Jack sorted through the issues and began assembling a list. He searched the social media, newspapers, and polls for the hot topics. He wanted to research each one. If he didn’t know an issue how could he defend or debate it effectively? Jack wanted to be prepared. He built a case for and against each topic. When he felt he could argue both sides he made his decision based on facts.
On his list were the following items: Foreclosures, troop withdrawals, more jobs, Pro choice, environmental protection, religious freedom, school vouchers, border control, drug wars, Social Security, debt reduction.
There were other issues but this was his main list. He couldn’t let others tell him how he felt or what he believed. Jack had to be honest because that was the only way he wanted to be. He wanted to be known as the Presidential candidate who took a stand and stood by it. He also wanted to be the candidate who was well informed and wanted to help. Jack hoped it wouldn’t matter that he was crooked. It did matter to him that he was compassionate and honest.
Jack had several slogans that he used. “If you’re not doing your best you’ve failed the rest.” “If you’re not helping others, then who are you helping?” “I may be crooked, but I’m honest.” Every day he would quote at least one of them before he started off to work.
The schedule for the primaries was tough. At the Iowa caucus he was barely noticed except for a few remarks about a crooked lawyer trying to squeeze into the party. N.H., S.C., Fla. In the early going the primaries flew by.
There were a few debates but he was left out because he wasn’t in the top four. Slowly he gained ground as candidates dropped out of the race. Some of them were caught in scandals while others made ill advised comments about Pro Choice or foreclosures. One of them said, “I think banks need to be more aggressive and chase these deadbeats out of their homes. What if businesses were allowed to skip payments?” Another candidate said, “Pro choice? I think players should be able to go on strikes.”
Jack shook his head. How had these men gotten elected in the first place? Then he remembered the big man and the group behind the candidates. Had these candidates been selected to drop out or were they just careless?
Jack practiced his speech and refused to use the one written for him. He was determined to give his honest opinions.
His speech: Our country says all are equal, yet we are often intolerant. We say we love nature but we destroy our beautiful environment. I think we are the greatest country because we are a generous people and we stand up for freedom, but we cannot rest on our past performance. We will continue to prove what we are made of. We are proud to serve those who need a hand up. At the same time we expect and deserve respect.”
Super Tuesday rolled around and Jack surged in the polls when his straight talk stood out. The big prize was proclaimed in a large headline which read, “Crooked Lawyer Takes Texas by Storm”.
The big man paid him a visit. “It’s getting time for you to drop out. Our man wants this race to be decided before the convention. A crooked man will never be President. We appreciated your honesty but enough is enough. The American people are stupid and we have to guide them. I’ll give you a call when you do your dive.”
The big man was right about one thing. Voters had noticed Jack’s odd way of smiling and the strange way he walked. But more importantly they had listened to him as he talked. His physical appearance had only been a slight distraction. Each person had come away from a speech thinking, “Jack, the crooked man, was talking to me”. Each one felt a connection. Each one felt important.
The national party committee was disturbed when Jack refused to drop out of the race. They were very upset when the polls indicated a larger interest in politics than ever before. They were counting on apathy to get their candidate elected.
On June 5, Jack swept California’s primary. His campaign manager and staff had expected Jack to drop out long ago but now they were caught up in the enthusiasm of this election phenomenon. They began writing new slogans and soon slogans were posted everywhere. “A vote for the crooked man will straighten the country!” “Honesty is the crooked man’s way!” “Show the world some love!” “Love Our Country!” “Be proud to serve!” “I need you, our country needs you!”
Straw polls were taken and the results were unbelievable. Jack’s rapid ascension put him in a strong second place. The front runner was annoyed that Jack was still in the race. The national committee dropped all pretense of support for Jack and began a mudslinging campaign. “He’s a small town lawyer who was crooked.” “Would you trust a crooked man?” The attacks didn’t work. These and other remarks only made Jack work harder. His followers rallied behind him.
Jack’s comments on an early morning national television were splashed across the internet and repeated often. “We, the people,” Jack said, “have a mission to get this country back on track. In order to form a more perfect union we all need to help each other. Each person is unique and what you do is important. Because of you America is strong and will continue to be strong. I want you walking alongside of me as we face new challenges.”
At the convention big money was clearly evident and backing the national committee’s man. But Jack My love had stolen hearts and convinced the public that reasonable plans can work.
The delegates were abuzz with excitement. It was the old guard facing off against a new honest candidate. It was the straight laced versus the crooked. It was old money against grass roots. It was a proud moment in history.
On the first official vote of the convention the front runner had the lead but could not muster enough votes to win. On the second vote the voting was even closer. Defectors moved over to the crooked lawyer’s camp. On the third vote Jack took control of the convention.
It was time for the crooked lawyer to challenge the opposing party’s smooth talking incumbent. It was a chance for an honest crooked man to become President and live in the biggest crooked house.