As the era of bipartisanship fades from our times, are the likes of wizards, warlocks, queens, and kings making a resurgence?
Once upon a time in the not so distant future and in a land that is right outside your front door, there was a voter who we’ll call Dorothy. This wonderful young lady was full of energy and hope.
She had big dreams for the life ahead of her, where she and her fellow citizens could live in peace and enjoy the fruits of their labors — a community that offered multiple opportunities for one to have the freedom to make their own decisions without excessive governmental regulations, but at the same time, not infringe on the rights of others. Good schools, great jobs, affordable housing, low taxes, no traffic, and lush, green open spaces were all part of what she’s always hoped for in her community.
But as the election time of 2018 closed in on her, she found that candidates for public office spun a confusing diatribe of accusations about their opponents, which created a very polarized environment— one that, despite booming economic times only exasperated the stress brought on from the political tensions heard at the national level.
As Election Day neared poor Dorothy felt more confused and desperately desired to cast her votes for the right candidates, but amongst the postings on social media, the postcards, campaign articles, radio, and television spots, she did not know what or who to believe.
That evening as she laid in bed struggling with the difficult choices she faced the next morning, this conscientious voter fell in and out of sleep. Before she knew it, daylight was upon her and as she opened her eyes, something was very out of the ordinary. The muffled chant of a crowd seemed to be just outside.
“What is going on?” Dorothy wondered as she groggily rose from her bed in the direction of her window. She pulled back the curtains and saw a large crowd — hundreds of people all wearing similar fluorescent yellow uniforms as they continued to chant. Her front yard was not what it was the day before.
“Where am I, and who are all these people?” She pondered.
When Dorothy opened her window, the chant became louder and more understandable.
It’s time to shout!
Keep the warlocks out!
Dear Glinda must stay!
Vote today to pave the way,
So four years from now, we strive
For our Almighty Wizard of KaHz to keep hope alive!
The confused young lady looked to the left of the highly vocal throng. There she saw what looked like a person of royalty dressed in an elaborate white gown woven from a fine silk lace. With a crown of white flowers, the smiling matriarch swung a wand leading the chorus.
Seeing Dorothy from the corner of her eye, the elegant woman looked her way with a pleasant, but quite hypnotic stare. She slowly lowered her wand, and the chanting immediately stopped.
“Hello, my dear,” she said to the bewildered Dorothy. “Please come out and join us for our morning routine, and enjoy a drink of Kool-Aid… It’s my special recipe.”
“Who are you, and where am I?” the young lady asked.
The stately woman in her very alluring voice said, “All is well, my little pretty. I am Glinda, the Queen of the Land of KaHz.”
Dorothy cautiously stepped outside and approached the Queen, as her mass of followers stood at attention, all looking her way with the same plastic smile upon their lips.
The dazed and very baffled Dorothy replied, “It … it is nice to meet you, Your Majesty, but it is Election Day, and I must get home to cast my vote.” After a long pause with all eyes fixed on her nervous stance, she asked, “Did I oversleep far into the future? Is this November 6th, 2018?”
“Oh, my dear,” Glinda said with her convincing smile, “yes, it is, but in the Land of KaHz, our calendar is different. Here, it is the Orwellian 34th year since our founding in 1984!”
She then raised her wand and twirled it 3 times and everyone shouted, “Welcome, Comrade!”
Undeterred and still focused, despite her extremely unusual surroundings, Dorothy asked again, “With all due respect, Your Majesty, how can I return to my home?”
Queen Glinda responded by pointing her wand toward the Kool-Aid on the table beside her and said, “Drink this, my little pretty, and I will show you the path to the Yellow Brick Road. It will lead you to the environmentally friendly place in the north of our region known as the Emerald City, where our Almighty Wizard KaHz resides.”
“… And why should I travel to the Emerald City to meet this … this man named KaHz?” Dorothy asked as she gained her confidence.
“Oh, my dear sweet Dorothy, the Almighty KaHz is my heir apparent. He will soon become the President of my Counsel of Wizards, and four years from now when my charter term expires he will assume the throne as King Wizard of the Land of KaHz. This has been his destiny since he descended from the mountains to serve the kingdom twelve years ago.”
“But, Your Majesty, why must I meet him before I return home?” asked the visually frustrated young lady.
“This brilliant man is full of words, more than is allowed on a Tweet one hundred times over.” The Queen boasted with pride. “This man has consistently won every annual filibuster contest that the Land of KaHz has held since our founding in 1984. He knows more than all of the people in our land, and he is always right… just ask him!”
Dorothy finally conceded to the Queen’s request and chose to make the trip to meet the Almighty KaHz, by following the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City.
Before the Queen would point the way, she again demanded that her little pretty drink a cup of her special Kool-Aid. At the moment Dorothy finished her last gulp, her Heinous once again raised her wand and the crowd instantly resumed the now familiar chant: It’s time to shout! Keep the warlocks out.
To her amazement and as the Queen directed her to the Yellow Brick Road, Dorothy found herself chanting in unison with the fluorescent crowd. But no matter how hard she tried, she was unable to stop reciting the mantra praising the Almighty Wizard KaHz.
After 6 hours of walking and chanting, the exhausted but determined young voter needed to rest. Maybe the effects of the Kool-Aid had worn off, but our traveler finally ceased her uncontrollable and incessant recitation.
As she sat on a rock on the edge of the forest, she looked toward the horizon and saw the shining city in the distance from which indiscernible sounds seemed to be emanating. Panning her surroundings, she heard voices close at hand.
“When will the incessant noise ever end?” said one, and then another and another.
To her surprise, laying on the ground beside her rock were three fellow travelers with their hands covering their ears. They had obviously accidentally arrived in this foreign land earlier that morning and were also seeking a way home. As Dorothy became acquainted with the men, she learned they too were still undecided on how to vote, sought answers, and were told that they must meet the Almighty Wizard KaHz before they could return. They had been resting in that spot for over an hour, and all the while they endured obnoxious noise from afar.
After having to endure the chants of the people led by Queen Glinda, the determined Dorothy offered to lead the way with her trio of companions toward the bright lights of the city at the end of the Yellow Brick Road. If their way home required a meeting with the great KaHz, then this they will do!
Who was this man held in such high esteem? Could he possibly impart some of his wisdom on how Dorothy and her fellow travelers should vote once they finally arrived home?
As the now hearty trekkers picked up their pace, the glowing city came into clearer view. Projected on the exterior walls of the tall buildings in the shiny green city was a face of a man. It had to be over five thousand square feet in size… a Big Brotherish image, the sight of which would weaken anyone’s knees.
Strategically situated along the road to the city was a sound system that would put to shame the decibels blasted from such rock-bands as Manowar, KISS, and ACDC!
The once indiscernible sounds were continuous, and now they were heard clearly as lectures from the pulpit of KaHz:
The sky is falling, and the world is ablaze …
You must follow me …
It will cost you, but I have all the answers …
You will yield to my vision.
Beware of the warlocks, as they are evil …
Cast your votes for the leaders of KaHz …
As the intensity in his voice rose, powerful flames flew from his ears.
To each of the travelers four, this man seemed to be a force of great power and wisdom beyond anyone or anything they have ever known! And as they walked through the bright emerald gates of this intimidating city, Dorothy began to worry that the Almighty Wizard KaHz may not find her or her companions worthy of an audience or being allowed to return home.
Through the streets, they walked toward the most magnificent structure situated in the center of the small metropolis. As they climbed the granite stairs to the front door of the building, the unbearable sound forced them to once again cover their ears.
At the twenty-foot high aged copper doors, instead of pulling the cord to announce their arrival, Dorothy found the courage to just push the doors open. Before them, in a vast dark and empty hall, there stood a small tented area, cloaked in green velvet that constantly moved and fluttered.
Was the great KaHz behind this curtain? What would happen if she pulled it back?
Dorothy looked at her companions as they shivered in their shoes. She was determined to get home, and without the slightest bit of fear, she grabbed hold of the velvet screen and exposed the man behind the curtain.
There stood a mere mortal of average stature pulling levers and preaching with an unassuming voice into a microphone which intensified his sounds at mind-numbing levels. Also on the table were several computers, each opened to different social media sites.
Startled, he turned to the foursome and for the first time in his life, he was speechless.
Realizing that this supposedly almighty wizard was nothing more that one who won a filibustering contest, and probably no smarter than any of her peers, Dorothy said, “Mr. KaHz, we want to go home to cast our votes. We’ve made up our minds, and this is not a place where we want to be!”
Still shocked that anyone would enter his chamber without his permission, the now not so almighty KaHz was faced with having to listen. After a long pause and a puzzled look on his face, he answered, “Well, I honestly don’t know, because, for those who enter my utopian world, there is no logical reason ‘I’ can think of for anyone to ever want to leave.”
At that moment with her frustration reaching its peak, Dorothy awoke from her nightmare, rose from her bed, hesitated for a moment before she looked out the window to find the familiar pastoral setting of her beloved Frederick County.
Relieved, with a strong feeling of confidence and knowledge of what to do, she prepared for her day and then headed to the polls to cast her vote.
Rocky Mackintosh, President, MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland. He has been an active member of the Frederick, Maryland community for over four decades. He has served as chairman of the board of Frederick Memorial Hospital and as a member of the Frederick County Charter Board from 2010 to 2012. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Frederick Mutual Insurance Company. Established in 1843, it is one of the longest enduring businesses in Frederick County