GP: Hey Satan.
Satan: Hey Grumpy. How’s life as a pastor lately?
GP: Uggh. It’s been better. It’s only March. I’m pretty ready and anxious for November to get here. That Presidential election is gonna be the death of me. Maybe once we have a new President, we can get back to normal. The negative campaign ads, the brainless quotes, and panic inducing newspaper headlines really get old.
Satan: You really are a hopeful sap aren’t you?
Waitress: What can I get you two?
GP: I’ll have a bagel with cream cheese. Coffee with cream and sugar.
Satan: I’ll have the same thing. Except I want the Jalapeno cream cheese. I like things spicy.
GP: Anyhow, whattya mean I’m a hopeful sap?!
Satan: I mean, you think once the election changes, that things will go back to normal?
GP: Well, yeah.
Satan: You really don’t understand what I do, do you?
GP: Well, I know you’re for evil, so I figured you’d be for the candidate that best represents your interests? I just can’t figure out which one it is.
Satan: Eh. They’re really all of the same. I could take ‘em or leave ‘em. None of them really excite or scare me. You might think I’d appreciate John Kasich, purely out of admiration for his being the most logical of the bunch. Or that I’d be a Trump fan because of all of his angry rhetoric. Or that I might like Hillary because of her dishonesty. Or that’d I’d be afraid of Bernie Sanders because he’s fighting the big bad corporations for the little guy. To be honest, I do like Cruz and Rubio a little bit. Their constant mentioning of my opponent, the Creator, really helps my cause.
GP: What? I thought you’d have some strong opinions?
Satan: No. I really couldn’t care less. But my love is pretty strong for all of their supporters. I’m putting all of my eggs in that basket.
Satan: Listen. There is no end to egotistical savior wannabes who somehow think they have the power to fix a country on the path towards destruction. If the Presidential candidate clown car was in a fiery crash, another clown car full of the same kind of yahoos would arrive in the next 30 seconds to take their place.
GP: I’m listening…
Satan: It’s not the leaders that I care about. It’s their followers where I ply my trade. See, I’ve managed to pit friends with only friends, and family members against family members. Folks group themselves with each other simply over who it is they support for the Presidency, or whatever other nonsubstantive beauty contest in life is happening at the moment. Haven’t you noticed the biggest supporters of Donald Trump are the grandparents of the biggest Bernie Sanders fans? You know that old cliché “If you want to stay friends, don’t talk about religion or politics?”
Satan: Who do you think invented that one?
GP: Wow. You’re good. I mean, in a bad way of course.
Satan: Thanks. I need all of the compliments I can get. I do most of my work in secret, and nobody even much knows about it. It gets kind of lonely. Anyhow, I’m all about getting each other messed up in each others’ stuff. That’s the direction I always work towards. That’s why I support all of the candidate’s supporters. For all of the junk they’ve lobbed towards each other, they’ve totally stymied the world, and they can’t even see it. They’re all focused on the rightness of their own candidate, and the wrongness of others. They speak nothing of values, principles, or solutions to the actual challenges your country faces. Nobody can actually see that they’re more tribal than actual aboriginal tribes.
GP: No way! There are clear problems with the American electorate. They just aren’t educated enough. I mean, Good Lord, Donald Trump is leading the Republicans!
Satan: There are problems with the American electorate, but they aren’t what you think. Don’t you understand that intellectualism is just as satanic as stupidity?
Satan: Let me explain. Let’s use the Supreme Court nomination for example. The Republicans said they’ll block every nomination coming from the President. And then the Democrats fire back at their enemies for how evil, rotten, and nasty the other side is. If either one of them dropped their gloves, they’d actually be leading forward and begin getting out of this mess. Imagine a Republican who said “I support the nomination process as it is in the constitution,” or a Democrat who said “I think we need to find a centrist judge”? Their supporters would laugh them off the stage because they don’t fit the mold. They might get 5 more votes total than Mickey Mouse. Nobody actually seems to be aware that the problem with America might not be the politicians or the media. It might actually be all of the people combined.
GP: Wow. That’s kind of depressing.
Satan: I’ve got a pill for that, as well as a therapist to recommend to you.
GP: I wish I could take you up on that. But truth be told, I can’t afford it. My insurance isn’t that great.
Satan: Oh, well, then you’re probably better off anyways.
GP: If what you’re saying is true, then we really are pretty hopeless.
Satan: Yeah. Pretty much. I’m very good at what I do. Every now and then there comes a leader who does have a backbone, and doesn’t give in to the whims of anxiety.
GP: Like who?
Satan: Oh… like Kennedy.
GP: JFK? The womanizer?
Satan: Yeah. That guy was scary. Remember that whole “ask not what your country can do for you” speech he gave? He actually had the audacity to propose what makes a country great was equal to the effort put in by its inhabitants. I can’t have truth-tellers like that leading people.
GP: Who else?
Satan: Eisenhower, right before him was pretty good too. He was right about that whole military-industrial complex thing. That guy was a prophet warning everyone about the future.
GP: So what happened? Nobody listened to him.
Satan: I made sure he caught on as being really nerdy and bookish.
GP: Why would you do that?
Satan: Nobody actually listens to nerdy and bookish people who know best.
GP: Sure they do!
Satan: Really? Remember Karen, the president of the debate team in high school?
GP: Oh yeah… Karen. Spent most of her time in the library. Had a 4.0 GPA. She was a violin virtuoso
Satan: Yup. That Karen. Did she ever get elected class president?
GP: No. That was Mike Ross. He was on the football team. Karen… gosh. I wonder what ever happened to her?
Satan: She lives in a French villa with her husband and two kids. She’s very happy and fulfilled. But that’s beside the point.
GP: So, what I get you as saying is that there really aren’t leaders out there.
Satan: Nope. The United States is so anxious, it couldn’t elect a leader to actually lead everyone out of a wet paper bag.
GP: Well, it’s been real Satan. I’ve got to go. I’ve got to go take my daughter to her day care.
Satan: I’ve always admired how much effort you put into your family.
GP: Same time next month?
Satan: I can’t. I’ve got an appointment with the president of the school board. I’m trying to tempt him into believing grades will improve in schools and kids will learn more by making school days longer.