Author and publisher W. Thomas Olson of Illinois has declared a candidacy for a consular office of the United States Senate.
A self-proclaimed "renegade" of American politics, Olson stood for congress last year in a partisan primary in which he placed second of three, yet was threatened with arrest on multiple occasions while campaigning and electioneering.
"Four years of criminal despotism were bound to torch a few civil liberties," Olson insists, and adds, "People have been conditioned to admit authority without critique, and I speak from personal experience of encroachments on the right to petition and intimidation of speech."
His bid for the US Senate is inspired, he maintains, by the same core of issues as his bid for the US House. "Human rights, military spending, commerce — there are a few key bills a competent lawmaker might write, and I’m certain my opponents haven’t sufficiently interrogated the laws to do so."
During the primaries last year, Olson and his opponents were invited by the League of Women Voters of Palatine Illinois to participate in a candidates’ forum. The venue was set for a library at which, months earlier, Olson had been cited for trespassing while petitioning for placement on the ballot, and which he was, at the time, prohibited from visiting under threat of arrest. ‘You might imagine, it was oddly intense,’ he recalls.
"Thankfully, my opponents were insufferably boring."
His opponents for the Senate, which presently count two, are far more interesting,
Olson contends, yet his disdain for them is no less palpable. "A double-amputee ex-soldier who romanticizes a depraved government, and a former law enforcement officer who speaks of thin blue lines and other make-believe."
Born, raised, and educated in Illinois, the candidate insists that too many neighbors-turned-politicians have made for a lousy band of lawmakers. "Consider the Illinois delegation in full and name a single substantive bill any of them have authored."
Olson describes his politics and supporters as "emphatically independent," and his sentiments regarding speech and assembly have broad appeal. Yet his attitude toward lawmaking is remarkably unsexy: ("I write bills intended to salvage a crumby government and administer a better one.") And some of his positions on the relations of power reflect a biting insistence upon curbing it, but give no indication of a partisanship: ("Merrick Garland testified in the US Senate that the Department of Justice is a part of the executive branch. Merrick Garland spoke rubbish.")
The candidate has a positive message of change moreover, yet seems not to omit an opportunity to critique, purporting to have authored bills that would change the lives of millions of persons seeking citizenship, redress the rampant manufacture of plastics and domestic firearms, and finance a scalable deployment of renewable energies.
"My opponents babble of policy, yet competent members of congress write laws. One of my opponents has already tried to write laws as a member of the US House, but couldn’t, so then stood for the Senate."