“An Honest Policy” is a satirical commentary on the American voting system that was inspired by Reddits’ Writing Prompts boards. It’s a quick novella full of snarky wit, humor and an eldritch god-like entity who has decided he—it?—has had enough of the lies and the extremes of the political parties. Qym—the god’s name is much longer, so hopefully he doesn’t kill me for the abbreviation—is running on one very honest and straight forward policy: if elected president, he will murder everyone. No foreign policies, no questions on healthcare or family values, everyone will be equally dead. Tom, the Conservative extreme-esque opponent to Qym and a seasoned politician, has only ever lied to people. He’s only ever done and pandered to who and what is necessary in order to achieve his political goals, including having a fake family. Tom may not be honest, but he’s also not promising murder, so he’s pretty caught off guard when he starts losing to this ancient deity, and badly. So the question becomes if Tom can win and “save” America, but really, the story’s focus is on the circus that is politics and the echo chamber that prime time media allows us to fall into. The commentary is not subtle, no “side” is right, no one is good. It’s frustrating, but very entertaining, and unnervingly close to home—minus the murderous god thing, of course.
Since this novella is so short and fast paced, there’s not much I can say for serious risk of spoilers. But I will say that I liked how the author took the extremes of each political party, and upped it in a way that was 1. Scary with how you could see it actually happening in the future and 2. Mirrored a little what actually went down in the previous presidential election with this idea that you were trying to choose the lesser of two evils, so to speak. You see this obviously awful choice and then are just floored that people are in a fervor over them, and this person/entity has such an ardent following… It’s scary because you can see the parallels and it brings up that same angry disbelief all over again, but with more humor because of the murder aspect. Which makes me sound like I need help, but just go with me on this one. It was funny, and terrifying, and not because of how brutally Qym would make good on his campaign promises. Which makes this novella maybe better for a voting age audience because of the violence and language, but mainly because of the subject matter. Having that basis of knowledge about politics and the electoral colleges etc. made this a much more enjoyable read.
All in all, this was a super quick and fun story, one you can knock out somewhere by the pool in an afternoon if you can avoid getting sun burned and can read political satire without getting angry all over again. I really enjoyed it, but I know this may not be for everyone because feelings around politics and the various parties are still so raw for a lot of people. I will say that I was kind of hoping the ending would have gone a different way, but upon reflection, the ending does feel right, even if it doesn’t make me feel all that great. I won’t say more than that to avoid spoilers, though I wish I could! I liked Tom’s development throughout the story, and the subject matter is very topical, so if you’re in the mood for it, I say give this book a read! I’m giving it a very solid and amusing 4 stars, and thanks to the author for providing me with a copy for an honest review!
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