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Now that I'm rich, I can give till it really hurts



Ever since I built a successful newspaper column and sold it to Lee Enterprises for $1.8 billion, I've been thinking: What should I do with my golden years? I've got enough money that I never need to work again. My children have been boarded at the finest schools, and my dog eats from a solid gold bowl that he took from Warren Buffett's dog after I paid for the privilege. Everything is all squared away, and I need something to do.

That's why I've decided to devote my life to helping people. I want to help everyone I can, not just in Montana but in these whole United States. I've got the resources and, more importantly, I've got the spirit—that powerful desire to serve the public and do everything I can to make life better for ordinary people. But how? That's the question 11-year-old Jordan Penney asked me, seconds before I threw him through the front window of Lewis and Clark Elementary.

I've since apologized to the Penney family, both for defenestrating their son and for initially telling reporters he came at me with a pair of scissors. I've done some soul searching, and I'm ready to put the incident behind me. I've also thought about how I can apply my virtually limitless wealth to do the most good, and I decided that the best way for me to help people is to govern them.

In these trying times, hardworking Americans cry out for more people to go into politics. I daresay that the most helpful thing a multimillionaire can do is make and enforce some laws. Let the selfish waste their time feeding the hungry and healing the sick. We who hear the call of public service know better. Now is the time for those whom God has favored with a lucrative weekly newspaper column to give back to our communities by assuming control of them.

But can I do more good in state government, or federal? That's the question that Shirley Davis, a 43-year-old sheet metal fabricator from Colstrip, posed when I visited the factory where she works and threw a tap and die set at her. The leader of a 4-H Club in Corvallis asked me the same thing before I tackled her into a china hutch that had been in her family for years. In my travels across this great state, I've met all kinds of people and suplexed them through all kinds of coffee tables. But my message has always been the same: It doesn't matter whether I'm governor, congressman or any other office holder above the county level. I just want to help.


Of course, the main way I want to help is by creating jobs. Ever since I got rich, I have dedicated myself to finding opportunities for other people to work. This column has already created jobs for one editor, one part-time fact checker and 347 attorneys. But my heart so brims with the milk of human kindness that I want everyone to have jobs—men and women equally, and even children, once they recover from my statewide tour of schools. I want to help everybody. As the Bible says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down a list of duties and a deferred compensation schedule for a friend."

My strong desire to help people is rooted in my Christian faith. Jesus taught that the most important commandment is to love thy neighbor. I am reminded of Mark 10:17 and the parable of the rich man. "Teacher," the man asked Jesus, "what can a rich man do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?" Jesus embraced this man, lifting him high over his head before slamming him into a wedding cake. I am not as strong as Jesus, but I can try to live by his example every day.

Anyone who wants to help people as much as I do is bound to make enemies. When you try to change the world for the better, people will always try to question you. "How is this helping?" they ask as I jam a croquet wicket into the ground next to their prostrate bodies, carefully line up their testicles and hit them with a mallet. It can be daunting sometimes, but then I remember that those questions are fake and I only want to help people more.

It's not easy being a wealthy candidate for high office, but I'm in it for the little guy—especially the guy who is littler than me. People ask me why I do it, and sometimes specifically how, and I always respond the same way: My arms reach out and my vision clouds over as I feel the desire to help welling up inside of me. The nice thing about being rich and powerful is that I can finally let it out.

Dan Brooks writes about politics, culture and the simple pleasures of public service at


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