One Day At “Independence” Party Headquarters

SCENE:  A Ramada Inn in Inver Grove Heights.  Outside the hotel, the letter-board sign says “Independence Party now accepting Applications to run for US Senate”.  The sign is subtitled “No Experience Necessary”.

Cut to inside a small meeting room inside the hotel.  Posters of Jesse Ventura and Dean Barkley prominently adorn the wall behind three people sitting at a long table.   

Mince MIETZ, a short scholarly-looking man in his thirties clad in an ill-fitting tweed jacket bearing a button identifying him as the “Independence” Party deputy director for protocol, is holding candidate screenings in a small conference room.  Along with MIETZ sits Verdana FONT, a serious-looking short-haired fifty-something woman in short hair and a peasant skirt.  She is the Indy Party’s secretary.  Lionel BULK, a sixtyish, professorial looking fellow with a meerchaum pipe and a bow tie, sits to their left.

MIETZ:  I call this meeting of the Independence Party US Senate Nominations Committee to order!

FONT: Excellent!

BULK:  Remember.  We’re going to stick to the Independence Party’s core principles!

FONT:  Right.  Speaking of which, Mince, would you read those to me so I can…

MIETZ:  (Yells out the door) Next!

(In the door walks Thorn THOMAS, a tidy, trim man of about sixty with horn-rimmed glasses in a houndstooth suit).

FONT: Have a seat, Mr. Thomas!

THOMAS:  (Softly). Thank you.

BULK:  So, Mr. Thomas – what’s your background, that would qualify you to run for the United States Senate?

THOMAS:  I was undersecretary of Commerce for Differential Tax Application Theory under the Carlson Administration.  In that capacity, I was in charge of calculating tax differentials based on abstruse accounting theories intended to find relationships between dissimilar cultural phenomenae and tax receipts.  Then, I formed a Public Relations agency, where I’ve mostly represented Minnesota social service non-profits.  I ran for Hennepin County Soil and Water Commission in 2004 as a non-partisan candidate endorsed by the Minnesota Federation of Teachers, the SEIU, ISAIAH and the Teamsters.  And I am a permanent, tenured adjunct at the Humphrey Center.

MIETZ:  Excellent.  So – what would be your platform if you were to get the Independence Party nomination to run against the GOP nominee?

BULK: Umm…

MIETZ: …and Al Franken.

THOMAS:  I believe in not just good government, but the best government.  I believe if we give government the people, money and respect it needs, everyone benefits.

(MIETZ, BULK and FONT confer briefly).

MIETZ:  Excellent, Mr. Thomas.  Thank you!  Please leave a resume and a head shot.

(THOMAS leaves a manila folder and leaves the room)

FONT:  Well, he certainly seems to be an homage to the Independence Party’s roots, a la Tim Penny and Dean Barkley!

MIETZ:  Yep.  I believe we could get behind him!  (Yells out door) Next!

(In the door walks Garth MULLER, former Vice Chair for Ideological Purity at the Minnesota 5th CD Libertarian Party.  We walks in at the head of a bearded, bow-tied entourage of twenty-and-thirty-ish white males, many of whom are chuckling and giggling softly as they line up along the wall as MULLER takes his seat).

MIETZ:  And you are…?

MULLER:  I’m Garth Muller.  I’m an anarcho-libertarian.  I was a conservative Republican, but then I decided to support Ron Paul.  I now believe all parties are exactly identical, although I think the Independence Party is different (members of bearded, bow-tied retinue chuckle impulsively).

BULK:  Excellent.  So – your platform?

MULLER:  Abolish all government.  Make all human interactions voluntary.

FONT:  So…legalize everything.

MULLER:  No.  To “legalize” something implies we recognize the legitimacy of law in the first place.  Abolish law and all means to enforce it.  It’s all just a form of force inflicted on the people. 

FONT:  So you used to be a Republican…

MULLER:  Most of us used to be (a few scattered hisses break out among the entourage) but after what happened at the convention in 2012, I’ll never vote Republican again. 

MIETZ:  Thank you very much, Mr. Muller!  Please leave a resume and a head shot.  (MULLER’s entourage breaks out laughing at term “head shot” as they leave the room).

BULK:  In the 30 years I spent in the DFL, I never heard of such a thing.

MIETZ:  (sotto voce with a conspiratorial grin) Oh, I bet you have not, Lionel.  (To BULK):  Oh, I have.  Like a lot of disaffected Republicans.

FONT:  A lot?

MIETZ:  Enough!  No, he matches the Independence Party’s principles perfectly fine, too! OK – who’s next?

FONT:  Wait – Muller and Thomas were absolute opposites!  One was a Carlson Republican, and the other was so far out on the Libertarian wing that Ron Paul would probably tell him to take it easy…

MIETZ:  Yeah!   I know!

(Avery LIBRELLE walks into the room, leaves a resume and a head shot).

MIETZ:  And you are Avery Librelle?  Have a seat!

LIBRELLE:  I prefer to stand!

For the injustices we face are too great, the enemies that support them too entrenched, and the damange they are causing too horrible, for a thinking person to sit!  It is time to RISE!

(FONT dabs a tear from her eye.  So does BULK).

MIETZ:  So what prompts you to run on the Independence Party ticket?

LIBRELLE:  The needs – a strong social safety net, teachers that want for nothing, single payer healthcare, and equality for all – are needs that my mentor Paul Wellstone instilled in me from an impressionable age!

But then the DFL betrayed us, and I believe its time for a different party to…

MIETZ:  Oh, look at the time.  We’ll be in touch!

(LIBRELLE leaves the room).

FONT:  (wiping tears from her eyes).  What?  Librelle was perfect!

BULK:  Yes – that was a perfect encapsulation of what the Independence Party stood for back when it was founded!

MIETZ:  Well, yes.  But then the first two were even better!

FONT:  How so?

MIETZ:  You’re new at this, aren’t you?

BULK:  Well, I’m new to the Independence Party.

MIETZ:  Everyone is new to the Independence Party!   It’s like this…

(Gretel STROMBERG walks into the room.  The Executive Director of “Minnesotans United for All Progressive Causes”, she is dressed in a low-cut black cocktail dress and a pair of strappy black high-heeled “talk politics to me” pumps)

(Without a word, STROMBERG slinks around behind BULK, who sits, speechlessly, as STROMBERG drags her black boa around his neck, breathing seductively in his ear.  She then leaves a box of chocolates in front of FONT, nibbles on MIETZ’ earlobe, and leaves a paper bag full of $20 bills labelled “Best Regards, “Minnesotans United for All Progressive Causes; Don’t Show This Bag To The Campaign Finance Board!  XOXOXO, MUFAPC!” on the chair where the candidates had been)

(Then STROMBERG leaves, as quietly as she came, leaving only the scent of her perfume)

MIETZ:  So yeah.  I think MULLER matches our principles this year.

(And SCENE).

3 thoughts on “One Day At “Independence” Party Headquarters

  1. What frustrates me about current politics (American politics, anyway) is that the right believes higher growth and a weaker safety net are correlated when I don’t think there’s any evidence of that, while the left resolutely defends labor policies and stands in the way of reform (education, for one, but other government bureaucracies, too) which inhibits the growth needed to pay for the safety net and which in and of itself does more to reduce inequality than any fat cat tax. I dream of a day when the right campaigns to reform the safety net rather than reduce it, because that is what will create the most wealth, and the left campaigns for high growth through greater productivity and a broader safety net, because that is what will help the poor most. Today we have rich people calling for tax cuts on the right, and public sector employees fighting reform to protect their privileges on the left. There is a lot of public enlightenment that needs to happen before politicians even start talking about the right topics in the US. Once again, some of the more interesting experiments on better government are happening in northern Europe, although none of them have all the answers.

  2. Pingback: Of Convenience | Shot in the Dark

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