Manifesting Destiny

I have been afraid of death since birth, and anxious about aging since I turned 22. Birthdays with a “0” or even a “5” in them can be especially hard, and my most recent one was no exception.

If you have any mixed feelings about turning this age, posted speed limits will remind you that, as Dan Bern said, “It’s too late to die young.”

speed limit 35

This is a popular moment to start heaping fertility fear onto already slut-shamed single women, not to mention the tipping point for being a “young” writer. An accomplished climber said that past this age, “it’s impossible to get any stronger” at climbing.  But this age has one thing going for it:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

-Constitution of the United States, Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 (emphasis mine)

President of the United States is the only real job I have ever wanted.

I’m going to be the president,” I told my parents, when I found out what douche bags were doing this job.

“There has never been a Jewish president, or a woman president,” they said.

“Then I will be the first Jewish woman president.”

I meant it.

While it may appear that I have spent my entire adult life avoiding responsibility, wasting an expensive education on a slacker job in order to pursue vague and thus far elusive literary goals while making a series of increasingly selfish and hedonistic choices culminating in the assumption of a dangerous and all-consuming adventure lifestyle, I assure you, I have been preparing all this time for my chosen career: the President of the United States. All that stood in my way was time.

But it marches on. As there is no longer any constitutional obstacle to my being the President of the United States of America, I will manifest this destiny, effective immediately.

Today, I announce my presidency.*

*Please note: I am not announcing my candidacy. I am announcing my presidency. Please see the section entitled “A Brief Word About Voting” at the end of this announcement for more details.

Like my fellow female aspirant to this high office, I hope you will join me on this journey.

Some Qualifications:

  • I have watched the first four seasons of The West Wing, and I now pledge to you, my fellow Americans, to watch the final three seasons and complete the series.
    • Full disclosure: I will finish The West Wing provided that my intermittent, pirated internet connection permits adequate streaming on my borrowed Netflix account.
  • In addition, I have already consumed many other highly educational premium cable television shows that I believe will prepare me for the presidency just as well, if not more effectively than, say, being a B-movie actor in what we now know to have been the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, owning a major league baseball franchise while doing copious amounts of cocaine, or even being a lawyer.
    • I have watched The Sopranos, (political thought and action, homeland security, dealing with enemies, leadership skills), The Wire (effective vs. ineffective drug policy, socio-economic-political organization, union politics, leadership skills)Rome (Do’s and Don’ts of Empire, foundations of modern political thought and action, leadership skills), Band of Brothers (“just” war, leadership skills), Generation Kill (modern war tactics, empathy for recent veterans, leadership skills)From the Earth to the Moon (space program management, national pride, problem-solving, leadership skills)Mad Men (marketing, use of color and pattern, dressing appropriately for your body type, looking cool while smoking).
    • To gain a better understanding of the foundations of our country, I will also watch the HBO miniseries John Adams.
      • Full disclosure: I will watch the HBO miniseries John Adams if someone will give me the sign-in and password to their HBOGo account.
  • Additionally, I have no prior experience with politics beyond those of overcrowded campgrounds. This is important because I will not be absorbed in these childish games, nor do I even know how to play them.
  • Astrologically, I am well suited to the presidency. My rising sign is Leo. I am a natural and charismatic leader. My sun sign is Virgo. I am good at paying attention to detail and staying organized. My Libra moon will help me to make fair and balanced decisions.
  • I am polling very high in the unofficial smoking hangout area behind a local independent climbing gym. I have 100% support behind the gym. At least 60% of the transients who hang out behind this gym are American citizens.

A Brief Word About Voting

Voting doesn’t really work, not at all. Karl Rove, gerrymandering, and the shady allegiances of the Diebold corporation have ensured that. Only 50% of eligible voters even vote, and many people, a vast majority of them people of color, are unjustly made ineligible. Polling places are staffed by well-intentioned but often incompetent and very elderly volunteers. Votes are not always recorded or counted properly, and elections can be, and often are, stolen. Also, none of this matters in a presidential election, because even if everyone could vote and the votes were counted properly and the election weren’t stolen, the electoral college makes the popular vote only semi-relevant.

My first eligible election was Bush v. Gore, Y2K. I voted in New York by absentee ballot from college in Rhode Island. Then I watched the election get stolen. At that moment, I lost all of my faith in this system. Four years later, I voted in New York in person. That election was stolen, too.

They say the definition of psychosis is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Voting in America is an act of individual and collective psychosis. So we will have to find another way. For an explanation of what that way is, please see “A Brief Word About Manifesting Destiny,” below.

If you decide to vote for me, I thank you for your intention. Voting won’t be necessary, but your intentions are very helpful.

A Brief Word About Campaign Financing

Another problem with the system is that people have to raise millions or even billions of dollars to become the president through “voting.” The people who have millions or even billions of dollars to donate to someone who wants to become the president often have very specific goals. These goals include making sure there is a war so they can sell the weapons they make, structuring our entire economy in ways that are beneficial to their banks or credit card companies, but detrimental to everyone else, overhauling our health care system so that everyone will be required to buy the insurance they sell, or making sure that we remain dependent on the oil that they dig out of the earth.

We all feel a little beholden when someone gives us something. The best way to give a gift is without expectation of receiving something in return, but that is not how it works with campaign financing. When someone gives us millions of dollars for a political purpose, we are definitely beholden to them.

The title of a recent interview I gave was “Emily Meg Weinstein on the Freedom of Not Owing Anybody Anything.” Now, I regret some of the comments I made in that interview. I do owe. I owe my life to my parents, my climbing buddies, and the brakes on my Subaru. I owe $731.57 on my American Express card. But I am not prepared to owe a Halliburton a war.

So, I will be manifesting this presidency without the application of any funds from anyone.

My brother has access to a sticker-making machine at his office and for my Presidential Birthday, he made me some stickers and buttons. Please accept a sticker or a button–a gift from me to you–if you will join me on this journey to manifest this destiny.

Actually, I am all out of buttons, so please accept a sticker.

All you owe me in return is that if you wear the sticker, I am the President of the United States.

A Brief Word About Manifesting Destiny

This is a painting of a woman with long, curly hair and no bra moving from east to west.


It is called American Progress and it was painted by John Gast in 1872. According to Wikipedia, the painting depicts the woman, “Columbia, a personification of the United States, lead[ing] civilization westward, stringing telegraph wire as she sweeps west, [holding] a school book. [She brings] the “light” as witnessed on the eastern side of the painting as she travels towards the “darkened” west, aided by technology. . . [and] driving Native Americans and bison into obscurity.” It represents original concept of Manifest Destiny.

I, like this woman, have curly hair, and, I, like this woman, have traveled from east to west, also while carrying “a school book.” But here, our similarities end. While it was not wrong for this woman to eschew a brassiere, it was wrong for her to drive the Native Americans and bison into obscurity. This was a literally fatal flaw in the original concept of Manifest Destiny.

In my administration, Manifesting Destiny means what it means here in the West it won. When I myself manifested my destiny and moved to California, I noticed that everyone here talked constantly about manifesting. Want a parking spot? Manifest one. Got a crazy adventure in mind? Manifest it. Need some duct tape? Don’t buy it, manifest it. It took me a while to even understand what they were talking about, but in time, I learned to manifest. Manifesting means you make it happen. You believe.

Manifesting Destiny is the most American way there is to do anything, be it drive the Native Americans and bison into obscurity, or become the President of the United States. Manifesting Destiny is more American than voting, more American than money.

So don’t vote for my presidency. Don’t finance my presidency. Join me in manifesting destiny.

Starting now, I will begin rolling out my presidential platform, a plank at a time. Goodnight, good luck during Mercury’s retrograde, and God Bless America.

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