Methane Wars: A Fable — Chapter Fourteen

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The Swing

Timothy Jefferson was fatefully named, or so he would tell you. I suspect he wished his parents had been more prescient and named him Thomas but the T was close enough.

Jefferson was the leading candidate facing President Taylor. Foodem Fighters were going to be his meal ticket. They just needed organization and some talking points. Timothy Jefferson had talking points and the party could buy organization.

Soon the Foodem Fighters weren’t just protesting. They were rallying. Speakers. Motions. Demands. The message, I suspect with help of Jefferson’s political machine, began to evolve. The desire to choose their food might have driven them to this point but soon they recognized lack of food freedom was just a symptom of their greater lack of freedom. If the strictures of Methane Collection were the problem, repealing the Coal Elimination Act was the solution. Since Methane Collection affected everyone, the rallying cry of repeal rang clear and far.

Meisner tried to counter the swell with patriotic arguments: “Repealing Methane Collection doesn’t fix our basic national problem. It only relieves a burden that is sure to come to an end soon.” Doomsday arguments: “The burdens of methane collection will pale next to the burdens of failed energy resources.” Fear as a political motivator. The collapse of civilization provided a good counterpoint. And there it was: doomsday vs. personal freedom.

Timothy Jefferson interpreted Methane Collection as an abuse of government control, regulation of the people beyond its appointed power. He didn’t believe in the doomsday scenario. But he even more vehemently believed that it was never justified for the government to oppress its people. By the people. For the people. He believed it was time to roll back government restrictions on the ability to choose.

In the war of words, Jefferson had the upper hand. He could on a daily basis illustrate the personal effects of Methane Collection. Meisner could only back up his doomsday speech with economic projections that, no matter how dire, lacked visceral and immediate impact. The economy was just fine. Energy was not scarce. Jobs were not being lost. People wanted freedom, not fear.

Jefferson had big plans for reigning in regulation. What we needed was less government babysitting and more personal accountability. Jefferson loved personal accountability. More personal accountability solved almost everything for Jefferson. Though he spoke frequently about personal accountability in his stump speech he stuck to the repeal of Methane Collection as his bread and butter. That was personal. Hard hitting. Explosive. Oppression brought angrily home was a powder keg.

House and Senate candidates from Jefferson’s party grabbed onto the firestorm Jefferson and the Foodem Fighters had ignited. I watched as the fury grew. Someone had to pay for the indignities of Methane Collection. The President and his party would pay. Jefferson fueled every demand from the Foodem Fighters with an inflammatory speech. “You are being violated on daily basis. You have been dehumanized, turned into an energy source, a commodity.” The incendiary anger of oppression was poured on every issue. The actions of the President’s party were ablaze.

I jumped into the fray. I wanted an end to the Methane Collection. That was freedom to me. I had money. I threw it at a senate candidate from California, Dale Esposito. Not sure that the money mattered in the end. The pendulum swung and it swung hard. Landslide. Out with the old, in with the new. The bell tolled hard for President Taylor and his party.

Timothy Jefferson won the presidency. His party took back the House with a full majority. Jefferson’s party won every Senate race.

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About joegergen

To evoke a smile. That's all. Author of "Methane Wars: A Fable" and "Lear's Fool" as well as various poems and some these painting things as well.
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