A Billionaire once asked the American people to carry him across a river on their backs.
“How do I know you won’t destroy our healthcare, give tax breaks to yourself and your Billionaire friends, run your businesses at our expense, ravage the environment, start needless wars, privatize our commons, demean women, criminalize people of color, deport our immigrant brothers and sisters, trample our imagined rights and otherwise sting us, causing us all to die?” asked the American people.
“If I do that,” said the Billionaire, gently, “I could never win re-election. I might be impeached. The backlash against me would be so great that the American people would rise up and destroy all Billionaires through wise taxation policies if not the outright use of guillotines. I would drown if I sting you.
“Besides all that,” said the Billionaire, less gently now, “I’m a Billionaire. My kind have always been supported, since the beginning of time, on the backs of creatures like you. You’ve never known any other way, it is your nature to bow and scrape, obeying my commands and satisfying my most base desires. You have always given my kind the best of everything, while half the world lives in misery. You sell me your children for my wars, my factories and my perverse desires.
“I am only asking for appearance sake,” said the Billionaire, “You will do this.”
The American people found the Billionaire’s answer deeply reassuring, and said, “That makes sense.”
Well before midstream, of course, the Billionaire stung the American people, killing them.
“Why?” asked the American people as the last of their imaginary freedoms, along with any hope for their children’s future, were stripped away. Paralyzed, the American people sank below the waters and were gone. They never heard the Billionaire’s answer and would not have understood it if they had.