Between the Lines: My ‘Kelly 2020’ Signs Should Be Green, Right?
Ok, Ok, can everybody settle down now, please?
Can you hear me in the back?
What? I said, CAN YOU HEAR ME IN THE BACK? I SAID…
Oh, very funny. Grow up, will ya?
First, I like to thank Davy of Davy’s Roadhouse for the use of this space and for all of you for showing up for this announcement.
That my wife finally realizes what a terrible mistake she made? Not funny, Gerry. Hey, why don’t we ask your wife? Forget I said that, ok? Seriously, now, I’m here to announce my candidacy in the 2020 elections for the presidency.
What’s so damn funny? Yes, I mean of the United States. Yeah, I’m sure it’s not the He-Man Women Hater’s Club or the Loyal Order of Raccoons, Tommy.
And why not? I mean, I meet the constitutional requirements. I’m a “natural born citizen” who’s resided here for more than 14 years and am older than 35.
Why? Simple, really. The current president seems to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic, and twisted his top campaign promise into “Make America Hate Again.”
Right now, I don’t think he could get a bill through Congress declaring the Potomac River wet.
Yes? Good question, No, I’m not going to challenge him for the GOP line, nor will I seek the Democratic Party’s nod. Why? Because the Dems are just as friggin’ – sorry – clueless. Other than endlessly bashing Trump – not that he doesn’t deserve it – have they come up with anything of value on jobs, the economy or international relations, especially dealing with the North Korean Nutcase and Tsar Putin?
Nada. Zip. A big fat nothing.
So I’m running as a third-party candidate. Party name? Good question, but I haven’t come up with anything yet. Why announce more than three years out from the election? Well, I’m not exactly a household name. Not yet, anyway.
What now, Tommy? Yes, Ty-D-Bowl is a household name. For cryin’ out loud! Why would you think I’d name my party after a toilet cleaner?
Say again? Because I’m so full of …
You know what, why don’t you and Gerry go into the bar and watch some football? Seriously, get lost.
Where were we? Right. I admit I’ve never held elected office. And I don’t know how to craft a trillion-dollar-plus budget. I don’t have immediate answers for how to heal the nation’s rubbed-raw racial divide, nor can I say that I have a surefire plan to address the ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots.
No, Gerry, I am NOT buying a round for all who “have not” gotten a free beer. Didn’t I tell you to take a hike?
By the way, your wife describes you as a “have-not.” Waddaya think she means by that?
I’m sorry, everyone. I apologize for taking the bait and sinking to that level. But ever since 7th grade, Gerry and Tommy have gone out of their way to …
I did indeed announce a run for presidency once before. Why doesn’t anyone remember? There are about a billion reasons. To be precise, I fell roughly $999,999,850 short of my fundraising goal. Would have had slightly more if Gerry and Tommy hadn’t ordered potato skins, mozzarella sticks and Buffalo wings — on my tab! — during my previous press gathering.
My stance on climate change? With Republican’s putting their heads in the perhaps-soon-to-be-submerged sand and the Democrats offering nothing more than Al Gore’s movies, we are, I think, failing to consider the biggest problem, namely, us.
According to the United Nations, the world is currently home to 7.6 billion people. That will rise, said the U.N., by a billion by 2030. That may seem like far into the future, but it’s less than 12 ½ years away. The population will swell another 1.2 billion by 2050 and by the year 2100 the U.N. expects there’ll be 11.2 billion of us.
Those additional billions will need food, water, housing, transportation, employment.
Driving a hybrid isn’t going to cut it.
What to do? Again, I don’t know. But I’ll try to find out from experts with no personal agendas – if such people actually exist. Today we have ideologues and academics at each other’s throats and nothing, absolutely nothing, is getting done. I’d like to hear from someone with real world experience, someone who comes home each night tired and with dirty hands.
The suits just ain’t gettin’ it done.
No, Gerry, not Larry the Cable Guy. You know he’s not really a cable guy, right?
And weren’t you supposed to be in the bar? Oh, halftime. Of course.
Yes? You in the back. Health insurance? Well, currently it’s pretty much a cluster … um, bomb, isn’t it?
Oh, sure, America offers the world’s best health care, but no one should have to sell their own blood to afford it. No, I don’t mean that literally.
Obamacare, or whatever you call, it is flawed in that it does nothing to reign in health insurance companies who dictate what care will be covered, or not, and at what price. But the Trump bill is a big, heaping pile of … wasted paper. Praise be that it failed.
As president, I’d turn to people who know what the hell they’re talking about and have no impediments to finding the unvarnished truth. Bottom line? What can/should the federal government do to ensure access to decent healthcare for all Americans without adding to the already sky-high spending deficit?
If we call those who we send to Washington “leaders,” why do so few engage in actual leadership?
Let me make a movie reference here. Remember Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln?” You know, the one with Daniel Day-Lewis, who won an Oscar for the title role? It centers on Lincoln’s efforts to win passage of the anti-slavery constitutional amendment in the House of Representatives, a body the guy who plays Sec. of State William Henry Seward tells him is filled with “hicks and hacks.”
When the bill’s manager asks Lincoln how to overcome a seemingly insurmountable shortage of “yes” votes, the usually even-tempered president gets really PO’d and says, “I am the President of the United States of America, clothed in IMMENSE power! You will procure me these votes!”
Of course the measure passes and slavery is eventually abolished. That’s not the point. If you’re the most powerful man in the free world, that power exists in theory only if it isn’t used. And is it too much to ask for it to be used for the public good?
No, it’s not.
Insulting respected members of Congress and threatening to shut down the federal government unless it approves a new wall along the Mexican border would make Lincoln weep.
One promise I can make, and even though it might be political suicide, I’ll never open a presidential Twitter account.
Ok, I guess that’s it, for now. Thanks much for coming. Please make sure I have your email addresses before you go and keep an eye open for updates. Any if any of you have a couple hundred million dollars lying around that you aren’t using…
Oh, for the love of … Yes, Tommy, what is it now?
There are all kinds of free appetizers at the bar? Really?
Wait, when you say “free,” who put up the…
You low-down sons of bachelors!
Tim Kelly is a former congressional press secretary and award-winning reporter, editor, columnist and photographer. He has lived on the North Fork for 30 years. For his mid-life crisis, he became a bagpiper.