Roger Hunsaker, Zombie President

My fellow Americans, I am honored to stand before you today as your newly elected president. I accept the concessions of President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry. It was a hard-fought, divisive election, often marked by bloodshed, and I am proud to have emerged victorious and, for want of a better word, alive. I, Roger Hunsaker, vow to live up to the enormous expectations placed upon me as the first zombie president of the United States.

I know the prejudice I had to overcome to get to this point. Many Americans opposed the idea of having a president who was undead. They feared I would take my orders directly from the leaders of the zombie community and ignore the needs of the average, delicious American. Words like “monster” and “brain-eater” were bandied about — hate speech, pure and simple — and I won’t try to tell you it didn’t sting a little. And the torches carried by mobs of angry townspeople as I was chased from city to city on my campaign tour? Those stung even more.

But I remained confident in the essential goodness of the American people. I knew that when it came down to it, just the citizens and their ballots alone in the voting booth, my legions of undead waiting outside the polling locations to summarily devour all who opposed me, that the votes would be cast for me. And sure enough, when the votes were tallied, more than 80 percent of those cast by persons who were still alive and that were not smeared in blood had my name on them. Roger Hunsaker, first Zombie Party president of the United States!

My opponents wondered if a zombie ought to lead this nation. Senator Kerry said, and I quote, “I do not believe a zombie can do the job, except for the times when I do believe he can do the job.” And President Bush said, “Zombies is bad, real bad, and we doesn’t need none of them no how,” and then he fired pistols into the air. I respect both of these men, but I believe they underestimate my leadership abilities. Who leads a massive army of reanimated corpses that were brought back to life after a nuclear accident five years ago? Who has single-handedly torn the flesh from literally dozens of humans and devoured said flesh without wavering or second-guessing or seeking U.N. approval? I have, my friends. I have. I defy Kerry or Bush to point to anything in their individual records that even approaches my accomplishments in the areas of organ-harvesting or brain-sucking.

Do I have flaws? Of course I do. I am only human, or at least I was when I was alive. Sometimes my temper is quick, as when, during the second televised debate, Senator Kerry criticized my domestic policy and I tore his arm off with my teeth. Do I regret this? Yes. I ought to have done him the courtesy of removing his non-writing arm. And I ought to have at least waited until a commercial break before I began feasting on the severed limb. Dipping it in ranch dressing may have also been gratuitous.

But I believe swift, unambiguous action is sometimes called for in politics. Now that I have been elected, I will follow through on my promise to find, capture and devour Osama bin Laden. I will personally eat him, that is my pledge to you. I will also eat anyone we find in his immediate vicinity, as well as, possibly, members of the outgoing cabinet and certain members of Congress. The insurgents in Iraq who have rebelled against our presence there? They, too, will soon find themselves brain-less and blood-less, as U.S. military personnel are already being replaced with zombies — zombies who can get the job done. As you know, my fellow zombies and I have been in control of the U.S. military for several months already, following the pitiful attack the government made on my zombie compound outside of Denver.

I won’t lie to you, my fellow Americans. Hard times are upon us, and sacrifices must be made. Many of you did not survive the campaign, and many more will not survive my inauguration party. The handful of you who made it to the polls — stalwart, brave Americans, all — are to be commended for doing your civic duty in the face of terror and despite urgent warnings that citizens not leave their homes. The people of America have spoken in the most powerful way possible: with large-scale bombs and munitions. And that failed to destroy me and my fellow zombies. So then the people of America spoke in the second-most powerful way possible: by screaming and crying in fear while begging for their lives. And then they voted.

President Bush called me this morning from his secret underground hideout at Fox News headquarters, a heavily fortified lair in front of which the corpse of Bill O’Reilly has been placed as a means of warding off evil. (So far it has worked.) He conceded the election to me, even offering me the disputed electoral votes of Ohio, since there are no known survivors in that state anyhow. I appreciate his grace under fire, his cool manner in times of stress, and I remind him that my necromancers are even now researching ways to get around the O’Reilly curse so that I may invade the fortress and slay him.

Senator Kerry called me, too, from his home in Massachusetts. Much of what he said was unintelligible, as he was undergoing the transformation process from zombie-like human to actual zombie, the result of my biting him during the debate. He is being cared for around the clock by a team of doctors and scientists, most of whom, I presume, will not survive when the change is complete and Senator Kerry begins viciously attacking them with the sudden horrible strength of 10 men. At that point, I will extend a hand of fellowship — a left hand, of course, owing to Senator Kerry’s disability — and welcome him into my cabinet, should he desire a post there.

The time for partisanship is past. It is time to rebuild, and to unite all Americans against our common enemy: non-zombie humans. Join us now as we lurch and stagger into the future.

This is what happens when Halloween and Election Day are two days apart.

Zombie politician Roger Hunsaker first appeared in a column in 2002, when he was running for mayor of an unnamed small town. From those humble beginnings he rose to become president of the United States, which is inspiring, really.

As before, Roger Hunsaker is not meant to be a parody of anyone, nor are his actions intended to satirize real government in action, apart from the obvious exaggeration of real-life politicians whose selfish intentions harm their constituents. The character is meant to be pure, absurd fantasy. I assume I am the only one who finds it funny, but that's OK every now and then.