The President of the Incorporated Estates of Earth got along with everyone, as if he wanted to. I found this odd, him odd, which is no matter. I am not the president and could never be. I am too opinionated. Too impatient. Too blunt, in my own mind if no way else.
The topic the President wished to discuss: the rebel insurgency deep in the heart of the Incorporated Estates of Earth.
Typically we ignore the rebels, the best strategy: First you ignore them, then you blast them, then you agree with them if need be - or plausibly pretend to agree - what cost a bit of rhetoric? - then you win. Again.
What I found most distressing and yet daunting and daring about the President is that he does not seem interested in winning. He assumes it. He is a winner. He wins. He gets along with everyone, not least those who fund him into power. This strikes me as terribly indiscriminate. He is willing to get along with anyone, even the rebels so long as playing nice does not cost him his job, or his funders - the banks and the incorporated estates, the class of the IEE - their power.
So the President plays nice and wins and called me in to deal with the rebels. He tells me it is my job to play nice with the rebels. Not in so many words, but I get it. He wants me to give the rebels the velvet glove covering the iron fist, via the brilliant tongue. He wants me to cut the rebels to size as if making love to them with a rock. First you ignore them, then you blast them, then you pretend to agree with them (if need be), then you win. "Do you understand?"
"I understand, sir."
"The rebels are IEEans like us. Only poorer, or disenchanted, or just cantankerous. We need them to love the IEE. They need to love the IEE. For their own good. For our own good. For the good. You see?"
"I think I know exactly what you mean, sir."
"I need a speech. Soon. I plan to address the rebels personally, visit their camp. I need real face-to-face words. Words that go beyond the teleprompter. Words that are easy to memorize. Easy to take deep into the heart. From my heart to their heart. Can you write that for me? I know you can. Yes, you can."
"You write it now for me, sir. You have a knack, that gift. You touch their hearts. You solace the vassals of the IEE."
-Lesson 15, The Vassal's Handbook--"first you ignore them"
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