Looking ahead to 2040: Good night, America (Satire)

Looking ahead to 2040: Good night, America (Satire)

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Univision San Antonio

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2014 — The year is 2040 and it is presidential election time in the United States, and the top ranked American television show “Viva USA!” has both major presidential candidates in for a televised sit-down interview. Host of the popular program, Roberto “Bob” Rodriguez, interviews the candidates of the Democratic Party (now officially known as the Partido Democrático), currently-sitting Vice-President Jose Gonzalez of California, and of the Republican Party, former Governor Wilbur Jones of Oklahoma. As we tune in, the program, estimated to be viewed weekly by over 100 million viewers, is just beginning:

Interviewer Bob Rodriguez: “During this election for the presidency of the United States — excuse me, “los Estados Unidos” — no one can deny the strong interest by American voters. We are all anxious to hear explanations of the programs of each candidate and the strategies each candidate is using to win the upcoming election.

As you know, the contest is between Republican Wilbur Jones, a former governor of Oklahoma, who was recently turned out of office, defeated by young Latina Eva Nogales, and United States Vice-President Jose Gonzalez, of California, of the Partido Democrático. The respective campaigns are spending millions of dollars to get their messages out, and in fact, most of the funds that they spend they borrow from sources in Mexico. I know our faithful viewers wonder how each candidate proposes to lead the USA out of poverty back to prosperity. You need not wonder anymore because tonight I have Governor Jones and Vice-President Gonzalez with me right here in the studio. Please welcome Governor Wilbur Jones and Vice-President Jose Gonzalez.” [applause from the audience]

Gov. Jones: “Hello Bob, or should I be politically correct, and say ‘Roberto’?”

Audience: “Boo! Boo!” [the studio audience is overwhelmingly Latino]

Bob: “Well, the law DOES specify that any official election speech should be bilingual, in both Español and English, but we can do this in English since we have special permission from the federal Department of Language Standards and Governor Jones does not really know the Spanish language very well [he snickers].”

Audience: “Boo!”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “Hola! Amigos and apoyantes!”

Audience: “Viva! Viva Jose Gonzalez! Abajo los Yanquis!”

Bob: “Thank you for spending your valuable campaign time with us on “Viva USA!” tonight, Governor Jones and Vice-President Gonzalez. I would like to start with Governor Jones first, if that’s okay with you Vice-President Gonzalez.”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “Oh, si! Si!”

Bob: “Governor Jones, you have mentioned that you will bring back our American soldiers from Mongolia after the American government has failed to do so since 2016. Could you explain?”

Gov. Jones: “That is correct, Bob, uh, Roberto. Public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of that. I mean we have seen over 100,000 dead in that conflict since 2016, and it’s no closer to an end. And, of course, I recognize now that because our armed forces are 65 percent Hispanic — I mean, Latino — that the war has become a racist venture, so I agree with Mr. Gonzalez that we should finally withdraw. Besides, I believe that it will improve our economy, as well, because we will not have to spend billions of budget dollars on these expenses overseas anymore.”

Bob: “That seems to be a really great idea. I wonder how you can be sure that it will not be like the election year 2008 when bringing back our soldiers from Afghanistan was promised by then President Barack Obama, but it turned out that after the election we just continued our presence there until 2015, and then later several presidents sent troops to Syria, then Iran, then Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, and elsewhere.”

Gov. Jones: “I can promise you that I will never do that.”

Bob: “But how? How would you bring back our soldiers? Right now our country has a national debt of $80 trillion, five times more than it was 28 years ago, in 2013. We have borrowed money from many countries around the world, but seen our credit rating reduced to a D minus, so that only countries like Mexico, Haiti, Zimbabwe, and Honduras even dare lend us money, and then, only at exorbitant rates of up to 300 percent. Even to finance your campaign you had to borrow money from officially registered Mexican drug cartels.”

Gov. Jones: “Well, yes, since Mexico now has most of the resources that the United States used to have, I have no alternative — I will borrow some more from Mexican drug cartels for our soldiers so they can be with their families.”

Bob: “Why don’t you borrow from China?”

Gov. Jones: “Roberto, we borrowed an awful lot from China a few years ago, but we were never able to pay them back. Now the portions of America not owned by Mexican syndicates, the Chinese own. They won’t lend to us another dime.”

Bob: “Well, why do you think Mexico has so much money right now?”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “Oh! Oh! I can answer that question. Mexico, of course, has enough money to lend the United States. Mexico was poor years ago, but now is one of the wealthiest countries in the world now. Why? Because we had millions of undocumented immigrants who crossed the border and worked in the U.S. sin papeles — you know, without papers — when the U.S. was still wealthy.

According to your racist laws we were called “illegals.” We did not pay taxes, not even one penny. During the economic  crisis in 2009-2017, millions of your Anglos were unemployed. Some were displaced by my people who took their jobs at lower pay, but other Anglos had too much pride to work as a clerk at WalMart or sales person at Target because they believed that since they had a degree from a university, they should be working in something better. So they went on government assistance. Mi pueblo — my people — did not care. We worked. We got money, and we sent it back to Mexico. That’s one way we got rich. And more, many norteamericano industries also went south, due to NAFTA”. [big smile on Gonzalez’s face]

Audience: “Viva! Viva Jose Gonzalez!”

Bob: “Uh, hmm…”

Gov. Jones: “Mr.Gonzalez, may I ask you a question — you know, preguntar, I think that’s the word — according to my evidence, I do not believe that you are ready to be the president of the United States of America. I do not think you are even an American citizen. I think you are an illegal immigrant.”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “Governor Jones, I am offended by your ignorance and your use of those words! You do know that there is a law against ‘hate speech’ and using the words ‘illegal immigrants’ is hate speech? And, besides, you are wrong. I WAS an undocumented immigrant back in 2011. I came here against your racist laws when I was young. I started working as a laborer, and then I went to college.”

Gov. Jones: “Hold on. How did a college accept you if you were illegal — I mean, undocumented?”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “Colleges knew that it was racist to deny my people an education just because they weren’t American citizens. And, besides, the government gave money for schooling for mi pueblo. The colleges looked the other way, didn’t ask any questions. I mean they all were very open and very liberal about it. I even earned a Ph.D. from the University of California without the normal documents.

Fortunately for me, the United States government provided many undocumented immigrants work permits, so we could work, as I might call it, “illegally legal” in the USA. I collected money and went to school under President Obama’s and then President Hilary Clinton’s executive orders. And most of your Anglo population just didn’t care as long as they could watch those TV programs like ‘Desperate Housewives’ or ‘Big Brother,’ or they could watch the NBA, and their children weren’t picked up for drugs, child support, or something like that. ”

Gov. Jones: “Hold on. I am not familiar with that work permit thing. When was that? And what do you mean ‘illegally legal’?”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “President Obama’s first executive order enabling us to work was in 2012, and there were others by President Hilary Clinton that came after that. ‘Illegally legal’ means you were allowed to work legally even though you were undocumented. Of course, I’m not using these words in the current sense, against the law, but only in the historical sense, you know.”

Gov. Jones: “That doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “Ho! the U.S. government has never done anything that makes sense anyway. How come you never heard of the U.S. government providing work permits for young undocumented immigrants back in 2012, 2015, and 2017? What were you doing back then?”

Gov. Jones: “Well.…like you, I was in university. I majored in table tennis, and was on a table tennis scholarship. Thus, I have a broad background in American studies. I mean like most American youth I was deeply into traditional American culture, an avid follower of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. I usually watched educational television programs like ‘Survivor,’ ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ ‘American Idol,’ and all the other important cultural programs when I had free time from my studies in table tennis. Back then I didn’t care for politics or history much, as long as I had my iPad, Twitter, and Facebook. You see, I got a solid education and a good preparation for serving the nation.”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “And you are running for the president?”

Gov. Jones: “Yes.”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “It seems to me most Americans at that time, including you, Governor Jones, were brainwashed by the media. Meanwhile, we undocumented immigrants came to the USA to work for you and have a better life. And we got strong support from your Anglo leadership, big business, and the Chamber of Commerce. Your elites were on our side. They actually helped us gain the positions of dominance we now have.”

Gov. Jones: “Mr. Gonzalez, on another point, for many years millions of illegal — I mean, undocumented — immigrants received free medical treatment for everything from mild to severe conditions and most of the time in emergency rooms at state expense. It cost taxpaying citizens millions and millions of dollars, and this has only gotten worse in recent years under Obamacare. I think this is the reason our health system just broke down and totally collapsed in 2020.

What is interesting is that so much of the drug and alcohol abuse we continue to see is because of the Latino population. The percentage of drug and alcohol abuse in the Latino community is nearly 50 percent. I do not understand how abusing alcohol, cocaine, and other illegal drugs can make your life better.”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “I would not call those ‘illegal drugs,’ Governor Jones. I would call them ‘undocumented drugs‘.”

Gov. Jones: “I don’t think you can just interchange the words ‘illegal’ and ‘undocumented’ in this situation.”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “That’s your opinion. But, please, let me continue my story. I worked a while after I received my work permit. And then, along with thousands of mi pueblo we formed a large political pressure group to demand the right to be citizens since we had been in Norteamerica — the USA — since we were young. And one of the happiest days in my life was when the Congress overwhelmingly adopted that law. Even most Republicans accepted the inevitable.

I really appreciate the leadership of Anglos like George Will, The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, and others, even though they did not realize that by supporting such measures they were writing the end of Anglo dominance north of the Rio Grande! [loud applause from the audience, with cheers of “Viva!”] My heart bleeds red, white, and blue, and I love your flag with its 57 stars. Every time I hear the United States national anthem, I feel the love that I have for this country.”

Gov. Jones: “Well, tell me, can you sing the national anthem?”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “I said ‘Every time I HEAR,’ not ‘Every time I SING….’”

Gov. Jones: “I did not ask you WHAT you said. I asked you if you CAN SING the American national anthem.”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “Yes!”

Gov. Jones: “Sing it!”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “Mexicanos, al grito de la  guerra …” [“Mexicans, at the cry of war …”]

Gov. Jones: “Hold on. I believe that what you sang was the Mexican national anthem or maybe the anthem of AZTLAN or something. It wasn’t our national anthem, I know that much.”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “Can you sing it?”

Gov. Jones: “Of course I can. Godddd Blesssss America…”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “That’s not the US national anthem either.”

Bob: “Are both of you saying that you’re running for the president of the USA, but you can’t even sing the U.S. national anthem or know its words?”

Gov. Jones: “Uh, well, you see …”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “Who cares about the Yanqui national anthem, anyway? Americans don’t even know how to sing their national anthem. When they are supposed to sing at sports events all they do is chant ‘USA! USA! USA!'”

Bob: “Well …”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “I have not finished what I was trying to say. Stop interrupting me. Well, after the movement for U.S. citizenship, the president at that time in 2020, President Hilary Clinton, wanted to earn votes from us in the next election. Therefore, she managed to get through Congress immediate citizenship for millions of us undocumented immigrants. That’s how I became a citizen of the United States. And in addition, she engineered doing away with that birthright rule for becoming president. The Partido Democrático of California chose me to run for the United States Senate in 2028. In 2032 President Debbie Wasserman-Schultz chose me to be her running mate as the vice-presidential nominee to gain support from Mexican-Americans. And they got what they wished for. We won the election, and I became the vice president.”

Gov. Jones: “I don’t believe that you have the ability to be president anyway, Mr. Gonzalez. What do you know about our Constitution and our history?”

Audience: “Boo! Abajo the Constitution!”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “Well, gracias a Dios! That old racist Anglo history you talk about has been erased from our college and high school text books! Who wants to talk about Jorge Washington or Juan Adams — I  mean, we now talk about Cesar Chavez and the repopulation of the western states with Latinos! We have a new history in los Estados Unidos — in the United States! Just think about recent history, Governor Jones.

After President Clinton, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain secured citizenship for us, we were able to bring over all our families and our friends, millions of new citizens. We even sent plane and bus tickets to our families. They came to the USA easily without having to clandestinely cross the border or walk through hot deserts. After that, we just had to file the appropriate papers to get citizenship for our family members. Yeah, some wealthy and right wing Americans who could not stand what was happening fled the USA to live somewhere else, but they had done nothing to stop us, either. And we were able to basically occupy the USA.

Of course, I admit that there were a few minor undesirable consequences. I mean some of mi pueblo also spread some viruses and diseases that you Anglos thought had been eradicated years earlier. And, then, more importantly, there was a vast cultural change. But just think how much better things are now? After all, we are like all the other ‘third world countries’ — we are all equal. Isn’t that what both political parties wanted?”

Bob: “Well, let’s see …”

Gov. Jones: “Can I say something?”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “And if you look at population statistics, you will learn that our Latino population has increased rapidly and continuously each year since 2012, while the Anglo population has decreased — no ninos, no Anglo children. Do you know the percentage of Latinos in the total United States population today?”

Gov. Jones: “N… No, not right off.”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “Sixty-five percent.”

Gov. Jones: “What!?” (visibly shaken)

Vice-President Gonzalez: “There is no doubt. I, Jose Gonzalez, will be the 48th president of the United States!”

Audiences: “Viva! Viva el presidente Gonzalez!”

Bob: “So, Vice-President Gonzalez, what will be your first priority if you win the election?”

Vice-President Gonzalez: “As you can see, 64 percent of American citizens are Latinos. Half of us are bilingual. The rest cannot speak English at all. I appreciate the U.S. government providing paid interpreters for them. But we need to cut our multi-trillion-dollar budget, and I believe it is a waste of government funds to pay for interpreters. Therefore, I will change the primary language in the USA to Spanish. After that, whoever cannot speak Spanish or learn it within one year will be deported.”

Gov. Jones: “Oh, let me say something, please …”

Bob: “Well, sorry, our program time is up now.”

A lone voice, shouting in English, from the audience: “How did we get to this point?”

Bob: “Good night, America.”

[Note: The previous dystopian vignette, set in 2040, was written by Boyd Cathey in collaboration with a professional friend from Thailand, a legal resident of the U.S., who has requested that his name not be made public.]

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