My roots extended deep into the Texico land. As the great great grandson, great grandson, and grandson of cotton farmers and cattle ranchers, the Fitzgerald’s history with the dirt was well known. Mud and dust were overcome, conquered, and left behind but the steely resolve remained as the recent generations toiled in other areas. The technology and financial services industries were attacked with equal stubbornness and single mindedness. My generation of Fitzgerald’s had fathers and mothers who helped lead the urban migrations that transformed the economy of Texas during the last decades of its American association. The current resurrection of the once, and now, mighty agricultural industries brought a comforting satisfaction and peace to all who shared the benefits and burdens of the Fitzgerald past. My corporate financial background and influential charge into the culture wars of the 20teens uniquely positioned me as a valuable ally and advisor to every Texico president since the birth of the country.
My current responsibility as Secretary of Truth allowed a wide range of authority and, with the enthusiastic blessing of the President; I eagerly embraced the opportunity to defend the social and cultural fabric of Texico. I possessed a healthy apathy on most trivial matters, preferring instead to concentrate on reestablishing the culture and freeing the Church to perform its called functions. Education, healthcare, and missions were my main points of interest. I was not impartial. Neglect, abuse, and mediocrity had ruined these institutions in America and I was determined to continue Texico on another path. The eventual American government takeover of education and healthcare failed to improve the quality of either and turned both into massive entitlements that forced huge tax increases. The math didn’t work. Material incentive for excellence was destroyed and the once-great economy collapsed under the weight of elitist, but naïve, good intentions. Missions were never considered a diplomatic tool in an America that relied on perceived envy, protection for hire, and empty talk to persuade the rest of the world. Goodwill access and the free market of ideas turned Texico into a legitimate mediator throughout the world. Not persecution and unseemly tactics. Come as you are, bring your personal honor and integrity, and worship what and who you want. If you want to know my testimony, ask. And some did.
I was busy spreading the Gospel. It was religious capitalism and Christianity was dominating the morality market. Christian churches owned and operated the vast majority of schools from Preschool through higher education and owned and operated all the hospitals. We had the best doctors in the world and the finest quality schools. Even the domestic corporations couldn’t compete. The Churches weren’t profit-driven and proved too well-organized and passionate, although there did remain competition within the Church due to various denominations. Many countries were turning from the socialistic ways of the past into the newer pure capitalistic model. However, old traditions died hard due to corruption and fear. A few elites were making too much money the old way and they were very resistant. Indeed, bloody civil battles had been fought abroad as revolutionaries from other places sought to replicate the Texican success. The signing of the Texico Papers in 2014 established the government’s role in the economy. The role was very limited and was mostly neutral enforcement efforts. Don’t allow the inevitable government greed to take hold and don’t allow the entitlements that pacify the populous. Your health and education were your responsibility and people in this prosperous land were willing to pay. Taxes were extremely low relative to other nations and what income the government did take in was primarily based on consumption. A penny of every dollar spent was sent to Austin. The fortunes of the government depended on the fortunes of the economy and the fortunes of its people. And of visitors to Texico. Indeed, the tourist industry was thriving. The Mayan coast was quickly replacing the California coast as the major creative media coast. Of course, imports were taxed at the same rate the other government taxed our exports. This made negotiating easy and our ability to gain access for our missionaries and businesses was enhanced by our trade policy. We, the government, stayed out of the way and let our people thrive and influence the people around them. Shiftlessness was shunned. Those in need had their pick of private and religious organizations to reach out to for help. Usually, the organizations were already reaching out to them anyway. They were competing for the opportunity to help.
My job was to make sure these organizations were able to operate without unneeded restraints and enhance their ability to be effective around the world. L. Dean Fitzgerald was a name synonymous with Texico and to own the name was a blessing and a curse. “Fitz, when are you going to hang it up and wander off to Del Carmen to live out your days?” the President had asked me right after I accepted the Secretary of Truth job. “I don’t tan real good J.T., and I quit drinking years ago. Besides, Mrs. Fitzgerald don’t like those Yucatan hurricanes in the summer. Maybe we’ll go to the mountains. Hey man, I’m almost seventy five, if I’m going to make a hundred, I gotta start walking the hills. Annie’s tired of sand.” “Well”, he had said, “I got you in Austin for another six. We got hills ‘round here.” After considering his last comment I had replied, “That sounds like a song J. T., wanna go fishing? It may be our last chance for those six years.” I haven’t been fishing since.