The Fringe, Part 5
Presidential candidates you've never heard of.
Updated Friday, Oct. 26, 2007, at 6:05 PM
Cap Fendig is the fringe man's Mike Huckabee. The Republican presidential candidate wants to keep the troops in Iraq, supports the fair tax, and promotes pro-life policies. But while Huckabee's profile continues to rise, Cap Fendig is hoping to grab four percent of the votes in Iowa, at most. That's what happens when the highest public office you've held is county commissioner.
The 53-year-old man certainly looks presidential, and speaks in a southern drawl that would make John Edwards swoon. His high-quality Web site has pictures of him and his wife looking like the all-American couple—complete with an out-of-focus background to imply Fendig is a stark contrast to the murky America that surrounds us all.
Fendig recently sold his tour company in Georgia to fund his campaign, but it was his business that inspired him to run in the first place. He said his platform consists of policies the "American people" want. Of course, most of those Americans are his conservative tour clientele.
Fendig is not ashamed to tell you that he thinks the constitution ought to be changed. First up, the Fair Tax, which would repeal the 16th amendment that allows the government to collect an income tax. Next, he wants to solve the immigration problem by scrapping pieces of the 14th Amendment. Under the Fendig administration, babies born in the United States would no longer be automatic U.S. citizens. Their parents would have to be citizens, as well. Unclear on whether America would make it a habit of deporting children before they leave the hospital. Oh, and don't forget to tack on a gay marriage amendment while you're at it. (Fendig said homosexuality is a lifestyle choice America cannot endorse but should protect.)
Constitutional changes aside, Fendig is making one novel recommendation: He wants to impose term limits on congressmen so that the legislative branch has a "rotation of fresh ideas and energy."
Fendig, though, has more pressing concerns—like getting people to take him seriously. When Fendig delivered his official announcement speech at a county meeting, the video shows that the woman sitting behind him couldn't help but let loose a laugh.
All aboard: The Republican presidential candidates may have found the perfect enemy: the Law of the Sea Treaty. The treaty, a U.N. convention ratified by 150 countries in 1994 but not by the United States, sets rules for navigating international waters, governs economic activity therein, and also establishes certain environmental standards. And, if you ask the GOP candidates, it must be stopped.
Mike Huckabee toldSlate's John Dickerson that the Law of the Sea has "damaging and dangerous implications for our national sovereignty." Fred Thompson said earlier this week that the law "gives a U.N.-affiliated organization far too much authority over U.S. interests." John McCain and Duncan Hunter have spoken out against the treaty as well.
Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.
Photographs of: Cap Fendig courtesy Cap Fendig; screenshot of The Huffington Post.