Eternity becomes issue in presidential campaign

(Rooters agency) – Senator Mark Arboreal’s launch of a new television ad in his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has increased the religious element in the election and also, probably inadvertently, introduced a suggestion of possible Constitutional amendments.

Senator Arboreal’s campaign has so far been only what might be called a middling success. Pollsters report that the most common response of voters asked their opinion of Arboreal fall somewhere between “Who?” and “Indifferent.”

A main feature of his campaign has hinged on his experience as the child of immigrants. His parents fled Cuba in 1956 to escape the Batista dictatorship. (He has never forgiven the Castro brothers and the July 26 Movement for overthrowing Batista in 1959 and thereby making his parents’ difficult flight seem pointless.)

On this basis, he has hinted that an Arboreal administration would eject immigrants somewhat less brutally than would be the case if T. Ronald Dump, the current leading Republican candidate, were president. His campaign has used the slogan, “Not quite as lunatic as Dump,” but it hasn’t really caught on, perhaps because there’s no evidence to back it.

The Arboreal campaign has been unpleasantly surprised to see Senator Texas Crude emerging in the polls as the main challenger to Dump. So the new Arboreal ad can be seen as an attempt to shift to the candidate’s other strengths. It appears that Arboreal and his advisors have decided that his main strength is religion. It is felt that he can appeal to many religious people because, over the years, he has been a member of somewhere around 10, or maybe 20, different faiths.

This background helps to explain Senator Arboreal’s new “eternity” campaign ad. It begins with Arboreal, wearing a crown of thorns, declaring, “Our goal is eternity.”

Whether justifiably or not, a number of observers and commentators understood this remark to mean that a future President Arboreal planned to remain President forever. That of course would require amendments to the Constitution to remove the clauses about elections.

However, Arboreal campaign spokespeople quickly made it clear that this was a false interpretation. What the candidate really meant was that, well, we’re all the same religion, or at least we all have some religion, or if some don’t oh what the hell, think about the long term: if you vote for him, you are quite likely to end up playing a harp or cavorting with virgins for ever and ever, world without end, amen, amen.

Rooters sought comments from various experts in order to gather opinions on how eternity might influence US politics and government. “How long is eternity?” we asked one noted physicist, who replied and hung up before we could ask if it was okay to use his name: “As long as a string.”

We had a more satisfactory response from the well-known philosopher Professor Wallace Whatscallop. “In eternity,” he explained, “everything that can happen does happen. And it happens an infinite number of times. Including the beginning and end of the universe, and everything in between.”

Could this become boring for people living through it, we asked. “Of course it could. It would be boring an infinite number of times. But in each one of those infinite boring periods, one could also look forward to the infinite number of periods in which it wouldn’t be boring – if one knew that those periods were coming, which one would know an infinite number of times but wouldn’t know an infinite number of times.”

Was that all, we asked, which was a mistake. “In eternity, not only everything that can happen but also everything that can’t happen, happens eventually. Because, given enough time – and eternity is more than enough – even the laws that make this possible and that impossible will change. So possible and impossible will change back and forth – an infinite number of times, of course.”

It was hard to apply information like this directly to the current presidential campaigns. If everything possible and impossible was going to happen sooner or later, did that tell people here and now anything about how they should vote? For example, it sounded as though eternity means that at some point Ronald Dump might say something sensible.

Yes,” Professor Whatscallop replied, “eventually, even that will happen. But it will take forever.”