Fair Haven, Vermont, chartered in 1779, is a town of less than 3,000 people noted for its late nineteenth-century architecture. But this is not what makes the town unique.
Fair Haven operates under a council–manager government with a town manager and a five-member board to supervise the local government. There is no mayor. Instead, an animal is chosen as mayor every year in a ceremonial mayoral election. In 2020, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Murfee was elected as mayor. Last month, in a race that contained nineteen candidates—including dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and birds—the incumbent dog mayor was reelected to a second term.
This is just the kind of politicians we need.
With politicians like this, the government—
Won’t start wars.
Won’t order the bombing of other countries.
Won’t punish people for engaging in entirely peaceful, voluntary, and consensual actions that do not aggress against the person or property of others.
Won’t violate the non-aggression principle.
Won’t subsidize anything.
Won’t regulate business or industry.
Won’t ban substances.
Won’t take people’s resources against their will, by force if necessary, and transfer or redistribute them to other citizens or foreigners.
Won’t violate property rights.
Won’t require vaccine passports.
Won’t control prices.
Won’t lock people in cages for possessing too much of a plant.
Won’t impose protective tariffs.
Won’t require occupational licensing.
Won’t force some Americans to pay for the health care of other Americans.
Won’t require people to wear masks.
Won’t be involved in television or radio broadcasting.
Won’t support the arts.
Won’t explore space.
Won’t require anyone to be vaccinated.
Won’t tell people not to travel.
Won’t require social distancing.
Won’t outlaw price gouging.
Won’t force “unessential” businesses to close.
Won’t issue nutritional guidelines.
Won’t tell people not to sing in church.
Won’t close parks and playgrounds.
Won’t force women’s restrooms to allow entrance to men dressed as women.
Won’t cancel sporting events.
Won’t cancel concerts.
Won’t limit the capacity of stadiums, stores, and restaurants.
Won’t require businesses to install plastic shields in front of cash registers.
Won’t close bars.
Won’t close movie theatres.
Won’t close gyms.
Won’t restrict Americans from traveling to Cuba.
Won’t mandate how many handicapped parking spaces a business should have.
Won’t institute lockdowns.
Won’t forbid people from taking cruises.
Won’t have no-fly lists.
Won’t force some Americans to pay for the education of other Americans.
Won’t arrest people for victimless crimes.
Won’t provide disaster relief.
Won’t care if people discriminate.
Won’t require a minimum wage.
Won’t practice Affirmative Action.
Won’t prevent the selling of one’s bodily organs.
Won’t interfere with the free market.
Won’t wage war on drugs.
Won’t provide flood insurance.
Won’t operate a railroad.
Won’t provide electricity.
Won’t combat climate change.
Won’t collect economic statistics.
Won’t fund welfare programs.
Won’t fight poverty.
Won’t provide airport security.
Won’t provide medical care or insurance.
Won’t fund education.
Won’t institute vehicle gas mileage standards.
Won’t fund medical or scientific research.
Won’t make or guarantee loans.
Won’t build public housing.
Won’t fight obesity.
With politicians like this, the government will just leave us alone.
The “sum of good government,” said Thomas Jefferson in his first inaugural address, is “a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”
It looks like putting a dog in charge of the government is the only way to achieve such a government.