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by Ron Cruger
It Really Happened, Jimmy
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       The year was 2064.
       “Jimmy, I told you before. It’s a true story. I watched it happen.”
       “But, Grandpa, how dumb were the Americans back then? I can’t believe that those two people did what they did and said what they said and millions still voted for them.”
        “Jimmy, I don’t know what it was, but day after day the news was about something one or the other did or said that shocked people.”
       “But, Grandpa, the guy, who was running for President admitted that he groped women and it was okay because he was a television star. That alone should have gotten him kicked off his party’s ticket, wouldn’t it?”
       “Absolutely, Jimmy. I wish I had a good answer for you, but I don’t. Maybe it was just because the United States was in a funk. People were unhappy about the job situation, we were fighting wars overseas, prices were rising, people were out of work and health care was a big emotional issue. There was a lot of unrest in the country and both candidates were promising fast improvement to all the bad situations if they got elected.
       “Is it true that the lady candidate sent important government stuff over her personal computer?”
       “Yes, Jimmy, she made some bad choices and this was one of them. But that wasn’t all. Those opposed to her candidacy tried to show that her personal finances benefited from her being the former Secretary of State. Her opposition tried to prove that she was dishonest and lied to the country on numerous occasions.”
       “But the guy who was running for President said some outrageous things they still play on our news a half century later. He seems to have been a vulgar, immature, bully. Kind of a ‘loose cannon” kind of a guy. And was he a misogynist as he appeared to be? You know, did he really say those insulting things about women?”
       “Jimmy, I’m afraid that he appeared to be all those things and said all those things.”
       “What stunned the voters was his stated belief that his female opponent should be locked up in jail for being dishonest. That’s a pretty bold thing to say, especially just before the election.” Jimmy, It’s hard to believe, but the majority of people back then didn’t really trust either one of the candidates. And many thought they were both plain and simply dishonest.”
       “And, Grandpa, with all of that mistrust they both went down to the wire right to the day of the election.”
       “As election day approached both candidates pulled out all the stops and got mega-negative about the other. Millions of voters remained undecided as they walked into their voting booths. Millions refused to vote for either candidate. The animus surrounding both candidates caused the lowest percentage vote for president in 98 years. Millions voted but left their presidential selection blank. It was kind of a protest against those two candidates and their parties who nominated them.”
       “And Grandpa, what did the American people think when the winner was announced?”
       “Well, Jimmy, for a few weeks there were accusations flying all over the country about voter fraud, lying, cheating and rigged elections. And then, sometime in February of 2017 something happened that had never happened before in the United States. The new President went on television to the country to fully explain what had happened. The new President started out by saying “God bless America” as all America watched and listened.”