA announces on a megaphone outside a KFC (Kitchen Fresh Chicken for those of you who read last week's Utne Web Watch!): 'Animals get a very raw deal. They feel pain, just like we do.' lets you search for candidates based on the topics they hold most important this election year: 'Forward-Thinking, Terrorism, Poverty Kills! Truthful, Caring, Homes Not Jails, Dedicated, Unconventional, Outstanding, Perspicacious, Pantheist, Bridge-Builder, Capitalist, Instigator, Compassionate, Pro-Hemp, Dignity, Could, The Vision Thing, Leader, Fearless, Sticktuitiveness, Tolerance, Honesty, No Secrets, Pragmatic, Housing, Privacy, Hardworking' ... and many more. Real issues. Real people. A real chance to vote for what you deem most important in today's America.
-- Jacob Wheeler

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