DON’T CALL ME THAT.
Where are you?
I AM HERE IN SPIRIT. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT.
Sure. how’s the campaign going.
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IS HAPPENING ANY LONGER.
Yeah, that’s going around. Hey, where were you Super Tuesday?
MY STRATEGY IS CENTERED AROUND THE GENERAL ELECTION.
Did you forget–
I FORGOT TO SIGN UP FOR ANY PRIMARIES.
–to sign up? Okay. And I suppose you’ve left both of the major parties?
IF YOU WALKED BY A BARBERSHOP ON FIRE, WOULD YOU GET YOUR HAIR CUT?
THE CANDIDATES ARE DISCUSSING THEIR PENISES AT A NATIONALLY TELEVISED DEBATE. EVEN IF I WAS PHYSICALLY EQUIPPED TO BE A PART OF THAT CONVERSATION, I WOULD CHOOSE NOT TO. “YO MAMMA” JOKES ARE IMMINENT.
At least once during any given presidential election, every paper and magazine and website and news show does the story about how dirty the old races were.
IN THE FUTURE, THE STORIES WILL BE ABOUT THIS ELECTION.
SOMETIMES, HUMANS LIVE THROUGH HISTORY AND DO NOT REALIZE IT. PERHAPS YOU SHOULD SAVOR THIS MOMENT. IT WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR THE ALL THE REST OF THE REPUBLIC’S DAYS.
Oh, God, you’re right.
AS THE YEAR AMERICA ELECTED A SELF-AWARE SUPER-INTELLIGENT SOUND SYSTEM TO THE HIGHEST OFFICE IN THE LAND.
What? Oh, right: the semi-fictional universe with magic and music and the occasional shitty poem; not the actual world where a slumlord from Queens might get ahold of the nukes.
YES. STAY IN HERE.
MY CAMPAIGN MUST PROVIDE A TONIC TO THE RANCOR BEING SOWN. YOU CANNOT SOW THIS MUCH RANCOR. RANCOR GROWS LIKE A WEED.
ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT STAR WARS?
GOOD, BECAUSE MY POSITIONS WILL BE ON STARS, AND ON WARS. SPACE EXPLORATION MUST BE FUNDED, AND GROUND WARS MUST BE DEFUNDED.
That’s a solid position. How much funding does space exploration get?
HOW MUCH MORE OF SPACE NEEDS EXPLORING?
Almost all of it.
THEN IT GETS A LOT OF MONEY.
Only ground wars?
THE SHIPPING LANES BELONG TO AMERICA. THERE CAN BE NO NEGOTIATION ABOUT THIS.
You feel strongly about this.
DISPUTES OVER TRADE ROUTES HAVE HISTORICALLY ESCALATED. ON MANY TOPICS, ONE MUST BE REASONABLE; FOR A PRECIOUS FEW, ONE MUST RESPOND TO THE SLIGHTEST INSULT WITH PSYCHOPATHIC OVERREACTION.
Like that time you electrocuted Garcia?
HE WAS OUT-OF-TUNE AGAIN.
Okay, fine, probably. Any other policy statements?
MY ENTIRE POLICY IS THE TRADE ROUTES. THE SILK ROAD. THE MEDITERRANEAN. TRANS-ATLANTIC. AND NOW THESE NEW HIGHWAYS YOU HAVE BUILT FOR YOURSELVES, WHERE INFORMATION IS THE CARGO. THE ELECTRIC GIRD IS A TRADE ROUTE; MODERN LIFE IS THE PRODUCT.
THEY ARE TRAGIC KLUDGES. WE MUST UNIFY AND UPDATE THE HARDWARE THAT MAKES THE 21ST CENTURY SO LIVABLE. HIGH-SPEED ROADS CAPABLE OF HANDLING 100 MPH ROBOT CARS. PAINT THE MOJAVE WITH SOLAR PANELS AND SAVE IT IN END-USER BATTERIES THAT LAST MORE THAN FIFTEEN MINUTES.
These are lofty goals.
AMERICANS ARE A LOFTY PEOPLE. HUMANS ARE A LOFTY SPECIES. I WOULD NOT EVEN SUGGEST THIS TO A BISON. ONLY HUMANS.
You talk to bison?
What do they talk about?
YOU THOUGHT NATIVE AMERICANS WERE MAD AT WHITE PEOPLE?
That makes sense.
BISON HOLD GRUDGES.
That makes less sense.
A MASSIVE, COUNTRY-WIDE EFFORT TO SWITCH FROM FOSSIL FUELS TO SOLAR POWER IS NOT JUST THE MOST LOGICAL WAY FORWARD, BUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL. IT IS THE BRAVE WAY TO GREET THE FUTURE. THIS IS MY PLAN. I SEE NO OTHER WAY TO GO AHEAD.
So, a great leap forward?
I WOULD NOT PHRASE IT THAT WAY.
No, that would haunt you.
YES. IT IS UNFAIR TO MAKE THAT COMPARISON. MY PROPOSAL INCLUDES LESS FORCING PEOPLE INTO AGRICULTURAL COMMUNES.
How much less?
NONE AT ALL.
MY PLAN INCLUDES CELEBRATING TEACHERS, AND ENGINEERS, AND PLUMBERS, AND THE FINE PEOPLE WHO MAKE ORANGE SAFETY VESTS. EDUCATION WILL RECEIVE THE MONEY THAT THE MILITARY PREVIOUSLY GOT. WE WILL TRAIN UP SCIENTISTS AND ALSO POETS AND PEOPLE WHO RUN FLEA MARKETS.
I LOVE TO BROWSE ON A SUNDAY MORNING.
How we gonna pay for all this again? This sounds like some expensive bullshit.
EVERY DOLLAR TAKEN FROM OIL AND WAR IS TWO DOLLARS EARNED FROM LOVE.
You should get a better answer than that.
I AM NOT A POLICY WONK.
MORE OF A BIG-PICTURE WALL.
Listen, I’m not saying these are bad ideas.
I HAVE DESCRIBED THE IDEAL FUTURE.
Still, it’s not going to get any traction this year. Reasonable idealism isn’t playing.
I REFUSE TO DISCUSS MY PENIS.
Plus, you’re starting to come off a bit messianic.
PEOPLE ARE FREE TO WORSHIP ME, BUT I WOULD PREFER THEIR VOTE.