FADE IN – Nighttime in the cemetery; George the Democrat is running through knee-deep snow, looking haggard and alarmed. He finds Clarence the Angel and grabs him by the lapels:

George: Look, who are you anyway?

Clarence: I told you, George. I’m your guardian angel.

George: Yeah, yeah, I know. What else are you? What … are you a hypnotist?

Clarence: No, of course not.

George: Well, then, why am I seein’ all these strange things? What’s with all the red baseball caps? Why is there gold paint on everything?

Clarence: Don’t you understand, George? It’s because you lost the election. Your party doesn’t run anything any more. It’s as if you’d never existed.

George: Never existed? We’re the party of the emerging multiracial majority, Bub, the one that’s going to usher in a new liberal golden age!

Clarence: There is no Democratic Party, George. Old Man Potter is the president now. You have no White House, no Senate, no House of Representatives. (George fumbles in his watch pocket.) That’s not there, either.

George: What’s not?

Clarence: The chance to name the justice with the deciding vote on the Supreme Court. It’s all gone. You’ve been given a chance to see what the world would be like without you. Here, take a look.

(Screen fills with fog, then an image emerges of Bert the cop talking with Ernie the cab driver.)

Bert: President Potter makes a lot of sense when he talks about infrastructure investments. Our airports must be the worst in the world … (Ernie coughs.) Say, you all right? I thought you were going to see the doc.

Ernie: Can’t. Had to drop my insurance when they cut the premium subsidy, and then the hospital went out of business ’cause it couldn’t keep up with all the uncompensated-care bills.

Bert: Oh well, maybe it’s nothing. So, like I was saying …

George: That’s a lie! I got affordable health care for self-employed people like Ernie! Twenty million of them can buy insurance through the exchanges. Uncle Billy told me it was a “Big Effing Deal”!

Clarence: It was, George, but the Republicans repealed that law. Now guys like Ernie have no coverage. But here, look at this:

(The fog clears again: This time, Main Street is full of people running in a panic.)

First man: Hey, what’s going on?

Second man: The bank went all-in on antique-collectable-based derivatives. So when the Hummel figurine market collapsed, the whole economy tanked! We’re going to the payday lender to save our homes. You coming?

First man: What kind of interest do they want?

Second man: It’s 300 percent, but it’s a whole lot better than sleeping outside! C’mon! …

George: That’s impossible! We passed tough financial regulations that rein in banks and protect consumers!

Clarence: No, George. With Potter as president, there’s no Dodd-Frank, no Volcker rule, no Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The deregulators are running everything now.

George: I can’t stand it!

Clarence: Wait till you see what they did to the climate! We had a December hurricane sweep through here that caused flooding clear to Elmira …

George: No, little fella. Please stop. Don’t make me watch everything I’ve ever worked for get torn apart! I want to live again! Please let me live again!

Clarence: You see, George, you’ve been given a great gift. Potter and the Republicans ran on a promise of bringing back jobs and saving the economy. But all they are going to do is cut taxes for the rich and fill their own pockets.

George: And then the Democrats come back in?

Clarence: It’s not quite that simple. A lot of people don’t trust you any more. You’re too close to Sam Wainwright and his Wall Street buddies. You need to win back the working people in town council races and legislative elections.

George: How do I do that?

Clarence: While the Republicans are in charge, you have time to develop ideas that are big enough for the problems we face. People don’t want incremental fixes to a broken system. They want health care, middle-class jobs and enough in their paychecks to cover a mortgage. They want to send their kids to college without taking on a mountain of debt. They want to be able to retire comfortably. They want clean air and …

George: I want those things, too! Thank you, Clarence! I promise to think big and tackle real people’s problems.

(He continues running down the street.) Merry Christmas, everybody! Merry Christmas, union hall! Merry Christmas, Planned Parenthood! Merry Christmas, Black Lives Matter!

Protesters: Merry Christmas, George!

(Church bell rings)

Clarence: Hear that? Every time a bell rings, someone realizes that they made a really big mistake in November. Soon they will be looking to you for answers, George, and you’d better be ready!

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