The Foreign-Policy President

DERRICK Z. JACKSON

April 20, 1993|By DERRICK Z. JACKSON

Boston. -- "And now, from our studios in Burbank, it's 'Fill in the Aid Package!' ''This is the show that tests your knowledge of social hot spots.

''And now our contestants. From Zanesville, Ohio, right off the farm, Peggy Peegslaup! From Harlem, New York, with the X cap, X shirt and X underwear, Harif Heephaup! And from Spokane, Washington, with the stuffed spotted owl in his pickup truck, Billy Woodchaup!

''Welcome, contestants. I will read a true quote from President Clinton or one of his officials. I will blank out the place or issue. First one to correctly guess the place or issue wins. Peggy, you start.

''Economic Recovery for $100''

''This from President Clinton: 'The burning question today is whether blank's economic progress will continue or be thwarted.' ''

BZZZZ!

''Harif?''

''South Central Los Angeles?''

''No.'' BZZZZ! ''Billy?''

''The Pacific Northwest?''

''No. Time's up. The answer was Russia. Your turn, Harif.''

''Investment for $100.''

''Again from Clinton: 'Our investments in blank must be designed to have lasting impact. Blank's economic vessel is too large and leaky for us to bail it out. Our challenge is to provide some tools to help the blanks do things that work for themselves.' ''

BZZZZ!

''Harif?''

''African-American small business?''

''No.'' BZZZZ! ''Peggy?''

''Family farmers and meatpackers in Ohio and Iowa?''

''No! Time's up. Russia again. Billy, you try.''

''Commitment for $100.''

''This from a Clinton official: 'The commitment of the American government and people to blank is not in question, now or in the future.' ''

BZZZZ!

''Peggy?''

''Public schools?''

''No.'' BZZZZ! ''Billy?''

''Gun control?''

''No.'' BZZZZ! ''Harif?''

''Locking up black men?''

''No. Time's up. Israel. Peggy, your turn again.''

''Affordable Housing for $100.''

''This from Secretary of State Warren Christopher: 'You can just see the kind of tensions you create if blanks have to stay in blank and cannot return home because they don't have housing.' ''

BZZZZ!

''Billy?''

''Vietnam vets in shelters?''

''No.'' BZZZZ! ''Peggy?''

''Battered women in shelters?''

''No.'' BZZZZ! ''Harif?''

''South African migrant miners?''

''No. Time's up. Russian soldiers in the former Soviet Union. Not much luck today. Harif, you select.''

''Work Force for $100.''

''This again from Secretary of State Christopher: 'There's every in terest in our part as well as theirs in getting blank into the work force.' ''

BZZZZ!

''Harif?''

''Unemployed black teen-agers?''

''No.'' BZZZZ! ''Peggy?''

''PATCO air-traffic controllers?''

''No.'' BZZZZ! ''Billy?''

''Laid-off auto workers?''

''No. Time's up. Russian soldiers again. Time for our last question. Let's see if we can get one right. Billy, your turn.''

''Clear Vision for $100.''

''This from President Clinton: 'We must recognize that our policies toward blank comprise a long-term strategy that may take years to work completely. We're in it for the long run. Clear principles, clear interests, a clear strategy.' ''

BZZZZ!

''Peggy?''

''Health care?''

''No.'' BZZZZ! ''Harif?''

''Jobs?''

''No.'' BZZZZ! ''Billy?''

''Jobs vs. the environment?''

''Awwww. Contestants. I'm sorry. None of you won any money today. But just for participating in our show, we will give each of you two tickets to attend Congress.

''There you can watch our politicians send billions to Boris Yeltsin and the Middle East while our jobs go to Mexico. And viewers, hopefully we'll find some less sharp guests for the next 'Fill in the Aid Package!' ''

Derrick Z. Jackson is a Boston Globe columnist.

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