Waking from the fever Dream [fiction]

I penned the following piece ~18 months ago. As the national political discussion reaches new levels of psychodrama, I thought I'd share the post.

July 4, 2024 -

Donald Trump sunbathes at Mar-A-Lago, banned from Twitter, Facebook and the other "lamestream" social media platforms but employing an extremely successful shitpost strategy. DJT lulz while he rage posts while stuffing his face with Big Macs floating on a pool ducky like Baron Harkonnen in the 1984 rendition of Dune. A troll army screenshots, copy pastas, and otherwise spams THE REAL POTUS's posts across the interwebs. The summer of hate reaches a boiling point when a trucker rally in Squarelake, Rust Country turns violent. An all too typical cacophony erupts, angrily disputing what happened. The only thing everyone agrees on is that 42 people lie dead. Copy-cat and counter-cat and copy-counter-copy-cat violent eruptions occur all over the country.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden's re-election campaign languishes. Campaign stops are heckled with chants of Build Back NEVER. And after rebreaking his foot, Fighting Joe is only seen in public for fifteen minutes every other Tuesday. He leads in the polls but just barely. His supporters are tired and exhausted having to defend a president when inflation has stubbornly stayed above 5% and they struggle to make ends meet.

Everyone is scared and angry. None of Bidens reelection supporters know how to answer a simple question though. What exactly are they fighting FOR again? A bunch of odd characters from the intelligence industry ever more frenetically go on cable TV to speculate on DJT's financial connections to Russian oligarchs.

More and more supposed statespeople frenetically call out in terror about the Trumpkin threat, making the Donald out to be a frankenmonster meme mashing up the Balrog from LOTR and every supervillian from the MCU. Out of the chaos, a growing coalition from left-center-right for an alternative candidate to defeat the Caeser-in-a-clown-car at the gates.

Then the unthinkable occurs. Jerry Brown emerges from retirement literally riding a white horse out of his range in Colusa to announce... that he NOT running for president. He throws his remaining political capital and multimillion residual campaign war chest on one last quixotic cause: an article five convention of the states. Declaring a Grand Alliance to Restore the Republic, Jerry harkens back to the libertarian-leaning 1992 Presidential run and decries the careerism, corruption, and clown-ery that has taken over DC. He ends with an even more unthinkable chant. DRAIN THE SWAMP.

The crowd of California reporters looks quizzical. He goes on a whirlwind tour of the talking heads. Prominent Trumkins like Mark Levin and Tucker "Pretty Makeup Face" Carlson gush on their shows that they never thought they'd agree with Moonbeam but hey here they are. Strange times make strange bedfellows. Sober states(wo)men of all stripes debate the merits of rewriting America's operating system.

Throughout the noise Jerry offers a simple calm message. Subsidiarity. That Catholic principle of devolving power down from centralized authority worked in CA and will work for America he says. The country has grown too big and diverse for one-size-fits all rule from DC. Institutions are obviously antiquated and obsolete.

Jerry goes to the state capitol to advocate for the bill and testify in person for the passage of a convention of states. Other states rally behind. The national news narrative written by the underground lizard people that control the universe belatedly realizes that well over half of the states had already embraced the convention. A million men and women march on DC shouting the people united shall never be defeated.

Donald Trump asks his followers on Not-Prava, his totally not Russian financed social media network, what to make of this new development. Like the rest of the country, the Trumpkins are divided on the question. At a rally in pensacola Florida a tall gray figure shrouded by a grey hooded robe and Gandalf mask walks to a microphone out of the crowd. The Gray wizard taps the microphone. Donald stares with wonder and then terror, knowing in his heart what that hood hides.

In a bit of rhetorical jui jitsu, the masked wizard asks "is this pretender even eligible to be president?" Then the wizard drops the mike and walks away. The crowd looks on in wonder while the Donald rants and raves shouting "seize him" but this was clearly planned and the wizard slips away unscathed. When the crowd does respond as he likes, The Donald begins to berate them for not appreciating him enough.

In the coming week he rants and raves more and more. Then The Donald has an epiphany. He knows who sent the stuntman. He challenges Jerry Brown to a debate about the future of the country and discussion of the merits of a constitutional convention. The Gray Wizard gladly accepts.

The debate begins... cordially? There's a sober discussion about the growth of the unelected administrative state. The Donald starts to rave about "states rights" when former Governor Brown mentions the Senate. But then they actually agree that the honorable institution preserves important principles if it is in need of some modest evolution with the times. The conversation continues along Dull But Important lines while the audience stares intently, waiting for the deathmatch they've come to expect from political debates.

After the commercial break, Jerry takes a sip of water and smiles. He bring up executive power and the number of terms of office a president may serve. After a short review of what the constitution actually says, the former Governor politely inquires how many terms the former President intends to serve. The Donald blusters and Jerry probes, quoting his remarks about three, four, five terms. Maybe forever? The Donald blusters some more and then Jerry... offers a lifeline. The former Governor asks what Donald thinks the constitution should say? Perhaps the Presidency should be like the Supreme Court without term limits? That's what the Founders actually intended Jerry points out.

The Donald, desperate to escape, eagerly agrees, tightening the noose around his own neck. Jerry Brown, the people's champion, pounces. He thunders that AMERICA ONCE HAD A KING AND NEVER WILL AGAIN. The Donald stammers and Jerry Brown says again America will never have a king. He turns to the Donald and points saying that he has no business pretending to run for president when all he's really doing is being a puffed up clown-king.

In the days and weeks to come, Apostle Brown calmed the internet enraged, pointing out that all Americans regardless of who they voted for are equally entitled to their opinion. The Good Brown begins laying down sensible boundaries for civil and respectful discourse, bringing back old signposts like respect for facts and treating those we disagree with as humans equally deserving of dignity rather than enemies to be burned at the stake. The country begins the slow work of healing.

That's when the real work began and the constitutional convention kicked off. The country would evolve into its sixth or seventh republic, respecting a true story of ongoing renewal and transformation that the cult like worship of some but not all of the nations First Founders obscured.  These United States have been a Confederation, then a Federal government that became a single Union after 1865, and now the country would boldly go into the future as the Federation. That however is another story for a future day.

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