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Declarations:
..
I, ______________________, an announced candidate for the office of ____________ of __________, acknowledge that by reading this document, I have been informed:

That this document is called The Damocles Pledge, for reasons which shall become clear to me during my reading of it;

That I have 30 minutes to read and sign this document.  Failure to do so will result in my immediate isolative incarceration in the awfulest (awfullest?) prison in the country to serve a sentence of SIX MONTHS at hard physical labor, with no access to ANY amenities (nope, not even chocolate);

That I will be provided with a copy of this document for my reference once I have signed it;

That by signing this document, I shall thereby acknowledge that I have read and understood everything contained herein; that I will mark those items I consider objectionable by placing the word "NO" and my initials in the space prior to the item; that I shall designate those items with which I agree by placing the word "OK" and my initials in the space prior to the item; and that if I believe that an item is not applicable to me or to the office I seek, I will place the letters "NA" and my initials in the space prior to that item.

I UNDERSTAND and AGREE:

CAMPAIGNING

_________ That during the remainder of my campaign, I shall refrain from any negative ad hominem (if you don't understand that term, have your staff advise you) campaigning, in ANY manner, shape, form or media;

_________ That I shall confine my campaign to the ideas and issues on which I have based my candidacy;

_________ That I shall eschew (again, ask your staff for help, if necessary) all so-called "soft money" campaign contributions and shall accept only contributions which rise to the highest standards of morality, honesty, integrity ... and quantity, of course;

_________ That I shall make NO promises, directly or indirectly, to any of my contributors for special treatment or to advance their agendas in any way;

_________ That I shall not modify my platform (the ideas on which I'm running) to suit any fundraising or special interest groups to which I may speak or with which I must interact in any way;

_________ That while I am aware of the term "useful idiots," which Lenin created to privately and cynically describe people that the Communist party could easily propagandize and manipulate to support it, and while I realize there are MANY such "useful idiots" in both -- actually, ALL -- political parties in this country, and who are propagandized and manipulated by those parties on a daily basis, I shall not stoop to campaign tactics aimed at propagandizing or manipulating such "useful idiots," but shall continue to focus on PERSUADING intelligent voters of the validity of my IDEAS and ISSUES;

_________ That I shall also not stoop to class warfare or pandering to the lowest parts of human nature, in particular envy, jealousy and greed, during my campaign, since that, in particular, IS manipulating the "useful idiots";

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PHILOSOPHICAL

_________ That the role of government is ONLY to GOVERN, which function has certain limited and defined scope, as set forth in the document(s) which established said government, which documents are the following (fill in these blanks; this time you are NOT allowed to turn to your campaign staff for help):

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________;

_________ That I have read the above-listed document or documents thoroughly, and understand and agree to be bound by their terms, both in letter and in spirit;

_________ That to the extent said documents created anything referred to in terms such as "government lite," I shall ESPECIALLY abide by those terms, again both in letter AND in spirit;

_________ That there is nothing in the documents establishing this governmental unit that authorizes what has come to be called "wealth distribution";

_________ That I have passed or shall within the next month take and pass a course in economics equivalent to Econ 101 which college freshmen take;

_________ That I have read or shall read within the next month Milton Friedman's "Free To Choose," Richard Bach's "Illusions" (especially the final seven words prior to the epilogue) and Aesop's fable "The Ant and the Grasshopper," and shall use those as cornerstones of my actions, should I attain the office I seek;

_________ That the population of my constituency ALWAYS can be "graded" on a Bell curve (again, ask your staff for a definition if you're not familiar with the term) on all measures (e.g. intelligence, greed, honesty, humility, passivity, fallibility, etc.), and that I am at neither the top nor the bottom end of that curve on ANY measure;

_________ That I am therefore a fallible human being, and that I must take my own fallibility into account in every decision I am asked to make and balance it with an equal or greater degree of humility

_________ That by even announcing that I am seeking an elective office, I am demonstrating, at minimum, a mild lack of humility, or at the other extreme, hubris;

_________ That I understand the term "hubris" (if you don't, have someone on your campaign staff look it up or explain it to you before signing off on this item);

_________ That the institutions in this country, whether governmental, private or public-private in nature, exist to serve the people, and that the people do NOT exist to serve the institutions nor to be manipulated by them;

_________ That I hereby renounce any past allegiances I may have had to the interests of institutions over the interests of "the people" and that I shall TOTALLY accept my role as a PUBLIC servant;

_________ That power actually DOES corrupt and that absolute power corrupts absolutely;

_________ That should I actually win the office I am seeking, I too will be corrupted to some degree, in spite of my best efforts not to be;

_________ That the scope of influence of the decisions I must make is FAR greater than my ability to make those decisions in a truly intelligent and informed way, and that there will undoubtedly be unintended negative consequences of most, if not all, of those decisions;

_________ That many of my decisions will necessarily be based on the advice and counsel of others, and that I must do the utmost to ensure that I make all of my decisions based on what is best for the people, not what is best for the institutions nor for the so-called "special interest" groups that will certainly attempt to curry favor for their point of view, cause or financial gain by donations to my campaign, misrepresentations of truth, the use of so-called "junk science," "junk economics" and other "junk" theories, noisy demonstrations, civil disturbances, email, phone or letter campaigns or other means;

_________ That I shall endeavor to recognize and then ignore information provided to me solely or primarily for political purposes;

_________ That I shall specifically recognize and ignore so-called "information" in certain publications, particularly the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, and from certain so-called "economists," particularly Paul Krugman;

_________ That regardless of my best efforts to the contrary, I will undoubtedly act to support special interest groups' agendas to the detriment of "the people";

_________ That I am aware that I have certain axiomatic (again, staff, if needed) beliefs and opinions, some deeply held, as well as biases, many of which may be subconscious or unconscious, and that those beliefs, opinions and biases will surely influence my decision-making;

_________ That my biases, beliefs and opinions are personal to me, as those held by every other person in this world are to them, and that the fact that I may be propelled by the upcoming election into a position where the media pays significant attention to my words and deeds does not indicate that my opinions, beliefs and biases are any more valid or important than anyone else's;

_________ That I therefore shall examine my own biases, beliefs and opinions deeply and shall strive to the best of my ability to remove them totally from my decision-making process;

_________ That I shall strive to the utmost not to impose my beliefs, biases and opinions on others, nor to attempt to use the powers of my office or the power of the government in which I serve to meddle in what should rightfully be the personal choices of the individuals it serves or micromanage their behavior;

_________ That regardless of my best efforts in that regard, I WILL act from my beliefs, opinions and biases, conscious or unconscious, and I WILL try to impose my values on others, just as every person with biases does, and I WILL attempt to micromanage their behavior;

_________ That I shall thereby violate the Golden Rule, as rephrased by George Bernard Shaw, to wit:  "Do NOT do unto others as you would have them do unto you; their tastes may be different";

_________ That by so doing, I will certainly abuse the power of whatever office I may hold;

_________ That even though I'm starting to get pretty ticked off at some of the implications of this document, I shall make no attempt at vengeance, direct or indirect, against the person or persons who authored it, since I understand (or may come to understand at some later point in time, depending on where I fall on the many Bell curves that apply to me, particularly the intelligence one) that this document has been written with the goal of improving the quality of service of governmental institutions to their constituency (i.e., the PEOPLE they were originally established to serve);

_________ That should I even ATTEMPT to take any such vengeance, I would be barred forever from further public service, sentenced to a period of 50 years or more in the prison described at the beginning of this document and considered to be a real poopyhead and described as such at length on the Internet by every child between the ages of six and ten who is computer literate, which is about all of them;

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FISCAL

_________ That I have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of my constituency, which is far greater than any allegiance I may feel or believe I have to the institution of which I may become a member or to ANY institution at all;

_________ That I shall therefore set as the highest priority of my term as a public servant the goal of minimizing the costs of operating the governmental agencies within my control and shall do everything within my power to accomplish that goal;

_________ That under the current system, budgets are created from the bottom up, with managers ALWAYS seeking to have their budgets increased, primarily because the current culture in almost all agencies is that the larger the budget a manager controls, the higher his or her status among their peers, just another version of the age-old ego game of "mine's bigger than yours";

_________ That budget controls must therefore begin at the LOWEST management levels in each agency;

_________ That, should I win the office I seek, I shall ensure that managers at all levels are held personally accountable and will be rewarded or punished based on their fiscal parsimoniousness (staff, if needed) and quality and effectiveness of service to the PEOPLE;

_________ That all managers of any governmental units under my authority shall immediately reduce their annual budgets by a minimum of ten percent with no reduction in service to the PEOPLE;

_________ That should they fail to meet that goal, they shall be summarily terminated and confined to that no-chocolate prison mentioned above for a period of no less than six months;

_________ That that punishment shall also be extended to each manager above them, up to and including me;

_________ That, on the other hand, should they reduce their budgets by more than twenty percent (again, with no reduction in service to the PEOPLE), they shall be rewarded with bonuses equivalent to one half of one percent of the total amount saved, to be shared amongst all members of that unit in a manner to be determined by the manager and approved by his or her suprvising manager;

_________ That a bonus equivalent to one tenth of one percent of the total amount saved shall be given to each manager up the line, up to five levels up, including me if I am within five managerial levels of the manager achieving that goal;

_________ That since I am an elected public servant and not an employee, I shall refrain from accepting any such bonus due to me, leaving it in the public treasury;

_________ That where it is not inappropriate, I shall endeavor to institute a policy of pay for performance (piecework) other than in police, fire, etc., obviously (not a good idea to have quotas for tickets, for example); that, in any event, merit and performance shall be the fundamental criteria for reward;

_________ That since the role of government under my administration shall be limited to GOVERNING, I shall eliminate all funding of and/or grants to nonprofit organizations, since the money for any such grants comes from the TAXPAYERS, who thus have no choice in where their money goes, and since the overhead involved siphons off much of the value of those tax monies before they are passed on to said groups;

_________ That I shall therefore resolve to offer tax CREDITS (not deductions, CREDITS) for donations by individuals to nonprofit groups, thus restoring choice to the taxpayers and eliminating the overhead mentioned above, thereby actually INCREASING the amount of money that flows to nonprofits;

_________ That, if I have not already done so, I shall study the reforms enacted by the government of New Zealand beginning in 1984, which led to a reduction in the size of that country's government by 66 percent in terms of employee count, and reduced the government's share of GDP by 43 percent, simply by applying common sense about government's role in a serious manner, and shall apply that same principle throughout my jurisdiction (ARTICLE);

_________ That I shall undoubtedly fail to keep those resolutions mentioned above and shall cave in to special interest groups, tax-and-spend institutions and thus shall actually RAISE taxes on the taxpayers in my constituency;

_________ That in spite of my awareness of the fact that the wealthiest 5% of the American population pay over 55% of the federal income taxes, I shall undoubtedly pander to the underachievers (whom I shall privately and cynically refer to as both "useful idiots" and "grasshoppers") and exploit their envy and laziness and try to raise taxes even further on the so-called "wealthy";

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SUMMARY

_________ That since I will undoubtedly be corrupted, will abuse the power of my office, will strive to impose my biases, beliefs and opinions on others, will make decisions based on inadequate information, will fail to reduce the influence of government on micromanaging people's lives, will fail to reduce the budget of my segment of government, will fail to reduce (and most likely increase) taxes on the productive members of society and will exhibit a greater allegiance to institutions than to the "people," I shall, upon the completion of my first term of office, voluntarily commit myself to a term in the prison mentioned at the beginning of this document for a period of one day for each day of my term;

_________ That if I am currently an incumbent officeholder, I shall also add to that sentence one day for each day that I have already served in my current office AND one day for each day I have served in any elective office at any level prior to my current position;

_________ That during that sentence, I shall write letters of apology to all of the people and/or groups that I have harmed in any way by my actions while in office, and shall pay for the publication of same in book and CD form, as well as on the Internet, from the illicit funds which I undoubtedly will have received during my term in office;

_________ That I shall fully declare and then donate the remainder of those illicit funds to nonprofit groups whose mission statements are in direct opposition to my biases, opinions and beliefs;

_________ That after I have served my sentence, I shall also donate any speaking fees, literary fees or any fees that are in any way related to my term in office to those same types of nonprofit groups;

_________ That I may reduce the length of my sentence by acting, speaking and making decisions in ways that reflect my fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers, (i.e., fiscal conservatism) and tolerance for the values of others (i.e., social liberalism);

_________ That I may thus reduce the length of my sentence by:
 

_________ Refusing to attempt to legislate morality, civility or to contravene the actions of Mother Nature, recognizing that those are all impossible and futile, in any event;

_________ Actively seeking the repeal of all statutes, regulations and rules which do not reflect the two values mentioned above (i.e., fiscal conservatism and social liberalism) or for which the cost of enforcement is greater than the benefit to society;

_________ Reforming the civil legal system in my jurisdiction so that the loser pays the legal bills of the winner; 

_________ Reforming the tax system in my jurisdiction to reward work and investment, rather than penalizing them, and to ensure that the only "something for nothing" anybody gets is good, not bad -- that is, something that's good for nothing; that specifically, in the event I am elected to a position in the federal government, I shall endeavor specifically to index the capital loss offset provision for inflation, to do so retroactively to the date of its inception, and allow taxpayers to carry it back up to twenty years;

_________ That a scoresheet on my activities shall be kept by the creator(s) of this Pledge or by other appropriate people, who shall provide me with quarterly reports on my performance, and I agree to abide by their decisions as to whether and to what extent my sentence may be reduced (or lengthened, in the event that I behave particularly egregiously [again, staff, if needed] while in office);

That by signing this document, I am affirming that I have read it, have noted my objections and arguments regarding this document and/or the implementation of The Pledge, if any, but notwithstanding any objections or arguments I may have noted, I shall abide by ALL of its terms;

That should I sign this document with no truly honest intention of following its terms, my sentence shall be automatically doubled, and I shall be forever known as a hypocrite AS WELL AS a poopyhead (but since I am now a "politician," I've developed a skin thick enough that that doesn't bother me at all).

Date:   _______________, 2004     Time:  ___:___  am  pm

____________________________  Signature

____________________________  Print name

____________________________  Witness

____________________________  Witness