The Victim

Chapter Four: Victory

Election day

The next morning, during a rally in one of the liberal states, the article is published, quickly followed by a live interview. We have people in the rally who start chanting “rapist, rapist!” I watch it all from my tv. Oh, this takes me back to college times. The conservative candidate tries to appease the crowd, but the chant grows into a riot and he soon has to be evacuated by bodyguards. I smile, pleased.

The next thing I do is set up interviews with the girl accusing him and other rape victims. I wear a pin, they share their stories, and yadda yadda. After the whole thing, a new upsurge in the hashtag #MeToo takes over the social networks, where women and non-binaries share their rape and near-rape stories. There’s only two weeks left before the election now, and the tide seems to shift on our favor.

But we haven’t won yet. The conservatives manage to find evidence that incriminates my running mate. At the same time, there’s a federal investigation into her illegal activities. Only a week before the election, the investigators announce that they can’t pursue the investigation because otherwise they would be interfering with the elections, which has a precedent. I joke with my running mate, saying “It’s like we’re running not because we want to get to the presidency, but because we want to skip jail.”

We bring in a second accuser against the conservative candidate. Now it’s not an isolated incident but a “serial rapist,” and the leader of a small “rape circle” characteristic of “the patriarchy.” The two women accusing him quickly get a few millions in advance from a publishing group to “write” a book about their experience, which is then rushed to print by ghostwriters. Of course the book will only have effect after the election, but the women are rich already.

The days feel exponentially longer as we approach the election. To tell you the truth, there’s a lot of busy work, courtesy meetings and chores I have to do. The road to power is paved with boredom. That’s partly why I don’t go into more detail about what exactly I do: I have some respect for your time. But really it’s just an exhausting endless stream of managing people… Well, and conspiring in my case.

The day of the election finally arrives. We were supposed to spend the day in a big fancy hotel, but instead we choose to watch the results from a huge homeless centre. We bring the caterers with us and set up large screens. It’s a surprise move to show how down-to-earth we are. Our security team warns us about the risks, but we dismiss them. The message is more important.

People turn on their tvs and see us sharing caviar with the homeless like good communists. Actually, good communists would throw the homeless into a gulag and make them break rocks thirty-two hours a day, but people don’t know that. The race is close. Several times the lead changes from the conservative candidate to us and back. As we approach the end of the tally, it’s not clear at all who’s going to win.

Indeed, it’s not until the next day when all the votes are tallied that we learn the incredible news. It’s a 0.5% lead in our favor. The conservative candidate does not concede and instead accuses us of “rigging the elections.” It would honestly have made complete sense, except this is not on us. Of all the things we’ve done, we’re actually not guilty of this one. I mean, at a local level, there has probably been some rigging, as always. But we haven’t had a direct hand on this, and both sides are just as guilty.

We celebrate our victory, even though it’s not clear-cut at all. After protests in several conservative strongholds, the votes are recounted. After a couple minor local counting scandals and errors, we still come out victorious… with a 0.25% lead. The turnout is 32%, a historical low. The last few years it had been below half, but this is too much. We’ve won by a little over 524,288 votes.

During the time before inauguration day, our enemies create rumors of impeachment and repeating the election. But nobody wants to impeach the first female president, specially not after the last president was also impeached. Still, when we appear in rallies, it’s easy to feel the discontent in the faces of our audience. They don’t feel like we’ve earned it. And honestly, neither do I.

But that’s success. You can’t impose your conditions on it. You must be ready to sacrifice everything. Out in the jungle it’s not the strong that survives, but the cruel. Only those who are willing to sacrifice everything and everyone else to impose their will reach the pinnacle of the life of crime. Now, on the weeks leading up to inauguration day, I can feel the opposition heating up. And they’re not basement dwellers who furiously type half-baked opinions on hive-mind forums. No, they’re actual people with real jobs and families.

A great man said long ago “class war is sharpening.” Although separated by more than a century, here we are, in the same situation. And the only path forward is the same it was back then.