The Victim

Chapter Four: Victory

The final campaign

Thanks to all the votes we had racked up before the scandals we win the primaries. Though it’s a pyrrhic victory. A large portion of our own party has disowned us. Our biggest, or rather, only supporters are the radical left. There’s a new investigation into the death of the last madman that came after me. Opportunistic senators want to remove me from office.

My running mate doesn’t get a better deal. She’s being accused of playing an important part in my uncle’s scheme as well as collaborating with national intelligence agencies to spy on our own citizens, and even of having framed ‘the arsonist.’ But we haven’t pulled our candidacy, no. We’re weathering the storm, whatever it takes. Let the committees and commissions and other useless bureaucrat nests investigate and probe us. They won’t find a thing.

The conservative press and several social networks crack open their thesaurus to find insults to use on us. It feels like we’re completely surrounded, on all fronts. Except now there’s no single enemy gunning for us, like with uncle. Everyone wants us to fail. Look, I know you may be thinking I’m repeating myself. I said I wouldn’t be put in this position again, yet here I am. I thought I would have reached power when I was younger, not so late in life. Yes, I’m not perfect.

But stick with me. Stick with me at least for this fight. Can’t you see what will happen if we win? We will have so much power we won’t know what to do with it. Only this election separates us from ultimate power. If we can muster the strength to win, no one will defeat us ever again. That’s why I’ve put myself in this position once more. If we lose, we’ll disappear from memory. But if we win… hell, we win it all.

Now that we’re smeared with disgrace, there is only one way forward: make the opposite candidate look worse than us. We have begun a defamation campaign. In fact, we’re not even trying to defend ourselves further than saying we’re innocent. Our opposing candidate is a rich white old male. He made himself rich and now he wants to play president.

But he’s not like the other rich white old males. He’s not another dry mummy; he’s actually charming and funny. He makes what the liberal newspapers call ‘outlandish remarks.’ No wonder nobody reads liberal newspapers. His attitude and ours is actually very similar. We accuse him or his campaign of racist/sexist/misogynist/offensive remarks/acts and he accuses us of thievery/extortion/conspiracy/murder/framing. And the funny thing is most of it is true.

If we had gone on the defensive, we would have lost. But now, our debates are heated exchanges of insults. In social media as well. We exploit the fact that his father was governor and introduced him into politics calling him “nepotist.” He accuses us of the same and worse, since uncle was a criminal. There is barely any talk about specific policies other than as an insult. It’s all about verbal combat.

And thanks to that, people in social networks also become more radical. It’s not about whether or not you accept some policies and reject others. If you are even moderately liberal, you see conservatives as white, old bigots who want to protect the gold they’re hoarding from immigrants. If you are even moderately conservative, you see liberals as vampires sucking the blood out of the decent working men to throw it away in kumbaya policies and “immigrant assimilation programmes.”

While we fling insults on the tv screen and my running mate campaigns herself to death, we have large teams of people devoting their entire days to online meme warfare. If you think that’s a laughing matter, you’re wrong. Tv is dead, long live the internet. A large chunk of internet users are young people, many of whom can now vote. A large chunk of that chunk spends a lot of time in social networks where memes live. So we manufacture memes and throw them out into the wild using our bot network. Most of the memes die, but some stick and even make it to the news. So when one morning we turn on tv during the morning as we have breakfast, I almost choke laughing when a nice lady with blonde hair calls a duck meme that represents gold-hoarding conservatives “a symbol of anarchism.”

That evening my rock meets with our secret weapon. Because despite all our efforts, the actual polls (not the ones conducted by our own liberal newspapers) show us that the conservative candidate has a strong lead. At some level, I wanted it to come down to this. This is the point where reality beats fiction. I believe this will work, just as it has been working up to now. It took some convincing and hard work, but finally she’s ready. I’m talking about a witness who is going to accuse the conservative candidate of sexual assault during high school.