Eagor sat alone in his office for the first time surrounded by the artifacts of his achievements.
His office filled with rare art created from the wood of twisted locust and furniture made from quaking aspen was but a token of his achievement.
The trophies, plaques, framed certificates and photos with presidents past and present meant little compared to his name and title on the door: “Eagor Naugthem, Chief Executive, KNOTS”
Eagor sat at the head of the first government agency entirely devoted to communicating simple truth with words defined for easy understanding and repeated often enough to become part of the fabric of the nation’s conscience.
The Department of Knowledge and Nature of Technical Speech, more commonly known as KNOTS, was established to be the official government source of the interpretation of words for citizens who were becoming increasingly agitated over their inability to agree politically, philosophically or anyway for that matter.
Elected leaders, alarmed at the apparent ignorance of the populace, formed KNOTS to quell growing discontent and talk of revolution.
Eagor felt it only fitting that KNOTS opened on Halloween, his favorite holiday because it preceded the first Tuesday of November on which all important elections were held. It signaled the end of the busiest month of the year for him – the month in which all his work culminated in a climax of common belief for the good of the country.
And now, he mused, his work would be institutionalized in the motto of KNOTS: “Words Are Destiny” And its mission: “Defining Destiny.”
Eagor had been selected among all people for the great task of arbitrating the language of the future. He reflectively shared his pride with his long since dead father, Eagor Naugthem, the First. Only he and now Eagor possessed the mind that could calculate the steps to forming the collective conscience of the nation’s people.
He raised an arm of salute to his father who methodically worked for two decades to integrate the concept of the rights of corporations until the Extreme Court at last declared that, “corporations were people” and as such would enjoy the rights of people although like children, none of the responsibility.
Protests ensued but soon mellowed over time as corporations exercising their right to free speech spent money, now defined as free speech, to educate the public on the important contribution of corporations, especially those made to elected officials.
Under the mentoring of his father, Eagor, the Second, showed early promise when he helped design the language of national war. Few people can grasp the intricate and insidious nature of this work.
It was Eagor who linked war to patriotism. Those who opposed or simply questioned wars declared or not by elected officials and fought by young jobless people were denounced as “unpatriotic.” Soon sound bites pervaded political discourse: “Sober agreement is patriotic,” “debate is unpatriotic” and “war is peace.”
At the end of his father’s life, Eagor sat by his bedside and, together, they designed the language that would forever change the landscape of the collective public conscience when a young President was elected promising hope, change and an end to wars.
Father and son Naugthem immediately saw the danger as the spirit of the people rose and cheered a direction of hope. The work of decades would unravel and people would fall back into agreeable, hopeful, upwardly mobile lives.
“We must never lose the power of words, we must tighten the cords around the neck of any idea of reasonable ambiguity,” were his father’s last words and his legacy.
“The young President is naïve!,” the coalition of like-minded elected leaders began to chant.
So it began the day of the young President’s inauguration when opposing elected officials were assigned to give voice to the sound bite messages and assail the young President each in one area such as ending wars, assuring access to health care, eliminating terrorist leaders, not bombing, bombing, and stabilizing the economy shattered by unfunded wars and government largesse.
Eagor smiled at the orchestration of messages all played by powerful elected officials over whom he presided: “negotiation is weak,” “action is imperialism,” “leads by following,” “acts like king,” “doesn’t consult Congress” and “asks Congress to do his job.”
He chuckled at the shamelessness of his finest creation, the grandest message of all, “The young President cannot lead us,” in response to their refusal to be led.
They nearly lost it but the order for the good of the people was restored when the messages became imbedded in the collective conscience and the young President’s poll numbers dropped. As one enlightened former elected official said, “How did that ‘hopey, changey thing’ work for you!”
Eagor is gratified that the collective conscience of the nation’s people have spoken and he has been rewarded. Just last spring, the Extreme Court issued more much needed definition:
“Truth is speech”
“Speech is words”
“Words are truth”
“Enough self-congratulations,” he thought, “it’s time to go to work.” He just learned of a writer daring to untie the Department of KNOTS, no doubt a writer both naive and unpatriotic. People need to know.
Bertha D. Cooper is retired from a 40-plus year career as a health care administrator focusing on the delivery system as a whole. She still does occasional consulting. She is a featured columnist at the Sequim Gazette. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.