Vice POTUS elect and U.G. had been sorting the data and doing the math planning to hit the deck running and get to work on day one. She made it very clear from election night that she didn’t want a parade, no fireworks, no balloons and no more stuff made with her name and image on it. “I’m president-elect. I’ve done enough parties and celebrating for a lifetime, it’s time to get to work!”
In her acceptance speech the day after the Joint Session of Congress met in early January 2021, she said. “Dear America, as you all know by now, the electoral college has voted and I am your president-elect. A personal fact about me; my mother was a conservative Republican and my Father was a liberal, a Green party voter whenever there was a candidate he could vote for, otherwise, he’d vote for a Democrat. My parents always canceled out each other's vote and they fought constantly. In their memory, I intend to hire my administration from many political parties and because I sincerely believe what the world needs right now is more women in leadership roles I am going to have a majority of woman cabinet members. Just in case anyone wondered, my Dad would have loved that, and my Mother would have very likely thought having a mixed-party administration was a terrible idea.
Unlike my parents, all will get along and fight fair. When we have an issue that requires standing up and yelling about, each and every member of government will be required to swear to work for the people first or be voted out by consensus of the majority. And I do mean the actual voice and opinion of the majority of the American people, not some corporate popularity poll. I am asking all American citizens to use the official government communication site and call us out whenever we do anything you disapprove of. I am asking the American people to hold each and every member of your administration accountable. Tho I have been given the authority to select people for my staff, they are not my administration, they are your government and they are here in DC to serve the people. I’m not saying we are gonna take it well, or that it is going to be a quick and easy process were one idiot can push a lie until they convince everybody else it’s true. All complaints will be fact-checked and we will publically and officially post replies, results to that fact-checking and or apologies before we are going to give in and roll over to the corrosion of lies.” U.G. paused for a bit, took a sip of her water, brushed her mouth with the back of her paw and then continued.
“Democracy is a slow process, it takes time because it requires checks and balances. As any who know me well understand, I am not making any promises. But, I do intend to do everything in my power to make sure the people are heard and to sort the data and do the math.”
January 20, 2021 inauguration day. She did what was legally required, and affirmed her oath of office. But, instead of muttering under her breath. “So help me God” at the end she said, “With every fiber of my being, with every bit of will I can muster, with guidance sought from God by any name including science, I do!” And she meant it.
The look she gave the Chief Justice made him gasp audibly enough to be heard over her microphone. To be fair to him, he was trying not to stare into her giant green cat eyes, and as she said, “I do!” her paw flexed and her claws extended and retracted enough to prick five holes through the cover of the brand new Bible she was being sworn in on. She had asked to not be sworn in on an antique or historically special bible. She had requested the newest translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.
At first, as the chief justice gasped, a murmur rippled out across everyone assembled in the mall, then spontaneously as it took them a couple of seconds for what had just happened to sink in, — A Cat-person had been sworn in as President of the United States! People started cheering and clapping until it became a deafening roar.
“America!” U.G. said, her first official word spoken as POTUS. “It is my great honor as your President. To ask each and every person to look around where you are right now and ask, what can we do for the betterment of our country. I ask and repeat the most important issue to me, climate change and the survival of life on the planet. If we want to thrive as a Nation it is time for obstructionist divisiveness to end. We must take the effort and time to get to know each other and respect the rights of our neighbors as we ourselves would like to be respected. With this goal in heart and mind, it is my honor to present to you a politically diverse White House Cabinet and staff who will introduce themselves and their new job.”
Then one by one they appeared in a line up at the podium to introduce themselves and state something of importance about the work they were appointed to do for the people. Intensity added to the scene by many who were there in D.C. as defeated Democrats curious to see this ‘Cat POTUS’ for the first time for themselves.
“In case any wondered, the Vise President will be last to speak because what he has to say is the most important issue today. The first three members of my staff to introduce themselves to the American people are my three White House Chiefs of Staff. Yes, there are three of them, and each will be working a rotating four days on three days off schedule, and all three will report to and know where the other two are, at all times.” She clapped the silent clap of furry paws and stepped back as three women stepped up to the podium. They were all well known political activists and two of them had run for political office.
“Hello, America it’s my honor to serve as the gatekeeper to the president, as first on duty as President Green’s chief of staff. I am an environmental activist and a socialist-leaning Democrat, many know me as a coal miner’s daughter who ran for Senate in West Virginia.”
The other two women clapped and glanced at each other, there were a lot of people lined up to introduce themselves to the American people in-front on the inauguration platform so they knew they needed to keep their introductions brief.
“Hello, America! I am a universal healthcare activist and an activist for individual liberties, as many know the Green, Independent and Libertarian parties in many states have been working together for the last four years to elect a Democrat and that didn’t happen.” She paused because nervous laughter rippled through the crowd. She grinned painfully wide, from ear to ear and shrugged. “I’m okay with that because… instead, America got President Green!”
“Hello America, I’m a businesswoman and a lifelong Republican proud to serve as Chief of staff and stand up for fair banking practices and smaller government. I’m not for raising taxes but I’m definitely against the wealthy not paying taxes by gaming the system with loopholes. We need American corporations to bring their offshore money home and pay their fair share. My mission as gatekeeper to President Green will be to stop Wall Street from getting away with gambling with Mainstreet, together we can stop white-collar crooks cheating the American people out of their hard-earned equity, pensions, and retirement.”
The three women joined hands and raised them together and took a bow as everyone clapped, cheered, and some whistled and called out praise. Then one by one each of the three women was joined by spouse, one boyfriend, and a couple of other family members to walk off the stage waving as they went, escorted by military in dress uniforms down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House.
The next up to the podium to introduce himself was the former Democratic candidate who was most popular by the youth vote but who didn’t get the nomination at the Democratic National Convention. He had chosen to serve as Secretary of the Treasury when U.G. had agreed to support his Universal Basic Income dividend of a $1,000 dollars per month for each American over the age of 18, with very few alterations to his plan to fund it with a value-added tax. The crowd stirred and were also a little confused that the three woman chiefs of staff were leaving them. “They are off to get to work. Traditionally day one is a celebration day, but President Green wants everyone to complete one major task on their agenda on day one. Lucky for me I’ve already done the math!”
The people pressed forward, all eyes formerly wandering from the podium to follow the three women, wondering if the group of military persons leaving with them was the start of a parade, turned back to the podium.
“The big corporate money thought the DNC could get rid of me. They thought wrong! Here I am America! A slight change of venue, a different shaped office, a little more square office shape than I had planned on being in today.” He paused just a tick as some people yelled an incomprehensible mix of things he could not answer to at this second, while many others laughed at his oval office joke.
“When it was announced that I was to undergo confirmation hearings for the 5th in line of succession to the President, serving as United States Secretary of the Treasury, I heard many Americans asking if the dividend of a thousand bucks per month was still on the table. The answer to your question is ‘yes’. That’s why I accepted the role to head the United States Department of Treasury, to fulfill my promise to America for human first economics.” The people started cheering almost drowning him out. The applause starting when he stated that, ‘The answer to your question is ‘yes’. It took a few seconds for the roar to calm down before he could start speaking again. “President Green and I agree, our Nation is out of balance and the best way to empower the people immediately is to have that dividend available for a four-year trial period. The banking logistics have been worked out for Americans to cash their first check and sign up for automatic deposits for every month this year, on the last week of this month, January 2021. There are detailed instructions for everybody at my new government home page, the White House, the United States Secretary of the Treasury.” The crowd was going berserk again.
“Everybody! Everybody!” He pushed the air down with his hands, like attempting to calm down an ocean wave he had waded out into, the gesture was well-intended but futile as calming the momentum and roar of the sea. “Everybody, I have to wrap up quickly because there are many more cabinet members to introduce themselves today, right now, before we get to the vice president.” He waved and started a parade; many followed him, cheering, taking selfies of themselves with him and the capitol in the background, texting to everyone around the world that they were ‘here’! The crowd was so loud, the next three people at the podium were heard only via the recordings and the proximity of the microphones to them as they spoke, but not by the audience in the mall, the people in the crowd were going to have to stream that video later.
U.G. stood solemnly watching her administration work their way up from the wings to the podium and then go forward off to work in their offices. She was getting used to feeling time slow and ebb forward from one milestone moment to the next, the AI-Critter floating her consciousness above the people, the cyclone of emotions spinning around them like clouds made of stars, and they were in the eye of the storm. She thought about all the people she had met along the over a decade long path through Congress that had led her to the White House. She thought about her friends at home. Dean, guarding her house, not just as an armed guard who lived on her property; but guarding the proprietary details of everything Lee had built there. In her solitary life, before that Dog-person had landed on Earth she never imagined getting into politics, much less ever becoming the President of the United States of America. There was no holding down the hackles of her fur now, she was standing on the tips of her hind-paws as tall and as big as she could. In-this-moment there was no fighting against the exhilarating current of now. She was here.
Finally, the last speaker, the Vice President, stepped up and put his hand on her shoulder briefly with a slight nod of his round white-haired head before he turned to face the people, gripped the podium and everyone quieted down as if a gavel of silence had been struck.
“America!” He hollered and with only the slightest pause, he continued. “All of us have signed this executive order. President Green is at the top of the list, to sign this order when she gets to the oval office today, but we have already over five-hundred and fifty cosigners standing together with us today. Secretary of Health and Human Services, members of Congress, governors, mayors, and state insurance commissioners, five-hundred and fifty-seven cosigners to be exact!” He was a man who knew how government worked and he had no intention of the President standing alone on this executive order.
“Because I have fought for this for so many years. President Green has honored me with this privilege!” He shouted.
The office of president of the United States, via the entire administration with the support of 47 out of 50 state governments is declaring a state of emergency for all uninsured Americans effective immediately!” He pumped his fist and the wind gently tousled his hair, as if his fluffy white hair was an extension of his will, and it too would never be kept down.
“This is not a made-up emergency, this is an actual emergency, people are dying right now! Thousands of Americans have died in previous years before this day because they lacked access to health care. Because they were turned away by doctors and nurses working in our broken healthcare system. Today January 20th, 2021. All uninsured Americans and refugees in our care are covered under an emergency Medicare plan for all!
A draft of this provisional emergency healthcare plan has been submitted to the administrative personnel of every hospital and healthcare facility in the country and a full copy of the coverage benefits is posted at White House dot gov so the people who need insurance can start processing as patients and prevent deaths today!”
With a grin on his face, he triumphantly started marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, following President Utah Green., both waving happily to the people as they walked, surrounded by the military escort in dress uniforms who are traditionally at every inauguration. So many were flummoxed by what had just happened, many had tears streaming down their faces and hands pressed together as if giving thanks for an answered prayer, so many people were overwhelmed in the mix of emotion, security didn’t even have to buffer the crowd.
Curious what happens next, read Un-Un-Cat, Episode 21. — The White House Lawn.