Stephen Colbert — Your 7 Words Can Make The Difference In This Election

Dear Stephen,

As you know, the two parties have dished up Presidential candidates that few Americans like and many deeply hate.

To paraphrase former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Colin Powell’s email comments,  one candidate is a racist, a liar, a con artist, a demagogue, an international pariah, and a national disgrace. The other candidate is greedy, power hungry, incompetent, arrogant, dishonest, and offers only déjà vu.

This is no time for politics as usual, let alone politics at its worst. The country has grave domestic and foreign policy challenges. They need to be fixed immediately.

That’s why, as you can see at, I’m running for President as a registered write-in candidate. I’m registered nationwide, which makes me the only write-in candidate who will have his votes counted nationwide. This fact, but primarily my qualifications to be President has brought an amazing amount of very high level national and international media attention to my campaign — more than any Presidential write-in candidate in U.S. history.

Many of the writers feel compelled to say I have no chance of winning. But then why are they covering my campaign? Down deep, they understand that this is a very unstable political equilibrium — with two candidates that the vast majority of voters don’t want and another candidate who the vast majority of voters would surely choose if they knew the vast majority of voters would do the same.

In game theory, we economists (yes, I’m one of them) call this a coordination game. And we’d call the election of either Clinton or Trump a coordination failure.

Stephen, I’m writing you and others like you because you have the power to coordinate the public to vote for the type of President they actually want rather than the one they hate the least.

Ok, so who am I to be addressing you like this when we have never met?  I’m an economics professor at Boston University, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a small business owner, a public policy expert, someone with decades of domestic and international policy experience interacting with top U.S. and foreign officials, a NY Times best selling author, someone who has lived and traveled extensively abroad, and, according to The Economist Magazine, one of the world’s 25 most influential economists.

In short, I’m not Mickey Mouse. Neither am I John Kennedy. I’m just one of the very large number of Americans who is actually qualified to serve as President, doesn’t come with a supersized ego or a wagon train full of baggage, and has commonsense, concrete solutions to the problems we face.

Stephen, I’m asking you to check out my candidacy, and if you like what you see, simply publicly pronounce these 7 words.

I’m Writing In Laurence Kotlikoff for President

To be clear, I regret putting you and others with large followings, like Jon Stewart and Secretary Colin Powell, on the spot. But I can’t do what you can do. I can’t get millions of people to listen to me with a single tweet. Nor do I have a billion dollars to get the word out.

Somehow, someway you ended up with incredible comedic talent underpinned by a deep humanity. This is why tens of millions of people, including myself, hold you in deep esteem. And one of the byproducts of your amazing gifts is that you have enormous political power. You can persuade tens of millions of people to follow your lead because they know others will be doing the same.

Whether or not this Pied Piper power has occurred to you, it’s certainly the case. And not using your political power is, in fact, using it. Staying silent and watching our country fall into the “leadership” hands of either a totally deplorable or a simply deplorable is not something your conscious should abide.

So Stephen, I’m calling you out on a moral issue. You and Jon and Colin and all the other well-followed people that I and the public deeply respect can sit back and decide it’s not your role to meddle in this election. Or you can decide it’s time to stand up and help elect someone who has the expertise and specific plans to actually fix our country — for ourselves, but primarily for our children.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *