Stringer Wireman interviews Steve Hansen, candidate for the state Legislature.

Wireman: Steve, why do you think you are the best candidate to represent the people of this district?

Hansen: Actually, I’m not. But can you find a competitor who’s any better?

Wireman: So, what is your strategy to win?

Hansen: That’s easy. I’m going to use as many clichés as possible, such as: An economy that works for all, heath care and free higher education are inalienable rights, human-caused climate change is killing us all, no one can live on minimum wage and the rich should pay their fair share.

Wireman: Why do you call these statements “clichés?” Don’t you believe they are true? For example, don’t you want an economy that works for all?

Hansen: I thought that’s what we have now. Everywhere I go, there are “Help Wanted” signs. Seems we have the best economy in decades, and it is certainly superior to any other country in the world right now. But I’ll keep selling the “works for all” routine, as long as people keep buying it.

Wireman: That sounds dishonest. You’re saying one thing, but you believe the truth to be another.

Hansen: You’ve got me on that one, Stringer. But if I’m going to become a politician, I need to play the game. You know the old joke about my new profession: “How do you know when a politician is lying? His lips our moving,” ha, ha!

Wireman: That’s really insulting. I don’t know how you expect to get elected with such blatant cynicism. Do you feel the same way about the minimum wage?

Hansen: Oh, no. I’m definitely going to beat the competition on that one. I’m pushing for $30 an hour. This way, I’ll get the fast food vote. Unfortunately, my costly plan will destroy senior care facilities, raise hospital costs, along with many other things. It also should eliminate countless jobs since employers can’t pay that wage without losing money, but who cares?

Wireman: What will happen to displaced seniors if your prediction about care facilities comes to pass?

Hansen: They’ll probably end up on the streets, but that’s OK. There’s plenty of tax money out there being thrown at the homeless problem. They can get a piece of that action. Just tell them to have their doctor write a prescription for a house.

Wireman: What about health care? Don’t you believe it’s a “right?”

Hansen: Sure. I support any “right,” as long as someone else has to pay for it.

Wireman: Don’t you believe the rich should pay their fair share?

Hansen: Huh? They pay most of the income taxes now. Almost half the people don’t pay any. But I say go ahead and sock it to those rich guys. For example, Hollywood types, tech execs and sports figures have plenty of scratch, and it won’t hurt them any. I mean, how many houses do each one of these people need?

Wireman: Rich guys finance a lot of campaigns. Would you take money from them?

Hansen: Only if I can return their favors in some way. That’s the right thing to do.

Wireman: Climate change seems to be an important issue in this state. What is you plan for that?

Hansen: Look, we could stop all gasoline-powered vehicles tomorrow, tax the heck out of every state resident and build a dozen bullet trains to nowhere. But it wouldn’t change world climate conditions by a tiny fraction of a degree. However, if people want to give me money in the belief that their sacrifices are making a difference, then I’m all for it.

Wireman: How do you plan to get elected? You don’t belong to a political party and your name is not on the ballot. Also, you have no financial backing.

Hansen: All people have to do is write me in on election day. Once they understand my positions on the issues, I’ll win by a landslide.

Wireman: I don’t know what to believe about you, Hansen. You seem to be all over the place in what you say and what you will actually do.

Hansen: Well then, doesn’t that make me the perfect political candidate?

Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer.

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