Monday, September 5, 2011


In Stephen King's THE DEAD ZONE, Christopher Walken plays Johnny Smith who, on one fateful night, smashes head-on into an enormous truck. For five long years, Johnny is plunged into a deep coma. When he awakens he discovers that his youth, his career and his fiancee have all been lost. But Johnny has gained something--extraordinary psychic powers, allowing him to see visions of the past, present and future. Should he shake someone's hand, he is able to see what the man has done to bring him to where he is, and what he will do from this point on.

Martin Sheen stars as a senator who is running for the presidency. His campaign has been predicated upon his belief that he has been chosen by God to hold the highest office. It has been permeated by divisive racial preferences, which leads to those who disagree with him being labeled as outcasts, whom he does not suffer gladly. He is a political sociopath and a reckless zealot who, as his power grows, becomes more and more uncontrollable. Even more frightening is his apparently successful ability to mask these proclivities with a smile meant to charm and lure. His shot-from-hip statements and his fox-like smile, complimented by severely arched eyebrows, prompt a comparison to a Devil's Disciple. His stump speech is a mix of revivalism, ultra Tea Party conservatism and strong condemnation of the Federal Government. All of it. He has been supported by the powers of the wealthy, who will surely extract full obedience as their quid-pro-quo. He, as Commander-In-Chief of the military, fancies them as his personal toy.

While campaigning, door to door, he comes upon Smith and requests his vote with an introductory handshake. Smith absorbs his past and is then confronted with a scenario of Sheen as President.

Russia and the United States are eyeball to eyeball on the issue of a preemptive strike on a rogue nation with nuclear capability and ties to the Soviets. If we move, Russia will attack us. Diplomatic negotiations are ongoing at a frantic pace.

Sheen is alone with his National Security Adviser and Sheen's hand is on the BOX.

"This shall be my moment in history," he shouts, "and this will be a lesson for the entire world. Our country shall never again be challenged." His face has a crazed look and his advisor dares not overrule him. "I am following God's will!" He pushes the red button.

At that instant, his diplomats come bursting through the door. Their faces are blushed with excitement.
"We've reached an agreement, Mr. President, there need be no hostilities!"
The President's eyes are ablaze as he bellows, "We've won my way."

Smith realizes that only he knows how this will play out and that it is useless to try to make others believe. On the night of a Presidential speech at the Town Hall, Smith, armed with a rifle, secretes himself in the balcony. As Sheen is speaking, Smith stands and takes aim. One of Sheen's aides spots him, yells "gun" and races to shield the candidate. Sheen reacts by picking up a young toddler and holding him as a shield. Smith is shot dead. The country's morning papers as well as special editions of Time and Newsweek, feature a loud and clear picture of Sheen using a baby for self-defense.
His campaign aborts. His political future dies with mortification and shame.

Does this make you think of any present-day Presidential candidate? It does me.

The initials are Rick Bachmann and Michele Perry.

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