Although the character of liberal English political talk show host William Fredericks was written before we even heard of Piers Morgan’s show, many who read The New Founders assumed we based Fredericks on Morgan (which we did not).
In recognition of our readers and the news on Mr. Morgan today, from Chapter 15 of The New Founders….
As was his habit, William Fredericks sat in near darkness, the only light visible coming from his laptop. He listened to talk radio WMAL while he prepared material for an upcoming week of shows. Sunday afternoons and evenings were especially informative as back-up conservative talk show host wannabes generally regurgitated the ideas of their weekday counterparts. William learned he could tune in for a few hours each Sunday, listen to a summary of the enemy’s talking points and prepare his venomous refutations.
While finishing his second drink of the afternoon, he scanned a story in the New York Times about one of the so-called conservative candidate’s failure to pay his taxes. William quickly bored of the story and turned his ear toward the radio. The station’s four o’clock news report grabbed his attention. An unidentified man caused quite a commotion earlier in the day on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The stranger recited Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Speech and followed that up with commentary describing each speech’s relationship with the founding fathers and today’s America.
“The audacity, please,” said William out loud to nobody. “How ridiculous for a cur like that to relate ancient history to our modern times.”
Fredericks laughed at his own comment. He could not believe that this right wing station was so desperate for ratings that it would chose to air the mad rants of some random deranged man and try to pass it off as actual news. He thought that kind of reporting was limited to The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, comedy shows that the public mistook for real news. He thought this nut job’s incoherent diatribe would make good copy for his Monday viewers, so he googled the story, hoping to find some video fodder for his show.
As the video buffered, WMAL played an audio clip.
“These United States were founded on individual liberty, the unequivocal principle that our rights are granted directly from God our creator and that we as Americans are free to attain individual property, the fruits of our labor and pursue our individual happiness.”
Fredericks scoffed at the reference to God, yet continued to intently listen to the distinguished southern voice.
While clearly a Virginia or Maryland sound, William thought the voice had an air of elegance to it, something he was not accustomed to hearing from the right side of the political spectrum. The dignified man sounded as if he spoke the Queen’s English as he described the framers’ design of the United States Constitution to align individual success with the nation’s success.
William figured this mystery man was destined to lose his audience when he quoted Adam Smith and the notion of the “Invisible Hand.” The right wing fools were not intelligent enough to understand the passage, which stated that by perusing one’s own interests, man frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. William did a classic double take when the unknown orator expounded that in the parlance of today, that would mean the citizenry and (not the government) knew what was best for the people and the most efficient means to achieve their own happiness.
Then the stranger delivered a message that made Fredericks motionlessly take note.
“If the people were left alone to pursue their goals, the nation like a mighty ship would rise by the high tide of her elevated citizenry.”
The blood drained from Fredericks’ face. His stomach suddenly cramped and his head spun almost involuntarily toward the radio upon hearing these words. This unknown had actually coherently articulated conservative philosophy, misguided though it was, in a clear, direct language that might just resonate with the people. It wasn’t just the words spoken but the way they were delivered that sent chills up and down Fredericks’ spine. His thought was immediately confirmed by the spontaneous cheering of the enthusiastic crowd and the return of this charismatic stranger’s voice.
The voice emanating from the radio told how Lincoln understood the principles of the country’s founding as explained in the Gettysburg address; Honest Abe sacrificed his own life fighting to keep the nation together and ensure the founding fathers’ guarantee of equality. Who was this man? Fredericks asked aloud. Who was this person that so eloquently connected the founders and Lincoln to modern times?
In Fredericks’ mind, this dangerous man at the Lincoln Memorial clearly articulated that, as owners of those enslaved, the founders understood that their words were in competition with their actions. He made the case that absolute abolition would have meant no agreement among the individual states in Philadelphia, no United States of America, and therefore no foreseeable opportunity for emancipation.
The speaker had logically connected George Washington’s words from his farewell address to the recent fervor over the president’s unjustified warning to the Supreme Court about the constitutionality of his healthcare mandate. The slightly built Fredericks wiggled in his chair and shook his head to himself as he turned up the volume dial.
“This guy is good. Who the hell is he?”
The stranger’s voice rang clear when he said that if, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates.
For the first time in a while, Fredericks was stunned. He had to see this guy. He finally downloaded the full YouTube video on his laptop and studied the grainy images of the impressive man. He was obviously tall, purposeful, confident, and blessed with a classical articulation. He was also not alone.
While the video showed hundreds of people up and down the steps, Fredericks noticed a small group of three or four men to the stranger’s right side. Each hung on his every word like the rest of the crowd but something about them seemed different. If Fredericks didn’t know better, he would have thought these well-dressed men were secret service agents. After all, they maintained serious and protective facial expressions throughout the speech.
As the camera panned the group, Fredericks paused and with a nervous smile focused on one of these men in particular. Though wearing dark sunglasses and a black baseball cap pulled low over his eyes, Fredericks was sure he knew who it was. But what was Anders doing there? How did he fit into this? And why didn’t anybody notice him? He had to find out.
Fredericks paused and zoomed in on the speaker’s face, frozen like a portrait. Fredericks studied the pronounced, somehow familiar features on the stranger’s face and was drawn to his fixed, steely blue eyes. William Fredericks had a funny feeling that he would soon cross paths with this formidable adversary. He just wondered what the voices were going to want him to do about it.