In increasingly divided political times, it’s important to try to find common ground. A frequent criticism of modern politics is that it has become too entrenched and that people tend to exist inside political bubbles.
With this in mind, I decided to make a concerted effort to understand the other side. After all, Republicans can’t just be power-hungry, amoral reactionaries who want what’s worst for everyone. Trying to find evidence, I reached out to the latest candidate to run for office on the Republican ticket, the Arch Cacodemon Choronzon.
After an eons-long career as a harbinger of madness in a dimension beyond the reckoning of mortal man, Choronzon has been campaigning hard to fill a seat in a traditional Republican stronghold. Democrats have pointed out that the candidate is a literal monster bent on the destruction of mankind, but Republicans have dismissed these claims as typical left wing hand-wringing.
I traveled to Cacodemon Choronzon’s campaign headquarters to meet with the hideous creature in person. Its offices are located in a modest, rented building underneath a permanent, threatening storm cloud in an area where birds refuse to sing and grass can no longer grow. I was met at the door by his assistant, Harvey Schill. Schill was dressed well, but his hand was cold and limp when I shook it, and his eyes had dark rings under them. He seemed like he’d been crying sleeplessly for weeks, and led me with the trudge of a condemned man to his boss’ office.
In person, Cacodemon Choronzon is a horrifying, spherical mass of mottled, hairless flesh, marbled with dark veins and about the size of a yoga ball. A huge, green eye stares ever-watchful and unblinking from the centre of its corpulent mass, which levitates over the desk on a sulphur-smelling cloud which causes the air to shimmer and the human eye to sting. Someone had tied a tie around its lower body.
“Thanks for coming,” it said in a voice like a fetid belch. “No need to shake hands.”
Its blue-grey lips drew back to revealed multiple rows of dagger-like teeth and a tongue that reminded me of a swollen liver. I realised this was its attempt at smiling.
“Can we offer you a drink?”
I opted for a coffee, and the monster glared at Schill, who jerked like a badly-controlled puppet and made his way to an anteroom. He returned with a coffee and something in a chalice constructed from tiny bones for his boss.
“What does a Cacodemon like you drink, anyway?” I asked.
“The blood of an innocent, slain at a crossroads under a full moon,” it rasped, slurping from the cup that Schill tipped to its wide slit of a mouth. “I tried to switch to the blood of the guilty, or those slain under other types of moon, but once you’ve had the good stuff it’s just so hard to go back…”
Schill finished the abominable feeding and stood to one side of the desk, his body swaying slowly and his eyes becoming utterly vacant.
Choronzon cast its one, baleful eye over the assistant. “I hope you don’t mind if my representative sits in…”
“Not at all,” I said. “In point of fact, how did Mr. Schill come to work for you?”
“Oh, we offered a very competitive wage packet, which drew a number of morally flexible volunteers,” the slavering hellbeast explained. “After Mr. Schill was selected I consumed his living soul. What you see before you is merely the shell that remains to do our bidding.”
“I didn’t realise you could literally consume a soul…” I said.
“Some mortals have souls like clear mountain springs. Others like good, rich wine. The lawyer-creature’s was short and bitter. More like your espresso.”
A noise emanated from deep within the fleshy orb of the demon’s body, a sound like ice cracking on a frozen lake in the moments before you plunge to a watery grave. This was apparently what it did instead of laughing. I smiled politely.
“So,” I began, “you’ve become known around here as a Republican traditionalist – Second amendment, anti-abortion, all that stuff. I guess the most obvious question is why you’ve positioned yourself as a regular church-goer – it seems unlikely that a being from a hellish nether-dimension would be a Christian.”
A shudder ran through its pulsating flesh. “We have no truck with the upstart Nazarene carpenter,” it barked, “with his repugnant ideas of compassion and charity. We stand for dogma and sexual repression and the systemic abuse of the young. We endorse mindless conformity and deep, needless personal shame. That is where our support of religion begins and ends.”
Schill made a yelping sound, and then blurted “My client would prefer that you stress he is a supporter of the church and leave out the more explicit blasphemy.” His tone of voice sounded like a man who was trying to call for help but could only produce a string of platitudes and legalese. He fell back into his catatonic state. I took notes on my pad.
“I guess this leads me to my next question: You’re fervently pro-Life-“
Choronzon gave an amused grunt at the euphemism.
“-but how do you respond to the evidence that criminalising abortion, which you’ve argued in favour of, will not lead to a reduction in the number of women seeking the procedure and only lead to a reduction in their safety?”
“The screams of anguished young women are a balm to my leperous brain,” it hissed. “Also, I have shares in a wire coat hanger factory.”
“What my client means is that he is in favour of protecting babies who cannot protect themselves,” Schill interjected. Choronzon licked his lips hungrily at the mention of babies.
“And yet, you don’t seem concerned at all about protecting children once they’re born,” I pointed out. “Children are shot in schools on a regular basis in the U.S. and yet these same kids – who you were so eager to defend in utero – can’t rely on you to toughen gun legislation or provide them with healthcare once they’re out in the world.”
“Of course not,” Chronzon smoldered. “More children born into suffering. More minds to harbour psychic pain. More conflict. More death. More pestilence. These are the things we feed upon. Also, the second ammendment thing? From a practical standpoint, it’s much easier to sow chaos and misery if you just let any crazy person have as many guns as they like.”
I nodded, took more notes. A spider crawled out of Schill’s ear and into his slack mouth. He didn’t react.
“I can’t help but notice your choice of pronoun,” I said. “You keep saying ‘We,’ but does that refer to the Republican party, or to demonic entities from beyond our reality?”
“There’s actually quite a broad crossover,” Choronzon admitted. “We’ve been in the Republican party for years, usually hiding in plain sight. Dick Cheney, for example, is clearly a fellow Cacodemon stuffed into a human suit, but that was always obvious. His lack of pulse was a dead giveaway, if you’ll excuse the pun. After we realised that flesh-suits were impractical we experimented with raising the dead themselves to do our bidding. Did you ever see Plan 9 From Outer Space?”
“I did,” I winced.
“Terrible movie, but a sound idea. Reanimate corpses and use them to take over the human realm. Unfortunately the swift rotting of mortal flesh was prohibitively tricky. Steve Bannon, for example, had clearly begun to decompose before we reached him, and picking more heavily-embalmed vessels like Kellyanne Conway didn’t seem to solve the problem, either. Even when we found a relatively fresh corpse like Steven Miller, most humans found him off-putting for reasons they couldn’t pin down. Also, we couldn’t stop dogs from snarling at him, or cats from hissing. Babes in arms shriek at his approach, and whilst this is as music to me, it tested badly in polling.”
“Did you ever try to infiltrate the Democrats?”
“No, many of them still have moral objections to what your simple brains call ‘pure evil,’ so we will simply wait and buy them off when the time is right. They are a shrill but ultimately spineless group who will do as our allies on Wall Street command.”
“So, with reanimated ghouls proving unpopular and the Democrats offering at least a token resistance to your black-hearted and monstrous agenda, you figured you might as well just drop all pretense and run for office yourself?”
“Precisely. Many among the Dark Ones believed that this would be too bold a gesture, but since the Republican party has been running actual Nazis and child molesters as candidates, we thought we might be in with a chance if we said the right things.”
“That actually leads me into one of my questions,” I said. “I wanted to go over some of your campaign slogans. For example: ‘Own The Libs With A Thousand Generations Of Suffering.’ What exactly does that mean?”
“It means that those who bow before me will suffer torment for the next thousand generations,” the creature slavered.
“But it’ll sure upset the libtards, and that’s all that matters!” Schill interjected. His hands clenched, impotently, and a single tear slid from his unfocused eye.
“…and those who decide not to bow before you?” I asked.
“See our next slogan,” the demon said. I checked one of the flyers I’d brought with me and read aloud.
“‘Those who do not submit to the will of Choronzon The Terrible are disrespecting the flag.’” The flyer had a picture of the quivering mound of veiny flesh attempting to look patriotic in front of the Stars and Stripes.