Newsman: Thank you, and welcome to this, the third of three Presidential
debates leading up to tomorrow’s election. By now, I’m sure the
American people are quite familiar with both candidates, so I think we can
forgo lengthy introductions in favor of getting right to the debate. On my
left, three-term democratic senator from Massachusettes, Randal Marsh.
Marsh: Thank you.
Newsman: And on my right, young Jimmy Kovacs, fifteen year-old adventurer
running as the Repulican candidate.
Jimmy: Gee, thanks.
Newsman: Now, as with the previous debates, I will address a question to
one candidate, who will then have a limited time to answer. After that, the
other candidate will have a short rebuttal time, and then we reverse. As always,
we ask that you hold your applause until the end of the debate. Senator Marsh,
you won the coin toss, so the first question is addressed to you. Senator-
citizens today face many potential dangers, but poll after poll has shown
that in our space-faring age, the threat of alien invasion is still the biggest
fear among most Americans. What are your feelings on the issue, and how would
you propose to keep our country safe?
Marsh: First off, let me thank you for having me here, Frank, and let me
thank the American people for watching. In regards to you question, I think
the American people need to understand that, Siriusians aside, our galactic
neighbors mean us no ill will. I mean no disrespect to President Smitty, but
in some ways, I believe his presidency has done quite a bit to harm America’s
galactic relations. His blind refusal to recognize the Io Agreement has cast
a shadow over all Earth/Alien relations. Really, when it comes down to it,
this is a planetary issue. Earth is the only First System planet that is still
broken into autonomous countries. What we here in America need is a leader
who can show that he is representative of all of Earth. A strong leader, who
can truly unite all peoples under one banner. When I am elected, I will provide
our country, and indeed, our planet, with a strong leader who can bring mankind
to its ultimate destiny. America needs that strength, now more than ever.
No offense to Mr. Kovacs, he is a bright boy- but he is just a boy.
Newsman: Thank you, senator. Mr. Kovacs, your response.
Jimmy: Thank you, Frank, and let me thank you for having me as well. It’s
a pleasure to be here. I must say, in many ways, I agree with Senator Marsh.
Earth/Alien relations are a global issue, not just an American one. I think
we disagree, however, on how to go about it. Maybe I’m being naïve,
but it seems to me the best way to improve our global situation is by working
with other countries, not forcing our ways on them. We wouldn’t want
Venus forcing their laws on Earth. We don’t want Connecticut forcing
it’s laws on Luna. Why should America force its laws on Europa? Just
as the Federal Government can allow the states to keep autonomy, so too can
the world operate as one while respecting its constituents, and, well… I
don’t see any reason why we should change it.
Newsman: Thank you. Mr. Kovacs, the next question goes to you. As I’m
sure our viewing audience knows, your ticket is quite a controversial one.
Not only have you only been eligible to run since the passing of the 56th
amendment three months ago, an amendment which seems to have been created
primarily to facilitate your run, but you’ve also been running on the "Kovacs/America" ticket,
having named the entire adult body of American citizens as your running mate.
How do you answer critics who say this is unconstitutional, and how, exactly
would this work?
Jimmy: Oh, I, um, I’m glad you asked about that. First of all, for
everyone who says these things can’t be done… they can. America
is a country of people, and it exists only because those people want it to.
If we the people want to change the country, then, Gosh darn it, we can! The
constitution is there to reflect the will of the people, not shape it. That’s
why our founding fathers made sure that there was a system in place to change
the rules as we go. In regards to the practical matter of having all the people
of America act as vice-president, we’ve worked quite hard at developing
a system that can make it work. Molly Singh and Sara Keane have developed
a handheld technology that the government will distribute, one per household,
allowing each and every citizen to read up on governmental affairs and then
respond with their opinions. Then the 'Singh-Keane 5000' will compile, sort,
and average those opinions, presenting them as one view, the will of the people
as a whole. Similarly, in Senate votes, when a tie needs to be broken, the
people cast their vote, and it becomes the deciding factor. Oh, and I have
to correct you, Frank. It’s not just adult citizens, but everyone. Young
people are just as American as adults are.
Newsman: I apologize for my confusion. Mr. Senator, your response?
Marsh: I’ve already said, I think Jimmy is a bright boy. I’ve
met every member of the Flashpack, and I respect and admire every one of them.
I’m proud to say I know them. Jimmy and I get along quite well, outside
of these debates, but on matters of state… I must say he has a lot to
learn. Yes, the constitution does present itself as a changeable document,
but that doesn’t mean we should go changing things willy nilly. America
is a representative democracy. The vice-president represents the people of
the country, as my running mate, Theo Carter, will represent them. What Jimmy
here is proposing is… a logistical nightmare. Say Jimmy is elected,
and "the American people" become vice-president. What if, Gods forbid,
he dies? What then? The computerized will of the people is going to hold this
country’s highest office? Have we learned nothing since the Presitron
Jimmy: I’d like to respond to that.
Newsman: Fifteen seconds, Mr. Kovacs.
Jimmy: In regards to the possibility of me dying, I, er, I’m not. Not
any time soon. The Flashpack, we met a future version of me, 40 years old.
So, we know I don’t die in the next four or even eight years. Meeting
him was actually part of what inspired me to run for President, he just… er,
he wouldn’t tell me if I was going to win.
Newsman: Senator Marsh, given the recent economic troubles in the African
Union coupled with the rise of the yuan in the global market, what do you
think of President Smitty’s current Slade Gonzolo policy?
Marsh: I’m sorry? What was that last part?
Newsman: What do you think of President Smitty’s current economic aggression
Marsh: Ah, well, quite simply, I believe that a more lenient tactic is necessary.
America is the richest country on Earth, yet we… (fades outs)
Narr: Meanwhile, as the debate continued, the rest of the Flashpack was bustling
back at Flashpoint, keeping up with the debate on earphones while gathering
information on the public's response. Max was hitting 4th dimensional blog-axy,
Molly was tapped into the extronet, and Furtrace was monitoring for space
transmissions regarding the debate. All of them were feeding any scrap of
information they found into Keane’s info-glasses, where she could read
and process all of it, letting them know how their boy was doing on the fly.
Drallus, meanwhile, was sulking.
Drallus: This sucks...
Keane: Ouch! Jimmy- I told you, never use the word rutabaga! Nobody likes
it. He just went down three points.
Max: Er… was it me or did the moderator just mention Slade Gonzolo
Furtrace: I think you’re hearing things.
Drallus: Oh, come on, guys, you know Marsh is right.
Molly: Not this again…
Drallus: Ok, ok, I know Jimmy is our friend, but really. President? He’s
a weakling! How can he rule a country?
Max: Typically, we think of the President as leading the country, not ruling
it. It’s a subtle distinction, but an important one.
Furtrace: You’d make a good president, Drallus.
Keane: I see her more as the dictatorial type. Have to do away with all this
pesky democracy first.
Molly: Guys, come on. Jimmy has a real shot at this, we need to be supportive.
Drallus: No one ever gives me support…
Furtrace: I’ll give you "support", Drallus.
Narr: Back at the debate Jimmy was certainly holding his own.
Jimmy: …which is why, I think we have to protect the unicorn population.
If not for our sake, then for our children’s sake.
Newsman: Mr. Kovacs, you first came into the public eye as a member of the
adventuring science group, the Flashpack. The ‘pack has saved the world
a number of times, as well as becoming the most successful comic book in the
history of the medium. The question is this: how does that translate to politics?
And are you, in some ways, using your celebrity to artificially push your
way into the political world?
Jimmy: Well, gee, I don’t think so. I would never force myself on the
American public. If they don’t think I’d be a good president,
well, then I’m counting on them not to elect me. It’s entirely
up to them. I’ve told them where I stand, what I see as best for our
nation, and if it’s not what they want, I respect their views, and will
gladly stay out of the political field. But I think I do know what they want.
That’s why even without President Smitty’s support, I was able
to win my party’s nomination. I know Smitty would have liked to run
for a second term, but I think the party recognized that he really isn’t
the best man to bring our country forward. As a member of the Flashpack, I
learned to always do what’s right. I learned to follow my heart through
thick and thin, and know, with all the conviction of my soul, that doing right
is its own reward. As President, I will do no less. Again, you can call me
naïve if that’s what I am, but I think it’s been far too
long since we had a President who made sure our country was on the up and
up above all else. I think I can be that president… if you’ll
Newsman: Senator, your reply?
Marsh: Jimmy… I love you, my boy. Your heart is truly in the right
place. But yes, you are woefully naïve. Being the President, being involved
in any part of our nation’s government, is not like being an adventurer.
It’s not black and white. When ancient spirits of evil are threatening
to tear out the souls of our delegates in space, sure, it’s clear what’s
right. When the Empress of Alter Earth tries to recruit you to help enslave
mankind, yes, the right choice is obvious. When Stragon the Annihilator threatens
to evaporate the planet, well, I think we all know he needs to be stopped.
Being the President, however, is about tough choices, the type of choices
it takes wisdom and a lot of life experience to understand. Being a famous
hero isn’t enough to make you qualified.
Newsman: Unfortunately, we’re drawing to the end of the debate. It
looks like we have time for just one more question, which will begin with
you, Senator Marsh. In recent years, the political party line had appeared
to be drawn even harder and more contrasting than ever before. When President
Smitty ran against Von Wicked four years ago, there was a pronounced animosity
between Democrats and Republicans, which held through much of Smitty’s
term. In this race, you and Mr. Kovacs seem to have turned your back on such
hard divisions, and appear to have gone out of the way to be exceedingly civil
to one another. I have to ask the question that is on everyone’s mind:
do you both love Slade Gonzolo?
Marsh: Slade… Gonzolo?
Newsman: Slade Gonzolo. Pop sensation? Does the song "Jam It Up"?
(sings) "Gotta jam it up, jam, jam, jam it up, gotta jam it up, jam,
jam, jam it up".
Marsh: … Well… I… can’t say I’ve heard it.
But in regards to the issue of political divisiveness, there is really no
need for it anymore. Jimmy is a good young lad, and I have nothing against
him personally. I simply have my own beliefs, very strong beliefs regarding
what needs to happen in America. Once elected, I will lead America into a
new era unlike anything their minds can even fathom. Democrat, Republican,
this new future will treat all Earthlings with the same hand, blind to such
petty judgements as politics. In the eyes of the Gods we are all worth the
same- hero, president, citizen. No matter. We are all merely mortal, and small
when compared to the almighty.
Newsman: Mr. Kovacs? Any thoughts on Slade?
Jimmy: Slade, oh… he’s… fine. "Jam it up." Sure.
But in regards to the larger issue, I am proud to say that I agree with the
Senator. Political parties shouldn’t be reasons to hate. We both want
the same thing. I am running for president because I think I can make this
country a better place. I believe I can help improve the situation of all
Americans. And I know that Senator Marsh wants the same thing, to make life
better for each and every one of us. If we both have the same goals, why work
against each other?
Newsman: Thank you very much, Mr. Kovacs, and thank you both for being here
tonight. Don’t forget that tomorrow is election day, so go out and cast
your vote, whether it be for Marsh/Carter, Kovacs/America, or for any independent
candidate. Thank you all for watching. Until next election, this is Frank
Allen saying "Jam It Up, Jam, Jam, Jam It Up!"
Narr: As the applause swept over the audience, Jimmy and Senator Marsh met
center stage and shook hands.
Marsh: Good luck, young man.
Jimmy: Thank you, sir. To you, too.
Narr: Soon, Jimmy was ushered into a limousine by Slotter, both on their
way back to campaign headquarters. Back at Flashpoint, they soon received
a call asking for an update.
Slotter: So how are we doing?
Keane: I’m still processing. The Blog-axy has lit on fire like an effigy
of Hollorax on Mercury. It’s not likely to calm down until after the
polls close. So far, things are looking pretty close. A lot of people are
excited by Jimmy, but some are just too scared to really change things.
Slotter: We’re going to make it, Jimbo. You were great out there tonight.
Drallus: But that Gonzolo thing was seriously odd. Why did-
Slotter: And I told you he was going to bring up Presitron again. He always
does without fail.
Jimmy: Republicans make one mistake…
Slotter: At any rate, we have to get going, gang. We’ve got a lot to
do before tomorrow. Jimmy needs his beauty rest, and so do I. Though I need
it less. Anyway… Ta-ta!
Max: Jill, wait! (sigh) Zipped off again.
Furtrace: What’s "Ta-ta"?
Molly: Look it up, Fuzzball.
Furtrace: That’s Fuzzbotham, thank you. And maybe I will.
Max: So, what do you make of this Gonzolo thing, Drallus?
Drallus: I have no idea, but it could be-
Stellof: Hello, Flashpeoples! I am returned, and I brought Vodka for all!
A celebration, da?
Narr: Dr. Nektori Stellof came bustling through their doors, suitcase and
banana crates in tow, finally returned from his visit to his hometown in Russia.
The ‘pack was cautious at first, but a little authentic Russian vodka
with Mercurian Lime later, and the lot of them seemed to be holding Jimmy’s
victory party a day early. Even the most reserved among them (Molly) eventually
cut loose. Unfortunately, it did lead to them sleeping off half of election
day itself. Keane was the first to awake, her metabolism able to burn off
alcohol faster than the average human. Drallus awoke a few minutes later.
Drallus: (a little hung over) What time is it?
Keane: (same) Almost one… I just got up.
Drallus: How is he doing?
Keane: I haven’t check yet. Let me grab the info-glasses.
Drallus: (bitter) I’m sure he’s winning. Probably going to be
president. He always gets everything he wants, especially when Max-
Keane: This is weird…
Keane: The blog-axy isn’t talking about the election… they’re
all talking about Slade Gonzolo.
Keane: So is the extronet...
Drallus: Did he… do something amazing?
Keane: No, everyone just seems to… love him. For no reason!
Drallus: How? What could this be?
Keane: There’s only one explanation. Let me check the scanalyzer… yes,
look! The entire planet is being bombarded with massive amounts of radio waves!
Go wake up Max- I think Gonzolo is using subliminal signals on everyone!
Narr: What exactly is Slade Gonzolo broadcasting to the people of Earth?
What is he trying to do? Is someone trying to rig the election? Will Marsh
persuade America to play it safe and give him the Presidency? Can Jimmy manage
to sway enough voters to put himself in office and make a change? Tune in
next episode for "Something Underhanded".