The Good Patriot

The sun burns Benzene yellow under the cover of the smog. Hidden like a political agenda, it burns despite one not being able to see the enemy. I day-dream about clear skies and clean water.

I exit the Patriot Thruway and pay the toll. The horn sounding behind and the smell of diesel fuel remind me, those days are long gone.

Avoiding potholes I navigate my car to the restaurant parking lot. I stroll inside, my eyes searching for Rick and surveying the people there.

I spy him at the table and join him. We make small talk and catch up on his kid’s lives. Jason was the oldest, Now a soccer player for the Argentina Stars. And of course, Benjamin the youngest. Who was now a commodities trader in Hong Kong. The Newsweek article is pulled from his pocket and shared with me proudly. “Rising star on the Commodities exchange. “ the headline screamed. Benjamin had made a fortune brokering clean water from the arctic find.

“I am glad for their success Rick.” I was pleased we both lived long enough to see the new prosperity, even if it is so far away physically. The global economy which made the world smaller had ironically made close family ties only a memory.

The waitress interrupted the conversation and they ordered. It was a treat for both. It was rare they either saw one another anymore or actually dined at a restaurant. On this occasion they splurged and both ordered the Tri head Amberjack from the Gulf of Mexico. It was a mutant variety that survived after the spill of 2010. And one with the lowest ppm (Parts per million) of petroleum by-products detectible.

It was part of a new initiative to support local fisherman. It was, as the party said “The Patriotic thing to do.”

Some party I thought to myself. Corporations were now unchecked by any branch of government. And they were selling three-headed fish. The EPA was one of the first regulating agencies to fall to the massive spending cuts of 2012. But that was only the tip of the iceberg.

“Jason is coming home for Christmas Rick mumbled. Benjamin can’t get away though.” I saw a tear well in his eye. “The Chinese don’t celebrate Christmas Kevin; I am amazed they still let us.” Rick said irritated. His eye’s scanned the room after the emotional outburst.

The waitress came over. “Everything ok she asked?”

“Fine I said. Can we get two waters please?” “And what is the market price?”

“32 RMB’S Sir.” RMB being the acronym for renminbi, or the Chinese dollar. It had been the replacement currency since the Default of the government in 2010.

“Let’s just skip the water and bring us two Beers. A guy can drink Beer for less than water now, Pathetic Rick said.”

We reminisced more about the kid’s and the way things used to be. Good times and bad. Both agreed we never would have believed what had transpired in our country. Now we were, more or less a subsidiary of The Peoples Republic of China.

Oh sure The Party People still beat the Patriotic drum and waved the flag proudly. But we all knew now, it was the great lie. Government for the people was stripped away slowly.

The Department of Education it turned out, most noteworthy in the escalating downfall. Only the top 10% of the citizens who controlled 90% of the wealth could afford the private schools. Fortunately our kids were the last generation to receive a public education.

But did we ever get tax relief. We created a society further along on the haves and have not scale. Sadly with no infrastructure or manufacturing capabilities, the few who owned business found shelter in foreign markets or put their money in gold. And who could blame them? There was little left to invest and compete with. Slowly our largest corporations were sold off or merged with their larger foreign competitors.

Foreign countries looked at our uneducated workforce, our crumbling social programs and infrastructure, and funneled investment to European and Asian markets. The Chinese now owned us lock, stock and barrel. We served them as cheap unskilled labor.

“Where did it all go so wrong?”  Rick and I sat and talked to one another in low tones.

I offered the 2010 Supreme Court decision of Citizens United versus the Federal Election Commission as proof of the decline. Corporations were found to have the right to support and fund political groups, and contribute to their election to public office. Good business but far from doing the business of the people.

He pointed out the use of propaganda and lie’s to manipulate the electorate. The Party used a well designed campaign to repeat lies until they became believed by the populace. A most effective, albeit dishonest method to win elections. Once they controlled the majority in the House of Representatives it was easy to repeat the same mantra and make legislation favoring their corporate interests. Next to fall were the Presidency and the Senate. Voter anger and apathy kept the average person from the polls. It marked the end of a traditional democracy. Thus ushering in the Party, and their agenda.

The Tri-headed Amberjack tasted worse by the moment. While good to see an old friend, neither could find the words to provide either encouragement or comfort.

I felt it were time to tell him.

“This will be our last lunch my friend. I managed to say. I have my Time to go slot scheduled for next week, I would like it if you could attend to my ashes I asked?”

“It seemed the medical community didn’t want to barter healthcare for chickens after all I said.” I was mocking an ad run by a Party candidate when the healthcare debate raged in the country many years ago. “Besides, after watching my baby, I am not going to do the chemotherapy.”

I passed the announcement/invitation with the date, time and address of the Time to go express clinic. They were the last bastion of free enterprise, and quite literally a pay as you go enterprise.  The Advertisement announced Euthanasia and cremation services in 60 minutes or less. It was Booming business, in the new America.

“You’re a good Patriot Kev.”  The perfect parting words in the New America. No one dared be a drag on the economy or the state. This was going out with dignity and on mans own terms.

“That’s all I ever wanted to be.” I said as I paid the bill and walked away from my friend.

© J.K. Dark


~ by onthedarkside on November 8, 2010.

One Response to “The Good Patriot”

  1. Kevin – WOW! This is a beautiful piece. I envy you ability to extend the modern truth of the day into a future that could be all to near and all true as well. Bravo!

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