The Last Earth Debate
by Martin Green


     It was the end of earth year 2015.    In a distant galaxy on the planet Spielberg whose civilization was so far more advanced than ours that we can’t imagine it (they’d banned reality TV) the Council on Earth Matters was having its annual meeting.    During the past few years the Council had come close to deciding that, considering the sad state the Earth was in, it was time to put an end to it.    The majority pointed to wars, famines, hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorism, corruption, pollution, politicians, television, cell phones, texting, rap music and the Kardashians.    The minority argued that, despite all this, there was some intelligence left and pointed to Einstein, Ghandi, Beethoven and Shakespeare.    Like the American Congress, no consensus could be reached.


     “Well, here we are again,” said the Council Chairman.    “What’s the latest?”


     The Council Secretary read from his staff’s report.    “The signs are not encouraging.    Terrorism is spreading.    Russia is expanding its power.    So is China.    North Korea is parading its nuclear arsenal.    The Mideast is of course is in its usual chaotic state.    Iran will soon be a nuclear power.    Its rivals will undoubtedly also try get nukes.    Europe is being overrun by refugees.    Greece is broke.”


     “But what about the United States?    Isn’t it still the most powerful nation?”


     “The United States has decided not to use its power; instead it’s leading from behind.”


     “Leading from behind.    What does that mean?”


     “It’s not clear.    To continue, the United States is dominated by extremists on both sides.    Civility is gone.    The police are demoralized.    Politicians routinely lie, that is, more blatantly than before, but nobody seems to care.”


     “Hmmm, that doesn’t sound good.”


     “Then let’s put the earthlings out of their misery,” said the Council member leading the majority who’d always thought the Earth was beyond saving.


     “Wait a minute,” interjected the Council member who led the opposition.    “Let me remind you that this is the time of Christmas and New Year’s on earth, a time when there is peace and good will toward men and a time of new resolutions.”


     “You make that argument every year and every year things get worse.”


     “There’s one more thing,” said the Council Secretary.    “The United States is having an election next year.    One of the candidates is Donald Trump.”


     “That Donald Trump?”


     “Yes, and the other candidate is Hillary Clinton.”


     “That Hillary Clinton?”




     “Well,” said the Council President, “I think that decides it.    I have to admit I’ll miss our yearly meetings.”


     The vote was a formality and it was unanimous with one Council member abstaining.


     “All right, that’s done,” said the President.    Turning to the Secretary, he said, ”You’ll convey our decision to the Fleet Commander.”


     “Yes, there should be no problem, half a dozen of our mega-ships at most.”


     “Good.    Let’s be merciful and do it before the next presidential debate.    The Council is adjourned.   As usual, there’ll be coffee and refreshments in the adjoining room.”



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