Chapter Three. Sogwa for President.
Sogwa rode her vacuum cleaner all around the ruined city, carrying water bottles and snacks and messages. Everywhere Sogwa went she introduced herself, and said that she is running for President, will you please come to my rally next Friday at noon in the Park? Everyone she helped that busy week noted to themselves; Sogwa, President, Friday noon, Park. They told their friends, and those friends told other friends.
The next Friday at noon in the Park a big crowd saw Sogwa swoop in on her vacuum cleaner. The raindrop on her necklace shone as bright as a diamond. She gave this speech:
“Hi there, I’m Sogwa the supercat. I’m six years old, and I’m running for President. I’m here to tell you why I should be President, even though I’m just a small bean-bag cat doll, and this isn’t even an election year. If you agree, then please vote for me.”
“I should be President because I believe in reality. I believe that up is up, and down is down. I believe that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. I believe that yes does not mean no, and that no does not mean yes. I believe that rivers run downhill, and you can’t unscramble an egg. I believe that things are what they are, and they are not what they are not.”
“I believe that I should not believe things just because someone told me so, or because I saw a photo, or read a story, or watched it on TV. I shouldn’t believe things just because they make me feel good, or because it’s easier that way. Nor should I believe something because I made it up, or because my imaginary friend swears it’s true. I should believe only what I have tested out myself, and found to be good, both for myself and for others.”
“As your President, I promise a Guaranteed Annual Year. I promise twelve inches per foot, ten dimes for a dollar, and seven days a week. If I am President, then two plus two shall make four. Not five, even if you give me an ice cream cone. Not three, even if you make fun of me. Two plus two is four, no more, no less. If I am President, then the alphabet shall go; ABCDEFG, HIJKLMNOP, QRS, TUV, WXY and Z.”
A Heckler interrupted Sogwa’s speech. “You politicians make me sick,” he complained. “You talk and talk and do nothing but lie. What do you think of our fair city?”
“You mean, Lake Chimpy? I think it’s a horrible stinking mess! It’s unfit for human habitation!” Sogwa yowled. “It needs to be cleaned up, and even then I’m not sure. No matter what, we’ll have to build lots of new houses, either here or somewhere else!”
The exiles of Olde Phillippe were astonished to hear a politician say what they were thinking. But the Heckler was not satisfied. He yelled, “Well, clean-up costs money! New houses cost money! How you gonna get it, and who will do the job?”
“If I were President? Is rebuilding cities part of the job?”
“It is if Congress says so!” said the Heckler.
“All right then, I guess I’d hire people to do it. Whoever can do the work.”
“Oh yeah? How do we know you won’t hire your friends? And let them charge top dollar for lousy work?”
“Well, you don’t, of course,” said Sogwa. “No point for me to say I’m honest! Like I was saying, you’ll just have to see for yourself! So thank you for your attention, Mr. Heckler!”
The exiles of Olde Phillippe thought this a sensible reply; and some remembered that Chimpy never let Hecklers get in his face the way Sogwa did.
But the Heckler was really mad now. “You still haven’t answered: How! Will! You! Get! The! Money! Will you beg, borrow or steal it?”
Sogwa thought about this. “Let’s see... If I were a billionaire, I’d borrow; if I ran a church, I’d beg; but if I were your President, I guess I’d steal. I think we’re supposed to call it taxation, to be polite.”
The exiles of Olde Phillippe thought this another sensible reply; but the Heckler yelled, “Who will you rob those taxes from?”
“Oh, I don’t know... nobody here has any money... maybe the banks, they have lots... and the people who built all those big skyscrapers downtown; don’t they have money too?”
The exiles of Olde Phillippe thought this a third sensible reply.
But the Heckler was still not satisfied. “You’ll lie to us! You’re lying right now!”
“Of course I’ll lie to you, that’s what Presidents do! And yes, I’m lying to you right now! Do you want the truth?” And the crowd yelled YES! “I’ll right, I’ll tell you! The truth is, my whole Presidential campaign is a trick! A ruse! It’s a cover for something else!”
“For what!” the Heckler yelled.
“YEAH, WHAT?” the crowd roared.
“I’m just trying to meet Chimpy! Face to face, so I can see him myself, and judge for myself! And I figure the quickest way to get his attention is to try to take his job!”
The crowd cheered: YAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!
They chanted, “Get Real! Vote Sogwa! Get Real! Vote Sogwa!”
The Heckler lead the chant; and right after the rally the Heckler came up to Sogwa and volunteered to be her campaign manager.
That was the start of the Sogwa for President campaign. Everywhere she went she met big crowds. She was especially popular among the exiles of Olde Phillippe; but lots of other people liked her too. The TV news people marveled that so many could see so much in a small beanbag cat doll, when it wasn’t even an election year.