Insert seriously, no kidding, or a third thing blatantly acknowledging the stark contrast of a comedian getting into politics.
Stand-up comedian Ben Gleib, seen regularly on the fourth hour of the Today show but even more regularly as host of Idiotest on GSN, the Game Show Network, has announced his very serious intentions to seek the Democratic nomination in 2020 for President of the United States.
NOTE: I interviewed Gleib on my podcast, Last Things First, in the far simpler times of summer 2016.
Gleib posted his first video message on May 13:
Gleib also put his intentions in writing:
Career politicians are not the answer to our problems – they are the problem. It is campaign season, so of course they are again telling us how they will change the whole system – But they have had their chance to do that . . . for years . . . and failed. These cautious, career politicians will not be able to stop Donald Trump. But I can. Together, we can. We must.
Donald Trump is the greatest risk to our nation, but also the best trash talker in political history. So how do we take him down?
With a stand-up comedian. I am not a politician or a greedy millionaire. But I’ve dealt with narcissistic, cry-baby hecklers like Trump hundreds of times before and I’ve never been defeated. These candidates work in government – that is where the lies come from. But in a time of fake news and a pathological liar president, comedians are the only people left whose job it is to tell you the truth.
You’re probably thinking “Why would the guy from Chelsea Lately, who hosts a game show called Idiot Test, and day-drinks on the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda be a good leader? Well, you know I’m fun! But you may not know I’m also an honors thesis graduate of one of the top universities in the country. For over a decade I have been a political contributor to places like CNN, NPR, Huffington Post, the Young Turks, ABC News and more. I have hosted countless conversations and debates with both sides, always working to find solutions to our nation’s problems. And I created the Telethon for America, a first-of-its-kind event powered by Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote” that played a significant role in last year’s record-setting voter turnout.
Plus, people always say they want a president they could see themselves having a beer with.Well I’ve already had beers with tons of you. (Thanks for the beers by the way.)
I’m so passionate about politics that many people started suggesting that I run for president, and challenge Trump head on. This got me thinking.
I am different from every candidate because I’ve never been in government and I’m not part of the rich elite. Turns out cable TV and comedy clubs in strip malls don’t pay as well as you think. But, unlike career politicians who only want to shake your hand when they’re running for office, I’ve been traveling around the country non-stop for 19 years. I know your struggles. I’ve been there by your side.
Regular people like us are kept out of the halls of power so that whether the president is Republican or Democrat, the gap between the rich and the rest of us keeps widening. Millions still don’t have health care, can’t afford housing, work multiple jobs, and whole professions are going away due to automation. And no one in power is solving it. No one. Those in government aren’t invested enough in our struggle to make any systemic change.
But we can change that. We must change that. And we can do it by having a regular person in office. I’m funnier than you, but I’m also just a regular guy. (I might not even be funnier. I mean this thing has been pretty non-hilarious.) But let’s test if we still have a government “by the people”. If we do, good news is I am a person, so I totally qualify.
Our nation is in trouble, and we are not going to solve our massive problems without some massively new thinking. And thinking differently is what comedians do best. I am running to blow open the accepted norms of how we do things in our country. Because we no longer have the time for incremental change. We need, and we deserve, systemic change now. I can bring that change because I have nothing to lose. I don’t have a career in politics I need to protect. Or a bunch of billionaire friends that need me to pass laws that benefit only them. No special interests or back door partnerships in Washington have any control over me. And they never will. Because when I’m done, I’ll just go right back to the comedy clubs.
Our democracy has been taken from us. It has been hijacked by people who only care about power and money, and keeping it all for themselves.
Let’s. Take. Our. Democracy. Back.
The threshold to qualify for the Democratic debate is just 65,000 donations. Even just $1 from you and 64,999 of your closest friends will put a regular person on that debate stage.
Your donation will test if our democracy is still real – or another lie. Will the powers that be allow a different voice in the conversation? Let’s find out together.
Have a voice in the 2020 presidential election. Have a voice in your future.
A comedian did just win the presidency in Ukraine. By a landslide. Bill Maher recently said, “We need someone who can shred Trump like a stand-up does a heckler. Because Trump is a heckler. And to defeat him, we need a comedian.”
I am that comedian. And together we can take the crybaby down. Together we can change the system.
We will not be defeated. We will win. Because we must.
Let’s save America, okay?
Gleib has an official website for his campaign — Gleib2020.com — where he lays out his platform on various issues, among them:
- Giving middle and working class people a monthly “Cost of Living Tax Refund”
- Expanding medicare to those who can’t afford insurance, while also keeping private health insurance alive.
- Fighting to protect American jobs from the onslaught of automation. “Have you not seen every science fiction story ever? Letting the robots take over DOES NOT END WELL”
- Combining white-collar and blue-collar prisons to deter corporate criminals. And ending private prisons.
- Funding the VA properly.
- Outlawing gerrymandering, reverting elections back to paper ballots “only because EVERYTHING DIGITAL GETS HACKED EVERY FIVE MINUTES,” ending the Electoral College, “and STOPPING FOREIGN INTERFERENCE”
- Getting big money out of politics
- Forgiving a majority of student loan debt
- Registering all gun sales, even private sales. “It shouldn’t be easier to get a gun license than a driver’s license. Again, because obviously. We will have thorough background checks, fully analyzing both criminal history and mental health. You shouldn’t be able to get a gun faster than you can get toilet paper on Amazon Prime. No more loopholes. Loopholes are easy to shoot through.”
Gleib also announced his campaign intentions earlier this week via his podcast, “Last Week on Earth.”
Stay tuned for more developments on Gleib’s political ambitions.