Columns > Published on April 8th, 2019

10 Authors Who Should Run for President

Between reality show stars, wrestlers, and actors, it's obvious that anyone can run for office. Need some reminders? Al Franken, Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Springer, and Sonny Bono have all been in politics. I think it's time we get some writers in the mix. Hell, I think it's time we get some writers to run this country. Here is my list of nominees, in no particular order.

1. Mary Miller 

Is there another author out there that possesses Miller's deep understanding of American culture, storytelling talent, and sense of humor? Yeah, she'd be a great choice. She's also someone who isn't too worried about being happy all the time, because she knows sometimes life sucks and isn't afraid to be honest about it. All these fuckers saying they like politicians who "tell it like it is" would definitely have a hard time finding reasons not to vote for her. 


2. Brian Evenson

Evenson is one of the best writers out there. Notice how I didn't mention genre? Yeah, he can rock noir, literary fiction, science fiction, horror, and everything in between. He also has experience running academic departments, and sometimes the shit show you find in that arena perfectly mimics the kind you find in our government. He also has an honest face, a serious beard, and a general demeanor that makes you trust him immediately. I mean, he could steal my wallet and I'd ask him to give it back just so I could buy him lunch. 


3. Benjamin Whitmer 

I can see Whitmer walking into a room with a pistol in his hand, letting reporters know he's in no mood for stupid questions. I can also see him in interviews where someone asks about the latest bougie asshole featured in the New York Times, to which he replies "Fuck him/her...and fuck you for asking me about that nonsense." A working class hero is something I couldn't vote against. Whitmer 2020. Don't like it? He doesn't give a fuck.


4. Roxane Gay 

Gay's wit, sense of humor, and honesty make her an obvious choice. She also refuses to take shit from anyone and will reply to insignificant people to prove it. She's an amazing writer, Twitter hero, scholar, black, and brutally honest. She packs everything good about Obama but on steroids. People freaking out about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "attitude" would die if they heard Gay up on a podium. And that'd be a good thing. 


5. Nnedi Okorafor 

Okay, real talk: you want someone incredibly smart who would tackle race relations, environmental issues, migration, and gender politics with intellect and style? Here you have her. She'd be perfect for the gig. Seriously and please. 


6. bell hooks

"I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else's whim or to someone else's ignorance."

Put that on a shirt. Let me vote for her now. 


7. Stephen King 

This guy would fix taxes with the quickness. I can also see him doing something great about student debt. And he would be the opposite of the clown we now have when it comes to Twitter. You know I'm right. 


8. Brian Keene

I would describe Keene's politics as...nuanced as fuck. That said, the man always tries to do the right thing. He defends the weak and stands up against injustice. He works hard, loves his friends, cares about minorities, and is one of those rare humans who spends a bit of time thinking before he speaks. I'd also give him a VP: Nick Mamatas. Dream team right there, folks. That sound you hear is Nazis trembling. 


9. Shannon Kirk 

This practicing attorney and former law professor looks the part, talks the part, and would rock the hell out of the part. She stays plugged into whatever is happening in this country, has a passion for immigration issues, and writes beautifully. Just look at her author photos and you'll see why her portrait should be hanging in the White House.


10. David Joy 

Joy wouldn't leave the mountains. He wouldn't get a suit. You know what he would do? Fix shit quickly and effectively so he could spend the rest of the day in the woods with his dog and then have time to write. That sounds like the perfect approach. Put a smart, righteous person at the top and watch this bullshit get figured out. 

Okay, now I want to hear about your nominees. Anyone who says Jonathan Franzen gets kicked off the site forever.

About the author

Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of ZERO SAINTS, HUNGRY DARKNESS, and GUTMOUTH. His reviews have appeared in Electric Literature, The Rumpus, 3AM Magazine, Marginalia, The Collagist, Heavy Feather Review, Crimespree, Out of the Gutter, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HorrorTalk, Verbicide, and many other print and online venues. Y

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