Single Issue Voters

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She stared at the television, barely catching a word as each channel buzzed in then out. The white fuzz was cut by the dulcet tones of traffic filtering in through the cracked window; a pleasant spring Sunday that seemed so innocent before the programming suggested otherwise.


We join a broadcast in progress. The anchor, a stern man in a blue wool suit, sat far too on top of his news desk. "The President's address from the Rose Garden was interrupted yesterday by Big Giant Spacerock who announced they will be seeking the Republican Party's nomination. The announcement, which beamed directly—"

And just as soon as it was getting good the channel was flipped.


"You know, I heard programs only have something like 20 seconds max to grab and capture the attention of a casual viewer. Any truth to that rumor?" Bemused as he was, her husband couldn't even bring himself to watch the television anymore when he had even the faintest alternative.

She flipped several more channels. "Huh?"

"I'm sure you heard me."

"Yeah but it's funnier if you think I didn't."

"Yes, you're very funny. So clever."

"Anything good out there?"

"Not much," he smirked looking out the window, noting how suave he looked in his reflection. "There have been an awful lot of choppers headed to and from Site 17 today though. Wonder what's going on."

"What do you think about this 'Big Giant Spacerock' running?" She ignored his plot hook in favor of her own, although the two were inextricably linked.

"Oh, I dunno…" he slipped his hands into his pockets and turned toward her, his shadow falling across her face and blocking the midday sun. "It was certainly a bold way to announce. Not like it really resonates with voters on any legitimate level though."

"That's kind of weird to say when it hijacked the brains of everyone in the Western Hemisphere at the same time. It kind of literally reached every voter in North America."

"Yeah but that's cheating. Like…how can you start your run by breaking campaign advertising law?"

"Well, who is going to stop it? The FCC? No, I really don't think so. I, for one, am thankful we have a candidate that can cut through the red tape and just get their message out."


The TV flitter across another news desk, this once flanked by three pundits each trying to talk over each other and one unfortunate moderator silently clutching papers.

A large 60-something man in a poorly tailored suit was the first voice to win out, "What's clear as day here is that they are not a legitimate candidate for the Presidency. They are not a natural-born citizen. End of discussion. Finito."

A well kept 50-something woman with a shrill voice spoke up and cut through the others. "What guarantees do we have it will even keep its word and avoid Earth if elected? How do we know it can be trusted?"

Last but certainly not least, a steady-spoken 70-something gentleman was gradually rising up out of his seat, demonstratively pointing a finger to the other side of the desk, wagging it around like a mace. "I'll tell you what this is a test. This is a call from the beyond that we need, we need to…we need to put our faith in God and trust not in the words of false prophets. We need to—"

The moderator sighed as the channel was changed.


"Next thing I know you're going to tell me that it can really 'reach across the aisle' or some other lame talking point like that. Cheryl, I know you're smarter than that. It's an autocrat, plain and simple. The same ten pounds of shit in a five-pound bag every other politician serves up." And with that, her husband turned back toward the window and away from her ironically narrow view.

"Well, David, I just think you should be open to its plan. And that you should also consider the alternative."

"That our votes are being held hostage by a sapient exoplanet and if we don't elect it the damn thing might pass close enough to sunder Earth's mantle? Yeah, that has occurred to me."

There was a long silence between the two. Betty flipped more channels.



"Yes, dear?"

"Have you ever thought about a third party candidate?"

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