“Hi. I’m Susie; she/her/hers.”
“Stop that! We don’t do that here.”
Susie cringed when the group leader Sharon snapped at her.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean…” Susie felt abruptly crushed but was determined not to shed tears, especially in front of them.
“No, I’m sorry.” Sharon realized she’d been overreacting, though she had good reason. “It’s my fault. I’m just so tired of the tyranny of those words.”
“We’re all feeling worn down by it, Shar.” Francisco chimed in wanting to calm the mood a bit.
There were twelve of them gathered in a small room in the basement of the university’s psychology building. It was nearly midnight, but being a teaching assistant, Francisco’s pass card opened the doors after hours.
They sat down around a makeshift conference table with mismatching chairs. The room was used for storage of excess and well as worn and broken furniture. The dim lighting and deep shadows suited the conspiratorial mood.
“I think you all know why we’re here.” Sharon saw the other eleven solemnly nod their heads. “President Michelle Obama has broken every promise she ever made.”
“That’s right.” It was Rick who spoke up. “She promised to push through term limits for Congress, but instead, she signed an Executive Order to give herself a third term as President.”
“The Thought Police are everywhere,” Abdul added. They’ve disbanded all of the Republican, Libertarian, and other conservative student clubs on campus. Now we have to meet in secret like criminals.”
“According to them, we are criminals. Anyone who doesn’t conform to campus codes of strict progressive thought and speech can be expelled.” Liz shuddered at her own words.
“Worse than that, a bill with those codes is in front of Congress right now. With a Democratic majority, it’s sure to pass, adding to the other ‘progressive enforcement’ rules Obama signed into law. Then it will be illegal not to introduce yourself in public without adding your preferred personal pronouns…”
Sharon interrupted Susie. “…and it will be criminal not to address someone by their preferred pronouns. I mean ‘Ey,’ ‘Ze,’ Hir’? I can’t keep them straight in my head.”
“But when we question the practice to the School’s Dean of Political Correctness or even in an online forum, we get accused of being transphobic and bigots.”
“Francisco, you know no one wants to be disrespectful of someone else, but we’re not given a choice in the matter. Just being rude is serious offense on college campuses today, and by the first of the year, it will be criminal. People could go to jail.”
“We’ve got to stop them, Sharon.” Reed talked for the first time.
“How?” Susie was exasperated. “There’s no way to vote them out of office. The masses aren’t represented anymore, just the urban elites, the ones with all the money.”
“You know why we’re here. It’s a good thing I swept the room for bugs before we all arrived.” Liz was the electronics expert in the cell and she knew that there could be surveillance devices anywhere. “When the political process breaks down, the only alternative we have is revolution.”
“The West Borough cell has been gathering weapons. Not easy since Congress passed the anti-arms law. Now only police and the military can legally possess firearms of any type.” Latesha was the contact between the Campus and West Borough cells. For security, all communication between the two groups went through her.
“Revolution.” Sharon sighed and let the word hang in the air between them all. “It’s time for the common people to push back, the sons and daughters of the rural and suburban class, the children of soldiers when the military served to defend our nation instead of controlling the citizens.
“They’ll never understand.” Francisco put a hand on Sharon’s shoulder. “They really do believe that the right way to live, the only way to live, is in the Progressive Dictatorship. They believe we’re all children and must be controlled, by indoctrination preferably, and by force if necessary.”
Rick slammed his hand down on the table top. “Just this past year, thousands of peaceful protestors were rounded up and put in prison as enemies of progressive thought. My sister was one of them and I don’t know when I’ll get to see her.”
“Never again.” Sharon stood. “We shall overcome.” The rest stood and began to sing the old protest song from the last century. In 2030, it was more relevant than ever.
Less than six months later, the armed insurrection of American Citizen’s movement began with brother against brother and mother against daughter. It would end only when the old order had been removed and tyranny in America was replaced by a government that once again represented all the people of the United States.
I know there are people who will consider me horrible and even a bigot for writing this and suggesting that it’s even possible for liberals and progressives to form a dictatorship forcing their rule on the rest of our nation. However, if Hitler is possible, so is Stalin.
I first got the idea for this wee tale when I read an opinion piece in the New York Times called Pronoun Privilege. While I have no desire to be rude or to hurt someone’s feelings, I think it’s equally wrong for an extreme minority to force their worldview on the majority. Please ask if I’m willing to use a certain pronoun to refer to you, don’t demand, and please don’t demand that I introduce myself with my own preferred pronouns.
Of course, my story isn’t really about pronouns, it’s about the increasing drive of one social and political viewpoint to compel the rest of us to adopt that viewpoint, whether we share it or not.
With Donald Trump being the President-Elect, and a Republican majority in both the House and the Senate, it seems like I’m complaining about nothing, but watching the recent vote recount and all of the angst regarding Clinton winning more of the popular vote but not the electoral college, it seems that viewpoint is still trying to consume us.
A lot of people still don’t understand how someone as crazy and offensive as Trump could win over Clinton. The answer is that there was a conservative “pushback” to what some saw as the coming of progressive totalitarianism. Trump isn’t the President we want or need, but he was the only message the rest of us could send to say “We’ve had enough! It’s time for a change.”