This is the third entry in “The Fringe,” a periodic look at thelesser-known candidates for president. You can read the entire series here
MichaelSkok, a 58-year-old retiree from New York, asked me this today: “Iwould argue with you that Republicans have evolutionists in theirparty. So why can’t the Democrats have a creationist in their ownparty?” Skok believes the Earth is 6,000 years old, that America willcease to exist within eight years, and that we need to send a man toMars. That’s why he’s running for president.
Undeterred by his 18-vote tally in New Hampshire’s 2000 primary, Skok is back in the race for theDemocratic nomination. Not that he’s on the trail, exactly: He can’tafford to head out to New Hampshire just yet, having spent much of hiscampaign budget on the $1,000 registration fee for the state primary.His family doesn’t like that he’s running: “They said it’s a waste ofmoney. I tell them I’m trying to save the country.” Here’s the plan:
Restore the country’s Christian values: Skok wants to stage a modern-day Scopes Trial via a nationwide debate between the country’s best creationists andevolutionists. “We’re becoming a nation that’s godless with nomorality,” he said. He’s puts his faith in the creationists, partlybecause the books on evolution he has read have been “confusing.”
Find alternate sources of energy: Toease America’s dependence on the OPEC states, Skok wants to put solarpanels in Earth’s orbit and then somehow get that energy back down toEarth. Also, expect the Skok administration to put solar collectorsalong the freeway and invest in wind turbines.
Fix America’s trade deficit: Skokis convinced that in eight years, there will be no such thing as theUnited States. Instead, the EU is going to annex the U.S. because thedollar will be so weak and so many industries will have been outsourcedto China.
Advance America’s science and technology sectors: Sendingan astronaut to Mars, he said, would help strengthen America’s positionin the world. This, coupled with Skok’s desire to send solar panelsinto orbit, made me wonder how his creationist beliefs jibe with hisscientific interests. “I’m using science to find out if the Bible istrue,” he told me.
Skok said he can’t imagine voting for anyother Democrat but that Fred Thompson had caught his eye because hewanted to restore Christian values. If Fred’s performance continues tounderwhelm, maybe Values Voters can find their candidate across the aisle.