Friday, August 6, 2004

Chapter Two

Washington D.C.
23 October 2059

[excerpt from President’s address to the nation]

.... Our coastal cities have suffered much under the rising seas. No one could have predicted the Arctic and Antarctic ice-packs would melt so quickly. Now is not the time to point fingers and seek to blame one political party or the other. It is a time for all Americans to work together to help those who have survived readjust to their new homes.

Our healthcare system has become overburdened by these new antibiotic reistant viruses. I know that each of you has lost a loved one, a family member, a co-worker, or a friend. Everyday we're working hard to find a vaccine, but it's hard work. These viruses mutate so we're always shooting at a moving target. But our pharmaceutical companies assure me that, given the resources, they will find the answers.

We've had some economic setbacks. I know that many of you watching or listening tonight have lost your job. These dislocations aren't due to failed policies in Washington. They're just part of the business cycle. Yet, we are a proud people. I know that you want to work. So, join me and we can work together to make this economy a strong and robust one.

My fellow Americans, faced with these daunting challenges we must marshall our resources. Working together we can overcome any obstacle. Our priorities are clear - the health and safety of the American people. To this end, I have directed my cabinet members to devise a plan that will lift us from these dark times unto a brighter and better America.

Our success will not come without sacrifice, but I know the character of the American people - we will prevail. God has presented us with these tests and we shall not disappoint him. We are a nation favored by God and let no one forget it.

Given our priorities, we must fight today's battles - not yesterday's. We have largely succeeded in the Global War On Terrorism, so the Secretary of Defense has recommended we decrease our forces in the Middle East from 620,000 troops to 211,000 – by the end of this year. And we shall have all our troops home in three years. Our brave soldiers, men and women, have given the people of the Middle East a chance at democracy. They have removed tyrants from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kurdistan and Israel. These valiant warriors for freedom will return home to their communities and make America stronger.

We have tried to work with other nations, but we will not bow to international pressure when it is against America's interest. After careful review, I have decided that America needs its own space program. Our attempt to collaborate with the United Nations has not worked the way we envisioned. Our voice has been disregarded too many times. I have asked congress to reconstitute NASA - an American space program putting America and Americans first.

To spur new research and job growth, I've issued an executive order to the IRS suspending all taxes on drug companies until a vaccine that is 100% effective against today's new and deadly viruses is produced. The health of the American people demands it and my job as defined by the Constitution is to safeguard the American people ....

[transcript, MTVNews]

M. Grieger, studio host: The President seemed in superior form tonight. Relaxed, with confidence and a twinkle in his eye.

R. Lange, analyst: You're so right Michelle. President Grantsburg told the American people just what they wanted to hear tonight. He cares about them. Their government cares about them. Sure there have been some bumps in the road, but we're a strong, resilient people.

M.Grieger: Thanks, Robert. Juan, your opinion?

J. Padilla, analyst: I was humbled by the poetic imagery. Today is a proud day to be an American. He's working hard for us! Sometimes people forget that politicians, even government bureaucrats, are people too. We should all be glad we have a government that cares about our freedoms.

M.Grieger: Thank you, Juan. That was very moving. To recap our earlier news story, 17 congressmen were arrested this morning prior to the President's speech. Each of them was detained for speaking to newspaper reporters without having gained prior approval from the Whitehouse. An administration spokesmen said that special elections may be held next year to replace them.

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