I awoke with this plot in my head: A secret agency buys out a number of our large, American companies. And through those companies, they start to contribute to Congressional campaigns. They contribute to a group of candidates who are both charismatic and manipulable. As these candidates win office, the Agency pushes them into stances that are more radical than what the candidates originally stood for. The rhetoric sharpens. Regardless of whether the politicians believe in the platforms they now hold, their handlers convince them that they’re reflecting the will of their constituents. The constituents, being largely moderate on their own, start to believe what the politicians declare from their platforms. Perhaps media commentators reinforce the radical messages. Perhaps they, in turn, receive sponsorship from the Agency that either created or discovered them. Perhaps the politicians recruit subsequent generations of politicians who really believe the platform. This goes on for a few years–maybe a few decades. Americans grow to distrust themselves. The government is so conflicted that it barely functions. With every election cycle, the Agency gets closer to paralyzing one of the most powerful nations on Earth.

Who is the Agency? I don’t know. North Korea? ISIS? The Illuminati? The Lizard People? The debate about who’s at fault would serve the Agency just as well as anything else.

(Originally posted July 27, 2015)

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