”All the Problems We Face in the United States Today Can be Traced to an Unenlightened Immigration Policy on the Part of Native Americans.”
If you are having fun with the idea of Kanye West running for president, remember, please, Pat Paulsen (1927 -1997). Paulsen was a comedian and satirist noted for his appearances on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967-69) and for his campaigns for President of the United States in 1968, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992, and 1996.
His regular appearances on The Smothers Brothers offering double-talk editorials on issues of the day won him an Emmy Award in 1968.
Paulsen was approached by Tom and Dick Smothers with the idea of running for president in 1968. His reply was:
“Why not? I can’t dance. Besides, the job has a good pension plan, and I’ll get a lot of money when I retire.”
The dance joke was a reference to actor/dancer George Murphy, then a Republican senator representing California, who was considering a run for president. He ran under the Straight Talking American Government Party, or the “S.T.A.G. Party”.
Paulsen shared his thoughts on the burning political questions of the day with a dry, deadpan delivery, his face immobile, but his speeches still soared. He said in his 1972 campaign:
”Only a cheap politician, greedy for political gain, would try to single out one individual for blame. The fault lies not with the individual but with the system, and that system is Richard Nixon.”
He used slogans such as ”We Cannot Stand Pat”, ”We Can Be Decisive, Probably” and ”United We Sit”. At the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, he promised:
”If elected, I will win.”
Paulsen’s campaigns were not without serious commentary. He ran them using obvious lies, double talk, and tongue-in-cheek attacks on the major candidates, and he responded to all criticism with his catchphrase: “Picky, picky, picky”. His campaign slogan was:
“Just a common, ordinary, simple savior of America’s destiny.”
Every question on social issues received the same response:
“I feel that it is too directly bound to its own anguish to be anything other than a cry of negation, carrying within itself the seeds of its own destruction. However, to get to the meat of the matter, I will come right to the point, and take note of the fact that the heart of the issue in the final analysis escapes me.”
Paulsen’s name appeared on the ballot in New Hampshire for the Democratic primary several times. In 1996, he finished second to Bill Clinton (76,754 votes). In 1992, he came in second to George H.W. Bush in the North Dakota Republican Primary.
Paulsen appeared regularly at the Cherry County Playhouse in Traverse City, Michigan. He starred in a production every summer from 1971 to 1997 including The Fantasticks, The Odd Couple, and Harvey. He also appeared in nightclubs, theaters, and conventions throughout the country.
In 1971, Paulsen opened Pat Paulsen Vineyards, a successful winemaking operation in Sonoma. Shortly after, Clint Eastwood won election as mayor of nearby Carmel. So, Paulsen proclaimed himself Mayor of the tiny town of Asti near his vineyard.
Paulsen was taken by cancer in 1997.