Sometimes I Dream of Running for Congress

Zach J. Payne
2 min readJun 7, 2017

Unfortunately, the daydream never lasts for very long.

I do have certain virtues that one would find desirable in a Congressperson:

  • The desire to help others and make the world a better place.
  • The understanding that the world operates in shades of gray.
  • A basic patriotism and respect for the rule of law, within reason.
  • A basic understanding of science, and the ability to listen to people who are more intelligent than I am in various subjects.
  • The ability to change my opinion in the face of evidence.
  • A willingness to compromise on issues that are honestly up for debate, while remaining ironclad on issues that aren’t up for debate — like queer rights, a woman’s right to choose, Black Lives Matter, Separation of Church and State.

Unfortunately, I also have a number of issues that render me unfit to run for Congress:

  • Various “optics” issues, including: physical health issues, mental health issues, being Asexual (“the Gentleman from Mississippi would like to know if you reproduce via Mitosis”), not looking good in a suit, having terrible teeth.
  • A long and colorful internet history of 2 AM Twitter rants and bad Twilight fanfiction.
  • The complete inability to fundraise or sell myself.
  • The complete inability to kiss ass.
  • Having never had more than $5000 in my bank account at one time (and that was only once, for about 20 minutes).
  • A complete and utter lack of desire to play the game.

If it was all about focusing on issues and working together to make things better. But I’m not one for all of the intrigue and political nonsense that comes with trying to make the country a better shape.

It’s a shame. We have a very narrow image of who the men and women in power are allowed to be. How many people are out there right now, just like me, with an honest desire to serve their country and to make it a better place, who don’t have the perfect optics or the money required to actually step up and do it?

It’s infuriating. And it’s unamerican as fuck.

Zach J. Payne is a poet, novelist, and thespian; a lover of languages and purveyor of useless knowledge. He is an assistant at Ninja Writers and interns for Pam Victorio at D4EO Literary Agency. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at ZachJPayne. If you enjoyed this article, please click the little green heart.

Zach J. Payne

(He/They) Poet. Thespian. YA Novelist.