|Jack Ryan's Legacy
Author: Mark Horne PM
President Jack Ryan thinks about his legacy.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Tragedy - Words: 800 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 1 - Published: 05-20-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4267126
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A/N: The characters and setting are not my own, but I do live in America.
President Jack Ryan was sitting at his desk, scribbling signatures late into the night. Jack Ryan's wife was waiting for him in their bedroom wearing a negligee and sipping fine Australian wine. Jack Ryan's three children were asleep in their separate rooms, monitored by the Secret Service. Jack Ryan signed another piece of legislature and placed his pen on the solid mahogany desk. The desk was hard and strong, much like its owner. It had seen many men come and go, but none quite like Jack Ryan.
There was a knock on the Oval Office door and Vice President Robbie Johnson stepped into the room.
"Robbie, it's good to see you," said Jack, resting his chin in his hands.
"You're up late, sir," replied the Vice President, and his long legs carried him easily across the expanse of the office.
"Congress has been ram-rodding laws down my throat the past week. I'm trying to get it all caught up. It's times like these Robbie, that I have to wonder about my legacy." He sorted through the pile of documents and pulled one out. "Look at this one, 15 million for anti-smoking education in Boise, Idaho. This one wants to build a border fence in Maine for 80 million. Don't even get me started on the national initiatives, Robbie. All I've got here is pork and earmarks."
"And that makes you worry about your legacy, sir?"
"It does. Name your top three favorite presidents."
The Vice President didn't miss a beat. "Abraham Lincoln, Fredrick Delano Roosevelt, and George Washington."
"That's what I mean. What do those men have in common? They presided over wars that changed the course of this nation. Failure meant the end of liberty and the expansion of tyranny. What have I done to rival those men?"
"Well sir, just recently you fought a war with China through Russia, we had a quasi-war with Japan, conflict was successfully avoided with India, and of course there was that big problem when Iraq and Iran tried to merge."
"But did those things really threaten the country? China was no Nazi Germany, Japan no Confederacy, and Iraq/Iran was a joke. Even put together they were no serious threat to our way of life."
"There was also that Ebola outbreak, and there were two nuclear attacks on US soil, only one of which was deflected, and then only by the barest of margins."
"The country could have overcome all of that without me. But our nation would be in ruins if Abraham Lincoln hadn't been president. Hell, you'd be a slave."
The Vice President bristled inwardly, but his expression was just as stoic as before.
President Jack Ryan continued, "No, when people look on me in the future, it will be as the presidency that could have been filled by anyone. Here," he pulled out another piece of paper. "This is legislature to amend the Constitution to give me a third term. I thought I would have had to fight an armed revolt and overthrow the country to get this, but no, Congress sent it to me on a silver platter. The people love me, Robbie. What great president was loved by everyone?"
The Vice President shook his head. "Sir, that's actually what I came to speak to you about." He glanced down at the document; the ink signing it into law was still fresh. The Vice President drew a gun and pointed it at Jack Ryan. The President looked at his friend in shock.
"Robbie! What the hell is this?"
"Sir, I can't allow another Republican term. In the past eight years you've neglected the poor, ignored urban blight, cut the budget of Medicaid, stripped millions of food stamp eligibility, and taken almost all power from unions. All your talk of cutting pork-barrel wastefulness has caused social programs to wither. And the budget is just as overrun, thanks to all the military excursions you've been on. Poverty is at an all time high, and real wages have actually dropped for the first time since 1974. There's not even evidence that those adventures have made America safer. And, on a personal level, I'm tired of your constant racism, and your sexist remarks. Sir, I think you're a failure as a president."
He pulled the trigger twice, both bullets penetrating Jack Ryan through the forehead. And just like that Robbie Johnson had ascended to become the first African-American President of the United States of America.
"And that," he said, blowing the smoke from the warm barrel. "Is change we can believe in."