On Your Way to the Camps, I Just Want You to Know…

Aaron Loeb
Sep 18, 2016 · 8 min read
(What follows is satire written in the voice of a character. The views of that character are not shared by the author. This note provided in case that’s not completely flipping obvious.)

I don’t have anything against Muslims or immigrants, and I didn’t believe him when he said he would round you all up and send you out of the country. I thought he’d stop at the national registry.

I was just tired of the two party system controlling our country and I felt like the Democrats were putting up yet another career politician who was pretending to care about “average people,” who would just say anything to get elected. And I’d read a lot of stuff about her emails and her charity and it all was just clear evidence that she is yet another corporate shill masquerading as a liberal. I just couldn’t will myself to vote for her and so I voted Stein. She’s from the Green Party, and it’s time we make a change.

And I remember thinking that might have been a mistake on the week they opened the national registry, and they started making you carry ID cards and wearing special badges on your clothes if you weren’t one of the people who dressed like a typical Muslim (for a while they thought all of you wore scarves, or turbans or those little beanie things).

And I remember how surprised I was when they made people who were legal Mexicans wear special badges too to prevent the deportation squads from wasting time checking their papers. I have a lot of friends with Mexican last names who have to wear their citizenship license pin and carry their papers now, even though they’re fifth generation American — further back than me. It’s a pain in the ass, but most days no one bothers them.

My point is, I know it’s been especially hard for you Muslims and I’m sorry about that. I was pretty sure the Supreme Court would block him from doing any of this. I thought the very idea was so un-American there was no way he’d get away with it. But once he packed the court, they found it was legal, so, what’s to be done? It is American now.

I remember when Clinton was speaking out against the registry. A lot of us showed up in Washington to protest against it — see, I didn’t abandon you completely — and she was there. And standing there on the Mall, listening to her, it occurred to me… I couldn’t stand her voice, honestly. That cackle of a laugh. I hated her old-lady face, which reminded me so much of my mother’s — and I had a complicated relationship with my mother.

So, on your way to the camps, I want you to know that I just couldn’t get myself to vote for that woman because I hated everything about her. I’m sorry you’re going to have to live in a detention center for a while, but her voice, you’ll have to agree, is really irritating. Hopefully they let you out in two to three years when we figure this all out, like he promised.

On Your Way to Prison for That Miscarriage, I Just Want You to Know…

I didn’t really take seriously that he would add criminal punishments for abortions, like he said he would, or that he would back the “life begins at conception,” movement in your state. When they started opening inquests after every miscarriage and arresting women for suspicious womb activities, I thought maybe I’d made a mistake, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing I can do about how awful you people in the South and the Midwest are. If you want to live in a place where you have rights, just save up some of your Wal-Mart paychecks and move to California.

You see, I’m tired of politics as usual and I refuse to be held hostage by the two party system any longer. I feel like this country needed a new direction, a real shake up. I mean, I didn’t vote for the guy myself, but I understand why people did, and as for me, I wanted to see some real change happen in this country and I got my wish. I don’t have a womb and won’t ever be arrested for suspicious activities inside of it, but I really do empathize with you that this is the kind of change we can do without.

On the other hand, we’ve started construction on the wall.

Anyway, I want you to know that I needed to express my frustration with the political system and with the choices we were presented with by the corporate oligarchy and it’s not my fault you’ve been imprisoned. You likely should have been more careful. I know they banned birth control in your state, but maybe you should have ordered some online from Canada, you know? Or just not had sex. I mean, I’m as sex-positive as the next guy, but you knew the potential consequences.

On Your Way to Your Court Martial, I Just Want You to Know…

I appreciate that you refused to follow the order to indiscriminately bomb that village. I’ve always felt sorry for people who have to serve in our military — I mean, I get that for someone like you, it’s a way out of poverty. We both know that you were forced into serving in the military because you’re poor and it has next to nothing to do with your love of country, so I was really impressed that a poor, uneducated kid like you decided to take a stand and refuse to follow orders.

I know he promised during the campaign to order you to commit war crimes, and you could argue that as a citizen it was really up to me to hear that and vote against him, but a friend of mine posted about the email server and how it was hacked (turns out that wasn’t true — oops) and that her foundation was used to peddle influence (not true either. Oh well). I thought these things were disqualifying. I know, I could have read one of the many pieces telling me that these were made up controversies — my Democrat friends kept telling me to read them — but she’s a crook like the rest of them, so I couldn’t allow myself to vote for her. That’s just my politics. I have to be true to myself.

In a way, I think we can agree that I was taking a brave stand, just like you were taking a brave stand by refusing to bomb that village. I could have been your first line of defense against a Commander-in-Chief who promised on multiple occasions to violate the Geneva Conventions, but I had to stick with my principles. I hope you can respect that, soldier.

But anyway, I wanted to say thank you for, yet again, bearing the burden and defending this country. In this case by refusing to follow illegal orders. I hope the judges are lenient.

On Your Way to Your Son’s Funeral, I Just Want You to Know…

I didn’t believe him when he said he’d increase the policing in black neighborhoods. When he said he’d make sure that cops weren’t prosecuted for cases like your son’s — and I get it, it was a bottle of Snapple and an orange water pistol, but you shouldn’t have allowed him to own anything that even looks slightly like a gun. You know what kind of world it is out there for people of color. This is a racist country, just like Dr. Stein always says, and you should have been more careful.

Besides, I and my friends did warn you that if you nominated Clinton, we’d never vote for her. So really, this is on you.

Despite that, I want you to know that yes, I get it. Your kid is dead, and that’s a tragedy. But we should have more choices in our political campaigns. And maybe in four or eight or twelve years, we’ll have better candidates and we can all vote for someone we really believe in.

Well, except for your son. Sorry about that.

On Your Way to the Voting Booth, I Just Want You to Know…

The stories above don’t have to be about you. Your story isn’t written yet. Consider this the ghost of election day future.

Hillary Clinton will make a great president. She has spent a career fighting for workers, for moms, for kids. I can literally inundate you with links demonstrating these facts.

But if you aren’t planning to vote for her right now, despite that lengthy career, my guess is it’s because you wouldn’t believe anything in any of those links. My guess is that you’ve decided you don’t believe anything Clinton says, nor do you believe any of the mountains of evidence demonstrating she will be a great president.

Okay. Then all I want to ask you to do is believe that Donald Trump is who he says he is. Believe he’ll do what he says he’ll do. And then compare the two: the Clinton of your imagination (the person you think she really is despite any evidence I might provide) and the Trump we see every day. You cannot imagine a Clinton who will do more harm to our country than Donald Trump is promising to do.

Read any Trump speech. Please. You have to decide he doesn’t mean any of the things he says in order to even take the slightest risk of him becoming president. He has promised to:

  • Deport all illegal immigrants
  • Create a national registry of Muslims and bar them from the country
  • Increase the militarization of the police
  • Start a trade war with China
  • Torture
  • Violate the Geneva Conventions, including intentionally murdering the wives and children of suspected terrorists
  • Create criminal penalties for women seeking abortions

Trump, even with his current “rally” in the polls is at around 44–45%. That means we can beat him pretty easily, but it requires you to vote for Clinton. There isn’t another option this year. I know that’s unfair to you. But you can’t rationally compare the two of them as being in the same ballpark of “evil” no matter what you believe about her.

And as unfair as it might be that you have to vote for Clinton, whom you dislike so much, think about the millions of people who will have something far worse happen to them if we elect President Trump.

On your way to the voting booth, I just want you to know that you can stop stories like these from happening. Your country needs you. The world needs you. You know what to do.


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