“There is no greater lie than the idea that the masses will respect democratic decisions”- Appius II, first speech upon restoring the Empire after defeating Republican rebels, 1825
April 6, 2017,
13:01 local time,
The American Presidio
“So glad for you to join me today,” said American Confederacy President Haylie Modine with a forced smile.
“You as well,” said Modine’s guest, English Parliamentarian Jack Kent, who also forced a smile.
The two then proceeded to stare at each other with awkward smiles, underscoring the animosity between the Conservative Party member Kent and the Unionist President Modine.
“I’m not sure what you hope to achieve today,” said Modine, the young President whose nasal shrill could be both endearing and biting at the same time. “My decision has already been made...your friends are not being freed.”
Kent, an experienced man with a commanding baritone, was not fazed. Modine’s Justice Department announced yesterday that it found “evidence” needed to jail 51 politicians, almost all members of America’s “religious right” and all “right wingers” who were strongly opposed to Modine and her “alt-left” movement.
“Your naivete is more boundless than your enthusiasm,” Kent said with a wry smile. “Unfortunately for you, enthusiasm is no substitute for intelligence.”
“Keep up with your snarky remarks,” said Modine, “but you won’t get to me.”
“I don’t have to,” said Kent, “but your people will notice. Maybe not now because they have been infected, but once they regain their brains they will notice.”
“The people voted for me,” said Modine, “they gave me a mandate.”
“You escaped the last North American election by the skin of your teeth,” said Kent. “You have opposition, and you know it. You just refuse to listen to it because they don’t go online like you do.”
“Dinosaurs only have a path to extinction,” said Modine. “I’m not troubled by the desperate pleas of a fading generation.”
Kent chuckled sardonically.
“These are not ‘pleas of a fading generation,” he said. “They were good, honest people who were only unlucky to be caught in a witch hunt by the world’s most insecure leader.”
“A witch hunt, eh?” said Modine in disbelief at what she heard. “So you’re saying that I should have done nothing when Marty McCreary made duck noises and called the Emeldic people ‘crybabies’ simply because they’re tired of being bullied? Or when Sasha Marino declared that the poor ‘made their own bed’ and thus deserve not a single penny of government help? Or when Faith Dumore declared she’d never hire a Sinaloan because she can’t bothered with someone who ‘likes siestas’? Oh, and here’s the real kicker! What about when Ken Murray told a female heckler that ‘someone should bend her over and give her something to really scream about’? That’s totally cool, right?”
“As cool as it is for your chief of staff to Squawk that all men should be sterilized,” sneered Kent, “because men can’t control themselves.”
“The patriarchy is a fact, Jack,” said Modine assuredly. “It’s not hate if it’s based in fact.”
Kent shook his head and shifted in his chair, leaning forward and looking Modine right in the eye.
“Just because your ‘allies’ approve of who you are jailing doesn’t mean you get to throw them in jail on trumped up frivolities,” said Kent. “You denied them their rights, so now you can’t stand at your altar and pretend that you believe in human rights.”
“Of course I can,” said Modine with a smug chuckle. “The people I put away are not humans...they don’t deserve rights.”
Kent could only shake his head.
“Your hypocrisy would be amusing if it weren’t maddening,” said Kent. “You don’t get to decide who qualifies as a ‘human’.”
“I think they make that choice for themselves when they spout such unbridled hate,” said Modine bluntly after folding her arms. “Nobody who holds such vile views qualifies as anything more than an abhorrence.”
“No matter how ‘abhorrent’ a viewpoint may be,” said Kent pointedly, “it is still a viewpoint, and if you respect democracy at all you would recognize that.”
“…and you fail to understand that if human society is to grow and prosper,” said Modine pointedly, “there are just some viewpoints that should never be shared.”
“Listen to yourself, Haylie,” said Kent, not hiding his disgust. “No politician is qualified to be the arbiter of what opinions its people get to share…positing that means you are no better than the authoritarians you claim to despise.”
Kent folded his arms and gave Modine a smirk, which made Modine think she’d had enough.
“Thank you for your visit today,” she said with a fake smile. “As I predicted, you got nowhere. Just like your sorry Conservatives against a real opponent in Koiji Kawasaki.”
Kent got up and put his fedora back on. He headed for the door but turned to address Modine before he left.
“Enjoy the moment Haylie,” he said ominously. “Believe that you can forge a career believing that you are always right and antagonizing everyone who so much as delivers even the tiniest sliver of disapproval. Because one day you’re going to antagonize the wrong person…and it will be an opponent so difficult that there will be no amount of self-righteousness to protect you from the fact you have no friends.”