Dispatches, fiction, politics

Dispatches: The Evolution Party

Our roving correspondent Steve Finch has finally gotten back to us with another story. He asked us to file this under “Wouldn’t it be scary if…”

Elkhart, Indiana — The rise of the Evolution Party and it’s unconventional platform has left at least a few unsettled and scratching their heads. The leader of the small political party is Albert Hillman, an Indiana man running for both mayor of Elkhart and President of the United States.

Mr. Hillman is in his mid-forties, and says he’s been a Republican his whole life. He said that after seeing how “unconservative” George W. Bush has been since elected, he’s convinced the party no longer represents any of his views. “I liked the small-government view of Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, but the Republicans don’t represent that anymore. Frankly, I’m not sure what they represent.”

But if the party left Mr. Hillman behind, many critic think he’s completely left behind the American mainstream. They say that though Mr. Hillman still supports small government, his justification has gotten more and more unconventional.

Originally, they claim, Mr. Hillman was for small government because he disliked taxes. But as the presidential candidate says, he’s now for small government “as the only way to ensure that our species keeps evolving.”

“With government programs supporting the poor and lazy, and modern medicine prolonging the lives of the infirm, even letting them reproduce, it’s no wonder we see increasing mental illness and strange medical conditions in our society.”

That statement frames exactly what many find so upsetting about Mr. Hillman. Not only does he support the abolition of all social-welfare programs, but he believe that the government should prevent doctors from providing all but the most rudimentary care. “Such a government would be much better for the evolution of the species, and would enable the creation of better Americans.”

It’s ideas like those that have led people to condemn the candidate as an anarchist, a social Darwinist, an “ablist,” a eugenicist, and a neo-Nazi.

Despite such criticism, Mr. Hillman has some supporters. They’re mostly young, though a few are as old as Mr. Hillman. One supporter, Chris Franklin, justified his position, saying, “We are the product of millions of years of evolution. That our society now does its best to stifle that process means Americans will be weaker as a result.”

To the comfort of many, analysts doubt that Mr. Hillman can win either the mayoral or presidential election. James Merriwell, a political scientist at the University of Indiana, made clear that third parties always struggle in American politics. “Not only that,” he said, “but Hillman’s taking a very unpopular position when many in Indiana are concerned about how they’ll pay for health care. The movement of industrial jobs abroad has harmed more in Indiana than it has helped.”

Despite the unlikeliness of success, some have been upset enough to file suit to prevent Mr. Hillman from even competing in the elections. The Federal Election Commission has yet to comment on the case, but Elkhart’s election commissioner says she has found no way to prevent Mr. Hillman from running.

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