My fellow Americans, here we are at the dawn of a new day. A great, shining day of promise and change. Here we are, and here I am, Travis Bickle, your President. That’s a sentence I never expected to write, and one you probably never dreamed you would read. But it’s true all the same.
It all started forty-one years ago. I was a cabbie in the New York City fleet, just one of many lonely men driving endlessly around the sick, venal streets of a scum-filled town. But then, suddenly, there was a change: I stood up, I said "no more,” and I took action. TRUE action. I walked inside that cesspool of a building and shot those pimps, those junkies, that mobster right in the face. Somebody had to clean up those streets, and God had chosen me. I was God's warrior, doing what needed to be done. Afterwards, I was in a coma for a while. Not that long, the papers exaggerated it, y'know. When I came out of it, I thought it was all over.
Fortunately for me and fortunately for America, it wasn't. I lived, and I tried to just go back to taxi driving, but it was too late. The word had gotten out. "Here is a man who would not take it anymore,” the magazines said. I was praised, celebrated, talked about. They took me on the radio, on the TV. "Look what he did,” they said. "Look at him.” Here is a man, finally, who saw the world for how it truly is. Here is a man that stood up, that took on the scum, the filth, and won.
Only I hadn't won. As I traveled to new cities, new towns, I saw the tide of scum rising ever higher. An ocean of evil drowning the streets, the sidewalks, the picket fences, the mobile homes. I knew my true purpose then and there, the direction my life would now be headed. I spoke to anyone who would listen. "My work isn't done,” I said. "It's not just one city or one town that's diseased, it's this whole damn country. Limp little goons like Sen. Palantine aren't what this country needs, it needs a flood to wash away the junk. It needs me." People cheered, they went wild. They talked to me and I kept talking back. My new life had begun.
The next few decades were a blur. So many changes happened, it was hard for everyone to keep up. All around me people kept saying how much better the world was getting, how much smarter, more understanding, more connected, cleaner. I didn't see it. TV and movies got sicker, books got dumber, computers did nothing but pull back the rock of humanity to reveal the squirming worms underneath. I was seeing clearer than I ever had before. Something had to be done, once and for all.
Last year, 2016, was the year it happened. All of the losers, the sycophants, the plastic people, said I couldn’t run for President. But this ex-taxi driver stood up for change and the people followed. Lots of people laughed at my campaign. They said I was some kind of joke, I was doing this for more publicity, I had never been in politics, all this garbage. You don't need to be in politics to know what's best for the nation. You just need to say what's on your mind and in your heart and people will know, they’ll see. The other candidate didn’t do that. Sure, she was very well qualified, with a long history of being in the game, lots of connections. But she was cold, distant, many people are like that, sure, but she was more so than most. Just another stuck-up corrupt political harpy, I could see right through her. So could you, America, and for that I can't thank you enough.
So now that I've won, I'm speaking in my first month in office to tell you, the American people, what my plan is as your leader. Let me say right away that the promises I made during my campaign are ones that I intend to keep, and then some. I'm gonna Clean America Up, and Make It Safe. For too long there've been too many unsavory types flooding our streets: whores, fairies, welfare types, illegals. I said someday a real rain would wash them away, and that day has come. We're gonna throw 'em all out, and put up my Gun Shield along the borders of this great country. Miles of heavy artillery protecting us from the scum.
My administration is with me all the way on this. My lovely wife Iris will lead this nation in purity, in innocence, as your First Lady. I won't hear any crap about her past on the streets, so don't say it. She's a nice girl. My chief adviser, Wizard, is the smartest man I know. He's not one of these corrupt political types either, he knows about the world. The "Kabbie's Korner" website he's run for the past 15 years is still the best source of truth. My counselor, Betsy, is an angel, an old pro. She used to work in the political game (with some jerk named Tom, who's dead now) so she knows the score. When she talks to the press, she doesn't bother with facts, she tells the truth, and people know the truth when they hear it. The lying media can’t do anything, they cannot touch her.
This is it, my fellow Americans, this is history being made. All along my life has led to this. This is my destiny. We're in a hell right now, but I swear I'm gonna get us out of it. I'm gonna take all the garbage and flush it right down the toilet. I will not sleep until I do. As I sit here writing to you in the Oval Office I am alone. You wouldn't think a President could be alone, but I am. I'm surrounded by loneliness. Just now a man came in, and said "Mr. President, it's time to go." I couldn't understand who he was talking to. I'm the only one here, though, so I must be the President. Time to go now. God bless America.
Bill Bria lives in a much nicer New York City than the one Travis Bickle lived in.
Image credit: Nate Koehler