Q&A Session with the Candidates

Q: Why are these days so hard?

Candidate 1:

Often I am asked, "What kind of weather should we expect this week?" Or, "Those clouds look menacing... will it rain?" In my heart, I feel deep sorrow that I do not know. America is a large nation, full of complicated climates and micro-climates. Tobacco farmers are starving for rain while the Florida coasters lose their homes to flood. I wish I could look every last man, woman, and child worried about what may fall on them from the sky and say: No, not you. Not today. But then I would be no more than a preacher who promise an equal exchange of today's hardship for tomorrow's paradise. Instead, I am running for the position of President. I will try my best to tell the truth.

Q: Tell us about the economy.

Candidate 2:

You are the people of the greatest nation on Earth. And while I greatly respect the viewpoint and words my opponent uses as she speaks of climate change and the perils of prognosticating, I also want to assure the American people that no fluctuation, no seemingly random ebb and flow of foreign design will affect how we spend our money here at home. We will spend it as we please.

Will we let decisions made overseas by men we have never met stop us from pursuing Jefferson's sacred happiness? Yes, the days are hard. The American soul struggles. But the American soul is very much alive, though sometimes it takes careful searching to find it. There may come a time when you wake up with a feeling in your head a little like static, and you will wonder: how long must I suffer this way? If that is you, if you are somewhere out there in the crowd today, I say this: you are not alone. Get out of your house, get into the streets and allow yourself to be surrounded by your compatriots. You will find them everywhere, in the malls and in the clothing stores, buying sodas and newspapers from the corner stores and fruit from the market. I believe that you will find what you are looking for there. If I am elected President, I will make it my personal mission to preserve that opportunity at any cost, for the souls of all Americans.

Q: What about love?

Candidate 1:

It is difficult. My opponent speaks of souls and the marketplace, of community and happiness. But surely he must know that to love in America means to be owned, and that true love occurs between two adults committed to respecting, protecting, and understanding the other soul in their possession.

So often the American people wake up with a head full -- as my opponent stated so well -- static, and their hearts are scared. Someone sometime has told them a lie and they are beginning to wonder: Am I really alone? Believe me, my fellow Americans, I speak as a candidate who represents experience, who has clawed her way through terrible dreams only to wake up alone in the dark. If only I could promise: no more! But tonight the sun will go down, and another stricken soul will go out into the bright lights and give itself to the first person who looks in its direction. The rest we know: my opponent, so fond of statistic, has told us of broken families, of adultery, of how many turn to drugs and alcohol and are lost forever.

He never asks what they medicate themselves for. He never looks at the wound. He may not know how.

If elected President of the United States, I will look at the wound.

Q: How could we ever trust you?

Candidate 2:

You don't have to choose. The choice comes from inside you. When you feel that feeling -- you know the feeling, I don't have to describe for any of my fellow citizens the sensation of hope -- then you will know that it is a new day in America. The nightmares my opponent mentions (and one can't help but wonder what kind of leader suffers from terrible dreams!) are over. More than an era of good feelings, it is an Era of The Good Feeling, Jefferson's feeling: happiness. And when you start to feel hope that yes, I deserve this, my family deserves this, my neighbors and friends and strangers deserve this, then you will know who to trust.

Candidate 1:

There is much work for us to do. Somewhere in America the soul is sleeping and we must wake it up. When the TV is too loud and the words lose their meaning, we must wake it up. When the streets become bedrooms for runaways and veterans, we must wake it up. When the skyscrapers our grandparents built resemble jagged teeth; when the last headphone has shut up and the credits slide off the screen; and the party ends and it is time to go home; when we are at last alone in the silence between our thoughts and we look up to a sky covered in thick, speechless clouds, we must wake it up.

It is indeed a new day in America. If elected President, we will go out and wake it up together.

Better bring a raincoat.

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