Politics (by Ming Hong)

On the 16th of July, Alfred Denzel woke up to the chime of an alarm. Striding towards the calendar, he scrutinised his minute notes on that date – on which he had noted the big day – the start of his election campaign. A smile curled over his vacant face as he relished the destruction of his potential rivals; he was going to stop at nothing to win the power that came with the title “President”. 

At the start of the election campaign, he was on a podium, the slogan on the stand reading “Life is about change”. Not too far away stood Harvey Brooks, contemplating the twisted smile on Denzel’s face that most failed to see. He knew his rival, though not on a personal level. He was known among his best friends for not giving much concern about rules. He was a dodgy man who would not bring any good to the country.  

However, Denzel had the perfect cover for his shady life. It was his ideas, the crazy yet convincing ideas that had captured the citizens’ trust. He was tapping on the desperation of the citizens, perhaps. His plans for the country, though most likely not going to be executed, promised ‘a better future’, by reducing taxes, increasing wages and reducing the costs of living. Yet any politician knew that this was never a good idea for any country, for despite these seeming to be all a citizen may want in their life, these measures would not bring much good to the economy. 

Most politicians tried to convince the citizens that Denzel was not going to be a good president for the nation. Alas with his overpowering influence, he had managed to make them believe this was “normal online propaganda”, and to ignore those “pleas for public attention”. Valiant as the politicians’ efforts were, Denzel waved it all away with a flick of a finger and had the citizens twisted around his little finger. 

Brooks was at his best, working tirelessly to try and gain any support. Not only was it his heart’s desire to win the election, he knew that if he lost to Denzel, the nation would suffer from his irresponsible governing and the people’s lives would be ruined. He spent his time with his party trying to convince citizens of Denzel’s corruption, only to receive much dislike from the community, believing that he was the one trying to sabotage Denzel’s campaign and that he did not deserve to win this election. 

With the people’s blind support of Denzel and the election drawing inevitably closer, Brooks was certain this journey was going to be more than difficult. On some days he had almost wanted to give up, frustrated at the citizens’ short-sightedness. How did a few lies manage to garner all their trust? Were they that desperate for change that they would ignore the potential threat? Or could they not discern his deceitful manner? 

The election came and passed. The polling stations were swarmed with eager voters, all of them behaving as though they were in silent agreement in voting for Denzel. They were merely walking to their downfall, Brooks saw. They were all going to be the cause of their own deaths, fixed on the mindset that would end them, with nothing possible to be done. Without a doubt, Denzel would win by a landslide. 

The moment Denzel became president, he went ahead and fulfilled his ideas that would supposedly help the public. He immediately declared that there were to be no more taxes and that the government was going to help any needy citizen by subsidising all expenses. This received tremendous applause. “So blinded by one good thing”, Brooks thought, “when would they realise that this brings nothing but harm?” 

Much sooner than expected, Denzel came to a dilemma. He, among many other politicians, found that with the reduction of costs for the citizens, their funds were running low. They could barely support the spending needs of the country, let alone any extra expenditure on subsidies for medical and educational fees.  

No one could hold on that long. Denzel, given his shady lifestyle, had already descended to bribery, trying to earn himself any extra money from his newly attained power as president. There was no impetus to care about the development of the country, this was his time to make use of the power he had earned himself. For all he cared, the nation could fall and all he needed was the sweet riches. 

As Brooks had predicted, the effects of Denzel dropping all logic and loosening what held the nation together had taken its toll. The citizens, blind as they were, could not have missed such changes in their living conditions. The value of their currency had dropped on a scale never seen before, while the rate of crime skyrocketed due to the lack of funding in the nation’s security. 

Yet with his sly tactics and convincing nature, Denzel waved these prominent problems away as sabotages from other countries. He urged the public to “stay strong and calm through these hard and trying times”, or as Brooks saw it, to ignore Death staring them in the face. With a few words from their dear President’s mouth, the citizens had once again settled down, in deep belief that he was the one who could make everything well. 

Without their knowledge, the state of their country had plunged even further. The everyday looting and maiming of citizens increased exponentially, with even optimists believing that this was getting out of control. Any plans for a rescue were long gone with the high corruption of the government, for all resources had taxed to breaking point, leaving no hope for the citizens’ escape. 

Just as Brooks had foreseen, electing Denzel had caused all they destruction in the country which only his close partners to believed would happen. As he saw the broken spirit of the country he would have governed, the tall but lifeless buildings where his citizens were living in fear, his rival fleeing the wreck he had left behind, he let out a sigh. Could anyone be any more mistrusting? 

Denzel, having collected the very last egg from his golden chicken, took flight from the crumbling of the empire. He himself had manipulated the confidence of his citizens to sabotage an entire nation, to take all that he could from this country. 

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