Author : Don McCoy

“I don’t think you ought to post that one, Sam,” Liana said over Sam’s shoulder, looking at the monitor, “they’re really cracking down on hate speech.”

“I told you not to use that term with me,” Sam said, tensing, “an opposing viewpoint is not “˜hate speech,'” he made air-quotes. “Anyhow, what happened to the First Amendment? Their gracious deal was to allow us the same Constitutional rights once they took over.”

“They didn’t take over,'” Liana said, making her own air-quotes. “We needed to stop abusing our superpower might, to join the global community instead a alienating it—and that globalization includes understanding that the proliferation of certain philosophical ideas only causes unrest. At best it’s irresponsibility; at worst, sedition. Come on, you’ve read the literature.”

“Literature? Try propaganda. Let’s not have this argument again Liana. Please,” he was quiet for a moment. And still. Then he laughed and shook his head, “I’m posting an article about the new requirement that we get government permission to have a child. What’s seditious about that?”

“Resources aren’t as plentiful as they once were,” Liana said, “they just want to make sure each zone can support its citizenry. It beats famine and poverty.” She rubbed his shoulder.

“Yeah, each zone…let me ask you this,” he half-turned in his chair, “if this country wasn’t forced to export the lion’s share of her agricultural and industrial production to support the world, would we have to worry about any of that?”

“We’d still be fat, complacent, greedy, and wasteful,” Liana said, “I’m proud that our society has finally matured to the level the rest of the world did decades ago.”

“I don’t want to discuss this anymore,” Sam said, “if you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. My own wife is one of the “˜masses’ that were lulled into letting this happen.”

“Actually, people like you opened the door for them,” she said, “without your attitude of entitlement America would never have come to this. We wouldn’t have needed the international community to set us right. We needed leadership”they provided it.”

“We needed leadership?” Sam asked. “President Mouchard rolled over on us. For the simple price of a permanent ambassadorship more than 300 years of sovereignty were burned to the ground with the stroke of a stylus. And with them freedom. Not just America’s freedom, but the last vestiges of freedom left on the planet. We were the last bastion of liberty.”

“Well, the people obviously approved it.” Liana said.

“How do you know?” he asked, “the “˜literature?'”

“OK, then how did it happen?”

“Maybe we did get complacent. Just not your kind of complacency,” Sam said, “A dozen years ago someone got sensitive and agreed that the size of our military was antagonistic, so we sawed it off to quell the fears of the world,” Sam said, “five-years ago we signed the International Small Arms Pact and disarmed our population. How could we stop them once they bribed the president?”

“They didn’t need to bribe him,” she said, “it was time we left the Wild West, time we left behind the daily killings in the streets.”

“There are still daily killings, now they’re just committed by the security service.” Sam jumped up and ran to the window as a huge diesel engine rumbled outside. He saw dust settle around the white armored personnel carrier as the boots of a small army pounded up the stairs to the den.

“I’m sorry you feel that way, Sam,” Liana said, “I tried to make you see reason. They only gave me so long to make you see reason”

Sam didn’t look surprised as the blue-helmeted United Nations security force kicked in the door.

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