In the usual field of also-rans and status-quo monkeys, one candidate for Duke Student Government president stands out. That man is Matt Gillum: Trinity sophomore, founder of the Duke Miscegenation Club and the only man with the vision to save DSG from the swamp of irrelevance. I sat down with Matt and asked him some tough questions.
Rob Goodman: Matt, you're the only sophomore running for DSG president on March 4, and, on top of that, you're running as a write-in candidate. What motivated you to undertake such a long-shot campaign?
Matt Gillum: Fundamentally, I view human existence as an unending struggle for reproductive primacy. Looking reflectively at my life, I realized that my position in the sociopolitical hierarchy was insufficient to ensure the adequate dispersion of my genetic material. That's why I'm running for president. So I can reproduce more effectively. Women want the power, they want the provider, the übermensch. I love "über." What a terrific word. Are we still on the record?
RG: Yes. But you have to admit you face an uphill fight as the only candidate without prior DSG experience. How do you plan to attract voters?
MG: That's a tough one, Rob. Fundamentally, I suspect that.... I'll tell you how I won't. I won't attract them with my charisma, I won't attract voters with.... I wish I had an attorney.
RG: Seriously, what do you think of your chances?
MG: Instead of talking about chances, I prefer to discuss latent potentiality. Just as a dying elephant has the ability to crush a gazelle as it falls, within me there lies an unquenchable power which I believe election as DSG president would unleash in a torrent. I'm gonna go nuts.
RG: You failed to file papers for your candidacy before the appointed deadline, forcing you to run as a write-in candidate. Why?
MG: I believe that my filing was obstructed by the nefarious efforts of the faceless bureaucrats who at every turn aspire to nothing better than keeping the humble proletarian in chains.
RG: Okay, moving on to your campaign platform - I'm sure you're aware that a majority of students treat DSG with overwhelming apathy. They feel that student government at Duke has ceased to be relevant. How do you plan to change this?
MG: At the heart of relevance there lies the issue of wardrobe, and I believe that if the government wants any sort of efficacy, appropriate accouterments must be implemented, lest the government become mired in pointless triviality.
RG: What kind of wardrobe are you talking about?
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MG: The issue here is nobility. When we're talking about what sort of wardrobe we should have, necessarily we must ask ourselves what wardrobe would be most noble. And to this question, there is but one answer and she is the hemp plant.
RG: What else is at the top of your agenda?
MG: I believe that given the changing geopolitical circumstances, it is imperative that the student government join wholeheartedly in the fight against terrorism.
RG: And how would you bring that about?
MG: My first act as president would be to appoint a minister of defense and establish a secret police.
RG: Would you allow President Bush to use Duke airspace for a possible invasion of Iraq?
MG: Talks will be opened; with an appropriate aid package and disclosure of Vice President Dick Cheney's location, I believe an arrangement can be worked out.
RG: What are the most important actions you would take on the domestic front?
MG: I believe the most pressing issue facing the next DSG president will be ending the immorality that is inherent in our exploitative killing of fowl in the manufacture of Chick-Fil-A sandwiches. In addition to liberating animals, I believe the next DSG president will be responsible for liberating the plants. It is patently immoral to eat anything save fruits, berries, and nuts.
RG: So you would permanently change the student dining plan?
RG: Does your concern for animals extend beyond the chicken?
MG: I've been caught giving an overly specific example. I think all animals ought to be liberated.
RG: Don't you think such a radical change will scare away most applicants to Duke?
MG: Their immoral practices do not concern me, and I would advise them to change their ways unless they wish to suffer the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.
RG: Okay, I'd like to focus on an extremely controversial letter you wrote to The Chronicle on Jan. 13, in which you stated, "Nothing in the world is more sacred than exorbitant wealth.... Hating money means embracing death." As you know, you generated a hailstorm of criticism that hasn't died down to this day. I'd like to give you this opportunity to explain your comments.
MG: I suppose the point of that letter was to highlight the fallacy inherent in strong belief. More or less, I wanted to mock those who take religious and political issues seriously, because one only need look at the varicose veins upon history's leg to realize what a disaster taking anything seriously at all is.
RG: But aren't you pointing to a larger problem with your candidacy? That students really have no idea when you're being serious and when you're making an ass of yourself on purpose? Aren't you setting yourself up for a fall?
MG: Well, I'm flattered, because I enjoy the biblical comparison to Adam.
RG: You didn't answer the question, Matt.
MG: In fact, I aspire to be Adam, because then my ribs could become a woman, and that would inflame me.
RG: Are you going to answer the question?
RG: Matt, regular readers of my column know that you're the president and founder of the Duke Miscegenation Club [see this column, 10/18/02]. How would you use the DSG presidency to further the miscegenist agenda?
MG: I suppose I'll distribute accounts of my grandfather's life, about how as a German farmboy he married a Mexican woman and planted the seeds of amalgamation in my family.
RG: So you'd use DSG resources to distribute pamphlets?
MG: No, I plan on using DSG resources to secure sauerkraut and enchiladas for myself, given my genetic predisposition.
RG: Isn't that embezzlement?
MG: Well, Rob, I'm a relativist. What's embezzlement to you is delicious salted cabbage to me.
RG: Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?
After interviewing Matt, I can say with certainty that his passion and eloquence have attracted at least one supporter. I'm voting for Matt Gillum. I'm also announcing my resignation from The Chronicle, effective immediately, to work as his campaign manager. With enough write-in votes on March 4, we can make a real difference - so take the time to write Matt's name on the ballot. You won't regret it.
Rob Goodman is a Trinity sophomore.