ethel’s words

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SCIENCE FICTION AND MORMON POLITICS

One portentous day in the 20th Century a group of well-groomed men in business suits sat in an office with a heavy, closed door.

“Wouldn’t it be interesting,” one smiled, “if Brother Hatch could fellowship Ted Kennedy? We could learn a lot about politics in Massachusetts.”

“That would be a fruitful little friendship, yes. But how do we make sure there is no anxiety among the people of The Kingdom?”

“Priesthood meetings. In careful terms. Have the OK spread from there. Even though Ted Kennedy was the most-hated man in Utah--well, he was not in Utah--it was the Utahns who hated him. For several years his name was spoken daily with loathing. Can we really overcome that enough to protect the purpose of this fellowshipping?”

“The brethren understand fellowshipping. We will just put out a message that sometimes fellowshipping is used for investigative purposes. But next, what do we do to promote tolerance of Mitt Romney’s mis-steps? He is bound to make them. Ah, but they are not mis-steps. They are steps toward the establishment of The Kingdom.”

“Well, that should be as easy as to get the brethren to be tolerant of Hatch messing around with Ted Kennedy.”

“True. We have to be sure no anti-Kennedy articles or letters get into The News. Lack of word is sometimes as good a guide as words making a new rule.”

“And what about the brethren in Massachusetts? They have never been able to budge Kennedy. And it looks like he is going to live forever--strange for a Kennedy.”

“They are already tolerant--in a way, too tolerant--of the Kennedy stuff. Any where else, they would look like apostates. All we have to do is be sure--in priesthood meetings--that they know Mitt Romney is to be supported no matter what he does--even if he drinks alcoholic beverages in public--and no objection should be made to Hatch’s fellowshipping of Ted Kennedy.”

“Considering how well we succeeded in getting the brethren and their kin to reject everything having to do with the Kennedys, this may be hard. I remember there was some consternation when the Church and BYU made it clear that the assassination of JFK was not a matter for concern. Still,I guess they got the message after a week or two of appropriate news guidance. And keeping a thumb on television programming--all of it, not just our own stations.”

“I think this will work. And once Mitt is governor, we can go from there. There are those key states for the presidential election. We must find a way to get enough people in them to run a good telephone campaign--oh, e-mail, too. In fact, before that, we need to find a way to control the media there. It shouldn’t be hard. We might have to buy a few companies--some of the big advertisers--and we can hold down the bad element on the radio and television stations.”

“Right. Don’t forget we have some good members who got experience working on G. Bush’s campaign. We can learn from them. In fact, they had experience managing elections in other countries. We must be careful not to out them.”

“Yes, we should make use of that experience. Well, good. This meeting is to be forgotten. Only the plans should be remembered. Let us meet again in 47 days--somebody pin down what that date will be--and now we can all go and have a steak and a chocolate ice cream sundae.”

Ethel C. Hale   2005