220 years from now, when Earth finally starts to recover from the post-apocalyptic hellscape of the 22nd century, the planet’s remaining survivors will begin emerge from their nested catacombs near the Earth’s core. They will be a stark and severe people; the unrelenting sobriety of their collective countenances will both mimic the land and be a necessary evolution to survive in it. But while it would be natural to assume that this rustic skinned and austere population, inexorably connected by cataclysm and loss and dust and consumption of roach meat, would be devoid of optimism and hope — after all, the world really, really fucking sucks — that assumption would be false. They are still humans. They still dream. They still believe.
So they elect their smartest and brightest to form missions to gather whichever historical and anthropological data remains — photographs, microfiche, mp4s, Vine twerk compilations, and a somehow-still-alive-Willow Smith (found living in a three story loft in Detroit, Michigan, inexplicably both unaffected by the apocalypse and unaware it even happened) — to meld together some sort of narrative, some sort of history; a truth-seeking quest with two purposes. To determine what the hell happened and make sure to prevent it from ever happening again.
Of course, they’re acutely aware of the decades-long reign of Immortan Trump; his smirking visage — bleached, reptilian, and grotesque — is etched in each of the world’s remaining mountains, all accompanied by a now-indecipherable quote about negging or something. They know about the series of wars he lorded over, eventually culminating in the great big-ass war (aptly called The Great Big Ass War) that almost drove the human race to extinction. And how he transformed this great and powerful nation that was once called America — a virtual utopia with acres upon acres of bountiful fields, hundreds of millions of intermingling and symbiotic peoples, and gender-neutral bathrooms with triple ply toilet paper — into the dystopian and frightening United States of HUUUUUGE. They’re vaguely aware of how he rewrote the laws to allow him to rule until death. And a Purge-style holiday where each USofH citizen was required to murder a Mexican, and, ironically, eat at Chipotle. But how did such a man come to power? What happened that led to The Immortan’s first election, when he was still just named Donald?
After years of digging, arguing, debating, and (more) death, one of the groups finds answers. Well, a source with answers, rather. Footage of the 2016 political conventions — found in perfect condition in Smith’s pristine underground archives. They watch in awestruck horror as one of America’s political parties selects this man to lead it. “He says it in plain sight!” they say amongst themselves. “He literally campaigned on making Mexicans and Muslims illegal. Did they think he was bullshitting? Or did they want him to do it?”
This made them even more anxious to view the Democratic National Convention, as they were beyond curious of how incompetent the opposing party must have been to allow this to happen. They watch, increasingly frustrated and exasperated, and scream at the screen.
“You silly motherfuckers! Why the fuck are you booing? TPP? What the fuck is a TPP? Why are you protesting? Why can’t you fucking mobilize? Don’t you see what’s happening and what will happen! The world’s blood is on your hands!”
Ultimately, they came to the conclusion that this America was doomed by arrogance and stupidity. That they (well, we) deserved what the Immortan would do to us, to our country. We were too dumb to survive.
This conclusion, however, was interrupted by a speech delivered during the convention’s first night. They watched this woman — stately and statuesque; brown and beautiful; wise and witty; poised and perfect — articulate a vision of this America that connected, inspired, and galvanized. They listened to her extol the virtues of family and community. And how her wish to leave a better world for her children directed and dictated her life’s work. They watched her dismiss hateful rhetoric from prominent political figures; acknowledging its existence but choosing not to engage it. Choosing instead to be fueled by it. To be better than it. To rise above it. They fell in love with this woman who knew that this election was less about politics and policy and more about whether America was willing to elect a bedlamite.
And then, when she expressed the risk of electing such a foolish and reckless man to a position where he’d have the nuclear codes at his fingertips, they wailed. Knowing, bitter, and ironic tears. Tears that burned, literally, because the fallout from the century-long nuclear winter replaced the lipocalin in human tears with hydrochloric acid.
And then, right when the tears began to dry, she dropped the hammer. She referenced the cultural and historical resonance of living in a house built by her enslaved ancestors; a deft and genius and honest move that articulated the hope and promise of America better than anyone else could. In a way that only she could. The group got chills.
And then they knew, as many of us know now in 2016, that a country that would dare place such a conspicuously narcissistic megalomaniac so close to power — and do so because of apathy and petty agendas and nationalistic fear — did not deserve to have this woman serve as its First Lady.
“If only” the group’s leader, a woman named “Atonement” opined, “they all realized they weren’t worthy of her, they might have attempted to be worthy of her, to make themselves better people.”
“But they didn’t” Atonement’s partner, a man named “Eighteen and a Half” replied. “And now the world fucking blows.”