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Fan-fiction: America Reborn
Svea Rike
post 2 Dec 2017, 21:09
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In 2027 the United States suffered its most devastating defeat since the Vietnam War. At the mercy of the Global Liberation Army, the US was forced to pull a swift retreat as their military was stretched thin across two continents with casualties numbering in the thousands. Millions of soldiers would return to a weakened nation in a state of crisis, an administration unsure of how to proceed and a people up in arms at the continued incompetence of their leaders and the puppeteers pulling their strings. As the economy withered and the dollar was replaced by the Chinese renminbi as the global standard, the US drifted into the shadows, remembered as a failed state that tried to pull the world police card one too many times.

The American Restoration Movement (2027-2029)

Back home, unemployment led to civil unrest which led to rebellion. Martial law and contract police became a common sight. It seemed as if America’s time of glory had come to an end. Except the people did not wane. In late 2028, a group of patriots known as the American Restoration Movement appeared on the streets of San Francisco, handing out flyers for a cultural gathering in the fields outside Sacramento. News of this gathering spread far and fast, resulting in over twenty thousand attendees. Musicians, artists, entertainers and educators performed for the weary crowd of thousands for over a week. The ‘New Woodstock’ spread across the country, uniting the impoverished and desperate behind the comforting curtain of cultural expression in the way only America can.

But New Woodstock was not the end. The automotive industry was nearing the edge of the cliff. Hundreds of tons of discarded vehicles, thrown away after their owners could not afford to keep them, were piled up in scrapyards and old parking garages. Thousands marched to whereabouts unknown, hitting the high road. Communal camps and shantytowns appeared in fields and abandoned airports from Seattle to Atlanta. The people discarded their weak government’s attempt to restore order, opting instead to work together in communities dedicated to self-preservation and independent thinking. Numerous businesses once thought invincible cracked from the lack of consumers. Hollywood and the music industry stagnated as independent artists and labels conquered the people. Though the government attempted to halt the expansion of so-called ‘communist exclaves’, their attempts were only marginally successful as many police and military men simply refused to take action.

Scrap towers like these became a common sight in the automotive cities.

Most interestingly, the people began looking back to a better time, a time when the United States could still be called a respectable superpower not at the whims of their Chinese or corporate overlords. The Fifties, though rife with civil disturbance and societal injustice, was a time when the global perception of America was that of a nation to emulate. One that protected Western Europe and its allies from the aggressive expansion of fascism and communism. The modern cultural iconography oft said to be the cause behind American egocentrism and overextension (including the term ‘Americanization’) was cast away as people reverted to the flaunty Fifties and swinging Sixties. Classic cars nearing one hundred years of age were restored as old replacement parts from innumerable scrapyards modernized them to acceptable safety standards. The independent automotive industry provided cheap, reliable and stylish cars for a nation ready to get back on track. The motor family took on a new name as people toured America, singing songs and performing numbers from a time that the people thought simpler, greater - without the racism and sexism, of course.

Born-Again Superpower (2030-2033)

After several years of neglect, it seemed as if the United States was ready to return. New industries were born, social communities helped ease the job market and the government was ready to apologize to its people. Shockingly, the corporate megaminds of New York and Los Angeles seemed to express interest in helping the people for a change, rather than piggyback off the government. Politicians couldn’t be corrupted simply because there was nothing to corrupt them with. From one of the social communities in New Hampshire came an inspiring old politician; Kevin O’Connor. Once a senator from New Hampshire, O’Connor had been shunned by the militaristic and self-centered administration of President Howard Paulson. O’Connor left the administration in shame, angered at the actions of his President. Since then, O’Connor had made quite an impression on the people. He was a genuinely idealistic politician who held the best interests of the people at heart. Despite lacking support from Congress or governors, O’Connor announced his intent to run for President in 2032, and restore the country to glory.

He was met with opposition from every faucet of the government. The current President, one whose name nobody even bothered to transcribe in the history books, denounced his campaign as the ‘deluded ramblings of a communist sympathizer’. O’Connor attempted to appeal to the hearts and minds of the people, and held his rallies and speeches in the same festivals that first spread across the nation four years ago. He quickly rose in popularity and every poll said he would win an easy victory in the 2032 election. Sure enough, come election night and he won a majority of the popular vote and was all ready to take office and save the country. Unfortunately, the people in charge had other ideas.

America looked back to a time when they were still the mightiest country on Earth.

O’Connor’s opponent claimed election fraud and demanded a recount, claiming a socialist traitor like him couldn’t possibly gain the majority of votes. Congress backed his opponent and suspended his inauguration process, prompting uproar from the people. Though O’Connor was willing to resolve the dispute peacefully, the protestors had had enough. Years of pent-up anger and frustration was being released at the self-serving administration that brought their country to its knees after being suppressed for five years. The New Woodstock movement thought it could contain the spreading crisis through art and reflection, but only helped in postponing the inevitable backlash of hate and violence. It resulted in a large mob of angry citizens marching on Congress and breaking down the doors, trashing the historic building and causing the unfortunate death of a security guard. O’Connor burst out, condemning both sides of the crisis in a controversial first speech:

“The actions undertaken by the anti-government mob yesterday evening in Washington, D.C. only served to prove what I had been fearing all along: That the people of these great states can never maintain a happy relation with its government. You are angry, I understand that. But I had hoped these past five years would have taught us that violence is not an effective means to an end. See what the previous war brought to us. We believed we could end the violence spreading across Eurasia through force, but it only resulted in loss of life and ruination to our home. And now, after five years of depression and anger, you release the contained violence that would have normally been spent on week-long riots and resistance like all the other times in history. Even the counterculture movement was not free of violence. But look back at what we achieved. We came together as a country to restore us to what we once was. And if we had only waited a little while longer, it would have happened without more bloodshed. Dustin Blake, was the name of the security guard who tragically lost his life in yesterday’s chaos. He was but a humble worker pulling his lot in life to provide for his family. But now he is no longer with us. If our experimentation had lasted a few weeks more, Mr. Blake would still be around to witness these United States returning to its once-proud position. All I ask, is that we at least try to see these next years in a positive light. As an opportunity to learn and restore. If we manage that, I think our chances would increase tenfold in the near future. Thank you, and may God bless the United States of America.”

The American people released all their pent-up anger in one violent night of opposition.

His speech made people sit back and think. The angry mob which attacked the Capitol Building dispersed, and some even turned themselves into the authorities. After a long debate, Congress backed down and allowed President O’Connor to assume office. In the coming years, O’Connor would indeed bring America back to its former glory. The creation of the North American Union in 2033 saw the American economy revitalized, and once the people and the government settled down, the job market and booming pop cultural empire opened once again. It was not long before a movie of the secondary counterculture hit the silver screen, winning three Academy Awards and turning a profit of over a billion dollars at the box office.

In the end, the people of the United States proved their resilience through its most trying time since the 30s. The brunt of the 50s revival continued well into the 2040s, even resulting in the return of war bonds and camp-filled propaganda flicks as the Russo-European War expanded into World War III, rewarding the US Armed Forces with its greatest recruitment boost in recent memory.

Hey y'all. As you might have guessed, I am big into 50s culture. This fan-fic was really an excuse to bring that retro flair into ROTR, one way or another. Hope it was good enough.

This post has been edited by Svea Rike: 2 Dec 2017, 21:12

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