The year is 2012 â€“â€“ the world is idyllically right-wing and conservative. The incumbent, former President Barack Obama is ousted by former Alaskan governor and Fox News contributer, Sarah Palin.
A powerful Palin campaign shocks the left. Leaving no prisoners, it incites violence and encourages personal attacks.
Democrats and the far-left are shocked with President Palinâ€™s lack of experience. The extent of her foreign policy experience is limited to seeing Russia from her house. And while she was governor of Alaska, she resigned to become a Fox News correspondent. Her spotty past doesnâ€™t ruffle many feathers â€“â€“ the right loves her.
Throughout the race to the White House, Palin supporters held up her book, â€œGoing Rogue,â€ and paint Hitler ‘stashes on Obama. Chants begin with name-calling Obama as a socialist. Gun-toting factions are frequenters of her rallies. Those same people crash Obamaâ€™s demonstration, creating fears in his supporters and weakening voter confidence.
As Palin wins, Republicans seize control of Congress and government changes swiftly take shape.
The health care reform bills are repealed, edited and destroyed, leaving millions uninsured and underinsured. Palin is hailed for her cost-cutting strategy and her help destroying the bill.
Palin increases the defense budget. The War on Terrorism spreads from the Middle East to the Americas. The defense budget grows to epic proportions, even larger than the original health care bill cost.
Crimes of terror are applied liberally, often related to unbecoming behavior. Citizens of the U.S. are targeted for crimes of terror. The hate rhetoric attacks the left, vilifying socialism and Marxism, a social McCarthyism. Trials of these â€œsuspectsâ€ never occur; the Patriot Act leaves a loophole that allows combatants to be kept, without habeas corpus, in Guantanamo Bay.
Family values are stressed by the administration. A regression in morality occurs, and gay marriage laws are overturned.
Religious conservatism grows out of the contempt for this liberalism that had run rampant since 2008. Separation of church and state ceases to exist. Republicans begin to fetish the blend of God and country. The qualifying statements become monolithic without exception.
While the financial system collapses, education and infrastructure follows suit. A new rise in private education, police forces, gated communities and toll roads are encouraged as more efficient freedoms of the privÃ©, capitalist economy.
Oil continues to be the most utilized fuel source, but with recent attacks in Nigeria and a nuclear Iran, fuel becomes too expensive for lower-middle class families.
Millions go uneducated and transportation becomes too expensive for the average person.
Propped up by her Fox friends, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, the rhetoric approaches historical extremes. Constitutionalism becomes a potent force and garners a biblical following. Trust is blindly placed in the solidarity of the foundersâ€™ writing â€“â€“ itâ€™s no longer pliable and applicable with the world.
Lefties fight back, demeaning the Republicansâ€™ blind stewardship. Critics of the free market and constitutionalism ask sarcastic questions like, â€œShould we revert back to slavery?â€
The skeptical left suggests that it would make us more competitive in the global economy; after all, exploitation of slaves isnâ€™t just cheap labor â€“â€“ itâ€™s free!
Transition from this hellish nightmare and back to reality; itâ€™s 2010 again. Obama is criticized for signing the health bill, which ensures the livelihood of millions. Heâ€™s criticized for encouraging a one-third reduction in nuclear arms with Russia.
The spectrum shift has occurred without most people knowing about it. The old right is the new liberal and the new right is an extremity.
President Ronald Reagan suggested that in the wake of the Cold War, we could reduce our nuclear weapons by one-third, and he hoped for a world without them. President Richard Nixon introduced comprehensive health plans that were shot down after the Watergate scandal. And even in 2006, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney enacted a comprehensive, required health mandate for his state.
These ideas, once hailed in Republican circles, are fodder for a punitive critique against the current administration. We neednâ€™t live up to this apocalypse. The voice of Fox News anchors must be drowned out by a sense of calm. Panic has been used as a weapon; we can no longer accept this wanton corruption of power.
Samuel Lustgarten is a junior psychology major. His column appears weekly in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to email@example.com.