The following is in response to Fandango’s Story Starter #71. The idea came after reading an article that appeared in The Guardian titled ‘These are conditions ripe for political violence’: how close is the US to civil war?‘ It paints a terrifying future for America should it continue down the path it is currently on. More alarming is the fact that a second civil war may be inevitable. The fictional story posted below depicts how such a conflict may start.
Content Warning: The work contains violence and explores extremist political ideology. It is a piece of fiction and does not reflect the views of the author.
The Second Revolution
Craig sat in the garage looking at the box on the table. A collection of memorabilia from the 2016 presidential campaign. He wasn’t political by nature but belonged to that segment of white America swept up in a populous wave of enthusiasm. Clinging to a promise of the coming storm that would cleanse an America on life support.
He was a slice of middle America. Born and raised in the heart of the rust belt where he had managed to build a respectable blue-collar life. It had not always been like this. He had made some bad choices in his youth. A penchant for drunken violence and prison time for a string of robberies he committed had left his life in tatters. After serving his time he met Sarah. She was his saviour along with his parole officer who put him on to the job opportunity at the engine factory. Together they helped turn his life around.
The auto industry was once the backbone of this country and would help him fashion a life for his family here. Sure, the Koreans, Japanese, and Germans had up their game while the Big 3 wallowed in their own fat and complacency. With sales dropping like a stone and consumers apathetic to lagging quality or seeking more energy efficient foreign models it was clear the halcyon days of the Motor City were over.
The time had come to make his mark. America was faltering and he was part of the solution. Craig had to choose a path, but given his history of making poor decisions, he cast his vote for Donald Trump. Besides he couldn’t let the cold and heartless Clinton become president.
Back in his garage he looked at the box, his MAGA hat covered in dust, the promises to ‘Make America Great Again.’ cut short by an election the establishment stole. Not that his 2020 vote was tampered with, he didn’t even bother to cast one. His layoff from the plant was at 21 months and beginning to look permanent although he didn’t know it. Who had time to vote when it was hard enough to put food on the table? The election may have been stolen, but not from him.
After Trump’s defeat Craig would take a trip to the capitol to protest. His life would drift for the next couple of years while he bounced from job to dead-end job. His wife worked hard to keep the family together, shielding the children from their father as he slipped further and further to the right of centered. Alcoholic haze, conspiracy theories, and other crazy ideas filling his free time. It was time for a new revolution, he would call it America’s reckoning.
As he sat at a window overlooking the park anger swelled inside, incited by a series of algorithms that he had read a paragraph or two about online but that he’d lumped in with the other fake news because he really didn’t understand it. It sounded more like a Russian or Chinese plot than something an American tech company would do.
He watched the motorcade pull up to the gathering on the grassy hill. The President of the United States stepped from the vehicle and into the crosshairs as his finger moved for the trigger…
Credits and Additional Information