Coming only days after the passage of a controversial trade agreement, recent Supreme Court Decisions on gay marriage and healthcare have many Americans upset with the folks in Washington, D.C., who claim to represent their interests. If you count yourself among them, I think you’ll enjoy the timely excerpt below from Chapter 11 of my recently-released crime-fiction novel, The National Bet:
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With the line of succession to the presidency obliterated, surviving members of the U.S. House and Senate met for five days straight to discuss a one-time, extra-Constitutional means for resolving this never-before-experienced crisis. They were joined by a select number of individuals from outside the legislative branch who had been instrumental in securing the top-level resignations. Together, they worked to select a successor to serve out the remainder of President Obama’s second term.
Minus any smoke signals, several rounds of papal election-style voting took place during an exhausting three-day period until one man, a proven leader without the baggage of a Beltway insider, emerged from the pack.
Governor Franklin G. Rivera was a second-term governor from Wyoming who some people—but not the man himself—liked to refer to as “FGR.” Far more conservative than the three-term president who, decades earlier, had been associated with a similar three-letter acronym, Governor Rivera’s public approval ratings were higher than any other statewide office holder in the country.
With much trepidation, the governor accepted the job just a few minutes before noon Saturday, July 4, 2015.
After taking the oath of office behind closed doors and without fanfare, the nation’s first Latino president addressed the nation at 3 p.m., delivering the first of many difficult messages he would be called upon to share as Commander- in-Chief:
My fellow Americans, many of you have suffered tremendous losses during the past several months. To you, I offer a sincere apology on behalf of every elected official in Washington.
Members of Congress have, with the cooperation of too many American presidents, gotten away with robbery for far too long. They’ve allowed taxing and spending to get out of control. And they’ve allowed government regulation to trample common sense and decency. As a result, we’ve all paid a price higher than most of us care to calculate.
During the next twelve months, I pledge to work tirelessly to establish legal safeguards in our system via which we will do more than simply prevent members of Congress from increasing the national debt. The safeguards I propose will involve imposing stiff financial penalties on individual members of Congress who choose to waste taxpayers’ dollars on any projects or programs that increase the national debt and the burden on our children and grandchildren.
Even more important than that, however, is my top priority—ensuring that all of your assets, taken from you illegally by the previous administration, are returned to you as quickly as possible.
I’ve set July 4, 2016, as the date by which your money, the money that is rightfully yours, will be returned, with interest, to your bank accounts, to your 401K accounts and to your other retirement savings vehicles. It will be a Financial Independence Day when government no longer has its hands on your money.
President Rivera’s speech resonated with the justifiably jaded American people.
After learning more about the energetic sixty-year-old president’s background via biopic news and feature reports that surfaced following his appointment, most Americans seemed genuinely appreciative of the fact his legal-immigrant parents had set a good example for their oldest son and his five younger siblings, all of whom had been born in the United States.
Not surprisingly, they liked knowing Rivera’s parents had realized success as farmers, growing mostly wheat and soybeans on the flatlands of eastern Colorado. And they liked the fact that the new president’s four adult children seemed to be decent, well-educated people not seeking to ride their father’s political coattails.
In addition, they liked the fact he had become successful through hard work, determination and a steadfast refusal to run with the pack when the pack was heading in the wrong direction. And they liked how he seemed to take time to think before opening his mouth to speak and refused to compromise his Christian faith.
Most importantly, they liked how President Rivera’s early actions spoke even louder than his personal history.
In addition to signing an executive order on Day One that banned the use of taxpayer dollars on inaugural activities, he signed another that prohibited all federal employees from participating in inaugural activities, public or private.
The new president also completed the process of appointing cabinet members within two days and warned members of Congress not to waste any time in approving his nominees, saying, “We have important business to take care of!”
During his first year in office, President Rivera worked too hard and slept too little while waging a gallant effort to restore stability. Not a single round of golf was played, and vacations were off limits for White House staffers and all who remained employed on Capitol Hill.
I hope you enjoyed this tidbit from The National Bet. Beyond that, I hope you’ll share it and order a copy to see what happens before and after this presidential moment.
Click here to read other excerpts from The National Bet and my two nonfiction books, The Clapper Memo and Three Days In August.
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