Fifty Shades of Grey has taken the nation by storm. But if it were rewritten as a political novel, it would go something like this...
My heart is pounding. I curse my roommate for having the flu and forcing me to interview Mitt Romney for the college newspaper. But here I am at his campaign headquarters. Too late to turn back now.
The elevator opens and I find myself in front of Willard Mitt Romney, his slick black hair is as stiff as the rest of his six foot two inch tall body.
I take a deep purifying breath to try to recover from the sight of him. I'm not sure if it's because he's handsome or because he actually resembles an aggressive gopher.
I introduce myself and tell him my name is Anastasia Zeal.
He shakes my hand hard and says he is expecting me. Then, as if cued by a teleprompter, he says, "Miss Zeal, I have a five point plan. And I have the same five point plan wherever I go, Florida, Ohio and Ohio and Florida. A five point plan. Remember this." He moves in closer to me, holding five long fingers in my face.
I stutter the word, "fi...ve," in awe that that he can repeat something so meaningless so many times. I am breathless and numbed by the ceaseless recitation.
He stares at me, hungrily, like I am a camera lens during a national debate, with the most self-satisfied smirk I have ever seen.
"Anastasia, there is something about you. Perhaps it's your naïve beauty or your collegian demeanor, reminding me of what I was like in my boyhood, in the days when I would dominate and scalp sissy young men." Mitt sighs, smiling off into space, remembering his happy youth. "But, honestly, I have never wanted to tell someone the truth about my five-point plan until now. But I want your respect and want you to trust me. Do you?" He steps forcefully toward me.
"Yes... I guess," I stammer self-consciously, wondering why he wants to tell me, an awkward college student, the truth about himself.
"I am a successful businessman, a governor, a candidate, but no one really knows me. But I want you to know me. Do you want to know me?" I shake my head yes, although I am a bit put off by his beady little eyes that seem to blink rapidly like a traffic sign warning me of danger.
"Ms. Zeal, I want to tell you my secrets but I need you to sign a contract that swears you to silence. But once you do, I will reveal my real five-point plan. Will you sign? If you break this contract, I will deny everything and say I never met you. Do you understand me?"
"Yes," I respond demurely, signing the contract he has put before me.
"If you find what I tell you too intense, you can choose a safety word. But, until then, I will reveal my real plan: If elected, I will cut taxes for the rich, cut government money for student loans, and repeal a health care law that will cover 42 million uncovered Americans -- all of which will hurt you and millions of other regular people in this country. " He licks his lips, with an uptight sensuality, his arms crossed against his chest.
I stammer and sweat, wondering why he is telling me something so painful.
He continues, "And I will voucherize Medicare and cut Social Security, slow and steadily, so that the elderly and kids and the disabled will be hurt as much as possible, their money and health care bled dry, drop by drop."
He moves even closer toward me, that arrogant smirk again, climbing up on his chiseled face. I notice he looks like a cross between Rock Hudson and Dudley Do-Right.
"Sir, this is too painful, you must stop... please! My safety word is 'net!' "
"No," he exclaims forcefully. "I do not believe in a safety net."
"Then why... why should I vote for you, sir, if you are going to inflict so much pain on me and other regular voters? It seems that none of us is safe."
"I want to gain your trust and respect, so you'll let me exert my will over you. I am the dominant, the man who can buy everything in this country, horses for my wife, a house for my dog on the car roof, and votes from the rich. I can buy you and your family's votes too. You are the submissive, Miss Zeal, and when I look at you I see how much I want to win this erection... ah... I mean election."
My blood flames from the humiliation. I see his big election rising in front of me and I squirm.
"Can you see it in your mind, Miss Zeal? Health and safety regulations ripped apart, insurance companies raking in millions when I destroy Obamacare; corporations shipping job overseas; national parks turned into oil wells; health care for poor women abandoned." He looks at me with a new sincerity. "All of these cuts make me profoundly aroused."
I have trouble catching my breath. "Sir, I am glad you trust me enough to tell me the truth, but what about the 12 million jobs you said you would create in your first term?"
Willard laughs a hearty laugh. "12 million jobs? That's a number I picked out of thin air. I only tore apart jobs at Bain Capital; I have no idea how to create them. But it sounds good, doesn't it?"
He pauses, takes my hand, and stares at me with an urgency I have not seen before. "Anastasia, align with me and you will never again have to see a world filled with ordinary people. You can fly on private jets, live in a gated community, shop at the best boutiques, be walled off from the poor. Just submit to my will."
I steady myself on a desk and feel a new sense of control. "Sir, with all due respect, I cannot surrender to your selfish vision. I must alert the nation to your revelations. I captured all you said on my tape recorder." I suddenly feel a wave of power, and stifle a moan of delight.
"What! You are defying me? You know that failure to comply with the contract will result in punishment," Willard lunges forward, a bleak and angry look in his eye, his breathing ragged and harsh.
"No, sir, that is where you are wrong. If you look at the contract, I signed Paul Ryan's name, not mine. He is already your submissive. I am free to do what I want."
Holy cow! I just stood up to Mitt Romney and he is running for president. My heart pounding, I run out of his office and scream "You are not going to dominate this election. I am going to vote against you!"
As I descend down the elevator I hear his voice trail off in the distance, "You betrayed me, Anastasia. I am your dominant, you must vote for me -- and get everyone you know to vote for me. I command you. I am a self-made man. I have a five point plan... come back."
I found the power to leave. I published the story about Mitt Romney on the front page of my school newspaper and Mitt's dominance over me and America forever vanished. I'm fifty shades of relieved.