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enter the underdog iii
the cracks begin to show
by jeffrey d. walker
9.22.04
humor

This is the third in the four-part Walker for President campaign. The following transcript is taken from a road appearance occurring mid-September, 2004 somewhere in the State of Oklahoma where even Ralph Nader can’t get on the ballot. A bigger underdog than Sharpton from the outset, an unshaven, unkempt Walker makes an unscheduled appearance at a Convalescence home after spending most of the previous evening with his “secret service” in a Casino in Idabel (Or was that the name of the waitress he was hitting on?). With no major news source offering Walker as a choice when polling likely voters, the futility is beginning to take a toll….

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I had a speech, but… well, I left it at the hotel. Besides, it was on job creation in America, and most of you look retired – So I thought I’d just answer some questions from you.

Okay, anyone? You [indicating]

[unidentified man] “I’d like it if we could watch Entertainment Tonight instead of Wheel of Fortune at 7:30.”

Yes. [pause] Is this a problem?

[unidentified man] “Ruth likes Pat Sajak.

[Laughter] Yes. Well, that’s understandable. I suggest you either chip in for a second television, or perhaps you and Ruth could take turns. Compromise usually works best for everyone, and it’ll give you both something to look forward to.

Someone else? Something I could help with? Yes? [Indicating]

Kids today are so violent. I see all these shootings in schools; they had one here not too long ago. Tell me, what would you do about safety in schools?

Um, school shootings. Safety, I mean – sorry.

You know, it’s often difficult to pick out which kid is going to snap and start killing one day. So it’s hard to round-up the “bad” kids. Moreover, it’s often difficult legally to remove a child from a school situation unless they have already done something violent because every child is entitled to a public education. And often after they have committed some violent act, it’s too late.

Metal detectors are one thing, but they are not an end-all solution. Kids determined to cause trouble can easily wait outside in the schoolyard, use something sharp and plastic, or just use force in numbers. Trying to keep the violence out of schools without addressing why our nation’s youth feel like taking violent actions is like trying to put a band-aid on a sliced artery.

This solution is difficult; what you’re really asking is, “What’s wrong with kids today?” The answer to this is complex, yet central to the reasons why children would resort to violence in school. Our best solution is to try to identify students who feel left out, who don’t get along with the other children, whose conflict resolution tends to favor violence over diplomacy. We must find these children and do whatever we can to feel connected with their peers. We must instill in our youth the fact that solutions to interpersonal problems come with communication, and not through assassinations of people you don’t get along with.

Our public education system is the building block for our future. In addition to teaching the basics, we must learn to teach children to work and play together constructively. This will not be an easy task, but it is an important one.

Next question? You [indicating], Yes?

[unidentified female] Last year, my son died of a drug overdose. He had been clean off and on, but his last spiral down was the worst… (Unintelligible) hard on all of us. If you were elected President, what would you do about drugs?

First of all, I’m sorry for your loss. Addiction can have a devastating affect on families, not only by the person caught in the web, but on those around who must endure the struggle. It’s almost a powerless feeling.

What would I do about drugs? Let me begin by stating that the War on Drugs as our government currently fights it cannot be won. The focus by our federal government on fighting drugs has been the same for the last 30 years: stop the growers and sellers. It seems to make sense, but there are reasons it isn’t practical. First off, growing drugs is done by in large outside of our borders. How are we supposed to stop cocaine farms in South America? Hash in the Middle East? Every cannabis farm in Canada? The supply situation is out of our hands.

To make matters worse, we can’t realistically control the sellers and distributors within our borders. We bust one dealer, there’s three more waiting to take his place. Why are people selling drugs? Because there’s money in it. Because we live in a capitalist society and drugs sell for a good price.

The current war on drugs is being waged across multiple continents. Trying to control the supply is futile. Despite this, the United States has increased spending on the War on Drugs year after year. Last year, the United States Federal Government spent over $19-billion on the War on Drugs. That’s $600 a second. And what have we won? We’re using money to try to stop people from making money. It’s a game we’ll never win.

Throughout every city in our country, we have citizens who actively support the opposing side. These are the users of drugs. These are our citizens not actively profiting off of illegal sales, these are people trapped in the cycle of addiction. These are the users; [indicating to the questioner] people like your son, ma’am. These are the people we care about – these are the people our government should strive to help.

How do we really do something about drug use in our country? We’re spending $19-billion on the people who make money off of drugs. Under my administration, we will focus on those who matter to us – those suffering from addiction. Instead of supply, we will focus on curbing the demand.

My plan is two-fold. First: The U.S. government will begin legally distributing drugs to those who suffer from addiction. Second: In order to get them, you must be under the care of a doctor.

Those who suffer from drug addiction need only go to their doctor or a local clinic. They will then be put in contact with a local treatment center where we treat the cycle of addiction. Through a combination of counseling and gradual reduction of use, or at the least a controlled use that can be monitored by physicians trained in addiction, we will stop drugs where we can have an impact. On the users.

Those who sell drugs illegally, outside of the government program, will be subject to current laws. Users will be entered into the program with a doctor's supervision, or face the law in its current state as well. With the government run drug distribution in place, the illegal trade will find fewer and fewer customers to sell to. The Government proceeds will be reinvested into the treatment programs. This affords a drug-addicted person to openly address their usage with trained professionals who are selling safe, controlled substances regulated by the U.S.D.A. This is a much better alternative to letting users support criminals and attempt to self-medicate themselves with unregulated street drugs. This is a really make a difference.

[from the rear of the room, someone yells out] “But drugs support terrorism!”

[Pausing with a glare in the direction of the voice, Walker turns, picks up the chair he had been sitting in before approaching the podium, and throws it over the heads of the elderly audience, the majority of whom take little notice]


Are you listening? The U.S. government will be the distributors of the drugs! Which also means, we will be the ones acquiring them from the growers. Don’t you think we’ll take the time to investigate who we are buying these things from?

Seriously, I’m not even sure I buy that terrorists make money off of drugs -- fundamentalist Muslims who are anti-substance-usage having dealings with drug traffickers?

Hey - but even if drug money does fund terrorist organizations, then my plan will actually help the war on terrorism! I… Hey...

[a nurse’s aide nearby has grown a little frightened, especially given the veins popping out of Walker’s neck at this point. She brings the meeting to an abrupt close with the aid of the home’s security service. Walker’s “Secret Service” is too busy laughing. After all, they were the ones who yelled from the back of the room in the first place.]


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...

on new york city...
thoughts from a boy from the south on a city that certainly isn't
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: humor
published: 8.13.01


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





COMMENTS

dan gonzalez
9.23.04 @ 11:13p

You're letting me down, man.

You've got great ideas, but you're prepared to let a single hangover derail you from actualizing them. Do you realize that our alternative is to choose between one of two giant panty-wastes for this election?

We were counting on you to deliver, but up til now, you're all show and no go.

There's still time, puss! Just SNAP OUT OF IT, drop that dildo, and get something done, dammit!



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