The Stone City

Words Made to Last

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A Falsehood

Some of my previous posts have attempted to explain or predict various interesting aspects of the future; these are, within space and time constraints, as true as I can make them.

This is not such a post.

To begin, consider the effect Kennedy's assassination had on his legacy. On November 20, he was a hard-loving boozehound, horse-trading with Congress; but after his death he grew into the titanic hero of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the hero and good man who would have wanted the Great Society and Apollo. The putative desires of the dead were far more influential than the inspiration of the living, however eloquently put, could ever be.

Now, consider George W. Bush. He appears courageous, determined, and confident of his own cause to an extent his detractors would call fanatical. But his power to inspire followers without equally invigorating his enemies is limited. Death could change that. Cheney's oft-stated unwillingness to run for President would evaporate; he would become the anointed and inevitable successor.

The timing is tricky; it has to be early enough that there's no clear Republican candidate to compete with Cheney, but late enough that Cheney is not seen as a full-term president. The summer of 2007 seems about right to me. Bush is bearing up very well under the knowledge that he'll soon have to take one for the team; Laura can never be told.

So, pull your tinfoil hats down tight, because know you know The Plan. And, since you and Alex Whitlock are the only people who read this blog, it won't be hard for them to stamp you out.

[Note: this idea is not original to me; see Mark Steigler's "A Simple Case of Suicide" [Analog, May 1983].]