William Anderson: And that concludes the first debate between our 2020 primary winners, the President of the United States and his Democratic opponent, John Cantrell. Cantrell, of course, is the 35 year-old woodworker and political neophyte from Bethel, New York who upset a field of 13 campaign trail veterans to earn that highly coveted spot on the dais this evening.
Paula Randolph: That’s right, Bill. Nobody inside the political establishment expected this soft spoken outsider to– well, they didn’t expect anything because nobody gave Cantrell a first thought, much less a second one.
Anderson: I don’t think any of us in the media expected it, either. How such a seemingly ordinary man became the lightning rod in this election is a mystery. Just look at this footage of the crowd gathered outside the convention center before tonight’s debate. I’ve never seen so many handmade signs for and against a single candidate in one crowd. How do you explain it?
Randolph: Well, you heard it over the last 90 minutes. Cantrell’s calm demeanor seems to comfort some and agitate others, and his simple, unambiguous message does the same.
Anderson: Let’s go to correspondent Al Baker, who is outside with the crowd. Al?
Al Baker: Bill, this crowd is energized, to say the least. Lots of screaming, and even a few fist fights. The president’s team did a great job of mobilizing his base, but Cantrell’s supporters seem to match them both in numbers and enthusiasm.
Anderson: Can we speak to a few of them, Al?
(A man in a red cap grabs Baker’s microphone.)
Man #1: Johnny Cant-Win needs to pack up his socialism and his hippie crap and go back to Russia, and I mean the bad Russia not the good one. All that crap he was saying about when he was hungry America fed him and when he was thirsty America gave him a drink and when he was naked America gave him clothes¹. First of all, don’t nobody want to see that, and number two America didn’t give him anything. Me and every other hard working tax payer carried that loser, just like the president said. He don’t want to work he can starve for all I care. I see his kind all the time down at the unemployment office.
Baker: You work for the unemployment office?
Man #1: No.
Anderson: Al, do you think we can talk to one of Cantrell’s supporters?
(A middle-aged woman enters the frame wearing a knit cap and matching mittens. She cranes her neck to reach the microphone that Al Baker points toward her.)
Baker: What’s your name and where you from?
Mary McClean: I’m Mary McClean from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Baker: And you’re a Cantrell supporter?
McClean: That’s right, Al. Ever since he came to Vegas and spoke to the sex workers like they were just as important as everybody else in the country² I knew he was the candidate for me.
Man #1 (screaming): That’s what I’m talking about! Cant-Win hangs out with hookers! He doesn’t have the moral character to be president!
McClean: Says the man whose president paid off a porn star.
Man #1 (still screaming): That’s just made up by the libtard media. Besides that, everybody makes mistakes and he admitted it. If you can’t forgive and forget you can kiss my ass, you and all those mother–
(Camera cuts back to studio.)
Anderson: And we’re going to go to the Reverend Bobby Grayson, Jr., who is calling in from the headquarters of Grace and Prosperity Ministries in Nashville, Tennessee. Reverend Grayson, some are calling the moment during the second half of the debate when candidate Cantrell appeared to heal a blind man³ a miracle. What are your thoughts?
Grayson (laughing): Well, Bill, you’re in the television business.
Anderson: I don’t understand.
Grayson: You know how easy it is to do the special effects with the computers and the CBT.
Anderson: You mean CGI?
Grayson: Look, I’m not here to debate special effects. The thing here is that Mr. Cantrell is clearly a very dangerous man. I’ve prayed on this, and he is an evil, evil man. America has the finest health care system anywhere in the world. If it didn’t, then why would the immigrants be coming here illegally and clogging up the emergency rooms so that good Christians can’t get the services that they need?
Anderson: Aren’t some immigrants Christian?
Grayson: I’ll tell you who is a good Christian: our president, that’s who. This Cantrell character is in league with the Devil, with his message of socialism and inclusivity. We might as well just turn our country over to the animals and the homosexuals if we’re going to elect a radical like that. No, this country needs a good, strong, Christian leader like our president.
Anderson: But weren’t many of Cantrell’s responses tonight completely in line with Christian beliefs?
Grayson (shaking head): That’s what’s so sad about America today, Bill. Nobody knows the Gospels anymore. You take all that talk of his about taxes and “give the government their share.”4 There’s nothing Christian about handing your hard earned dollars over to the government. It’s just another socialist scheme to redistribute wealth from the job creators to the lazy homeless and the rapist immigrants who are bringing this great nation down.
Anderson: Reverend Grayson, partisanship aside you must have been taken by the sight of the convention center’s ceiling opening up and Cantrell ascending into the sky until he vanished in the clouds, accompanied by nothing but otherworldly music and a single beam of pure white light.5
Grayson: Special effects and fake news, Bill, special effects and fake news. It’s time that we stopped believing our lying eyes and ears and made America great again.
4Matthew 22: 21
5Acts 1: 9-12