The crowd is pumped for their candidate and media devices around the world are connecting hundreds of millions of listeners to the Garden's floor on 14 September 2008. The Garden is a-buzz with raucous delegates.
Announcer: "Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce your candidate, and the future 44th president of the United States, Richard Ciccarone."
The crowd erupts as Ciccarone emerges to smile and wave at his supporters. The Garden is out of control with cheers, dancing, and applause. Ciccarone takes the podium and breaks into the noise, "Thank you...Thank you very much."
The noise subsides as the candidate begins:
Our platform is simple and, should we fulfill our tenets in the first term, we shall not seek a second term. We have three goals: The first goal is to secure healthcare for all Americans. [applause] The second goal is the security of all Americans and the third goal is the pride of all Americans. [applause]
[The subheading "Health Care:" is projected on the wall behind Ciccarone.]
So first, the health of all Americans is our highest priority because without a healthy citizenry, we can do nothing. In our first 100 days we will have a proposal in front of Congress to provide all Americans with health insurance. How can we, as a nation, ever hope to excel or even survive if we cannot care for our own people? [applause]
And with the rising possibility that a pandemic could strike, it is no longer simply a health issue, it is a matter of national security.
If someone were to fall ill with a contagious virus and unable to afford treatment, hundreds or even thousands could be infected before medical authorities were alerted, and by then, we could be facing catastrophe.
But a national health care system is not cheap. So, how will we pay for this?
The United States government will, as it does with oil, begin a program to regulate the cost of both: Medicine by the pharmaceutical/medical industry and insurance by the medical insurance industry. We will place fair price caps on all medical procedures, pharmaceuticals and insurance costs. For far too long these industries have made exorbitant profits off the American people and, if elected, we will say 'enough.' [applause]
Once fair prices have been established, my administration will cover the rest.
There is no dignity when we watch those we love and cherish suffer needlessly because they can't afford proper treatment. There is no other word for it but indecent. And in my administration, the life of a human being, no matter how poor, will be worth saving. [applause]
When both parties appear on their talk shows complaining that this program is 'fiscally unrealistic,' simply remember the $1.7 billion price tag that Congress promised the American people for the Iraq liberation. Somehow, we managed to raise over $330 billion above and beyond that. So, when I hear their chatter and nay-saying, I will ask, 'Is the reconstruction of Iraq worth more than an investment in America?'
[The subheading "Preserving Our Society:" is projected on the wall behind Ciccarone.]
Our second goal is simple. The American dream is one that has guided the world from the darkness of tyranny, despotism and hopelessness into the light of democracy. It is a covenant we share with all people who dream of a better life and, as a great philosopher once said, 'covenants, without the sword, are but words and of no strength to secure man at all.' And so it is true today.
The preservation of any great society depends on its ability to protect itself. It is not the reason a society is great, but it is the reason why it will survive. From America’s birth, we have had the blessings of two oceans to guard our people from violence and for over 200 years we basked in that confident assurance. But no more. We must now depend on more realistic stratagems.
Our military and our intelligence agencies must be redesigned. They were constructed to fight an enemy ruling over the largest landmass on Earth and with a government that shared the same tactical understanding of global parameters.
The Soviet Union is not Al-Qaeda. We are no longer fighting a war of containment; we are fighting a war of extermination. Make no mistake about this. Our new enemy is not concerned about the safety of their constituency. They do not fear invasion or loss of power or life. They want one thing and one thing only: To destroy us. This is not an enemy our military or our intelligence agency was designed to conquer. [applause]
I will give our armed forces the tools they need to fight this new and vicious enemy. [applause] Our military needs to be lighter, more mobile and armed with weapons that are custom-made for counter-terrorism. [applause]
Instead of shock and awe, we need to watch and strike. Instead of demonstrative troop strength placed in hostile terrain where they quickly become targets, let us create and utilize specially equipped teams to perform surgical strikes on enemy positions. Where we once leaned on the pounding superiority of the B-2 bomber, let us now look to the drone for quick, precise blows. Where once we leveled whole landscapes in all-out assaults, let us now select our enemies and terminate them before they do us more harm. [applause]
My vice presidential candidate, General Tommy Franks, agrees. He has not only lead the army in combat in the Middle East, but understands the new battlefield we are facing better than anyone. The military must adapt to destroy this new enemy. [applause]
Our intelligence must also act in accordance with the rules of this new war. The office of Homeland Security will now be the central intelligence authority for safeguarding our nation.
The CIA and the FBI will now submit all their collected data to Homeland Security where they will have one and one purpose only: To connect the dots of all gathered information. This includes hostile enemies, a pandemic virus or a hurricane. During my administration you will never hear 'we didn’t see it coming.' [raucous applause and ovation]
You will hear those who say redesigning our intelligence and military is a terrible mistake in the middle of a war and normally I would agree. I would agree if there were any cohesive organization in place to redesign.
In Arizona and New Mexico, private citizens seeing nothing but neglect by their government began protecting our borders without federal assistance. Ninety-five percent of all containers entering our ports are still not searched or even checked against manifest logs and still, seven years after the attacks on our nation's soil, we have not caught or have any knowledge of the whereabouts of the top leaders of Al-Qaeda. [applause]
If elected, those borders will be protected, those containers will be checked – regardless of the waiting time - and those responsible for killing American citizens will be caught and either tried or executed. [applause] It may cost this nation a great deal, but that is the cost of winning a war against a ruthless and violent enemy. [applause]
[The subheading "National Pride:" is projected on the wall behind Ciccarone.]
Finally, I’d like to speak briefly on something close to my heart.
This nation was built on the premise that no matter your lineage you could prosper through initiative, hard work and honesty. You could be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher or even President if you were talented and trusted.
Those words now seem hollow after reading the headlines from the past several years. [applause] Words such as 'corruption' and 'indictment' have tarnished the image of public service so much, that the thought of an honest politician seems as idealistic as a character from a Frank Capra film.
That is not to say that all politicians are dishonest or that men and women from either side of the aisle do not have good intentions, but there has been too much waste. Too much scandal. Too much deceit. It is time, once more, to govern. [applause]
If elected, I am going to ask Congress to either clean itself up or I will do it for them. [raucous applause]
I will not stop until we end the corruption and unmitigated greed that has cloaked itself under the guise of lobbying. [applause]
It is the right of every American to lobby their representative in order to convince them to vote a certain way. Our founding fathers created that system so those who represent the nation would be accessible to their constituents. But the excesses of the past several administrations would have made our founders ashamed. [applause]
Corruption has become so prevalent that some House and Senate bills may as well have had no price tags attached, because they amount to trillions of dollars for their friends. [applause]
We will have either a complete restriction on lobbyist contributions or I will assign an independent counsel, as is my executive privilege, to review every single contribution that is made to a nationally elected public official. Republican and Democrat. [raucous applause]
And so it is my pledge to you that, with your vote, we will turn this nation into what we know it can be. Let us build this nation into a reflection of our dream of America. [applause]
Thank you and God bless you all and God bless the United States of America." [raucous applause and ovation]
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