Jo Sef’s Babarik mother had always told him that whatever he could do or dreamed he could, he should begin it. She said that boldness has genius, power and magic in it. She told him that it is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. She told him to not be afraid of opposition. He must remember that a kite rises against, not with the wind. She told him that security is mostly superstition, that avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. She declared that life is either a daring adventure or nothing. She told him that he may be disappointed if he failed, but he was doomed if he didn’t try. And Jo Sef knew he must try.
So he imagined himself in the future as “Valiant Leader” of The Dimension of Barbarik. He would then put an end to the abhorrent
practice of “opting out.” He had to put an end to it.
Never before had a Leader come from the Clan of the True Believers but there was no law expressly forbidding it. He was positive he could succeed. He would strive to gain the trust and admiration of the Citizens of The Dimension of Barbarik. He knew that he would face opposition, challenges, and many disappointments
in his quest to become Valiant Leader, but he wasn’t afraid
of what was to come. He knew he could do it!
He had surmised that the Power Hungry, the Idealists and the Truly Persecuted would most positively never support him as it was they who disliked the True Believers the most. But he also knew that the True Believers would surely support him. He figured
that the key to victory would lie in convincing the Skeptics
that he was the most logical choice and finally by convincing
the Indifferent that their actions could truly make adifference.
Jo Sef was determined.
Almost five thousand sunsets had graced the land since that fateful day when Jo Sef had returned home from Tornado Ridge to find that Charismatic Leader had solved the problem of unwelcome
additions. For almost the entirety of those days Jo Sef had
worked hard and faithfully to serve the citizens of The Dimension
of Barbarik and therefore he had gained much of their trust
and admiration and now it was time to make his bid for Leader
Charismatic Leader was finishing up his second, three thousand day term. Jo Sef previously had thought that he would be running against his old friend, Ay Bud of the Power Hungry. After all there had been a ruling put into place limiting the amount of time a Leader could serve to six thousand days. There had not always been term limits in The Dimension of Barbarik but immediately after the 12666 day reign of Evil Leader the Ruling Body had wisely set term limits on its Leaders, determining
that six thousand days was long enough for even the wisest and
most just Leader to rule. But Charismatic Leader had campaigned
relentlessly to get the Ruling Body to make an exception in
his case for after all, he was CHARISMATIC Leader.
The Official Polls of the Etile Aidem (the official suppliers of information) did indeed support his claim that he was beloved by the majority of the citizens, especially by members of the Clan of the Idealists and the Clan of the Truly Persecuted, so why shouldn’t an exception be made? After all it would be “for the good of the people.” And he succeeded. The Ruling Body passed a special amendment to the term limit directive stating that if a Leader of Barbarik scored an eighty per cent or higher approval rating in the “official” polls, that an extension could be granted to override the term limit. About
this time the Skeptics were becoming a bit more skeptical about
things as they stood and the Indifferent were beginning to think
that perhaps they could truly make a difference.
The reign of Charismatic Leader had been a very difficult time for the Clan of the True Believers. They were ridiculed much more than ever before for having faith in an omnipotent Father and Mother who chose to never show their faces and in a dogma based on tenants that could not be proven. They were treated as fools and vilified by the majority of the Power Hungry, the Idealists and the Truly Persecuted. The
Truly Persecuted had never forgotten that far back in their history
when Compassionate Leader had allowed their Goldlockian ancestors
to become servants to the real citizens of Barbarik, that it
was the True Believers who had displayed a stunning lack of
compassion by refusing to take in any Goldlockian as servant.
Such a display of arrogance! In more recent years the True Believers
had constantly made themselves a nuisance in front of the Relief
Houses, carrying signs celebrating Life in an attempt to gain
public support to stop the carnage. They were thought to be
the worst kind of fools for surely everyone knew that the Relief
Houses were the reason that there was currently such immense
prosperity in the land, for with fewer citizens to provide for,
everyone had much more than ever before. The Barbarikian standard
of living had risen impressively and as an added bonus, crime
had dropped significantly. Surely that was the true measurement
of the rightness of any Law.
Now it was time to choose the Leader for the next three thousand days. Jo Sef had been campaigning for the position of Leader for quite some time. Of course the Official Polls taken by the Etile Aidem showed that Charismatic Leader of the Clan of The Idealists was far out in front of the other contenders in Citizen support. Of course he was. He was CHARISMATIC Leader.
Ay Bud of the Power Hungry finished a strong second in the Official Polls. Of course Jo Sef from the Clan of the True Believers
was not even included in the Official Polls for you had to poll
at fifteen percent in the unofficial polls before you could even
be considered for the Official Polls. To be considered for the unofficial
polls you had to be “recommended” by the majority of the
Ruling Body and to be able to place your name in consideration
for recommendation by the Ruling Body you had to have the endorsement
of a Major Domo. And to obtain the endorsement of a Major Domo
you had to have major moolah.
But Jo Sef of The Clan of the True Believers did not put much stock in polls anyway so he did not give up on his dream.