How to write the perfect 2024 campaign book

Dear candidate,

Congratulations on your decision to run for office in 2024, and thank you for entrusting our highly experienced team at Ghostwriters in America’s Service with the privilege of assisting you in writing your campaign book. We understand how scary it can be to confront the blank page, particularly without a richness of policy expertise or politically appealing life experience to draw upon (and, frankly, you are already running a bit behind for this cycle). We are here for you.

Unless you have chosen to purchase the Santos Package, a GAS writer will be in touch shortly to gather some basic factual information in order to set to work drafting the chapters on your childhood and early adulthood, which we’ve found can otherwise trap aspiring national leaders in unproductive bouts of introspection, if not despair (lamenting roads not taken, contacting past loves on Facebook, attempting to tamper with public records etc).

But it’s important for you to take ownership of your autobiography at the outset, so that your authentic voice will be heard. For that reason we have created the attached template for your preface. We realise that, as Democrats and Republicans, you will face different challenges in your respective races. But you should be comforted to know that those challenges are no longer unique! Whether you are running for the House, Senate or presidency, the nationalisation and polarisation of politics have simplified so much of campaigning, including writing a campaign book. You don’t need to come up with your own ideas any more. In fact, they can just get you in trouble. (An eccentric personality camouflages this, so it helps more than it used to, but it’s not essential.)

One challenge that endures, however, is writing a book that will excite your base in your primary without preventing you from appealing more widely once you reach your general-election campaign. This cycle we think that challenge is trickiest for those Republicans hoping to keep a certain distance from former President Donald Trump (he is not a client).

For that reason, we are offering three options in the template: MAGA (designated with an M); MAGA-Adjacent (MA); and Democrat (D). Options without a partisan dimension carry no designation. We hope you’ll be pleased to see how few choices you have to make to differentiate yourself. The parties are more alike than they let on! Before scanning and returning the document, just circle the bracketed option that is right for you, and feel free to customise the preface with adverbs and adjectives of your choosing (please limit yourself to 20 if you can help it):

I hear it everywhere I go in [America/name of state/my neck of (name of state)]: parents are fearful for their children’s future, and the country’s. To them, the politicians and the pundits in Washington, DC, seem more interested in calling each other [sample adjective opportunity] names than working together to come up with the kinds of common-sense solutions that everyday Americans sort out every evening at their kitchen tables.

I understand where that pessimism comes from. But I am still the optimist I’ve always been. I believe America’s best days lie ahead. Yet we stand at a crossroads, in grave peril of going backwards. American values are under assault. Americans fear their devotion to opportunity and [M, MA: liberty; D: equity] is held in contempt by some of the most powerful forces in the country.

Donald Trump [M, MA: restored; D: tried to destroy] so much that is great about America. The country has come to see that so clearly during the Biden presidency. We must now find ways to work together, as Americans, [M: recommitting to; MA: respecting; D: rejecting] President Trump’s vision as we move forward to make the country truly great again. I know that what Abraham Lincoln so eloquently termed “the better angels of our nature” have not flown away from this great country yet.

But let’s face it: the forces of [M, MA: wokeness; D: white nationalism] have become a clear and present danger to our basic freedoms, including our right to speak without being punished or to raise our children as we see fit. I am sorry to say this, but I have always been known to speak plainly and I’m certainly not going to stop now: the truth is that many of our opponents barely bother to disguise their racism anymore.

Our fight for freedom must be local, national and global. China represents the greatest threat to our national interest since the cold war. Standing [sample adverb opportunity] against this menace means we must [M: not] continue to commit American resources to Ukraine’s fight. We are [M: not] in the same grand struggle to keep alight the same democratic torch, even when the hour seems particularly dark and rainy and the matches are getting wet.

I do it my way

At home, the impunity with which big tech companies have manipulated our politics, degraded our discourse and invaded our privacy has got to come to an end. Twitter [M, MA: was; D: is] exhibit A of the problem. So is TikTok. In general we should, of course, (MA: not necessarily) expect our major corporations to embrace and promote our views [M, D: and; MA: but] we should insist that they move their supply chains away from China.

Similarly, the time has come to confront the debt we are piling on our children. We need to get the budget back into balance by cutting spending on wasteful initiatives like [M, MA: DEI programmes; D: oil subsidies]. But regardless of what the other side says, touching Social Security or Medicare must be off the table. We stand on the shoulders of those who sit in wheelchairs.

I don’t pretend that any of this is easy. But I’ve never believed in shortcuts. The Founders [D: had their flaws, but] bequeathed to us [D: what may yet prove] the greatest narrative in history. I have no doubt that, with the right authors to pen it, America’s next chapter will be a very special one.