A little story I wrote many years ago. Enjoy it or don’t. It’s been a few years, and some of you might not recognize some of the people, places, things, or events. Never fear! Wikipedia is here (they determine our reality).
Last night I had a dream. A spirit, rattling in the heavy chains of irrational public opinion, perturbed my slumber. I saw a vision of Rutherford B. Hayes, and heard the specter speak to me.
“Repent! Repent! Reject your conservative moralism ere your chains be even heavier than mine!” said the apparition.
Naturally I began to voice my opinion on antitrust legislation, but the spirit waved his withered hand and silenced me, chilling my bones.
“Tonight you will be visited by spirits three! Take heed to what they tell you! It is too late for me, but for you some time remains. Harken to the words of the spirits, and repent!” Then he vanished.
I sat up, disbelieving the witness of my own eyes, distrusting them to a bit of indigestion, perhaps thoughts brought on by a Buchanan rally too many. I crawled out of bed and turned on the TV.
“Watching a little Robert Tilton will set my head straight,” I mused. I ended up watching Howard Stern instead, and fell easily and fast asleep in front of the flickering screen, my Conservative Chronicle over my eyes.
My peaceful dream of a patriotic, majoritarian America shattered into a thousand conservative fragments at a sudden noise. I fancied I awoke (I cannot say if I really did) and I beheld spirits three.
The first was the spirit of social welfare, Jerry Brown. Next was the more formidable spirit of radical liberal panacea, Bill Clinton. Finally was the most formidable spirit of all, the spirit of failed liberal idealism, ex-republican Paul Tsongas.
I quivered with fear of so much free thinking. “No,” I said. “You are all but figments of my imagination! I know this because you only got two percent of the vote in New Hampshire! Tomorrow I will hear you belittled by my favorite talk radio personality.”
“We are not figments,” said Clinton, in his self-styled Kennedyesque parlance, “we are the Democratic Answers!”
“But,” I said, gathering my wits, “where are the others? The spirit of social victimization? The spirit of agricultural America? The spirit of economic disintegration through labor unions? Are those not also Democratic answers?”
“I’ll take that one, Bill,” said Tsongas. “You see, we are Enlightened Democratic Answers. We have seen the light. Though we still represent the socially outcast, the economically disenfranchised, the malcontents of America, and other groups who generally don’t vote, we have discovered a new strategem! We will sell ourselves as representing the middle class!”
I reeled. “But don’t the conservatives represent the middle class?” I asked, innocently.
“Well, yes,” stammered Tsongas.
“But the Republicans represent the rich!” blasted Clinton. “Conservative equals Republican, ipso facto, quod eres democratic, etcetera.” His liberal argumentation had a perfection about it that overcame my weak replies.
The spirits taught me of socialized health care, radical environmentalism, the sainted homeless, the innocent perfection of the uneducated, the beauty of social welfare. My long-cold conservative heart was fused, and melted open to the idyllic beauty of liberalism. I found the True Path.
I awoke the next morning and leapt from my bed, wrapping my robe about me and pulling the sash tight. Into my flip-flops I leaped and flopped out the door, throwing it wide. Outside a local saint was digging in our dumpster.
“Dear friend,” I exclaimed after he had redistributed some of my wealth with irrefutable arguments of physical need and socialistic moralism, “tell me, what day is it?”
But the fellow apparently did not hear me, so I called to a young lady just leaving the condos across the street. “Madam of the bourgeois, tell me what day is this?”
But she did not hear, as she had just closed the door of her Saab. “Vile conspicuous consumption,” I cursed under my breath. “Someday the proletariat will rise up and take her bourgeois car by force and redistribute it among the masses, that we may all drive it once every sixty years or so.”
I heard a door close behind me and saw my friend and housemate Chad Goldman emerge from the house.
“Chad,” I implored, “tell me what day this is!”
“It’s election day,” he said.
“Thank heaven! There is still time! What a day this is! There has never been such a day as this!”
With ardent fervor I ran to the polls and cast my vote for Bill Clinton.
My plans have taken quite a turn since then. I no longer dream of getting a Ph.D. in computer science and becoming one of the economic elite. Now I plan to go to Berkeley, where I wail form a social victimization support group. I realize now that my education was wrong, since I possess resources others do not. However I shall strive on until such day as the uniform redistribution of intellect is possible, a noble goal toward which the Democratic party constantly struggles.