“We trust you to come up with your very own campaign themes,” the Arranger told me. “In fact, we are counting on you to do so.”
So I gave the matter long and elaborate thought over the course of a few minutes and decided I would run primarily upon the plank of “Free Work for All!” No charge to pitch in to help this great land of ours. The Arranger vetoed the idea. “It’s not bouncy enough. We need a theme that will truly inspire the very moment in which it is heard, a theme that may be repeated endlessly to the same great uplifting effect.”
I thought back to the ever-invigorating Terminal chant and cheer — “Go Terminal Go!” — and did not see how I could hope to match it.
I considered a few other possibilities –
“Wartime in America!”
“The Bridge to a Victorious Bursting Dawn!”
“Slaughter! Slaughter! Everywhere!”
While all seemed fitting, plausible, workable, uplifting, inspired, and otherwise appropriate for our militant day and age, I suspected the Arranger might object to the, perhaps, undue focus on America’s great international policy. I sensed something a little more domestic, a bit closer to warm home and cheery hearth, would resonate better with our nation of incomprehensibly reluctant voters.
“Money for Main Street!”
The Arranger shook his head sadly. “It would lead to hopeless expectations, I’m afraid. And it’s too crass. We must have as little to do with money as possible in campaign pledges. The people are not sufficiently interested in money, alas. They want thrills, risks, glamour, love, and war! And thus — Inspiration! Unity! Perhaps we are pressing you too hard, too fast, Garde. Perhaps you are not the candidate we thought you might be.”
“Kill them!” I shouted. Though startled by my own vehemence, and slightly taken aback, I continued on in a voice so raging it was hoarse. “Kill them now! Kill them high! Kill them low! Kill them! Kill them! Everywhere you go!”
The Arranger smiled. I almost weeped, for I had pleased him at last.
“Well, now,” he said. “It might need a little fine tuning, you know, take off a rough edge here, a jagged piece there – but I do see the progress, the promise, the utter hope in what you say. You’re getting somewhere Garde, you certainly are. I think I see precisely where you are going with it, don’t you? You’ll be all right, Garde.” He patted me on the back. “You’re all right, indeed. We chose well, when we selected you.” He beamed. “We surely did. That’s the excitement we need to see. Let’s work on it tomorrow, shall we?”
The Arranger shook my hand, flopping it all about, then rapidly departed to leave me alone to my studied meditation – for I had a final campaign theme yet to fashion.
I practically crawled to a couch and lay down.
“Kill them all, kill them all,” I mumbled, drifting off to sleep, drifting off to dreams, drifting off to the final campaign theme to come.