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enter the underdog
throwing my hat in the presidential ring
by jeffrey d. walker
7.19.04
humor

After a short introduction by a more-relative nobody, a stick-thin figure identified only as Walker approaches the podium to address the crowd of roughly 4 people assembled in the lobby of a Scottish Inn motel located somewhere in Wisconsin. Walker is nursing a cup of coffee and looking haggard after having spending the entire night previous attempting to locate a cheese factory and asking the locals to repeat themselves so he could secretly laugh at their accents.

My fellow Americans, people of the world, patrons of Intrepid:

As you may know from the announcement made on Intrepid Media on July 1st , I am campaigning for the presidency of the United States. Over the next few months I will offer real solutions to our nation's problems. But today I'm here to answer a few questions that I’m sure you all have.

Who do you think you are?

I am a musician and attorney currently working for the City of New York doing civil defense work. I am one of only 3 attorneys who stand as the last defense between the taxpayer and those seeking the moneys they contribute to the operation of the government. I work hard to assess the merit of each case I am involved in, try to negotiate fair settlements where appropriate, and fight to the death on the rest. I find what I do to be honest work. I try to do what is right for all the citizens I represent. This is the sort of President I think the country deserves.

Let me make one thing clear. I have no desire for the power that comes with the office. I have no special interest groups whose causes I hope to advance. I don’t own companies whose profits I’m trying to increase because of my prospective position. I just want a President who will try to make the best decisions for the people of this nation. This is the kind of President I would be.

You aren’t even old enough to be elected, are you?

I’ve never been the sort of person to let formalities stand in my way. Besides, I have undertaken this campaign for reasons bigger than winning. I am here to set an example of how a campaign should be run. I'm here to talk about the people who are most frustrated with today's politicians; you and me!

I will not waste my time belittling the Republicans or the Democrats. In belittling my adversaries, I would only be belittling myself. I would only belittle the American public by assuming they can't make decisions on their own. While I may address the statements or proposed policies of the current administration and its would-be, could-be vanquishers, I am not here to insult them or their ideas. I believe a bad policy speaks for itself.

Moreover, I’ve had bad ideas myself. As President, I would hope to work with both of the major parties as well as any independents to come up with smart solutions instead of merely fighting for what I think should be. Instead of presenting an idea as the best possible solution, I hope to engage other points of view in active debates to expose any flaws I might not have seen in my design. I believe that working with others that don't think the same way I do is the only way to truly develop ideas that may work.

I am of the opinion that mudslinging, although both popular and commonplace in today’s politics, does very little to serve the citizens of our nation. The career politicians currently running as the Democratic and Republican candidates spend more time running down their competition than they do addressing the issues. They spend more time saying empty words that make good sound bites and less time taking a bite out of the real problems that Americans deal with every day. Worse yet, they do everything within their power to ignore any alternative voices. There is no coincidence that 3rd party candidates were excluded from the Presidential Debates in the 2000 election and will be excluded this year as well; the organizations that sponsor the debates are controlled by the two major parties, and they are not interested in any other points being heard. They do not wish to upset the control they have over our nation’s government. They would rather characterize outside participants as “spoiling” the election, or a “waste” of a vote. The truth is, we don’t live as political parties. We live as people who must work together, live together, play together.

I know what kind of America I dream of: one whose people live happily amongst each other. The rich may be rich, but there’s no one left who felt poor. People of all races comfortably reside side by side with a respectful understanding of each other. People of all religions could believe in the God they want, practice what they preach and tread on no one else’s right to walk a different path. People of differing sexual orientations are allowed to pursue their version of the American dream; building a life with the ones they love just as the rest of us do. In sum, I believe that each and every American man and woman should be given every opportunity to reach out and grab hold of the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that was promised to us by those who declared this nation independent.

But don’t you, like, hate everything?

I mean, yeah. But it’s like a love/hate thing.

But seriously, I just rarely find absolute satisfaction in either side of an argument. There are things about Republican politics that I admire, and some I despise. Likewise with the Democrats. There are finer points of Socialism, even. The problem is, I don’t believe that any of these theories can solve all the problems America is facing right now.

There’s an old adage that goes, “don't put all your eggs in one basket.” But in essence, that what both the Democrats and Republicans would ask you to do. They each want you to vote for all the candidates in their own party on the premise that, only then will they be able to correct society's ills. But the truth is, America politics work best when thoughtful people try to see both sides of an argument. The truth is, there is very little that is clearly black or white in America these days, and I’m not just speaking about race relations. The fact of the matter is that there are policies that benefit us all, and there are policies that draw lines between our citizens. My goal is have no policy that divides. My hope is that we can learn to embrace our differences and grow together.

This is why I’m calling my platform, “United We Stand.” As President, I will welcome open debate between the parties regarding my proposals and seek their criticism. I will ask them to point out weaknesses and make suggestions in the hopes of finding the best alternative for everyone. When Congress proposes new legislation, I will not pass any legislation unless the proposing party can articulate the argument of their opponent. And with a little zeal, too.

In the coming months leading up to the election, I will take the time to identify the issues I believe are important. I hope to present the positions of both Bush and Kerry on the topics (to the best I am able to ascertain) and suggest my own alternatives. I will welcome brief criticism here in the discussion column, and promise extended answers and policy discussions on the boards here at Intrepid Media. Go ahead; ask me anything!

Next month, I will present (among other things) my proposed changes in our military that will save taxpayer dollars and better protect our country's secrets while at the same time protecting our nation from threats. I look forward to discussing this with you all. Remember, voting for a President is not a popularity, beauty, or congeniality contest, it’s deciding how we will all live. Please choose carefully.

flashbulb (singular) pops, and Walker steps away before the first question could have been asked (though no one seems to be attempting) simply because he is afraid to be seen snickering at the drawl. As he makes his way for the door, he gives a big smile to the only person still paying attention and is overheard asking where he might locate a badger.


ABOUT JEFFREY D. WALKER

A practicing attorney and semi-professional musician, Walker writes for his own amusement, for the sake of opinion, to garner a couple of laughs, and to perhaps provoke a question or two, but otherwise, he doesn't think it'll amount to much.

more about jeffrey d. walker

IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...

enter the underdog ii
digging the trenches
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: humor
published: 8.26.04


speaking with a knut
polar bears invite themselves into your home
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: humor
published: 4.16.07





COMMENTS

dan gonzalez
7.19.04 @ 11:24p

I'm with you, brother. Give me a cabinet post at least. How 'bout Diatribal Chieftain?

jeffrey walker
7.19.04 @ 11:52p

Just wait until I really start going into details on my plans next month.

[edited]

jeffrey walker
7.19.04 @ 11:53p

You may want to run for the hills...

[edited]

dan gonzalez
7.20.04 @ 12:00a

Why, are you gonna deport half-assed Mexicans?

jeffrey walker
7.20.04 @ 1:26a

Hmmmm...

mike julianelle
7.20.04 @ 9:53a

It's hilarious that you put "musician" before "attorney" when describing yourself.

jeffrey walker
7.20.04 @ 2:51p

I was a musician first. Should I interchange their positions simply because the latter pays more?

mike julianelle
7.20.04 @ 3:45p

Pays more, pays at all, whatever.

jeffrey walker
7.21.04 @ 6:18a

Well they both pay a little.

And musician is the only job I don't want to quit.

[edited]

tracey kelley
7.21.04 @ 12:10p

So can we start prepping the grassroots campaign for an onslaught in 2008? Anything to beat back Hillary!!!

jeffrey walker
7.21.04 @ 12:25p

Sounds great, Tracey. But you may want to heed my advice to Dan in the 2nd discussion post. Let me see what you think of my ideas first.

mike julianelle
7.21.04 @ 12:28p

We have to wait a month? Over it.

jeffrey walker
7.22.04 @ 3:21p

hell - a month is a lot shorter time-frame than most of the other candidates waited to say what they'd try to do if elected. I'd call this the fast track.

[edited]

mike julianelle
7.22.04 @ 3:23p

Not if the site keeps crashing.

jeffrey walker
7.22.04 @ 3:41p

fair enough.

mike julianelle
7.22.04 @ 3:43p

By the way, we own the discussions. You better put me on your ticket, I'm the popular choice.

sandra thompson
7.25.04 @ 4:58p

Jut a small point of information: you (as president) propose the legislation and Congress passes it, not the other way around. Although now that I think about it for half a second maybe you're on the right track. Is that part of your platform? You need to understand, however, that by simply taking a position on some issues you will be a divider because the citizens are already nearly evenly divided on their opinions about these things: choice, gay marriage, France, the damnYankees, stuff like that. My only question to you is this: if you're not old enough actually to be president yet, will you be old enough in 2008? If you've read any of my previous comments here you already know that I'm one of those rabid, commie pinko Democrats who will do everything possible to send shrub back to Texas to an ill-deserved retirement. Whatever happens this year, I'll be happy to listen to your platform and if it covers even half the bases in the directions I like, I may be seduced into doing some phone banking for your candidacy along with yard signs, a little door to door canvassing, fund-raising, letters to the editor, stuff like that. After all, Howard Dean, the man I really wanted to be president, started right here on the internet.

sandra thompson
7.25.04 @ 4:59p

Oh, yeah, and BTW, I really like it that you try to be polite.

jeffrey walker
7.26.04 @ 9:46a

Well, Sandra, while I haven’t discussed specifics on lobbying the rabid, commie pinko Democrats, I am hoping that my creative ideas coupled with an openness to other opinions will win the support of many. And if you hate all my ideas, at least I hope to still be polite.

And if I'm doing the math right, I think I'll still be a year short come 2008. What's the cut-off date?

Better wait to see if anyone likes what I have to say...



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