Alternate History

Better Red Than Dead

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Communist Party National Convention, 1924.

It is early in the year 1917. Revolution looms in Russia as the empire's participation in the Great War is coming to an end. In a last ditch effort to quell the rising threat of a Communist Revolution, Tsar Nicholas II orders a raid on all Bolshevik chapters in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Joseph Stalin, an editor of Pravda, is executed along with hundreds of others in a public show of monarchist power. Leon Trotsky, an organizer of the Bolsheviks, was sentenced to twenty years of hard labor, dying in prison four years before release. Mikhail Kalinin, the man who many thought would lead the communist government, was hanged after a sham trial.

Vladimir Lenin was a different case. Fearing that his execution or sentencing could cause the rebellion to rise up regardless of the Bolsheviks' help, the Russian Government exiles Lenin to Germany. 

After the war, Lenin, hoping to start a new life, moves to America along with many other refugees. At Ellis Island, Lenin's birth certificate is accidentally tampered with, with the immigration officials mixing up his place of deportation with his place of birth, and then rewriting his place of birth as simply Moscow. After this ordeal, Lenin rents out an apartment in Brooklyn and begins an English class. 

Disappointed with the lack of respect for the poor and the lower middle-class, Lenin considers running to represent them in Congress. Finally, in 1918, Lenin runs as an Independent to represent the 15th District in Congress. With his impassioned speeches about working class justice and economic reform, Lenin wins the district with 34% of the vote in a three way race.

Many Democrats and Republicans despised Lenin for his radical ideas (some legitimate concerns, others simply xenophobic), but Lenin was incredibly popular in New York, and soon would be across the United States. Lenin won reelection again in 1920 and 1922 by larger margins each time. 

In 1923, a draft effort to get Lenin to run for President began in Upstate New York. Soon, calls for him to run appeared all over the country. Knowing that without a party base to support him, Lenin could never win the election, Vladimir revitalizes the communist ideals by creating Communist Party USA. Lenin announces his official run at the first CPUSA Convention in February 1924 as the party nominee. 

Lenin receives massive support from all across the Eastern Seaboard, squandering Robert La Follette's initial popularity, and prompting both major party candidates to consider ways to discredit Lenin's radical ideas. President Harding suggests a radio debate between the four candidates. All four candidates agree to two debates, one on domestic policy, and another on foreign policy. 

During these two debates, Calvin Coolidge and John Davis focus their attacks on Lenin's ambiguous birthplace, as Lenin never released his immigration papers, for fear he might be disqualified. Lenin, always saying he was born in Moscow, Idaho rather than Moscow, Russia, directs the debates in a different direction. Focusing on the actual issues of economic stability, peaceful foreign policy to all countries but Russia, and equal rights among Blacks and Gays, Lenin is considered the winner of these debates. 

On election night, Lenin gains the majority of states and the popular vote but not the Electoral vote, but does win over the House of Representative's support, handing him the election and the Presidency.

It is now the year 2013. The Communist Party is now a driving force in all US Elections. Tax rates are exceptionally high. Relations with a now democratic Russia have been improved, but are still practically dead. Although the working class now have better living and working conditions, business and wealth in the United States have suffered greatly, prompting many to leave the country for free enterprise lands, such as the UK and Singapore. The United States is no longer a land of extreme wealth, but a land where everyone is equal, though many questions the benefits of the equality.

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