Candidate of the week

Robert Anton Wilson’s Guns & Dope Party

As the Recall Gray Davis Committee’s very first rally was winding down, its chairman, Howard Kaloogian, told a journalist that he really couldn’t care less who became governor, that “anyone in the phone book” would be better than Davis. And though that’s not exactly what we’ve ended up with—the list of candidates is more like anyone in the phone book who has a spare $3,500 to burn—the result, as the novelty begins to wear thin, is more like Springsteen’s cable-TV lament “57 channels [or in this case 133] and nothing on.”

But who says we have to let the novelty wear thin? If the official candidates ultimately don’t offer much more than a cartoon-enhanced variation on last year’s election, there are still a lot of names left in the phone book—or even unlisted ones—that can run as write-in candidates.

And there’s no candidate with greater novelty value than Robert Anton Wilson. The futurist thinker, libertarian and co-author of The Illuminatus! Trilogy—a hallucinogenic science-fiction/conspiracy series—is now campaigning for governor as a “write-in candidate for the Guns & Dope Party.”

According to the campaign’s Web site,, the party’s goal is to unite extremists from both sides of the sociopolitical spectrum. The Guns & Dope Party name is reflected in two planks in Wilson’s campaign platform: “Guns for everybody who wants them; no guns for those who don’t want them” and “Drugs for everybody who wants them; no drugs for those who don’t want them.”

But the Other Governor Wilson wouldn’t stop there. His first order of business upon assuming office would be to “fire 33 percent of the Legislature [names selected at random] and replace them with full-grown adult ostriches, whose mysterious and awesome dignity will elevate the suidean barbarity long established there.”

Sure, smaller minds could quibble over whether “suidean” is, in fact, a word, but Wilson has bigger concerns, like his major first-term goal: the secession of California from the United States. (Wilson would invite Oregon, Washington state and British Columbia to form a new union called Freetopia.)

And, like any good libertarian, Wilson wants religion out of government. “The government,” Wilson laments in a position paper, “spends more and more of our tax money financing ‘faith-based organizations.’ Without faith, we might relapse into scientific or rational thinking, which leads by a slippery slope toward constitutional democracy.”

God forbid.