Amerika:

An Immorality Play

By

Steven M. McElroy

CAST

American Dream: Wears red white and blue pajamas and represents the altruistic goals.

The Spirit of 1776: Dressed in colonial garb represents historical fact

RED: A Red Puppet Represents Conservatism and Republicans

BLUE: A blue puppet. Represents Liberalism and Democrats

Lights up on a divided set. In the left hand corner the SPIRIT OF 1776 stands before a puppet stage, and in the right corner AMERICAN DREAM lies on a cot. Beside the cot is an alarm clock that shows a year rather than the time. The alarm clock begins to buzz and the American Dream rolls out of bed, yawns and then crosses downstage.

DREAM

Last night I had a dream. I dreamt of a country that would be a utopia for democracy. I dreamt of great minds coming together to draft a constitution for a government that would be the envy of the world. I dreamt of settlers who dreamed of a land without tyranny and oppression would find it in a foreign land called Amerika.

(American Dream returns to cot while lights go up on the Spirit of 1776 who is now accompanied by two puppets.)

1776

Are we ready to get this meeting to order?

BLUE

Ready!

RED

Ready!

1776

Okay our first order of business. Separating the powers.

BLUE

Give it all to the government! Have one head guy we'll call him…um…the president, and we'll give him absolute power!

RED

How is that different from what we just had?

BLUE

We'll elect him. We'll set up this thing called the Electoral College.

1776

How is a school supposed to help us choose who will lead our nation?

BLUE

No, no, no, the Electoral College won't have anything to do with a college; it will just be so complicated that you will need a college diploma to understand it. Now each state will get a certain number of votes based on it's population, it will then be divided up into districts, the people will then elect a person from each district to vote for them, that person can but will not have to vote for whoever the majority of the population wants, and whoever has the most votes out of the designated voters votes wins. Simple huh?

1776

I have no idea what you just said.

RED

That's ridiculous why don't we just have one vote for each man?

BLUE

Sure, that would be a good idea now, when there are only like a hundred and twenty seven of us, but what happens hundreds of years from now when we start procreating, and opening our borders, and God forbid letting women vote.

1776

Now don't be crazy nobody is going to let women vote.

RED

Yeah, if we let them vote next thing you know we'll be letting our pets vote, or plants vote, or even slaves!

BLUE

All I'm saying is democracy is a slippery slope, and unless you want to hand count every vote in this country. I think we should go with my Electoral College idea.

1776

Very well.

RED

I still don't like this idea of one man having all this power. I think the power should be given to the colonies.

BLUE

That's anarchy! There will be civil wars every two minutes! Heck everybody already hates Rhode Island!

RED

Well then how about a balance of powers? We frame our constitution so a branch of the government can't do anything without the permission of the other two branches. That way it becomes a competition of bureaucracy, whoever can stomach it the longest will be the winner.

1776

That sounds fair. Now what about the bill of rights?

BLUE

Equal rights for everyone!

BLUE

What about women, children, and slaves?

(A long pause. 1776, BLUE and RED burst out in laughter)

I know. I had you going there for a second.

1776

Now how about expansion?

BLUE

The tribes of Native Americans have been gracious enough to let us have this much land.

RED

Right, and so I think if we only use as much land as we possibly need we shouldn't impose on them too much.

1776.

We could do that, but I was thinking of this new thing called manifest destiny where we just take as much land as we want until we practically wipe out the previous occupants and keep the whole damn country for ourselves.

BLUE

I'm game.

RED

I'll get the alcohol and plague-carrying blankets!

1776

Now as our last order of business can we state for the record how heroic France is for bailing us out during our war for Independence

RED

Oh yeah, I think we should always immortalize France as a friend of America.

BLUE

You certainly couldn't call them cowards. Motion to close?

1776

Motion granted.

RED

Wait, what about this Second Amendment. It looks a little vague.

1776

Come on Red, I'm tired and I want to go home to my wife and black mistress.

BLUE

Yeah, isn't it enough we just laid down the framework for the greatest democracy ever? Besides I doubt it'll ever even come up in the future.

(Lights out on 1776 et al. Lights up on American Dream. The alarm clock goes off again this time reading 1812. American Dream takes the stage.)

DREAM

I had a dream. I dreamt of a small collection of colonies growing into a mighty nation. Whose ideals would spread through the land in order to form an empire that stands for truth, justice, and the American way.

(Lights out on DREAM. Lights up on 1776 and BLUE.)

1776

It is too damn crowded here!

RED

I know, I'm getting all claustrophobic.

1776

You know what we need?

RED

Yes, a cap on the number of children people are allowed to have.

1776

No, we need more land.

RED

Right, heh heh, that's what I meant too.

(BLUE enters)

RED

And just where have you been?

BLUE

Shopping.

1776

Shopping?

BLUE

And look what I just got off the rack from France.

(BLUE pulls out a deed)

1776

Louisiana?

BLUE

I only stepped out to pick up New Orleans, but for five million more they gave me the whole thing. That's three cents an acre!

RED

You can't buy land from France!

1776

Wholesale.

RED

It's unconstitutional! What if I wanted to buy Virginia?

BLUE

You can't afford Virginia, and I'm the President I can do what I want.

RED

You're impeding on State Rights!

BLUE

You're impeding on Federal Rights!

1776

Not this again…Guys, Guys! Red do you really want to live next door to France?

RED

Well no…

1776

And Blue you shouldn't make impulse buys without discussing it with Red first.

BLUE

You're right. I'm sorry Red.

RED

I'm sorry too.

BLUE

For what?

RED

For this!

(RED exits quickly. BLUE and 1776 stand there befuddled for a while, and then RED returns)

RED

There. I just bought Alaska. Now we're even.

BLUE

You bought Alaska!?

RED

On sale. 7.2 million dollars. That's only 1.9 cents an acre.

BLUE

Of ice! What are we going to do with three million acres of ice?

1776

Make Margaritas?

(Lights out on 1776 et al. Lights up on American Dream. The alarm clock goes off again this time reading 1861. American Dream takes the stage.)

DREAM

I had a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

(American Dream goes back to sleep. Lights up on RED and BLUE fighting each other, while 1776 I trying to break it up.)

1776

Hey Hey Hey! You two break it up!

BLUE

Red started it!

RED

Did not! Blue is just mad because we voted to not allow slavery in the territories. It's not like we're saying they still can't have slaves.

BLUE

Red's taking away our rights. We already decided that slavery is a decision that belongs to the states.

RED

Yes, but the government out rules the states.

BLUE

Since when?

RED

Since now. So stop pouting and just agree with me already.

BLUE

Why I oughta beat you to death with a stick! That does it I secede!

1776

Is that really necessary?

BLUE

Absolutely! Red thinks that if you give 'em an inch they can take a mile!

RED

Blue, you do realize if you secede this'll means war.

BLUE

You don't scare me.

(RED smacks BLUE)

Okay, okay you win! You win!

RED

And as punishment for being so uppity, you have to abolish slavery and let them vote.

BLUE

But we're still allowed to treat them like second class citizens right?

RED

Oh absolutely.

1776

Don't feel bad blue. There's an industrial revolution on the horizon which is going to make slavery pretty much obsolete, and if you still need someone to exploit there's a major influx of immigrants coming as well.

RED

Plus there are always women and children.

BLUE

God Bless America!

(Lights up on American Dream. The alarm clock goes off again this time flashing 1929. American Dream takes the stage again.)

DREAM

I had a dream. I dreamt of a nation of prosperity, and a revolution of new ideas and schools of thought. A second Renaissance and a land of opportunity. A gilded age, where my country was secure, safe, and bountiful.

(American Dream goes back to bed. Lights up on Red and Blue and 1776. Red and Blue are wearing party hats, and singing "We're in the Money.")

1776

You two seem pretty happy, what's the occasion?

RED

It's the Roaring Twenties!

BLUE

Woodrow Wilson is the greatest president ever! Our economy's booming, progress is at an all time high, and we just won a World War!

RED

I'd toast him, but we're not allowed to drink anymore.

1776

But we still have a problem with child labor, unfair working conditions, blatant and violent racism towards both the immigrants and the former slaves, organized crime, and a Red Scare that's turning into more or less a witch hunt!

RED & BLUE

Who cares? We're Rich!

(A loud crash is heard.)

1776

What was that?

RED

(Looks behind the puppet stage.)

Um…that was the…uh…stock market.

BLUE

Is it okay?

RED

No, no, I think it's pretty much…broken.

BLUE

BROKEN! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO? ALL OUR MONEY WAS IN THERE! How can things get any worse?

1776

I don't know…giant clouds of dust could wipe out our nations farms in the Mid-West?

RED

O Help us Herbert Hoover!

BLUE

Hoover can't help us now, what we need is a miracle. A polio-stricken miracle!

1776

Guys, Guys calm down. What can we always resort to when we need a little money?

RED and BLUE

WAR!

(Lights down on as RED and BLUE rush off to war. Lights up on American Dream. The alarm clock goes off again this time flashing 1941. American Dream takes the stage again.)

DREAM

I had a dream that in the heat of battle, in the rise of oppression, and in the face of war, our citizens will themselves not what their country can do for them, but what they can do for their country.

1776

(Reading a Newspaper)

Hey have you guys heard about this rise of the Third Reich in Europe?

BLUE

(Yawns)

Boring. I hate international affairs.

RED

Yeah, they were cool during World War I, but sequels never live up to their potential.

1776

Yes, but it's spreading all through Europe! First Poland, then Finland, now Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands even France! They've allied themselves with Italy and Japan, and Hitler's even calling for a complete ethnic cleansing of the Jews.

RED

Pffft…what's France ever done us?

BLUE

Besides genocide's not so bad. I mean, that's pretty much how we obtained the Midwest.

1776

They're going to conquer all of Europe! Don't you think we should, you know, do something?

BLUE

It's not our problem.

RED

We have our own things to deal with. For example, I'm not one hundred percent positive I like this New Deal idea of yours.

1776

But these our allies who are getting attacked, and do I even need to point out what an atrocity the Holocaust is!

BLUE

What part of the New Deal don't you like?

RED

Pretty much all of it.

(An explosion is heard.)

1776

What was that?

(Red and Blue looks behind the Puppet Stage)

RED

Japan just bombed Pearl Harbor!

BLUE

Oh. It. Is. On!

RED

Quick round up all the Japanese citizens and throw them in interment—I mean War Relocation Camp!

BLUE

We're going to need new weapons too. Something that'll give us a slight edge. I know! Does anybody know how to split an atom?

1776

Do you think all that's really necessary?

RED

Of course it is! We have to protect help Europe and save the Jews. It is our duty as Americans!

1776

Oy vey.

(Lights down on 1776, Red, and Blue. Lights up on AMERICAN DREAM, this time the alarm clock flashes the year 1968. DREAM rolls out of the cot and takes the stage again.)

DREAM

I had a dream that one day I would live in a nation where we will not be judged by the color of our skin but by the content of our character. That America would be a land of opportunity, growth, and prosperity.

(American Dream goes back to bed. Lights up on Red and Blue and 1776.)

RED

(Stunned)

First abolition, then voting rights, then integration, now they have equal opportunity…the women have a right to vote…we can't send kids to work for us…the Native Americans are starting to want citizenship, and their even raising a stink about putting those Japanese citizens internment camps during the war! We've created a freedom monster! We have no one to be separate because everyone's equal!

BLUE

It's not so bad.

RED

You're just saying that because they usually vote for your candidates.

BLUE

True. But can you blame them? Rights or no rights the odds are still incredibly stacked against them. I offer them social programs, and equal opportunities, and you offer them tax breaks for income brackets they'll never even dream of reaching. Thank goodness for big government!

RED

At the cost of the states.

1776.

Did you two change scripts? You should be proud. We've grown a lot since that last little skirmish. We won two world wars, an industrial revolution, lived out a gilded age, and now we're now a global superpower, we've even gained a few states and we're freer now than ever before.

BLUE

We also went through an impeachment, a few assassinations, a red scare, segregation, prohibition, the rise of the KKK and organized crime, yellow journalism, and we're in the middle of a cold war.

RED

Yes, but thankfully we'll have Vietnam to win and lift our spirits. I mean there's no way we'll lose against a country that small right?

(Lights up on American Dream the alarm clock rings again this time it reads 1970.)

DREAM

I had a dream that the ideas of democracy will stretch out not just amongst our nation but all nations around the war. I dreamt that America would one day become a global superpower and that she would share her majestic might for the betterment of the planet.

(Lights up on 1776, Red, and Blue. Red and blue are hunkered down laughing and whispering. 1776 approaches them.)

1776

Hey guys, what are you doing?

BLUE

Oh nothing just planning our next big war. Hey what color do you think the agent's uniforms should be?

RED

Orange.

1776

Didn't you guys just have a war?

RED

That? Oh that was a just a skirmish compared to the glorious victory we're about to achieve. America has declared war on Communism!

BLUE

We have nothing to fear except fear itself!

1776

Yeah…I'm not sure I know what that means. Listen guys I'm not sure if you're ready for another War you do remember what happened in Cuba when you tried to overthrow Castro?

BLUE

That Bay of Pigs cheated. This is different. Trust us. These guys deserve to be shown that the United States is not a country to be trifled with. I mean they did attack the USS Maddox…sort of…maybe.

RED

Yeah we need to show these Vietcong that we don't take kindly to alleged attacks in international waters that may or may not have happened.

1776

Well okay, but do you have enough troops to fight this war?

BLUE

Troops, Shmoops. We'll just start another draft.

RED

Yeah, we'll enlist the minorities and the poor it's about time for them to started pulling their own weight anyway.

1776

Yeah but don't you think all the poor public opinion, secret bombings, and these Pentagon papers stating that you misled people into backing this war without proper evidence will effect your candidacy?

RED

Ooo…Good point.

BLUE

Yeah, war over.

1776

What? You can't jus—

RED

War over. Communism wins.

1776

But the damage and the—

BLUE

Whew, we dodged a bullet there. We could've had a real mess on our hands.

RED

Tell me about it. Let's just make sure we never do anything like that again.

(Lights up on American Dream the alarm clock rings again this time it reads 2007.)

DREAM

I had a dream that in face of a national disaster a house divided would become a house united. When terrorists spill innocent blood on American soil, when the elements obliterate an entire lower half of the country. Americans would see past their rose and sapphire tinted glasses, and stand proudly as a country and not a party.

(Lights out on dream Lights up on Red, 1776, and Blue.)

BLUE

Way to go, bonehead, you attacked the wrong country!

RED

Iraq was a terrorist threat! If you don't believe that than you're traitors and should move to France with the other cowards! We're trying to win a war on terror!

BLUE

You can't wage a war on an abstract noun! That's like fighting a war on drugs.

RED

Yeah you'd like for us to lose the war on drugs, you dirty hippy.

BLUE

And what's this I hear about you cutting social security and other social programs?

RED

It's a failing system, besides America is done feeding the suckling pig that is the impoverished. I bet you people still think socialized health care and raising the minimum wage is a good idea.

BLUE

Absolutely, it is America's duty to help the misfortunate.

RED

It's an economic nightmare! If we bow down to all your hand outs we'll all be misfortunate!

BLUE

Well what about the environment? Why are we one of the very few countries not to sign the Kyoto Protocol? You would think after Katrina—

RED

And I bet you'd be as willing to pay the difference adopting that protocol will make, as you would to stop wearing clothes made by six year olds in India.

BLUE

Well if you didn't outsource the jobs!

RED

Well if you didn't open our borders to illegal aliens!

BLUE

Well if you'd stop impeding on Americans Rights with you Patriot Act!

RED

Well if your last president would stop chasing skirts and lying under oath!

BLUE

Well if your congressmen would stop taking bribes

RED

Well if your ACLU didn't fight for the rights of pedophiles!

BLUE

Well if your congressmen would stop benefiting from them!

RED

Your people hate Christmas!

BLUE

Your people believe in a church state!

RED

Baby killer!

BLUE

Homophobe!

RED

Your mind is warped because you have total control of the media.

BLUE

Oh not this again. Listen, if we controlled the media there wouldn't be a Fox News Channel, Toby Keith, or a Blue Collar Comedy Tour.

RED

I give up! Conservatism is dead! Long live the smut peddling, elitist, drug-addicted, welfare collecting, atheist, baby killing, treacherous lib!

BLUE

No I give up! Liberalism is dead! Long live the bigoted, greedy, redneck, zealot-like, freedom stealing, cold-hearted, ignorant cons!

1776

Will you two be quiet! You're both alive I'm the one who's dead. You two have destroyed everything I originally stood for, and now nobody stands for anything anymore! There are only you two who just stand there slinging mud at each other while your politicians only play to the minority of the undecided. I'm moving to France!

(Lights out on Read, 1776, and Blue. Lights back up on American Dream.)

DREAM

I have a dream…I had a dream. I don't dream anymore. I take an Ambien and sleep a dreamless sleep. I no longer have the desire to dream anymore now that idealism has been overrun by capitalism and pandering. Now that the country is wrought with extremism and apathy, I will dreamlessly sleep until somebody decides enough is enough and evokes a revolution of change.