Author: gentleduck PM
This is a story inspired by a Vonnegut quote. "There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president." Political satire and philosophy included. Strong language.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Humor - Chapters: 3 - Words: 3,987 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 05-24-09 - Published: 05-02-09 - id: 2668303
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It's Clark's first meeting with his campaign team. He greets each member at the door to the conference room, a wide smile pasted on his face. Each member is greeted with a firm handshake and a comforting pat on the shoulder. He really needs their help.
The campaign manager and the chief strategist, Jordan Hughes and Nate Gliston respectively, are Clark's best friends. They studied and entered politics together.
Jordan Hughes is wearing a wool suit. He has curly brown hair - faded to chocolate milk - and a long angular face, covered by a wooly gray beard. He has brown eyes and a bleating laugh. He was Clark's roommate back at Harvard, but he was never as successful as Clark.
Nate Gliston is a balding man with short blond straight hair. Though he is quite tall, no one really notices because Nate due to his slouch. His head and neck protrudes forward from his shoulders as though he never fully evolved into a fully upright homo-sapien in the evolutionary scale. When he walks his eyes are glued to the ground four feet in front of him, never looking up. His thick prescription glasses constantly slid to the end of his pointed nose, making him constantly slide his middle finger up the bridge of his nose to set his glasses correctly. He rarely makes eye contact with people, always preferring to stare at his shoes or any documents he has in his hands when he's talking to them.
These three, Clark, Jordan, and Nate, all studied politics together at Harvard. Jordan relied heavily on Clark and Nate to pass the class. Clark and Nate dictated Jordan's essays to him, and he would write down what they said word of word. So Jordan went through college believing everything Clark and Nate told him was right. The two planned everything out for Jordan. They dictated the scripts for his presentations. They even told him the answers to the questions they would ask him. Nate was, and still is, the smart one. He ranked number one not only in his class but in the school. He often stayed home studying whenever Clark and Jordan went out, but he would secretly practice speaking in front of the bathroom mirror. Public speaking was his kryptonite. Anytime he was asked to present to the class, he would break out in sweat. The words in his extremely well written script would suddenly become illegible in his trembling hands. He didn't stutter, but the words didn't flow out of his mouths either, so he would fill in the gaps with "ums" and "you knows." This was the difference between Clark and Nate. Though Clark wasn't as smart as Nate, Clark excelled in public speaking. Everyone looked forward to his presentations, because by the end of them, their ears would orgasm, leaving them with a lust for more of his voice. And Nate resented this. He graduated at the top of his class yet Clark was the successful one. Every time he met Clark, he would force a grin onto his face, a grin that quickly vanished once he turned his back. But he needed the connections.
After Jordan and Nate came the Advertising director, Sean Gulls. He's in charge of showing Clark in good light - teaching children, helping the elderly - all that stuff. He is quite young actually. There are no gray hairs yet in his full head of brown hair. He's quite short, too, standing a head beneath Clark and Jordan. He is a graduate from ITT Technical Institute with Associates degrees in Information Technology - Multimedia and Visual Communications. One will think that Sean, being such a young man, is a radical, but he doesn't like fitting in and following the masses. He thinks of himself as a non-conformist. When the majority of high school students apply for prestigious Universities, he goes to trade school. When everyone is drinking alcohol at a party, he drinks none. When everyone his age is a radical, he joins the old party. He is a free-thinking individual.
Dick Nickson is the Communications Director. Like Clark, he knows his ways with words, however, he doesn't possess the ability to draw in his audience in like Clark. Being the Communications Director, he is in charge of making up statements to give to the media and spinning any controversies that may arise. Some less important members of the team follow him in.
They all sit down around the conference table. Clark Starts.
"Well, I'm sure you're all surprised by that suggestion I made last week at the Senate. Don't worry. I know what I'm doing. I just need a little help from all of you and soon I will be president."
"Oh, we'll help you," Jordan replied instantaneously, "we all want to help you."
Nate cut in. "Let's get down to business. I wouldn't be asking you this if it weren't for last week's, uh, façade. What is your political stance now?"
Clark looks at his watch. I look back.
"Anarchist" I tell Clark.
"Anarchist" says Clark.
Surprised silence follows. All the members look around at each other, eyebrows raised.
"Listen." Clark continues, " I need you guys to trust me. I have this all figured out. I have a secret weapon. Jordan, Nate, I know you two will trust me. But all of you," he looks at Sean, Dick, and the unimportant people, "I can fire your ass anytime I want. I can find replacements. So if you want your money, I need your trust. Any objections?"
"Good. Now, I know I can win the Presidency if I can win the primaries. I'm only worried about the primaries, which is why I think I should ease into this whole Anarchy thing."
"You're wrong," Nate says.
Heads swivel to look in his direction.
"You don't have to worry about the primaries," Nate said reassuringly, "you would've won anyways, with or without that policy last week. You are this party's most recognizable name right now, and people vote for what is familiar. The new support you gained form last week is just a, uh, bonus."
"But what about all the support he loses from this sudden stance change?" Jordan asks.
Nate smirks. "Cognitive dissonance will take care of that. People don't shape their actions to fit their beliefs. People shape their beliefs to fit their actions. Your supporters already voted for you more than once. With your sudden stance change, your supporters will be confused for a while, but they'll come 'round.. They will convince themselves that, since they voted for you many times before, they agree with your policies. So eventually your supporters will change their beliefs to match yours. But just to be safe I agree that you need to be, um, less radical in the primaries."
Clark bursts out laughing. No, cackling. "That's great. Old people voting for anarchy."
Jordan and Nate laugh too. The others manage to force it out.
"By the way," Jordan says, wiping tears from his eyes, "who will be Clark's opponents in the primaries?"
"Bunch of nobodies," Nate replies, "The closest thing Clark has to competition is this State Governor from Illinois."
"Who?" Clark asks.
"Frank Mann. He won't win."
They discuss plans for a while. Speeches, cities, advertising. They are about to wrap up the meeting when Jordan remembers, "What about your campaign slogan?"
"Oh, I don't know," Clark thinks for a moment. "how 'bout 'Something Different'?"
Nate objects. "No. 'Different' has negative connotations. How about 'Something New'? 'New' has a more positive connotation."
"Yeah, I like that." Clark nods, "Something New."