Bandolero’s Worst Nightmare

One day Bandolero stopped at a saloon, being very thirsty after a long day’s ride. He hitched his trusty steed to the post, pushed through the swinging double-door, sidled up to the bar, ordered a cold root beer and quaffed half the mug in a single chug. Then he surveyed the clientele. All the tables were empty and there was only one other person at the bar, other than the barkeep. He blended into the shadows and Bandolero might not have seen him except for the pearly white teeth that shone brightly through a broad smile. Looked like a dude from back east.

“You from back east?” asked Bandolero.

“Why, yes, I am,” said the dude. “Say, aren’t you that outlaw fella they call Bandolero?”

“You must be mistaken,” answered Bandolero. “Besides, if I was him, I wouldn’t likely tell, would I?”

“Well, then,” said the dude, “what’s your name?”

“Why would I tell you?” answered Bandolero.

“Because,” answered the dude, “if you’re not an outlaw, you have no reason not to tell me.”

“Maybe my reason would be my constitutional right to privacy,” responded Bandolero.

“Ah, yes, the Constitution,” said the dude. “The great protector of criminals.”

“You mean the protector of citizens!” retorted Bandolero.

“No,” said the dude. “As it turns out, good honest citizens with nothing to hide don’t need the Constitution. It only benefits the criminals.”

“You’re sick,” said Bandolero, sadly.

“No, you’re blind,” said the dude. “Think about it. Only those who have something to hide need the Constitution to hide behind. If you have nothing to hide, you cannot be harmed by sharing the truth with everyone.”

“Except,” responded Bandolero, “for those who would use the truth to take advantage of you!”

“But,” said the dude, “those people are the very criminals who, when caught, hide behind the Constitution to conceal the truth and escape punishment for their criminal deeds and continue to prey upon honest upstanding innocent citizens such as, perhaps, yourself.”

“But innocent citizens need the protections of the Constitution against false accusations!” protested Bandolero.

“No,” said the dude, “quite the contrary. “If we do away with the Constitution so we can catch the criminals and rid the world of them, then honest law-abiding citizens need not fear false accusations, as there will be no crimes to falsely accuse them of.”

“But,” retorted Bandolero, “honest law-abiding citizens are still entitled to their secrets!”

“Oh, you poor fellow,” said the dude. “Honest law-abiding citizens would have much happier lives without the stress of secrets! Secrets are such a burden! It is only by ridding oneself of the stress and burden of keeping secrets that one can be truly free! Just look at Facebook! What more proof do you need that sharing secrets makes people feel good! Hiding your secrets behind the Constitution doesn’t set you free. Sharing your secrets sets you free! The truth will set you free!”

“Hmm,” thought Bandolero. “This dude does make a point.” But, as he thought about it a bit more, he began to shiver, as a cold realization began to set in and take hold of his thoughts. A nation of Facebook followers. Suddenly, the dawning light of awareness burst into his consciousness. This dude was one of the most dangerous people he had ever encountered.

“So,” he said, “I assume you have no secrets, then. What’s yer name, stranger?”

“Don’t you recognize me?” queried the dude, incredulously. “My name’s Obama!”

And suddenly Bandolero did recognize him. He was the devil incarnate. Bandolero knew it was up to him to banish the beast back to the depths of the hell that spawned him.

Suddenly, however, fear washed over Bandolero as he realized he was powerless. He’d left his vote in the saddlebag on his horse outside.

“Relax,” said the dude. “This won’t hurt a bit.”