Episode 20

Rebecca Campaigns for the Presidency

As soon as Rebecca and Jill appear on Democracy Now!, the ARP and Greens begin organizing their joint campaign. With only about two months before the election, it’s impossible for Rebecca to travel even for a day to each state. The corporate media will, of course, black her out, so there’s no point trying to buy television ads, even if they had the money. Instead, the campaigners decide collectively that Rebecca, Jill, and all their most popular supporters will begin appearing at major events in cities, towns and villages by Skype. It takes two weeks to organize the technology and schedule of appearances. The most difficult task is finding a way to keep their podcasts from being jammed or dropped by the providers and carriers who support the corporate elite and fear the ARP.

The answer is a network of brave employees within Google, Skype, Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T. A plea for help issued to workers in these companies elicits an overwhelming response. Workers at all levels, even executives, call in to guarantee access within their territory. Many are punished. Some lose their jobs, but they make sure the ARP can speak to their audiences.

As the Skype tour gathers momentum, Rebecca and her supporters appear on screens in large auditoriums, basketball arenas, even baseball and football stadiums. In every instance, the  speakers explain and promote the idea of government as process not policy, the need for total transparency and accountability, the willingness of all ARP candidates to open their tax records and even their bankbooks to the public. They emphasize that ARP candidates are not running for personal gain but for collective health and universal wellbeing. They insist that this approach is the only way to limit the power of money and make sure all stakeholders are heard during the decision-making process. This message is received with astonishment, gratitude and cheers that reverberate through the body politic.

Inside the Washington Beltway, the ARP is generating terror close to panic. It’s obvious to all that Rebecca is incorruptible. She’s an outsider with no desire to become an insider. She’s advocating something entirely new, and she’s turning the people on. Normally, a populist leader like this would be taken out by underworld hitmen, but even the underworld supports the ARP. No amount of money is sufficient to buy a gangster willing and able to kill her, and using amateurs would be too dangerous. The gangsters are actually protecting her.

The CIA, the NSA, the FBI, Homeland Security—all the agencies that can ordinarily be counted on to deal with a threat like Rebecca are unable to act. Though certain elements, especially the upper echelons, speak openly about eliminating this threat to the American way of life, the rank and file are in love with Rebecca. When anyone in any of those agencies suggests any sort of dirty trick, the opposition is immediate and powerful. It’s obvious that no dirty trick can be implemented without internal opposition and, at least, full disclosure to Wikileaks and other news organizations. The elite feel their control eroding.

The Clinton and Trump campaigns are flagging. Their televised presidential debates draw large audiences, but so do reruns of The Walking Dead. Rebecca’s podcasts are drawing larger audiences, and not just in the US. All around the world, Rebecca is a star, a phenomenon, a ray of hope.

After a couple weeks of dazed confusion, the corporate media fights back. The punditocracy generates their unified talking points and mobilizes the right-wing echo chamber to discredit or tarnish Rebecca. One line of attack is age. At 39, Rebecca is too young for the heavy responsibility of the presidency. She’s a child playing in a adult’s game. She’ll be eaten alive by our enemies. In her next podcast, Rebecca responds. “I will never carry the heavy responsibility my critics are assuming I can’t handle. With me as president, that responsibility will rest with the people, with the stakeholders, those who involve themselves in the decisions. I will never be the decider, you will. I will only be providing the forum and the process for making the decisions. I’m not too young to do that. In fact, I’ve already demonstrated a certain aptitude for my kind of leadership.”

Dropping the age issue, the pundits attack Rebecca’s video-based campaign. “She’s a coward. She refuses to get out on the road and actually meet people in person. She remains safely up on a screen. We don’t even know if she’s real. She might be nothing but a computer graphic.”

Rebecca responds: “As you know, I didn’t decide to run in this year’s election until September, when Jill Stein offered to support me. In two months, it would be physically impossible to visit all of you, but I wanted to get my message to as many as I could. I think you can see I’m doing that.

   Another reason for this approach is to model campaign behavior for all future campaigns. Physically traveling around the US would require an enormous amount of fossil fuel. Why put all that carbon into the atmosphere if I can get my message to you without leaving my office? I believe this is the way it should be done, even if I had had more time. I suspect my critics will be campaigning like this in the next election.”

Next, they attack her lifestyle: “Rebecca is unmarried. She’s a woman’s lib feminazis. She’s not a real woman. She’s a lesbian. She’s a narcissist, interested only in herself. She has no husband, no children and no understanding of family, much less family values.”

Rebecca responds: “Wow, now I’m being attacked for being single! Are there any other singles out there? Is this something I should be ashamed of? I won’t bother to respond to all the ridiculous criticisms along these lines, but I will explain something about my private life.

   In short, I don’t have one. I’ve known for a very long time that I have a public mission. I have long known it is part of my mission to rise to the highest levels of political power. I have also known that, to be successful, I have to subordinate my personal desires to my public responsibilities. I do not now and never have had a boyfriend because I can’t afford to take my focus away from my public mission. I’m not suggesting that anyone else should live like me. We all have our own missions and our own ways of life. I’m only explaining my situation in hopes that you’ll understand the depth and intensity I bring to my mission. I have sacrificed my personal and family life to bring you a new approach to politics. I could not have done what I’m doing if I were a wife and mother. If you make me president, my sacrifice will have been worthwhile. I will be one step closer to fulfilling my mission, and I will continue to focus exclusively on raising our society to a higher level of collective health and happiness.”

When all else fails, they attack her sense of fashion. Ann Coulter starts it with, “She’s a hippy. She looks like she’s Amish. She wears the same few outfits over and over. She dresses in a way that is disrespectful to our traditions and unbecoming of a president or even a presidential candidate. We need a president with some class.”

Rebecca responds: “Every item of clothing I wear has been made by someone I know. The cloth is woven by hand from cotton, wool or silk. I dress in the traditional costumes of Native Americans, the Amish, and others living in rural communities because they’re the only ones who still make their own clothes from scratch. I have only a few outfits because each outfit is quite expensive and because these are all I need. To be honest, I can’t afford to dress in a way Ann Coulter would consider sufficiently classy, but I’m proud of that fact.

   I dress the way I do because I believe it’s the way we should all be clothing ourselves. We should all be supporting our local craftspeople. We should all buy from people we know and like. We should all keep our money in our home communities as much as we can, and we need to avoid supporting sweatshops and companies that make absurd profits using prison or slave labor to produce clothing made largely from petroleum fibers. We need to return to our roots, to nature, and be as self-sufficient, low-energy and sustainable as possible.

   Of course, I’m only expressing my personal philosophy, not advocating for national policy. The clothing we produce, how we produce it, and what we make it from is up to all of you to decide. I’m only explaining why I wear the clothing I do. I mean no disrespect to anyone, but I have special respect for indigenous peoples, natural methods and materials, as well as the Earth, from which all our materials come. I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way.”

A few days later, Rebecca addresses the same topic: “After I spoke about my clothing in response to attacks on my sense of fashion, I have been overwhelmed by gifts of clothing coming in from indigenous people around the world. I have received spectacularly beautiful clothes from Central and South America, from Africa, and from Asia. I had no idea there was so much diversity and beauty in the world of indigenous fashion. I am profoundly impressed and prouder than ever to be wearing the type of clothing I do. 

   I will keep some of your gifts and wear them with pride, but I am giving most of them to ARP volunteers who need or want them. We haven’t talked about this as a group, but I suspect indigenous clothing could become a thing among ARP candidates, an easy way of distinguishing us from others.  But even more than the clothing itself, I am profoundly moved and grateful for your support. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

   Now, please do not send me any more clothes. I am completely overwhelmed. I have received more clothing than I could wear in a lifetime. I thank you, ARP thanks you, but please, if you have extra clothing, give it to someone near you who needs it. Thank you again.”

Every time the media attacks, Rebecca responds through her podcasts. Her podcasts are getting more viewers than most TV news shows, and she answers the charges against her with such depth and honesty that accusations and ridicule simply wither and blow away in the wind that is clearly at her back. Ann Coulter’s attack on Rebecca’s appearance is particularly misguided since Rebecca makes anything she wears look like the height of fashion. In fact, young people around the country are imitating her. GAP and Banana Republic have already come out with a line of fake “natural, indigenous” clothing.

Republicans and Democrats are desperately digging for dirt. They have dozens of staff searching full time for something to use against her—evidence of wrongdoing as mayor of Anytown; a disgruntled former staff member willing to talk; even a friend willing to say she did drugs in college. They’re striking out. Rebecca is clean beyond the comprehension of the gangsters she’s running against. She’s bulletproof. She is so pure, every attempt to slime her or make her look bad boomerangs back on her attackers. To their shock and horror, they find themselves helping to build her legend, build her online community, and make her election inevitable.

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