The Victim

Chapter Four: Victory

Ban guns

The primaries start with a bang. Literally. A conservative candidate is shot dead by some loony. We have a platform that stands out from the rest. We are liberal, yes, but more than that. We are going to introduce a bill to enforce the use of certain new pronouns, like other countries have already done. This doesn’t interfere at all with the constitution, since freedom of speech is not in jeopardy. It’s simply that if someone makes public their preferred pronoun, other people have to use that pronoun. It’s already common practice, we’re just making it an official part of the legislation.

We’re also making federal the right of states to stop social events that could potentially be harmful to public safety. This is just about extending the law I pushed through my state’s senate to all the country. By now there’s already eight states that have similar laws, so it’s only natural we do this. Another interesting measure is our proposal to create a commission to watchdog public employees’s behavior on social media. Racist, abusive or intolerant behavior on any branch of the federal and state government will result in termination.

But most importantly, we have pledged to “ban guns.” Of course, this is the most controversial point of our campaign. Conservative newspapers and tv shows laugh at us, saying how crazy it is. People take it literally, thinking that is what we want. That point of our campaign alone has made us popular worldwide. But what people don’t seem to realize, and we’re not even the first candidates to do this, is that we’re bargaining. We don’t actually want a blanket ban on guns.

We want to make the right to “keep and bear arms” optional for each state through an amendment to the constitution. If we accomplish that, it will be translated into an outright ban on guns on the eight liberal states that, incidentally, most support us. Popular conservative talk shows and online discussion boards ruled by the right dismiss us as “leftist fascism.” Additionally, they are spinning several conspiracy theories about me and my friend from school. Some claim we’re cold-blooded killers that framed ‘the arsonist.’ Others say I had my girlfriend, husband and uncle-in-law killed. How crazy is that?

Of course these rumors only make the right look like tin-hat loonies and increase our notoriety. We’ve been getting crazy letters and calls for some time now. In the two weeks since we announced our candidacy and platform, we’ve been on the news every day. It’s always either something my friend from school has said, or something someone famous has said about us, usually to dismiss us. There are a lot of viable candidates eager to get the party’s nomination since everyone believes our party will automatically get elected independently of the candidate, all thanks to the impeachment of the last conservative president.

The primaries start off with some televised debates. At first they don’t pay much attention to my friend from school, well, my running mate. Then the moderator, a nice blonde lady, tries to bait her by mentioning something she said about the only other female candidate. “… don’t you think calling her a ‘wreck’ perpetuates harmful stereotypes about women?”

My running mate barely gives her time to finish the question. “No, it doesn’t,” she replies. “She was careless enough to expose sensitive information while she worked as senator.” She turns to look at her. “I wouldn’t trust you to watch my car, let alone my country. And I don’t even like my car.” The crowd laughs. “As I’ve said before,” complains the candidate, “I was hacked by a highly-trained spy.”

My running mate chuckles. “Yes, by a sixty-four year old housekeeper who knew how to open your laptop without password and copy the folder called ‘SECRET’ to her USB drive.” The other candidate tries to complain at the same time the moderator swerves to change subject and their voices crash into each other. My running mate just stands there, smiling at the crowd that smiles back at her.

The candidates debate over domestic security and its ties to privacy concerns. A couple of them get their horns locked ramming against each other as the crowd watches. There are a few issues where other candidates have more to say, like taxes, welfare and foreign policy. But when the issue of hate speech pops up, my running mate takes the chance.

Other candidates only have canned responses like: “I vow to support policies directly aimed at eradicating any sort of hate speech, wherever it crops up;” “Hate speech is rooted in deep insecurities formed during childhood; consequently, I believe the best course of action is to strengthen our education budget.” Shockingly, that was said by a law professor from some liberal college who now wants to play president.

My running mate replies more succinctly. “No more hate speech.” She only needs four words to convey an idea so transcending, so important, that the moderator uses an equally intelligent response: “What?” “Under my administration,” my running mate replies, “hate speech will disappear.” “Nice,” jumps in another candidate, “so you essentially want to screw over free speech and create a totalitarian regime?”

“No, if I wanted a totalitarian regime,” my running mate replies, “I would support you, since you seem very cozy with fascism, allowing nazis to deliver public speeches at schools.” Then she puts her left hand’s index finger under her nose like it’s a moustache and lifts her right arm. She says “Heil!” like she’s the H-man. The public finds it specially funny since the candidate who asked the question has a small shade of hair under the nose. They applaud like wind up monkeys.

A few exchanges of verbal fire later, the debate is over and we return to our shared apartment. I turn on the tv and take a tour through the channels. They all mention her appearances at some point or other. She lays on the couch with her eyes closed, exhausted, while I rub her feet. “They don’t know what’s coming to them,” I say. She simply smiles.