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A Brief Political History This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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It is here in this report that I, a faithful and world-renowned historian, shall present to you the true story of the glorious President Ronald Higgins. Most have lived through his exciting years in office, but not all know of the inner workings of his presidency.

As you may recall, before President Higgins took office, the banks were declining, jobs were being lost, and the environment and air quality had been ravaged by rampant pollution, but the nation had not seen conflict with another country in 25 years. Higgins was somewhat aware of these issues, and months before the election, he joined a field of 100 candidates for the position. (Only 50 were serious contenders.)

Two hundred and fifty individual state elections, 175 regional elections, 100 partial-regional elections, 50 semi-important quarter-final elections, 20 super-important elections, 5 super-duper-important elections, and an overall count of 1,000 votes later, the nation had a president. Well, he was almost president. After the election, President-elect Higgins took two months off to prepare for the reciting of the presidential oath. In this archaic and tedious pledge, the speaker replicates the accent of the Founding Fathers while standing on one leg and alternating his raised hand from the left to the right every 10 minutes on the dot. The oath – when said correctly – lasts for days, and is required of every president-to-be. Many a president-elect has failed over the years, and the nation was left without a president until one came forward who could recite the oath with perfect precision. As expected, though, Higgins said it flawlessly – aside from a succession of violent sneezes which the presiding official excused after Higgins slipped him a fifty – and all who had invested in his company's stock exalted his performance.

Upon entering office, President Higgins took a tour of the White House, nodded in satisfaction, and promptly left for a month-long celebratory vacation. It was a trip he made annually, and he wasn't going to end the tradition for a trivial job change. While he was away, the men and women of Congress shot off fireworks in their respective chambers and ordered a dozen kegs of beer and a bouncy house.

All across the land, there was rejoicing of this sort, until financial troubles set in. Those poor souls (and only those poor souls) took to the streets to protest against President Higgins. A growing confusion spread throughout the White House, and this is what transpired:

Higgins was experimenting with different signatures while signing proposed legislature when his aide came into the Oval Office.

“Mr. President, Mr. President, the poor are revolting!”

“Then give them paper bags!” retorted the president, unconcerned.

“No, sir, I mean they're leading a revolution in the streets!”

Rising from his chair, the president said, “They're not distracted by my wife's fun programs?”

“I'm afraid not.”

“This will not do!”

Vice President Howard Gross then entered the room with the president's cabinet members and exclaimed, “We have to do something, Mr. President!”

“What do they want?” ­Higgins asked.

“Money,” said the ­treasurer.

“No, they want clean air,” said the Secretary of Energy.

“A war will satisfy their needs!” declared the Secretary of Defense.

“Nonsense. They want new Chevys!” stated the Secretary of Transportation.

“Quiet down,” said President Higgins. “How about we take a few weeks to think this over?”

“Not long enough,” said VP Gross. “Better take a few months.”

“Absolutely correct, Howard. This is a run-out-the-clock situation, and we need to buy some time. Keaton, what do you have for me?”

“I suggest a bailout, sir,” answered the Secretary of State. He pulled a stack of charts out of his briefcase. “According to these numbers, the banks are failing, and according to these polls, greed is bad.”

“Very interesting. Seeing as my last brainstorm nearly gave me a stroke, I shall leave it at that. Your delivery suggests that this is indeed a smart move.”

How decisive! How clever! The bailout was achieved eight months later, but the people forgot all about their troubles long before, after a new study claiming that obesity was dangerous replaced the revolution in the headlines.

President Higgins remained an item of intrigue to many, though. Forever an enigma, he once stood at the podium for ten minutes in silence after a reporter asked why there is an “n” before the “m” in government. His pensive stare captivated millions until those standing nearby realized he was having a brain aneurysm and carried him off stage. President Higgins soon recovered and claimed that the question had been too profound for even a man of his mental capabilities.

Times grew tough, and paranoia swept the nation, as CNN speculated that a rival country could have the “Big Boom Bomb.” Fox News responded to these assertions within the hour, arguing that the allegations were merely another liberal attempt to scare people into buying health-care plans. The threat was heeded by some, though, and President Higgins met with his VP and cabinet once more to discuss the matter. Their historic conversation consisted of the following:

“Is there proof of the bomb?” asked Higgins.

“Absolutely!” said one.

“Not exactly,” said another.

“I'm with the first two!” said a third.

“Well, which is it?” asked Higgins.

“We should go check,” said VP Gross. “With spies!” said the Secretary of Defense.

“With compassionate peacemakers!” said the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

“With unionized workers!” said the Secretary of Labor.

“We'll fly over a diplomat and extend an olive branch to them – but a fake one. It sends the same message at half the cost,” proposed VP Gross.

“No, send an intern,” said the president defiantly.

“An intern?”

“It saves cash on security,” retorted Higgins.

“Genius! Tremendous! Fantastic!” exclaimed the cabinet.

And so a plan was set in motion for the president's prized intern to travel to the tiny country of Ashakalookanu to give a gift basket to the country's prime minister. The basket was delivered safely, and two days passed without a response. Once again, President Higgins met with his cabinet.

“No word after two days? This is suspicious,” said VP Gross. “Perhaps they see through us!”

“They're readying the battleships!” said one.

“They're calling in the tanks!” said another.

“Bring in the general! Let's light some candles! Someone call Uncle Sam!”

“Mr. President,” said the Secretary of Defense, “they're clearly more hostile than we suspected. No ally would receive a gift basket without immediately issuing a thank-you note!”

“Maybe it hasn't gotten here yet,” said President Higgins.

“No one sends letters anymore, Mr. President. We should have their e-mail by now.”

“Maybe they don't have computers.”

“Don't be fooled by their downtrodden exterior! They have computers and use them to spread evil propaganda!”

“Really?!” said Higgins worriedly.

The Secretary of Defense shrugged. “Probably. Mr. President, the things this country is doing are worse than slavery!”

The president gasped. “Whoa. That's a pretty awful. Fellas, it's off to war!”

With that, the country declared war on Ashakalookanu. Thousands of troops were sent to the tiny island, and within days the small country was overrun. In its capital, a child was throwing a tantrum over a completely unrelated issue, and he hurled a stone into the air in frustration. The stone struck a soldier in the arm. After firing aimlessly into empty forests for days, the army took this as the enemy's first hostile response. This set the troops shooting wildly into buildings, and soon thousands of citizens were killed.

The media followed the conflict, calling it the most important war since the last one which had succeeded the war preceding it with the same title. As the war wound down, gripping domestic news was in short supply, so reporters in Ashakalookanu resorted to using cheap sound effects and camera tricks to stretch the war out until a celebrity death turned viewers' attention away. Back home, President Higgins was watching things progress with his cabinet.

“We're on our way to victory, Mr. President!” said VP Gross.

“Have our goals been accomplished?” asked Higgins.

“Almost. No weapons were found, but raw gold was, and that suits us just fine.”

“But what of the Big Boom Bomb?”

“We still think they've got it,” said the Secretary of Defense. “They think they're so clever. It's probably hidden somewhere. They'll use it as soon as our backs are turned.”

“It'd be best to neutralize this threat,” said VP Gross. “We've got a bomb of our own.”

“We do?”

“Sure we do.”

“For justice!” said one cabinet member.

“For freedom!” said another.

“For the good of humanity, Mr. President, drop that bomb!” said Gross.

“I'll do it,” said President Higgins with a toothy grin.

A few days later, the Big Boom Bomb was dropped on the island of Ashakalookanu, and the population was annihilated. Thanks to the fearless leadership of President Higgins, the apparent risk was neutralized, supposed evil was banished, and peace reigned once more.

The very next day, the president strode out to meet the press. Reaching the microphone, he declared, without hesitation, “Mission accomplished!”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

paigita said...
Sept. 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm:
I enjoyed this. Four for you!
 
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Imaginedangerous This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 4, 2012 at 5:27 pm:
As a political nerd, I thought this was hilarious. I loved the part about Congress ordering a bouncy house and him having an aneurysm during the press conferenece. :) Great job.
 
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