A wake-up call sounds in the Reeducation Camp #3017, on a bitterly cold North Dakotan morning. It is January 2023. Inmate Harold Denison, age 48, designated IPR (incarcerated pending reeducation) on the orders of President Sanders’ Homeland Security Secretary Kyle Jurek (“on the well-founded suspicion of being a Chronicles subscriber”), is feverish and yearns for a few more minutes time in bed.
As other inmates rush out of the dormitory for roll call, Ivan closes his eyes. He recalls, with a wry smile, that only three years previously he ridiculed Secretary Jurek—a lowly campaign organizer for Sanders at the time—for promising to teach Trump voters “how not to be f…ing Nazis,” pledging to emulate Germany’s denazification programs, and declaring he was all aboard for gulags and killing people “who were fighting against the revolution.”
That sounded like a silly loony-leftist rant at the time—this is America, it cannot happen here! Ivan even thought that it was unworthy of true conservatives to stoop to using such rubbish in their discourse on the sorry state of America. In any event it seemed, back then, that Trump’s reelection was certain—what with the economy doing well, the Senate triumphally acquitting the President, and Bernie winning the Democratic nomination.
But then the Neoconservative-Deep State Cabal finally cajoled Trump into attacking Iran, after three audacious false-flag attacks in Kuwait and the Emirates on Easter Day 2020. Sanders cleverly positioned himself as the champion of the antiwar movement, toned down his socialist rhetoric, and ensured his victory after the Iranians activated a dirty bomb brimming with nuclear waste in Manhattan just a week before the election.
Ivan now realized that this was the turning point in his own life, and the beginning of the end of all that cherished and loved. But it was time to get up, lest one of the particularly unkindly guards turned up. Three days in Ad Seg would be a certainty.
On balance, he concluded, it would have been far better had he endured without resistance Bill Kristol’s lecture on the meaning of being a New American, followed by the seventh in the compulsory series of Twenty Best LGBT Movies of the 21st Century. Writing a thoughtful follow-up essay to please the Re-ed admins will be so easy… Mitt Romney will come after lunch to talk about the Joy of Repentance. And come the evening, Greta’s video-beamed Human-Free-Earth Liturgy may be followed by a chunk of real vegan burger with the Soylent main course.
And so… one more of what would turn out to be 3,653 days of Ivan Denison’s reeducation experience rolled to a close. Before long, he would die…(lucky bastard!).
[Editor’s note: This is a work of speculative fiction. Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.]