This is the second of four parts in the Walker for President campaign. The following transcript is taken from the road as the virtually unknown (and not scheduled to appear on any ballot) Walker speaks to a preschool classroom in Saginaw, Michigan to a group of 13 children and two teacher’s aides…
Thank you. Applause. I want to thank you for being here today. To quote a passage from Mayor Wilmer Jones-Ham’s State of the City Address earlier this year, “Saginaw is cool --- cool --- cool.” I’m looking forward to touring the riverfront later this afternoon.
I’m here today to discuss some of my ideas for this country. Bear in mind that these are not absolutes; every idea I have is open for debate. I only ask that if you question any of my policies, that in doing so you take the time to consider one question: What plan would do the most good for the most Americans?
[to one of the aides] excuse me, Ms. Patterson? Yeah, this little girl in the front row… is it Suzy, dear? Yeah, she just put something in her mouth. I think it was a rock but it may have been one of those roly-poly things. Spit that out, sweetie.
To begin with, I will discuss the issue of terrorism. This issue and subsequent military movements that have followed the events of September 11th, 2001 are of foremost concerns for a majority of Americans. What do I propose we do from where we are today?
First of all, I propose a withdrawal from Iraq of uniformed military personnel. We will call upon the United Nations to protect the new government from those forces who would impose their will on the people.
I will make it known here that I am no great fan of the United Nations. I am of the opinion that this organization has been slow to act in times of peril. When tensions are high, U.N. intervention typically is as swift as a rabbit whose feet are keychains. And about as threatening, too. But I’m willing to give them a chance. Why? Saddam, the individual who threatened his people and our land, has been captured. We didn’t find a stockpile of weapons to be used against us, so our mainland is in no danger. Although there are remaining pockets of rebels, they do not have the capacity to threaten the mainland United States. There’s no rocket propelled grenade in the world that can reach us from there; they can only hit our soldiers in their conspicuous uniforms driving around in their conspicuous vehicles. Our soldiers will be safer back home with their families and out of harm’s way.
In the place of our clearly marked soldiers, we will have Special Forces agents who will remain. We will also recruit agents from within the community. Current President Bush was right about one thing: the war on terror is a different sort of war. Just as cells of terrorists have infiltrated our borders and lie in wait, so shall we infiltrate borders, in Iraq and anywhere else where terror may grow. In the same way “sleeper cells” have infiltrated our nation, we shall have “sleeper cells” in North Korea, in Saudi Arabia, and in any corner where those who wish to harm Americans resides. And we will be waiting. We will have people waiting to quash the next problem without all the expense and nonsense that goes along with a full-scale invasion. Any leader who says we can protect ourselves from every threat is unrealistic. Our best chance to prevent another 9/11 will be to know what they are planning in advance. By hook or by crook, we will take every opportunity to protect ourselves to stay one step ahead.
On the home front, we will keep track of weapons manufactured in this country. Weapons manufacturers will no longer be allowed to arm foreign guerrillas without the American people knowing about it. Starting immediately, any weapon manufacturer within the United States that sells to a foreign source will be required to make a public disclosure of the sale. Americans will hold these entities accountable for their actions. When a third-world faction country is committing genocide, when a terrorist organization is arming itself to threaten independence, we all should know if the tools of their attack come at the profit of American Corporations. Such disclosures will make weapons manufacturers think about where their products are being used, and protect the American military that is often called upon to quell uprisings on foreign soils.
Moreover, military grade weaponry will no longer be sold to foreign sources. Our nation’s military secrets shall be shared no longer. There is no profit worth losing an advantage to a potential enemy. We will not compromise our military advantage.
A second major concern of mine is health care. Universal health care will be a priority under my administration. Different models will be studied to find the best alternative, be it a strictly government run program or a privately run organization with federal oversight. But the point is this: no American should be met at the doctor’s office or the Emergency Room with a stack of forms; they should be met by a trained professional who is interested in making them well. No American should have to forgo seeing a doctor because they do not have a job that provides health coverage. No American between jobs should suffer a loss of health coverage. It is of utmost importance that all Americans have peace of mind when it comes to illness and accidents. People should be able to concentrate on their health, not on how they’re going to pay for becoming healthy.
Great care should be taken to absorb most if not all current for-profit health care employees into the new structure, because protecting our citizens should not come at the loss of employment of others. And great care will also be taken in keeping tax costs associated with this program at the same rate currently paid by those Americans lucky enough to have coverage today, or at a lower rate. The new system should not come at the expense of those who currently have insurance.
In a country such as ours, no one should have to fear illness. There is no reason why universal health care cannot be a reality. Anything else cannot be described as “compassionate,” no matter how nicely it fits into a catchphrase. A healthy America is a thriving America.
I feel that these are the best decisions for our country. But I see that many of the children are too young to feign interest. And some have started to cry... It’s okay, Suzy. I ate a gnat once because I thought it would be funny.
Who’s up for a game of Red Light, Green Light?
Young children screaming. The remainder of the speech is abandoned.
Stay tuned next month for Walker’s discussion on jobs in America.
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.
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8.26.04 @ 8:30a
I've been to Saginaw.
It is not cool-cool-cool.
Damn, Walker, the more I read, the more I wonder if you are spot on and thus, wasting your talents as a lawyer, or if you are pulling on a wish list trap door under all of us.
8.26.04 @ 9:26a
I have to say I'd vote for you rather than Tweedles Dee and Dumb.
The UN does suck. While it would be great if they went into Iraq, there would have to be a way for them to make money out of it since that is their only apparent motive.
Providing universal healthcare with no increase in cost to taxpayers is good as well, but you forgot about the fact that there should be no decrease in choice or quality as well, and that is the tough bit.
8.26.04 @ 10:46a
A decrease for insured, perhaps; an increase for non-insured or under-insured, absolutely. It's a matter of perspective. My goal is to improve the overall condition for our citizens. We will all be better off when we are all provided for.
8.26.04 @ 8:27p
This is what I'm talking about. 45 million Americans with no health insurance. I'm sorry, but it's just not right.
It's only 15.6% of our population, but it's 1.3 million more than the year before. And it will only get worse. And, if it's only 15.6%, then it should not be too hard to cover these people and not experience a significant decrease in the quality for the currently insured. The only question is why aren't we helping these people?.
8.27.04 @ 8:22a
Because America sucks at making dramatic changes in the status quo, and creating a universal healthcare system is a huge change. You're right, though. It is absolutely necessary.
8.27.04 @ 9:10a
Because America doesn't consider health care and proper health coverage a benefit of living in our country, or a right. It continues to perpetuate the have vs. have nots status: "why, if you had a better job, you'd have health insurance." So the reflection is on you for not being a better opportunist. Never mind that drugs, care and other services are soley profit-based, thus, no one will ever have a balanced and fair health system in this country.
When my hypothyroidism was being diagnosed, I went to four different doctors to get a good understanding of not only the condition itself, but also to find a doctor that would work with me, not just shove a pill down my throat and move on to the next patient. All physical examinations by the first three doctors indicated that I did not have an enlarged gland, and most agreed we just needed to regulate the levels.
The fourth doctor, however, decided that I needed an ultrasound of the gland to "prove there's nothing wrong." So before he would do anything else, or listen to what I had summerized the other doctors to say, he sent me for a $350 ultrasound.
At his lab.
Which insurance didn't cover, and thus, he didn't have to discount the procedure.
Naturally, he blew the "audition". This type of "health" attitude is exactly why the entire system is failing. There's also the mandatory price gouging of certain medications - the "base profit meds", I think they're called - like birth control and high blood pressure medications that demonstrate the absolute greed of the unregulated pharmacuetical companies. Now that their form of doctor payola had to cease, they are making up the profits elsewhere.
8.27.04 @ 10:01a
Because people privilege choice above all else. There's serious fear that a national health care system will mean long lines and poor care. In addition to the things everyone else mentioned, like a fear of changing the status quo, as well as the fact that the people who do have health insurance tend not to be concerned about the ones who don't. Every man for himself stuff, classic.
8.27.04 @ 10:11a
Trouble is, even those of us who have insurance are at the mercy of a medical system that is also mainly about "every man for himself". Both science and humanity take a back seat to profit.
8.27.04 @ 10:17a
I can understand the fear of "lines" for medical service; but as the story I cited indicates above, we're only talking about 15.6% of the population. It's only a few more people than you're currently waiting behind. What's the diff?
8.27.04 @ 10:28a
One would think a capitalistic society like ours would welcome the increased need for doctors, nurses and such. We're only facing a nursing crunch now because the disparity increases work hours - something that will soon end because of the axing of overtime. To avoid malpractice, hospitals will be forced to increase staff, offer better incentives for staff and the cycle begins anew.
So long lines? What is this, the grocery store? Because of the way the system is structured now, you're waiting 3-4 months sometimes for a doctor appt. mainly because of the his or her European vacation schedule, so what's the difference?
Restructure the health system to reward those who seek preventative care measures (instead of lumping them by zip code with those who don't) and we'll see all costs go down across the board.
8.27.04 @ 10:56a
Restructure the health system to reward those who seek preventative care measures
This is key. I went to the eye doctor the other day and was astonished to find out that my plan only covered visits if they found something wrong with my eyes (beyond my terrible vision). Luckily, I suppose, I had the not-quite-beginnings of a potential problem, that they were kind enough to put on the bill so I would get reimbursed. It's a fucked up system.
8.27.04 @ 10:59a
Preventative health care is very important, and a foremost concern of mine.
BTW, if you haven't seen the AMAZING things they are doing with stem cell research in China, you should. People with horrible degenerative diseases who have had their conditions improve. Drastically! The ban on stem cell research would be quickly removed in a Walker administration.
8.27.04 @ 11:09a
Really briefly, what IS the scoop on the ban on stem cell research? I know very little about it, but I get the distinct impression that it's mixed up with somebody's ideas on religion.
8.27.04 @ 11:21a
In a nutshell, "stem cells" are fetal material. Hence, the ban is tied up with the "no abortion" stance because it takes a fetus to get the material.
That's how I understand it. Anyone else care to elaborate?
8.27.04 @ 11:24a
So am I wrong in thinking that stem cells can be harvested from the umbilical cord during or after a live birth?
8.27.04 @ 11:34a
You're not at all wrong, Juli. We donated the "cord blood" when Brendan was born so the stem cells could be harvested from it.
8.27.04 @ 11:39a
So the problem is...?
8.27.04 @ 9:50p
Here is an article on the stem cell issue from spinsanity.
They seem to be pretty objective, they're pretty tough on both Kerry and Bush.