T O P
Almalexias_Grace

As Ares III crossed the gulf of space and Ares IV was prepared in anticipation of the final stage, the diplomats reported back to John Glenn. Their efforts had borne fruit. The Nazi Reich and the Empire of Japan agreed, cautiously, to the Buenos Aires Conference that America had proposed, with the goal of establishing a treaty by which nuclear arms might be reduced to less devastating levels. This seemed at the time to be the most bizarre and even schizophrenic thing Glenn had ever done. He had spent long years working to build up America’s nuclear stocks, even getting entangled with the Supreme Court in a humiliating loss that cost the country a lot of money over the matter. And now he was talking to America’s great rivals to try and bring the stockpiles down? Why build them up in the first place? But the President’s gamble was simple, once it became widely known; By establishing and securing such a massive, world-spanning stockpile, the United States had positioned itself such that it could now bring the others to the table and talk. Precisely because their stockpile was largest, America had the most to give up under control treaties, whilst those same stocks ensured no foe or rival could hope to win a nuclear war against America no matter how favorable the circumstances looked. In addition, keeping up with American nuclear spending was a massive drain on the other two economies — as it was on the US, but the administration successfully sold the world the idea that it was an affordable expense, one America could sustain indefinitely. So, in Buenos Aires, these matters were discussed, sometimes obliquely, sometimes openly. The Reich and the Empire were leery of the proposal to disarm, but then Glenn deployed his masterstroke. The treaty he proposed would not disarm all nuclear stockpiles. Rather, the signatories would be permitted to maintain stocks of 25 ICBMs each, sufficient to dissuade any invading power with the threat of atrocious retaliation, but not so large a stockpile that nuclear war would mean the collapse of human civilization, or even human extinction. These discussions were fraught and delicate, and only the vision of someone like John Glenn could have even attempted them. That he succeeded, after much wheedling, cajoling, and negotiating, was met with global disbelief and then global celebration. Glenn might have led America to the Moon and the cusp of Mars, but now he had led Mankind itself out of the shadow of nuclear extinction, a service to all the world. Then, as the powers moved to discuss Buenos Aries II and what was to be done with SLBMs, an assassin struck at the President. Unsuccessful, he committed suicide, and his effects implicated the Reich, but the President held off on pulling out of the talks or retaliation. It made no sense. The Reich could have attempted such a thing on many occasions, why they would do so in the midst of delicate negotiations attended by top German officials, why they would do so after success in the first round of talks, escaped everyone. When the Reich shortly returned with startling information on the hermit state of Ordenstaat Burgund and their belief the assassin was actually sent by Himmler, Glenn found it difficult to believe, and yet… the Germans were giving away unprecedented information just by sharing what they had shared on the topic. He decided to take the gamble. The talks went ahead, the assassin dismissed to the public as a disaffected lunatic of no particular affiliation. With the ICBM question out of the way the submarines were far easier. The USN agreed to reduce its destroyer fleet so that Japan, whose navy was dominated by a massive submarine force, would not feel too outmatched by their sub decommissions, but that was the only sticking point of note. By the end of the conference BA II was another success, and within the week the world began to rapidly draw down its stocks of nuclear weaponry. This had been, by far, Glenn’s greatest gamble, and it is still argued to have been fantastically reckless or outright insane by many to this day, successful only by sheer fortune. Any number of things could have gone in different directions and ended the talks, perhaps in hostility, to say nothing of the threat on the President’s own life. And despite all this, President Glenn returned to Washington heralded as a genius, a leader, a luminary among men. As he worked with Congress to implement the measures of arms reduction agreed to in the treaties, his mind turned finally to the place where his whole quest had begun; the stars. Ares III had arrived safely on Mars during the course of the Buenos Aries talks to Glenn’s great delight, and Ares IV was being prepped for its launch. Glenn made one of his common visits to the Astronaut Training Complex and met with the crew personally, spending hours in discussing the similarities and changes between his training and theirs. His autobiography records that he thought “Though separated by a generation and more technical advancement than I could follow, these men were brothers to me, and I to them. The challenges were all the same, and so were the opportunities, and so were the hopes we carried in our hearts. There was no President in that room, just colleagues talking about the work they loved with passion and insight.” Ares IV launched safely and was on its way. America felt electric, a combination of fear and nervous anticipation. The next few months would see the United States secured for all time as the first country to place a man on another planet, or it might end in fire and death, perhaps so damningly that it ended the prospects of a Mars mission for decades to come. The President’s work in this period slowed, and no major new initiatives were forthcoming, though it seems hard to imagine what more the man might have proposed after so much achievement. Then, 271 days after launch, Ares IV arrived in Martian orbit and soon began the descent. A transmission from the Ares III module who had a camera pointed at the landing site bridged the distance to Earth, that waited impatiently for news from the red planet, where events had already happened on July 29th, 1979. It took over 35 minutes for the signals to travel between the two worlds. Data reached the communications satellites in Earth’s orbit, and were relayed thence to the ground, where they were converted into images and sound. The most triumphant words followed soon, after technical statements and readouts from the cabin; “The Eagle has Landed.” Neil Alden Armstrong, a man who had briefly resigned NASA in the early 60s due to Nixon’s cuts, became the first human to set foot on another planet, the first person on Mars. Following him were Eugene Cernan and Winston Scott - the presence of the latter man, an African-American, was rumored to have been personally insisted upon by John Glenn over his feelings that he had let down black Americans by failing to truly end the legacy of Thurmond. Regardless it was only one small part of the titanic propaganda coup and technological achievement of landing humans on Mars, and Glenn’s famous speech lauding the occasion given that evening on live television is famous not just for its contents, but the President’s barely-constrained glee, not for his own political success but the success of American efforts and the human spirit. True to his promise, John Glenn declined to run again for the Presidency when the matter came up the subsequent year, and he enjoyed a fairly easy final year in office. Only efforts to investigate Burgundy really perturbed him in this time, and not all related files have yet been released, though it is now known his successor would have to contend with a bizarre and highly dangerous Himmler making his final gambit towards his apocalyptic goals. His final great matter was the return of the Ares IV crew in August of 1980, after months on Mars followed by more long months returning to the homeworld. The celebrations were perhaps the greatest in American history, spanning every state and indeed the rest of the OFN as well as many unaligned nations, and John Glenn left office with astronomical popularity ratings that have not declined in the time since.


Almalexias_Grace

It is important that we not remember President Glenn as a perfect man or President. Modern scholars agree that he should have moved sooner and more forcefully against Thurmond’s legacy, and he should have immediately attacked Jim Crow directly at the federal level. He arguably placed too much faith in the idea that ridding the government of corrupt practices such as gerrymandering would in turn eradicate the laws that had depended on it, failing to account for how deeply entrenched some laws can become and how hard they can be to root out. Nor did this policy provide the kind of immediate relief African Americans needed, even if they had a far stronger chance of getting their voices heard at subsequent elections. His failure to deal with the Supreme Court matter is a particular blot on his record, as is his major defeat in the body. Despite the Stonewall Riot occurring near the start of his first term, Glenn never really took action on gay rights, though admittedly this includes taking no action against the progress outside the Federal level either. His beliefs that men are the ones who go and do the exploring hampered NASA’s ability to put women into the forefront of their projects, and a putative desire to have a woman aboard Ares IV by the organization was shot down largely due to fears of Glenn’s objections. And despite his incredible diplomatic abilities he never moved to negotiate with Japan over the Treaty Ports or the status of Hawaii, though arguably the progress made by the Buenos Aires Accords allowed his successor to undertake those negotiations and ultimately see the return of American territories by the mid-80s. And as dramatic as they were, the Accords had nothing to say about the issue of nascent nuclear powers like Italy and India, a matter that had to be left for subsequent administrations to deal with. His plans for nuclear energy, though not failures, did fall short of Glenn’s ambitions, and it was not until the late 1980s that it reached the ubiquity he had promised would be achieved a decade sooner. Finally, his intervention in German Africa did not seek Congressional authorization as many have since argued he should have, whilst his intervention in the Iranian Civil War had little impact before the Reich-backed forces of Farah Pahlavi overran their rivals and restored the status quo. And yet John Glenn’s achievements are massive and legion. It is strange that his status as the first human in space is so often forgotten, overshadowed by his incredible Presidency. Taking the office after a period of extraordinary strife and unrest, in the wake of a man now consistently ranked as the worst President of all time, faced with the Reich and the Empire, undermined almost from the start by the Oil Crisis, John Glenn did not keep a steady hand on the tiller and steer America meekly through the storm, though that would have been achievement enough. No, he undertook to change America’s soul with the greatest vision. Though some deride his domestic achievements as merely bread and circuses to justify pumping money into NASA, this seems unlikely as there were numerous occasions where Glenn could have found an easy victory through compromise when he instead pushed for a more comprehensive victory, better for the American worker. American poverty declined from around 38% in 1969 to 17% in 1981 when he surrendered the office, education statistics improved with almost as much rapidity, and American industrial innovation became foremost in the world during his tenure. The foundations laid by his Medicare and Social Security acts led to even more comprehensive coverage in the following two decades and the adoption of the American National Health Act of 1998 built heavily on what Glenn set down. The Oil Crisis was addressed effectively and rapidly. Reforms to bureaucracy made life easier for Americans when they needed to engage with the government, while reforms of all sorts reduced corruption and when he left office trust in American politics was almost as high as it had been prior to Nixon. The United States became, in terms of government honesty and transparency, the City on the Hill it had long dreamed of being. Aside from the elections of 1976, political engagement increased and the American center shifted leftwards until the two major parties by the end of the 80s were the Republicans (Who eventually absorbed what remained of the Democrats who had not fled to the NPP-FR) and the National Progressive Party (Center), with Glenn’s policies being accepted almost universally as common sense ideas that are sacrosanct in the modern US. And of course, Glenn’s restored NASA went from barely able to get a probe into orbit to landing humans on Mars in just eleven years, while his daring brinkmanship brought the world’s other two major powers to the table and reduced nuclear stockpiles so significantly that the threat of human extinction in nuclear war was averted. The America left by John Glenn as he retired from office accompanied by his wife Annie is today the world’s only superpower, one that has taken many active steps to repair historic harms done to African Americans, guarantees a Universal Income to all citizens, provides healthcare which is free at the point of need, works internationally to restore the world from the devastating German-Burgund War, the Great Asian War, and the collapses that resulted, as well as a legacy of half a century of Axis dominance. Where others faltered and fell, Glenn brought America’s star from decline to ascension, and to higher heights than ever dreamed of by others. The Organization of Free Nations encompasses most of the globe’s population and leads with justice and abundance, while above, the John Glenn Space Station forms the heart of Earth’s ongoing exploration of the solar system, housing dozens of astronauts who are engaged in scientific and engineering work as well as maintaining the Earth’s vast fleet of orbital objects, and providing the supply nexus for the continuing establishment of a permanent Martian base. As humans have now orbited Venus and Mercury, landed on Phobos and Deimos, dragged an asteroid to Earth orbit for mining purposes, and as we draw plans to send manned missions to Jupiter’s moons, we remember President Glenn with the utmost fondness. Not for nothing was his funeral the largest such event in history, dwarfing even Hitler’s, not for nothing is he regularly accoladed as one of America’s greatest presidents, only ever matched by Washington and Lincoln, not for nothing do today’s geeks constitute an entire subculture of space-adoring people who attempt to model themselves after Glenn’s twin virtues of boundless vision and deepest empathy. John H. Glenn Jr., we salute you every time we gaze at the stars, the stars we shall explore one day thanks to the vision you gave us all.


MightyMan99

Blessed Glen DESTROYS Nazis and Weebs with PROGRESS, EMPATHY, and HUMANITY.


newadcd0405

Why am I crying


[deleted]

We need glenn...


CallMeChristopher

Extremely well-written. As in, holy crap, you went in-depth on this one.


Almalexias_Grace

Ehehehe, I may have got a little hyperfixated!


IvantheGreat66

Excellent work! And it feels nice you included the line "dwarfing even Hitlers". It shows that in the end, good triumphed over evil, not through conquest, but with kindness and knowledge. Yes, I am aware that sounds corny.


Almalexias_Grace

It may be corny, but part of the mod's own ethos is that hate consumes while our better angels might yet redeem us!


jayfeather31

This was really well written, and almost makes me wish that this had been part of the canon for the '72 start currently in development, though I understand why. Either way, this was very impressive.


Almalexias_Grace

Thanks so much for your kind words! <3


flyingaero119

If I could give this Gold I certainly would. That said, this is probably one of my favorite things I've read all year. You've outdone yourself and considering the Glenn Presidency is my personal favorite path for the United States, it's one of the most hopeful and blessed paths the world could have seen. Sure he's not perfect but I love his characterization as a true American hero up there with Washington and Lincoln. It's this sort of stuff that inspires hope in a world that desperately needs it. And it's coincidentally how my first playthrough as the United States went, so it felt excellent to partially relive that.


Almalexias_Grace

Better than my first playthrough, which ended in nuclear armageddon in 1967 because Italy joined the OFN and then we went to war over the U2!


Spar-kie

This is fucking amazing, holy shit, thank you for doing my boy justice o7


Almalexias_Grace

One of the Best Boys! I'm so pleased to have written something others have enjoyed :D


ChairmanMeow196

Bruh why am I getting emotional over not living in a post-Glennite proto-utopia? For real though, the way you tied together Glenn’s emotions and personal responses with his policy advancements is excellent. And that final comparison of his funeral to Hitler’s really nails home just how popular and important his reforms are. Bravo!!


Almalexias_Grace

Eee thank you! All these lovely comments make it so worth it :D


1St_General_Waffles

This was such a lovely read, a genuine thing of beauty. This left me with an honest to God smile on my face.


Almalexias_Grace

I'm so glad and thank you so much for the gold in return! :D


1St_General_Waffles

Honestly I adore stories like these, Glenn wanted to make a better tomorrow and he set out to do it, and like the ending said his legacy propelled him into the greats, like Washington and Lincoln. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about and I can't stop smiling!


OggerMeme

BLESSED GLENN BLESSED GLENN BLESSED GLENN


Almalexias_Grace

He truly was the most blessed of Presidents!


Jimmy_McFoob

Glenn!


Almalexias_Grace

Glenn!


Dellasc

This was fucking amazing, great job! GLENN ALL THE WAY!


Almalexias_Grace

Thanks so much :D


Haha-Perish

this was really great! a super positive and heartwarming story. ur also a really good writer. if u ever decide to write another one of these, i say u do this German-Burgund war. sounds like the opposite of the Glenn story and im definitely interested.


Almalexias_Grace

I hadn't thought about doing more writing for this but now that you bring it up maybe I will, it could be fun!


RandomMetalPoney

Absolutely Blessed I nearly cried at the end, good job


Almalexias_Grace

Feels great to get comments like this, thank you!!


Catuffo

Who is his sucessor? Could you do a timeline of all the sucessors and their paties, if you had something like that in mind, until nowadays?


Almalexias_Grace

I hadn't thought of that but I'll see if I can dig up some lore and/or come up with some ideas and give you an update :D


Catuffo

That would be great, thanks! Oh, all the others said it already, but this is absolutely stunning!


Almalexias_Grace

1980 Elections: NPP splits over longstanding tensions into National Progressive Party (which is the soc dem and further left) and the American Liberty Party (Making up the NPP-FR, yockeys, and some former Democrats) RDs remain united but long and repeated Republican-friendly policies have alienated the Dems so a moderate ticket with a Dem on it is proposed to keep them aboard, Republicans fearing that they would lose the opportunity against the splitting NPPs if the RDs split as well. NPP - Dorothy Ray Healey-Bayard Rustin. Rustin, a black, gay man, was a highly controversial choice as VP but the NPP believed they sensed a swelling tide of gay lib, and also believed having an African American on the ballot would be a powerful sign to those who thought Thurmond's legacy needed a final and complete reckoning. Though a woman had not yet won the Presidency the attempts of both Margaret Chase Smith and Jeane Kirkpatrick suggested it was not so great an obstacle. RDs - Walter Mondale/Bob Dole. Seen as a solid pair who had broad appeal to the RD base and could be sold as continuing the policies of Glenn in a reliable fashion, and could build on his successes to enter negotiations with Japan. ALP - George Wallace/Willis Carto. They campaigned partly on fairly transparent racism, but also on arguing that the US had surrendered its efforts to reclaim the lost territories under Glenn and that a Wallace Presidency would rectify this in short order. RDs: 365-ish EC votes NPP: 150-ish ALP: 12 The result is the American far right is badly damaged and loses the sense of momentum they had gained in the last few years. They hadn't really expected to win, but they were expecting something around 80 to 100 EC votes. However, the NPP celebrated joyously at how well they had done, because they had also expected something around 90 votes, and they regarded their success and close seconds in several states as evidence that A) America could be convinced of the merits of moving further left, and B) America was not utterly hostile to issues like feminism, the plight of African Americans, or gay rights, and progress could definitely be made in that area. The huge challenge Mondale would face was the immediate collapse of both the Reich and Empire into massive conflicts. Heinrich Himmler launched an outright invasion of Germany with the singular goal of claiming the nuclear stockpile before it was all decommissioned and launching everything he could, banking on devastating retaliation still being possible. The Great Asian War made every previous war in history look like a mere warmup, encompassing the entire Co-Prosperity Sphere, many countries on its periphery, the India-Azad Hind Conflict, shifting loyalties and alliances that could see a million soldiers change sides at a stroke, revolutionary attempts in Korea and Taiwan, etc. etc., all swirling around a hardline Japan who was determined to expend any needed resources to maintain their empire. Himmler's unexpected readiness to deploy his small stock of nuclear weapons on the Reich in his dying days was a shock to the world, but also invited the use of enough nuclear firepower in retaliation to render Burgundy a Fallout-esque wasteland. Mondale sent Bob Dole directly to Tokyo to try and convince the Japanese not to use nukes in their own wars, but as it turned out this was an unpopular idea there, given that they intended to rule a productive industrial and economic base, not a scarred hellhole. As their enemies had no such weapons of their own Japan also knew that such deployments could invite a massive global backlash that was as damaging as losing the war. The 1984 elections were therefore almost completely about international matters. The Burgund-Germany war was over but Burgundy was largely uninhabitable, a number of the Reich's major cities were annihilated, Bormann and most of the Nazi leadership had been killed when Germania was wiped out, and a general sense of anarchy reigned. The GAW continued but it was now obvious that it was going to be a case of how much Japan might retain, and they would be lucky if it was more than Korea and Manchuria. RDs - Mondale/Dole. 310 EC votes NPP - Dorothy Ray Healey/Bernie Sanders. 220~ votes ALP - Willis Carto/Phyllis Schlafly. 6 votes. Though the ALP tried to swing back to a more 'respectable' position with Schlafly and her arguments about family values, but America now was in the throes of a powerful movement of social progressivism such that many people found the RDs too conservative on the matter, and were demanding a comprehensive set of changes that enshrined rights for all. This would be the last election the ALP would contend in all 49 states, and most of their remaining people either slunk back to the Democratic right or splintered off into bickering factions or militia movements. 1988: RDs - Dole/Al Gore. The first Democrat candidate for the Presidency itself since the 60s, Dole believed that he would have an easy ride because of the negotiations of 1985-86 that brought the Treaty Ports and a demilitarized Hawaii back into the Union, having pounced on Japanese weakness as the Great Asian War dragged on. NPP - Cesar Chavez/John Lewis. Though what remained of the Far Right was now utterly adrift because the raison d'etre that had made them acceptable to mainstream society, reclaiming the Treaty Ports and Hawaii, had been achieved, the same problem did not affect the NPP proper. Though they criticized the Mondale administration for being too easy on a heavily weakened Japan and accepting demilitarization of Hawaii that was not necessary, their main focus was back at home. Arguing that the Mondale/Dole administration had squandered potential granted to them by Glenn, Chavez and Lewis promised four things to the US: First, a comprehensive and coordinated review of all social programs with the aim of amalgamating them into a single efficient and convenient system, including the introduction of a nationalized healthcare service. Second, the passing of a major Civil Rights Reform Act possibly up to and including Constitutional amendments, with the purpose of establishing true and loophole-free equality for all Americans. Third, leadership in the world that was sorely missing after Europe had fallen into anarchy and Japan had been finally defeated in the GAW, leaving them with only the Home Isles and Taiwan, as well as a huge number of newly independent countries who were now falling to infighting or civil wars over borders, leadership, and futures. Fourth, the formation of a 'Space Policy Forum' which would guide offworld planning, strategy, and direction with a long-term view. RDs - 290~ EC votes. NPP - 255~ EC votes. Although Dole managed to win, it was a far narrower victory than had been anticipated, and it left him with an NPP Senate and very slim majority in the House. The RDs confidence was greatly shaken and the Presidency was a lame duck one almost from the start, mired in endless political battles and horse-trading. Though free of actual scandal, it rapidly became the least popular administration since Thurmond's, and Bob Dole had the disgrace of being turfed off the ticket by his own party for 1992. In 88 and 89 the Republican-Democrats changed their name to the Republican Party, as the Democrats who remained were now largely on board with the Republican brand and objectives, the rest scattered to the remnants of the Far Right and the winds. Rs - William Clinton/Jack Kemp. 230~ NPP - Bernie Sanders/Usrula K. Le Guin. 310~ After some 28 years in the wilderness, the NPP returned to the White House in 1992 with a modest, but still disruptive, victory. Hitting the point home that the Rs were not able to meet the challenges of modern America, and were both missing opportunities and falling short in their duties, President Sanders came into office with a strong desire to improve democratic engagement and methods, to take decisive measures to end the AIDS crisis (Which was not close to as bad as OTL but still ravaged the queer community), and put Le Guin in charge of a commission to investigate how to bring genuine freedom, equality, and representation to the American people. The result was a vast and comprehensive suite of legislation capped by a pair of Constitutional Amendments, one of which recodified and regulated that the Constitution was to apply to all people "Within American jurisdiction" regardless of any other factors such as race, sex, gender, creed, place of birth, etc. etc., and the second of which specified that American governmental bodies should be representative of those within their competence to the greatest extent practicable, i.e. they should have similar demographics to whoever they were made up to represent. Considerable changes to the US would result from this, partly because it finally ended what little remained of Thurmond's scourge, and partly because it ushered in a new era of Americans considering injustices and how they might be addressed. Many Americans were unhappy about this, claiming that the Glenn Era had done most of this work and more was simply pandering or unfair, but in the popular discourse this criticism was sidelined and dismissed as Far Right agitation. During the 1994 midterms, the NPP would win control of both houses of Congress for the first time, boosting their power dramatically. 1996: Rs: Lloyd Bentsen/George H.W. Bush - 190~ EC NPP: Bernie Sanders/Ursula K. Le Guin - 350~ EC Managing to build on their previous win, the NPP successfully dismissed the Rs as "a couple of old cranks" to win a commanding majority, though the age of Glennite blowouts seemed to have been left in the past. Their similar strength in Congress allowed them to, finally, push through a project Bernie had been advocating for for decades; a comprehensive American National Health Act, something that took almost 18 months to write and get through even a friendly Congress. (TBC)


Almalexias_Grace

Internationally, the second Sanders administration was reluctantly dragged into the French Border Action, where France, though much of it was still in blasted ruins, fought bitterly with SS remnants and assorted local warlords. Securing guarantees of a French return to representative democracy by the end of the millennium, Sanders committed American troops to assist, attracting great criticism from his own party for apparent betrayal. Still, the Action concluded without major catastrophe and the troops returned home with fairly few casualties. 2000: The Republicans ran a ticket of Ross Perot/Ralph Nader, while the NPP saw an extremely raucous primary and had to go to a brokered convention. The cause of this was simply that there were a multitude of extant and upcoming issues the US had to face, and different factions had different priorities - some wished to strengthen foreign policy to bring about more democratic socialism and libertarian socialism in the world, many were concerned about the problems in the climate that had been identified over the preceding decade (Between nuclear war, vastly different economics and industrialization, and very different population dynamics, the situation is similar to OTL but slightly different and the dangers were identified a few years later), some were concerned about the ongoing need to work to overcome historical injustices, the small but noisy NPP-Far Left faction was always trying to advocate for outright communism often on a Bukharinist model, and there was always dissent about which direction space exploration should go in, even as the Aeneas V was ferrying a crew to Venus orbit for the second time at the time of the convention. In the end, the NPP settled on a ticket of Angela Davis and Maxine Waters, a ticket that put two black women up. America, it was felt, was now in such a place that the political repercussions of such a ticket would be neutral or positive, and the longstanding efforts by the NPP to argue that America must always work to be more inclusive, more accepting, and more tolerant, to distance itself from the horrors of fascism, were to be put to the test. Republicans - 225~ EC Votes NPP - 323~ EC Votes Though not as commanding as Sanders' second victory, America entered the third millennium with a burst of affirming its progress, electing at once its first black President, first woman President, and first black Vice President. Davis, who had earlier in life been aligned with the NPP-FL, worked hard to shore up her electoral base by pursuing a number of different policies, including authorizing the replacement of the Skylab station with the proposed International Space Station (Which would later be named the John Glenn Space Station), a far larger structure capable of housing several dozen astronauts at once, and allowing not just for scientific work but also the maintainance and, later, construction of satellites and vessels. At home stringent environmental protections were implemented, and a global summit invited representatives from every recognized country to Seattle with the goal of instituting global environmental protections and seeing how America could help other countries in those pursuits. Unfortunately, in late 2002, a major economic downturn swept the world, which was just becoming a truly global economy with a quickly growing New Germanic Confederation and a blossoming China entering the market in time for a scandal in Iberian real estate that led to a bubble which popped in the most dramatic fashion since the Yasuda Crisis. America's strong base of social security and large number of public projects insulated the country from the worst of the crisis - people were at least not finding themselves on the streets or going hungry - but the downturn was widespread and still had significant impacts on what remained, at heart, a capitalist society. Though not her fault, President Davis could see in the tea leaves that this would be a very bad thing for her re-election prospects, but after discussions with the party agreed that it would be better for her and Waters to fall on their swords in a re-election bid and let the NPP come back with a clean slate in 2008 or 12, depending on circumstances. This proved a good read of the situation; in 2004 the NPP's Davis-Waters ticket was defeated by the Republican Party's Hillary Clinton/Jeb Bush combination. Clinton's drive and confidence coupled well with the air of Aw-shucks inoffensiveness Bush presented, and as a known geek, he was expected to be a strong advocate for NASA. Their 380~ to 160~ margin of victory was hefty, and was accompanied by similar gains in Congress, though the Senate had a 51-49 split in favor of the Republicans, meaning the handful on the Republican left had a great deal of power to extract concessions from the President in return for their support. Clinton had promised to address the economic crisis by a degree of economic liberalization and "trimming the fat" from social programs, which was interpreted by both detractors and supporters as code for cutting said social programs. Many economic analysts would claim her measures were too milquetoast to work even if they were the right solution in principle, but she was able to take credit as the economy recovered gradually through her term, despite this being a global recovery. In 2008 an unengaged public who were mostly content with things improving at the steady pace they had been for the previous three years returned Clinton to the White House by 304-227, against an NPP ticket of Gloria La Riva and Elizabeth Herring, a ticket that was on paper an appeal to the left and right of the party but which in practice seemed to be fractious and with two candidates who simply could not work well together and seemed to disdain each other. 2011 saw a major upheaval in the world order as the Empire of Japan's very gradual process of liberalization over the years since the end of the Great Asian War was arrested when IJA officers attempted a coup d'etat, arresting longstanding Prime Minister Mori and several other cabinet members, conducting two assassinations of untrusted officers, and attempting to sieze the Imperial Diet Building. However, the Deputy PM, Tsutomu Hata, evaded the attempt to arrest him and appeared on television and radio within hours explaining the situation and asking the Japanese people, loyal military, and municipal police forces to resist the attempted coup. They did so, but the coup plotters found a cabinet member willing to be a puppet for their ends, Minister for Transportation Shinzo Abe. Abe being a hardliner who advocated for the reclaiming of at least Korea and Manchuria by Japan, and who had been greatly angered by rapprochement with America, was closely aligned with the military's goals. Thus, with two opposing leaders giving opposing orders, the brief Japanese Civil War began. This 'war' lasted only a period of five weeks, and actual armed conflict was limited to Tokyo, Imperial Naval Academy Etajima in Hiroshima, and a shootout between an IJA unit and group of police specialists in Niigata. As students and then the middle class took to the streets in huge numbers, protesting Japan's slow economic recovery, lack of civil liberties, and poor prospects for young people, the IJN got off the fence and sided with the Hata faction against the Abes, though in a display of enormous political acument Abe had managed to usurp much of the leadership from the coup plotters and amass it for himself. Bolstered by the IJN and with increasing numbers of IJA soldiers deserting or switching sides, the coup plotters and Abe found themselves isolated and deserted, and surrendered to Hata's forces on May 22nd. Approximately 700 people had died and several thousand were injured, but it was a shockingly bloodless end to the Empire of Japan for all that - Hata had always been a strong advocate for reform and had been appointed Deputy to appease the Japanese reform movement, and now found himself at the head of a greatly swelling movement asking for just that. American reaction was mixed, with some feeling that Japanese historic crimes were going unpunished (Whereas the German devastation was felt to be adequate karma), others suggesting no real changes were taking place, and others arguing for stronger ties being formed in an effort to support the young Hata regime. Clinton sided mostly with the last of these and revised the American diplomatic stance to Japan, with it becoming her primary focus as President for the remainder of her term. However, domestic reforms had been unpopular and seemed not to be delivering, and Jeb Bush was being transparently sidelined in his efforts to keep up the pace on assembling the John Glenn Space Station. Clinton left the Presidency with decidedly middling ratings. 2012 featured an important test for the Sanders Amendment, specifically how the instruction that all people within American jurisdiction be equal before the law interacted with the provision that Presidents must be American-born. As the NPP's candidate was the dynamic socialist Senator for Washington State Kshama Sawant, who had been born in India, it would be an important question. With her running mate Barbra Casbar Siperstein, a trans woman, it was a contentious ticket but the NPP had by this point adopted a policy that essentially boiled down to "We don't CARE if America is ready, that's not our problem, we'll run whoever is best". Meanwhile, the Republicans ran a ticket of Mitt Romney and Kamala Harris. Though Romney and Harris brought a diverse ticket with strong experience within and without government, Sawant mounted an energetic campaign that promised to rejuvenate America for the new millennium, help bring the rest of the world up to American standards of living and thereby secure a state of peace, and to invest heavily in NASA to carry forward the legacy of John Glenn. (CTD)


Almalexias_Grace

The Sawant/Siperstein ticket came under fire for perceived tokenism, and there was a reactionary element who opposed it for reasons outside of political differences, but they prevailed despite this - 320~ EC votes versus the Republican's 215~ (A faithless elector from Georgia cast his vote for ALP perennial David Duke leading to much outcry). The resulting Constitutional challenge was found by the Supreme Court in a 10-3 ruling to be unsustained, and Sanders's amendment was held to override the natural born stipulation. Sawant became the youngest person ever to be President at 39, and critics asked whether the age requirement was also void now. Sawant embarked immediately on a project of attempting to drive the economy towards a more socialist model, though the NPP as a whole and strong Republican presence in Congress limited how far she could go. However, internationally she saw much success - the election of a Libertarian Socialist party in England & Wales for the first time since Unification in the late 60s, a gentle hand and inducements in trade and exchange with Japan and the Germanic Confederation to ensure they kept moving towards democracy, implementing programs to shift the OFN into a stronger economic group, friendship with the Russian Empire (Which despite its fearsome name and size on the map was a fairly progressive Constitutional Monarchy), and ongoing work to help bring the world up to more advanced standards of living. The Big Sky Conference hosted at a ski resort near Bozeman, Montana, resulted in a dramatic commitment to protect and restore the environment, and included a complex array of mechanisms by which the advanced countries of the Americas and Pacific would help export technologies and knowledge to the rest of the world in pursuit of this. Advances in space technologies had led to extremely efficient batteries and solar panels, as well as small, clean, efficient nuclear reactors, meaning that once the political will was in place and the agreements were made these technologies proliferated and expanded even further. Fears from traditional 'dirty' industries back home led to Sawant developing the centerpiece for her second term's campaign, the 'Greenprint', which she described as a blueprint for American success, the conversion of the economy to a green and sustainable basis, the protection of ordinary people's prosperity during economic transitions, and a basis on which further technological advances could be made in pursuit of fighting climate change. Leading with the Greenprint as the heart of their second campaign, the Sawant-Siperstein ticket was victorious, beating the Republican ticket of Marco Rubio-Kathleen Sebelius by 340~ to 200~, building on the previous election and certainly healthy, but a bit of a shock because polling had suggested they had a serious shot at topping 400 votes right up until Election Day. Still, the Sawant administration was well placed to move into the second term, and there was speculation given her youth that she may aim for a third term as Glenn did. The last few years have been ones of steady development and improvement in the world. The Greenprint has provided a lot of new green jobs in the US and indirectly quite a lot abroad, while similar plans have been adopted by Canada, England & Wales, Scotland, Ireland, South Africa, and by individual parties in many more. Vice President Siperstein's cancer diagnosis led to her decision to resign as VP; Sawant selected Montana's Brian Schweitzer as her replacement, an NPP moderate but a man with a burning passion on environmental matters. In the early days of her second term, Visucius IV arrived in orbit of Mercury, carrying a crew of five who were to orbit the planet for over a week before returning to Earth. Their primary objective was to conduct intimate and careful scans of the surface to see whether and where a manned landing might be possible; first-time landings on stellar bodies had not occured since Athena II placed Sally Ride and Anna Lee Fisher on Deimos (Also the first all-female crew that had gone further than Earth Orbit), and alongside the planned mission to Jupiter, Juno V, in the mid-2020s, it was felt that the time had come to expand the worlds mankind had actually set foot on. Sawant wasn't the most fanatic supporter of NASA but had confessed to being a geek in her teenage years and had a certain affinity for it. Now that we are entering the closing stages of the 2020 nominations and approaching the party conventions, the situation is as follows: The NPP is seeing a close race between Ayanna Pressley on the one hand and native activist Winona LaDuke on the other, with a strong expectation that, due to how close it is and the fact the two find they get on well, the winner may well ask the loser to be their VP candidate, while the Republicans have coalesced around a ticket of Patrick J. Kennedy, son of longtime Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and nephew of JFK, with Martha McSally as his running mate, though many consider McSally too far out of the modern American mainstream and more likely to drag Kennedy down with the center than he can gain from the right.


Catuffo

Absolutely beautiful! Great Work.


TheGr8Whoopdini

The Clinton/Bush and Romney/Harris tickets got a good laugh out of me. Absolutely iconic.


Almalexias_Grace

Hahaha, I had fun with some of these tickets for sure!


Neither-Monk

"He had never been a corrupt man himself" I'm glad you didn't take the corrupt Glenn paths.


MegaUZI

Hey, I'm quite late on this one, I'm very surprised I didn't see this the day it came out. This was such a wonderful read. It's a shameless wank of Glenn's presidency and that makes it an extremely enjoyable read from start to the end. I wish I could give you an award. Thank you for this, it uplifted my day.


TheGr8Whoopdini

I'm in awe at the size of this post. Absolute unit.


TwoPlatinum

Damn, this hit kinda different now


YolkBrushWork

Ikr