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Transcript of the 527th Galactic Presidential Debate

Official debate photo courtesy of Pi42 News Channel
Official debate photo courtesy of Pi42 News Channel

The following transcript for the 527th Galactic Presidential Debate is furnished courtesy of Pi42 News Channel, the host of the recent debate. Visit Pi42 News Channel on the Galactic Wide Web at

Former Secretary of Global Relations Helena Caldon, Sen. Benny Sandberg (I-Earth) and former Pollux Governor Darnell Rum participated in Sunday’s Pi42 News Channel Galactic Presidential Debate in the Capitol city of Mariner on Albatross Prime 32.

The complete transcript is posted below.

Pi42 News’ Oblong Bolt introduced each candidate before the start of the debate.

BOLT: We’ll begin with 45 million microsecond opening statements from each candidate, starting with Secretary Caldon.

CALDON: Well, good eventide. And I want to thank the Congressional Alien Caucus Institute and the people of Mariner for hosting us here. It is a fine planet, and a fine city, rich with history.

You know, I remember coming here last time to give a few speeches at the Bank of the Galaxy. I had just finished my service as Secretary of Global Relations, and the Bank had offered me a generous amount that I could not refuse. You people are very giving with your wealth here, and I must confess I do love wealth.

While I was here I had the opportunity to talk with the bank president, and I was impressed with his moral sense of self-preservation, and the secrets that he conveyed to me that evening really stuck with me and helped to set me on a path to amass more wealth. After all, wealth is a testament of health. I also remember that he fought hard to elevate the status of the 1/2%, which we all know is the cornerstone of our galactic union.

And that is still what we must keep foremost in our minds. This is why the votes of the wealthy are counted 10,000 more times than the votes of the poor, because we understand this. We know that we who possess the wealth have the understanding of how to keep an effective balance, so that all benefit according to their status. We have to get the people working harder for our economy and raising our profits, including those who have been previously excused. We have to keep our worlds and our galaxy safe. We need a galactic president who can get the job done.

I know, truly, that this is the hardest job in the galaxy. I’m prepared and ready to shoulder the burden of this role, and I hope to earn your support to be the next president of the galaxy.


BOLT: Thank you. Senator Sandberg, your opening statement, sir.

SANDBERG: Thank you. As we look out at our galaxy today, what the Milkywayan people understand is we have an economy that’s stacked in the favor of those like Senator Caldon, the wealthiest quadrillionaires, that ordinary Milkywayans are working longer macrohours for lower wages, 247 trillion people living in poverty across all the lower globes, and almost all of the new income and wealth still going to the top 1/2 percent. Fact is, just the other day I watched a group of bankers literally pay a crowd of the poor a mere quarter apiece to form stairs, out of their own bodies, so they could avoid walking a measly half-block to the actual stairs. My friends, these were not skinny bankers, and I still hear the groans of the people in my head.

SANDBERG: And then, as if that wasn’t dreadful enough to curl your toes with disgust, we have a ruthless campaign finance system where quadrillionaires are spending extraordinary amounts of money to buy elections from trillionaires, and the vast majority of the Milkywayans who are even allowed to vote will not have their votes counted in equal measure. The deck is stacked, my friends, and it has got to stop.

This campaign is about a galactic revolution to not only elect a president, but to transform this union. 

BOLT: Senator, thank you.


And Governor Rum, your opening statement, sir.

RUM: Thank you. I need no introduction of course, since my name is HUGE in this galaxy of ours, which, by the way, I want to make fantastic again. We need to be fantastic, because we’re losing now, the other galaxies are laughing at us, and, as you know, I will put an end to that. That is what Darnell Rum represents. People like what I have to say, people love what I think, and I know it. This may seem egoistical, but I am really the most humble man in the galaxy. Money is not important to me, I use it to blow my nose, because I have so much of it, that’s why it’s not important.

And I want to say that, as Galactic President, I will make more worlds as fantastic as RUM One, where I live, as you know, in my citadel. We will be fantastic again, our enemies will fear us the way they should, and people will not have to worry about their class in society being changed. They don’t want it changed. They tell me this all the time, you know. They say, ‘Darnell, I am afraid. I have been poor my entire life and I don’t know what I will do if Benny wins and I am no longer poor.”

I will not do that to the people. They don’t need the stress, and, by the way, I am really really good at not giving them the stress. The best. 

We need new leadership. By that I mean we need me, Darnell Rum, to lead. My brain is fantastic for making things fantastic, and I will make the galaxy fantastic again.

That’s why I’m running for Galactic President. I need the votes of the richest, and together we will make the future history.

You’re welcome.

BOLT: Okay. Governor, thank you.


BOLT: All right, let’s start the questions. The first question is for all of the candidates.

Galactic President Amabo came to office determined to implement massive change on immortality reform. Most everyone would agree he achieved that, since immortality is now an option open to anyone who participates in the free lottery, regardless of economic status. Voters are eager to know how you would define your presidency? How would you show you’ve got the right stuff, the magic touch, to lead this galaxy? So complete this sentence in as short a sentence as you can, because shorter sentences are worth more points: in my first 100 days in office, my top three priorities will be?

Senator Sandberg.

SANDBERG: Universal health care for all, including immigrants from other galaxies, because we have got to do the right thing, and I will increase the minimum wage to $500 an hour so that our citizens no longer struggle to simply survive, and finally I will make it so that we no longer need college to get the best jobs in the galaxy. This way, no one will be stuck with student debt.


BOLT: Secretary Caldon, same question.

CALDON: It is in the best interest of society that we have good, strong banks. They are the bedrock of our galaxy. So that’ll be the first thing I do as Galactic President, making sure they get the support they need in order to keep everyone else stable. Secondly, I would…


…Thank you…I would also be presenting my plans to revise health care so that everyone pays their fair share. We can’t expect to have good, quality health professionals if we’re not paying them well. Doctors need to have the best lifestyle we can offer them, and so do the insurance companies. We know that insurance companies are out there every day on the frontlines of this war against poor health, fighting the good fight, and yet they get demonized. It is time this ends.

And third, I would be working, in every way possible, to bring our worlds together. We have too much division, too much territorial ugliness, too many attempts by the people to change their class in society. There’s so much we have to do on alien reform, on voting privileges, on campaign luxuries reform, but we need to do it together. That’s how we’ll have the type of union for the 24th century that we know will guarantee our offspring the kind of future they deserve.


BOLT: Governor Rum, same question.

RUM: It’s a good question. It’s a very very good question, and I have to say, without trying to brag or anything, that I have the best answer for this question. I mean, it’s insane how good it will be, my answer.


RUM: (Silence)

BOLT: And, what is that answer, Governor Rum?

RUM: Thank you. I am glad you asked. It will be huge, what I have to say, huge. Much like my wealth. Here it is. It’s simple, I think my supporters, which means most voters out there, want me to keep to the point. No big words. What I will do is, is I will make the galaxy fantastic again, and I mean fantastic. I don’t mean slightly fantastic or moderately fantastic, but fantastically fantastic.

BOLT: Thank you. You’ve …

RUM: It’s going to be fantastic.


RUM: Also, I want to add, by the way, that these two jokers here aren’t going to do it. I mean, come on. Benny is at best going to make things good, for some people, but Helena’s just bad. I mean really bad, the worst, you won’t even believe how bad it would get. But I’m not worried, because I’ve got this election locked up. The people love me, because they love fantastic things.

BOLT: All right, Governor, thank you.

You’ve all given us much to think about of what to expect from you as potential Galactic Presidents, some things good, some things outright scary. The last couple of weeks of this campaign have featured some major mudslinging on a variety of issues. Let’s start with one of them, the issue of galactic security.

Senator Sandberg, last week Secretary Caldon called you quote, “a man laying out the welcome mat for intergalactic alien invaders.” What do you have to say about that?

SANDBERG: Well, I think Secretary Caldon knows that what she says is very bratty. I am the only one of these three that has actually taken the time to meet aliens from our neighboring galaxies. I have to tell you they are mostly good people, just different. If you look past the overpowering smell of cinnamon and the extra eyes, they are excellent company, and I would welcome them to our galaxy. They have countless worlds full of rich resources, including one of the most pure water you could ever find, and all they ask is to be amongst us. They enjoy our music, our cultures, our vast array of cuisines, our bathrooms, and flip-flops. Especially the flip-flops. Apparently no such thing has been invented in their galaxies and there are not one, but two beach planets. It’s all beaches and oceans, nothing else. Really fascinating.

So, I must reject Secretary Caldon’s closeminded approach. We have everything to gain from opening our borders, which would be easy since there are no actual borders.

BOLT: Secretary Caldon, would you like to respond to Senator Sandberg?

CALDON: No, I would not.

BOLT: Alright. We’re going to take a break and we need to take a break…

RUM: Yes, go ahead and take a break. It’s fine with me, absolutely.

BOLT: … and when we come back, the discontent brewing in the Milky Way.


BOLT: Welcome back to Mariner. Let’s turn to another area where there has been…

RUM: If I may…

BOLT: There has been …

RUM: Excuse me, don’t be rude.

BOLT: Yes, Governor Rum?

RUM: I did not have a chance to say anything on the last issue, so if I may.

BOLT: Go ahead, Governor. Keep it short.

RUM: We’ll see. Clearly, Benny and Helena don’t got the right stuff here. They’re not thinking fantastic. Benny, totally wack job on this. We have to keep the aliens out, there are too many as it is. We have to get them out, and I promise you, as Galactic President, I will get it done. My first day, gone. 

BOLT: Thank…

RUM: Not done. One more thing. Speaking of galactic security, let’s be real here, people. Neither of these jokers is paying any attention to the wolf in the midst of you sheep. I’m talking about the black holes. HUGE black holes in space. And what are their plans to do anything about them? Nothing! But, in my first year, I am going to build a wall around those black holes. They will be huge, these walls, but I can get it done. And I’m going to make the black holes pay for it. They’ve got the money, believe me.

BOLT: Alright. Okay. Let’s move on. Unfortunately our time has been nearly used up unexpectedly, so we just have time for one last question. This is for all three of you.

Hundreds of years have passed since the last major civil rights movement. We’ve long since learned that racism and sexism and every other ism was a complete and utter waste of time. Wouldn’t you say that the rise of anti-intergalactic alien sentiment is just more of the same? And how would you address this issue?

Senator Caldon, you first.

CALDON: Well, I am glad you’ve asked this question. Contrary to what Senator Sandberg has said, I have met a few aliens. Three, in fact. Just the other day I was comforting this little alien child who was worried that her mother would be deported. I told her that probably this would happen, because it is for the best, but that it would be a wonderful thing because then she would get to be back in her own galaxy again. I asked her if she missed it, because who wouldn’t miss such a place, like the world of ice she came from, but she said she would be cold. I am not an unfeeling person, so I gave her two blankets, and one was a handmade quilt that I had hired someone to make a few years ago for my dog. It was still clean, and really really warm. She said she liked the smell of dog on it, and she smiled.

I think I understand aliens better than Benny and Governor Rum do, and it is that understanding that I will rely on when I am Galactic President. Yes, we will guide these wayward aliens back to their homeworlds, for they have gone astray. What do you do when the cows get loose? You corral them and guide them back to where they have sturdy fences and regular food. 

BOLT: Alright. Senator Sandberg?

SANDBERG: Poppycock. I don’t believe a word of it. Let’s see the transcript of that encounter.

BOLT: Okay, Senator. Let’s move on to Governor Rum.

RUM: People, I have said it before and I will say it again and probably again: We won’t have a union if other galaxies are dipping their feet into our waters, turning it muddy. You better believe these are not nice aliens, not at all. They are the worst! I won’t even meet one, I don’t need to because my brain, which by the way, is very very smart, can comprehend them without seeing them. And let me tell you, people, my brain does not like what it sees. Not one bit.

So we must keep them out. We will build a wall there, too. It will take a while, but we can get it done.

BOLT: All right. Well thank you everyone, for sharing your thoughts before the upcoming vote. I’m sure the Milkywayans look forward to having their say on who the next Galactic President will be, especially 1/2 percenters.

I also want to thank the Congressional Alien Caucus Institute and certainly our Milkywayan viewers, at least the ones rich enough to afford to watch this broadcast. This has been awesome. It’s been an awesome and interesting and at times depressing conversation and I know the Milkywayan people appreciate it.

From all of us at Pi42 News Channel, this is Oblong Bolt saying Good Eventide.



By J. Parrish Lewis

J. Parrish Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.

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