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Hail to the chief

November 21, 2022

Politics has become brutish and obnoxious and painful to watch. What I once found interesting is now worse than (and far less entertaining than) professional wrestling. At least professional wrestling doesn’t pretend to be what it isn’t and doesn’t incite followers to violence. I’d like to think politicians don’t believe themselves and simply play us for fools, but I don’t know. If they are, and if we do, then more the fools we are for following along.

Anyway, I was reading a story about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and his plan to remove a number of House Democrats from their committee assignments should he become House speaker and started thinking. Here’s a story.

(If you’d like to read Representative Omar’s response to Representative McCarthy’s threat, you can do that here. I think it’s worth reading)

Hail to the chief

Although it had changed some over the years the tradition was centuries old, dating back to 1790. He thought of his place in history and smiled. He felt a few butterflies kick to life in his belly and ignored them. Silly, he thought. I don’t worry. Not about this, not about anything. Peeking out from his ready room in the chamber he watched as all the others arrived and took their seats. The murmur of conversation bothered him and then he thought, They’re talking about me, they’re all talking about me, and with that thought his annoyance settled into a feeling of joyous anticipation.

All of them are here to see me, he thought. Powerful people, every one of them, but they wish they were as powerful as me. He smiled with the new thought.

Yes, he thought. Everyone waiting to listen to me.

He backed away from the door and readied himself with a few deep breaths while running his hands through his thick hair. Finally, the door opened. “It’s time, sir.”

“I’m ready, Paul.” And checking his watch, “I believe you’re a little late.”

“Yes sir. If you’ll follow me.”

“If you don’t mind, Paul. I’d rather lead.”

“But sir, tradition dictates—”

“Never mind tradition, Paul. This is a new tradition. Just walk behind me. Can you do that, or do I need to find someone who can?”

“Yes sir,” Paul said as he stepped to the side to allow the man to pass and then fell in silently behind him.

They walked down the hallway, and as they neared the door to the chamber the man could see everyone standing and talking and waiting. All waiting for me, he thought. Every one of them. For me, the most powerful man on the planet. The man stopped at the door and motioned to Paul. “OK,” he said.

Paul stepped around the man and the crowd turned and quieted. Paul waited for two seconds and then announced, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States.”

The applause and cheers were loud. The man elbowed his way past Paul who, he made a mental note to remember, didn’t move out of the way quickly enough, and he slowly made his way to the dais ignoring the smiles and hand offerings of those waiting to greet him on both sides of the aisle. Having made the decision earlier not to share copies of his speech with the Speaker of the House and the Vice President he was able to bypass both of them without an acknowledgement. He proceeded to step up to the podium where he adjusted his microphone while raising his hands to silence the crowd. Look at them, he thought. They’re pawns, all of them. They’ll do anything to gain my favor. My blessing.

The man looked out at the assemblage, cleared his throat and raised a hand to quiet the crowd and began.

“Moi sograzhdane Amerikantsy…”

My fellow Americans…


Please pardon the Russian translation. I don’t speak Russian and it was the closest I could get using an online English/Russian translation website.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 22, 2022 8:45 am

    Oh my, powerful! And scary, too, because it might be too close to the truth these days, Michael. ~nan


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