US election – the other GOP candidates

by articulatedsheep

Such has been the relentless focus of the national and international media on Donald Trump, it is easy to forget that there are still two other Republican hopefuls in the race. As the prospect of a brokered convention grows greater, both are vying to be seen to party bigwigs that they can be the best compromise candidate. However, given that Trump is likely to go it alone as an independent if he fails to win the nomination, the personal character and political capital that these two men can command will be critical if the party hopes to hold its own when the nation votes in November. Who, then, are these men – Ted Cruz and John Kasich?

Ted Cruz

Cruz’s campaign has dramatically pivoted in recent weeks, leading to a small but notable uptick in the polls. The reason for his sudden change in strategy and policy remains unclear.

On health – “I pledge to withdraw all funding from research into brain parasites of extraterrestrial origin. I also pledge to exponentially increase the harvest of fresh, human bone marrow.”

On gun control – “The existence of individual projectile weapons and their possession by a large number of disparate humans will be irrelevant following the arrival of the Guardians. As such I have no intention of restricting their use.”

On the elderly – “Human units older than 60 solar cycles, and of good health, will willingly allow their bodies to be used as hosts for larvae and embryo sacs. Those of poor health will be invited to be reprocessed into protein slurry. This is a largely painless process.”

On education – “Funding will be removed from institutions of science education. Humans will in future receive adequate training for their assignment within technical, engineering, host body, military and slave cadres following the arrival of the Guardians.”

On culture and the media – *high pitched tone*

On defence and foreign affairs – “I will divert federal funds to ensure that the American polity can, within ten solar cycles, deploy primitive gravity weapons. This will allow the American polity to subdue other polities which might be likely to resist the arrival of the Guardians.”

On his vision for America’s future – “The principal Guardian control fleet is travelling from the system humans call Epsilon Eridani at relativistic speed, with its arrival due in a little over ten solar cycles. I will act as custodian for this planet until that date.”

Campaign song – a single, continuous tone at frequency 115 Hz for a period of precisely 13.8 seconds

Campaign slogan – Only A Minority of Humans Will Be Repurposed As Protein Slurry On Condition That Live Bone Marrow Harvests Can Continue Unimpeded By Organised Resistance

John Kasich

Kasich’s campaign has been beset by difficulty in recent weeks. As other candidates have dropped out of the race, his monomaniacal obsession with the 1990s sci-fi TV series “Sliders” has received more media exposure, which has been causing real problems for him and his backers.

On health – “In S1E5, ‘Fever’, the sliders find themselves on a world where an illness has ravaged the world – and where, it emerges, penicillin has not been discovered. We should make sure that we take every effort to discover important medicine.”

On gun control – “In S2E4, ‘The Good, The Bad and The Wealthy’, the team slide to a world where America has fallen under the control of the Republic of Texas, and where gunfighting is a means of resolving a range of disputes. Quinn, on account of his quick-drawing abilities, finds himself at the centre of such a dispute – causing the sliders to reflect on how civilised they really are, and culminating in the climactic scene where Quinn lays down his holster rather than gun down his opponent. This is yet another of the thought-provoking, moral stories that sum up seasons 1 and 2, before season 3’s ludicrous action-oriented episodes and season 4’s increasingly tiresome Kromagg story arc. I would therefore ban all firearms.”

On the elderly – “In the alternate version of 1996 presented in the season two episode ‘The Young and the Relentless’, the sliders find themselves in a world where young people are in control, while it is the middle aged and elderly who are discriminated against. What I find most interesting about this episode is how it provokes us to reflect on our own world and society – like so many episodes of ‘Sliders’, but in particular seasons 1 and 2, generally considered the apogee of the series before Fox exerted more overweening, and counterproductive, creative control in season 3, with the series reaching its absolute nadir in the season 3 two-parter “Exodus” – the less said about which the better. But those earlier seasons demand us to answer the question – is the way we live so far removed from the topsy-turvy life of our counterparts on the innumerable parallel Earths visited by the sliders? Who can say. I’m sorry, what was your question?”

On education – “I will push all possible resources into the discovery of sliding technology. I will also make the TV series ‘Sliders’ a required subject for study by all high schoolers. It is said that ‘those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it’ – a salutary lesson for those unfortunate enough to watch some of the poorest season 3 episodes, such as ‘Desert Storm’, ‘Dragonslide’, and ‘State of the Art’. We must learn from the mistakes of these poorly-plotted, fantastical and error-strewn episodes and resolve, through education, that those mistakes are not repeated in any future episodes of ‘Sliders’.”

On culture and the media – “My first act as President will be the signing of an executive order requiring that the current rights holders to the TV series ‘Sliders’ immediately commission a further ten seasons with the original cast. That’s the original season 1 cast – none of that season 4 and 5 bullshit. I’m sorry, I’m afraid this is something about which I feel incredibly strongly.”

On defence and foreign affairs – “If ‘Sliders’ can teach us anything – seasons 1 and 2, anyway – it is the fragility of our democracy in the face of foreign enemies. In parallel times, America labours under the iron grip of the Soviet Union and of the British Empire – as evidenced by ‘Sliders’ S1E1/2 and S1E5 respectively. As such, I pledge to pre-emptively attack both Russia and the United Kingdom to prevent these nightmare scenarios from coming to pass.”

On his vision for America’s future – “I believe that it is not our future about which we should be concerned – but our many parallel presents. We face unknown threats from these worlds – such as the very real threat of the Kromaggs, who we learn have attacked and decimated Earth Prime in the season 4 opener, ‘Genesis’ – one of the few high points of the frankly inferior later seasons of ‘Sliders’.”

Campaign song – theme tune from seasons 1 and 2 of the 1990s TV series “Sliders”

Campaign slogan – What if you could travel to parallel worlds? The same year, the same Earth, only different dimensions? A world where the Russians ruled America? Or where your dreams of becoming a superstar came true? Or where San Francisco was a maximum security prison? My friends and I found the gateway. Now, the problem is – finding a way back home.” (opening narration to season 2 of the TV series ‘Sliders’) 

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