Don’t Mess … with Travis

Walt sat up straight and pulled the microphone closer. “Whoa. Well, okay then.” He, like many people, had already written Travis off as a punch line. “Although if we believe the numbers, right now you’re not even close.”

“You’re right. Eight days isn’t much time. But between now and then I’m going to lay out exactly why I believe what I believe. I’m going to explain how we got here. And I’m going to explain how a free Texas will work — and I sincerely believe that it will work.”

“Governor, what makes you think that President Leary is so understanding that he’s going to just let Texas go?”

“If I can only convince Texans this makes sense, you’re probably right. Leary won’t have it. But if I can convince a majority of Americans that we have the right to do this, and that every state threatened by tyranny does, I think he’d have to consider the ramifications of trying to stop us. The last time Leary thought he knew better than the people, it cost his party the House. Pretty sure this would cost him the presidency.”

“So, a little over a week to turn public approval nationwide in your favor? Good luck.”

“Well, see, that’s where you come in, Walt.”

“Now hold on … huk-huk-huk …

“Twenty minutes a show. Every day till the vote. It’s Thursday so let’s try it for two days. If your ratings don’t spike because of it, you don’t have to have me back on Monday. Simple.”

Walt didn’t like anyone being the pitchman other than himself. “Now, Governor, if you’ve been a loyal listener, you’d know that no one appreciates profit as much as I do, but you’d also know I’m not going to genuflect on the altar of any one politician.”

“I’m not asking you to genuflect, Walt. In fact, there’s nothing I’d enjoy more than for you to challenge me on anything I say. If you think I’m wrong, tell me.”

Walt clipped the end off a new cigar and weighed the offer. He decided that it was safer for the time being to change the subject. “Governor, I’d rather use our time to ask you about the unsavory accusations out there concerning what you did or did not say in the Texas House chamber yesterday. Specifically the racism charge —”

“That’s easy, Walt. They’re lying.”

“So you didn’t say —”

“They’re lying. And to be honest, I don’t fully understand why. That’s for other people to figure out. I don’t have the ability to look into people’s souls. What I do know, and you’ll agree with me here, is that the system is broken. Unfortunately, the most anyone wants to do is talk about reforms. But we’re so far beyond reforms right now. I wish we weren’t. I wish someone could push us back on the road and off we’d go. If that were the case, you better believe that Texas would be there pushing. But the car’s totaled, Walt, and you don’t start fixing it by pounding out the dents. You go back and you get an engine that works.”