An Angel Runs for President

by Albert Haley

It is a relatively muted campaign. No Super PAC money, no robocalls, and only a few 30-second spots that eschew going negative against opponents who tend to advocate for the creamy white center of the candy more than the dark or brown outer layers which some of them, frankly, would rather keep beyond borders or off welfare, or place on death row. The angel doesn’t want to go there. It tells its managers to focus on a simple platform. This is why it never has enough standing in the polls to make it to the national debate stage and must sidestep primaries and run as a third party. Plus there’s the hindrance that it doesn’t have a cool logo that uses red, white and blue and that it insists on wearing a taupe robe sans lapel flag pin. Also, it doesn’t help that people have trouble telling what is what whenever the angel goes to coffee shops for sit-downs and handshakes.

“Are you a man or a woman?”

Actually, it’s just an angel, a loyal neuter citizen, aspiring (God knows why) to the nation’s highest office and trying to work its way through a plate of scrambled eggs and a stern slab of Iowa ham. Given their general genital-less condition, angels cannot reproduce so, of course, there is neither adoring spouse at its side nor two-point-five kids waving from the stage, but it sure would help to have a fetching Mrs. Angel and sweatered progeny to enliven the nearly empty town hall meetings, the long bouts of grasping the perpetually sibilant microphone. The angel tries to share its ideas for moving the nation forward: Everyone should hold hands every day with total strangers. Let’s all say kind things about one another. And how about you well-offs consider sharing some of what you have with those who lack?

It’s difficult to take seriously. No upending of unfair free trade agreements? What about the protection of the unborn and the Second Amendment? Surely one should prioritize hefty tax cuts and a free college education. And where’s your plan to build up defense and take down the global terrorists?

The angel listens. The angel proposes: Here’s what we do guys; we create a new cabinet level position of Secretary of the Obvious. Every day this person goes on cable news, looks us in the eye and reminds every citizen and neighbor of what ought never be left obscured, to wit, “All of us are alive and on the same planet at the same time and this is nothing less than a holy fucking miracle!”

Surely this is damaging to the campaign, too. The angel’s unexpectedly coarse language. People don’t think it is presidential and it is possibly blasphemous and definitely not FCC-approved. It sinks the angel’s poll numbers, which were already going down like refugees on a raft out in the Mediterranean.

Of course, something must be done since such offenses cannot be tolerated by a civil society. A man confronts the angel emerging from a meeting of influential pastors where it has just tried to explain that infixed expletives such as “fucking” might be the very best of words to convey the texture of a true miracle in an age mired in eerily omnipresent silicon, algorithms, and data harvesting.

The man points a Glock at the angel.

“No profanity president! No tranny commander-in-chief!”

The shooter shoots.

No second act, no write-in ballot. The angel simply sprouts wings and returns to Heaven, the whole weirdness of it captured on video, and this rather disconcerting but polychromatically rich event keeps looping on the news. Months later, they elect the front-runner and the people are heard to still talk eagerly about God and country. They hope that this change in head of state will make a difference down the line, and they keep remarking on how the new Chief Executive took the oath of office by lustily slapping down his hand on the Bible and shouting “So help me GOD!” so loudly it was heard past the Mall to where the frosted, barren cherry trees shuddered and glimmered in the dim January light.  

Albert Haley lives in Abilene, Texas, in the midst of near-empty, windy, conservative West Texas. It is difficult to describe such a grand lack of everything, so that if he devotes no more words to it he feels he will have approximated his lived reality.

 

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