Shut Up or Run

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Here is a proposal that I believe would make the 2020 election cycle much, much better for everyone involved: The state of Iowa should close its borders to all out-of-state political figures who have not yet formally announced their candidacy for the presidency. Other early early-primary states, like New Hampshire and South Carolina, should follow suit, because this is (already) getting ridiculous.


This is a simple change: You are not allowed to go to Iowa until you commit to saying yes or no. It should be an executive order from the governor of Iowa and it should be enforced with every possible measure available to them. You know what, don’t stop at the swing states. Put an ankle monitor on every prospective candidate and make it do a siren noise every time they appear in public without an official announcement.

This may sound like an overreaction but if Joe Biden boards an Amtrak train in the Beltway I want every station across the Iowa border to have a police checkpoint. I want them to stop the train like in the movies and ask everyone who looks like Joe Biden for their ID to make sure it’s not Joe Biden trying to go meet with a firefighters association or something. I want an APB out on every license plate registered to Beto O’Rourke.

Here is why: This shit is ridiculous!

“Biden may not be ready to say he’s running. But he’s about to talk a lot about why.” SHUT THE FUCK UP MAN! There are so so many examples of this but this tweet in particular is what broke me.

I don’t.. fucking.... in what other situation does it work like this????? You can’t make decisions like this! There should be RULES.


Here’s an example. I got Taco Bell for lunch today. When I was making that decision, I weighed it over personally and with my coworker who gave me the idea. Then I did it. I said, “Yes, I am going to Taco Bell,” and then I went to Taco Bell (what I actually said was, “You call it, friendo, in this I will follow” and when he said yes the decision was made so maybe this isn’t a perfect metaphor but STILL).

When I got back, I expected questions like, “Wow, why did you go to Taco Bell?” or “What made you choose Taco Bell today?” It turns out I did not face any of those questions, but if I did, I had a whole speech prepared about why I felt like it was the right fit for me today.


You know what I did not do? I did not, for the four or five hours preceding lunch when I was thinking about going to Taco Bell but unsure yet, stand up periodically in front of different groups in the newsroom to talk about the many virtues of going to Taco Bell. I did not sit down with the social team and ask them what they thought about the Crunchwrap Supreme. I did not ask my editor whether or not she thought I was “living mas” recently. I did not casually drop a reference to Doritos Locos tacos into general discussion.

I didn’t do those things, because if I did, I would have looked like a wishy-washy weirdo! I thought about it and I made a damn decision! Was it a big decision? Yes! I almost got sushi from the Japanese lunch counter instead! It probably would have been better for me. And it would absolutely be better for all of us if Biden and O’Rourke didn’t run for president, but here we are.

Contributing Writer, Splinter