I’ve talked about elections. I’ve mentioned the under-served Vampire Vote. What I haven’t said is the obvious: if Vampires can control the minds of mere mortals, why don’t they? Just tell them what you want and they must obey, right?
Thralling a mind isn’t as simple as that — subtlety is key.
Example? You can say “forget the last three minutes” or “forget you saw me or anyone was here tonight.” That usually works… UNLESS there’s missed evidence. With photographic or video proof to the contrary, a supervisor may decide Mr. Forgetful is either a liar or incompetent; now you’ve cost someone their job. Happy, now?
Missing time can usually be reconciled — “I must have nodded off” — but what about something hard-wired throughout a person’s long-term memory? “Forget you ever had a sister.” Wow. Now every memory of ever doing anything with that sibling is going to feel incomplete, including why a person felt the way they did: happy, sad, angry, jealous, or whatever. Thralling isn’t just mind control; it’s brain damage. The severity depends on how evil or thoughtless a Vampire is.
This brings us back to controlling an election cycle. Sure, maybe mention to the new small-town mayor that the Blood Bank doesn’t need new surveillance cameras (which is ridiculous because Vampires couldn’t use any of that blood, but that’s a different story) or to declare an “abandoned” century-old mansion on the edge of town a state landmark to ensure it’s never torn down and must be maintained by the city. Neat ideas, sure, but on a larger scale, problems ensue…
Just take a look at what’s happening in the current US presidential race.
If any candidate starts acting against their party’s interests, others will step in for damage control. Assuming a Vampire could get close enough to suggest “announce that Vampires are safe and should be accepted into American society with open arms,” someone else will counter that — people WILL take notice. If a candidate announces out-of-the-blue that major amounts of money should be set aside to provide blood dolls for timid immortals, that might raise a few eyebrows, too.
Having said all of that, I’m not suggesting that subtle suggestions couldn’t swing an election in a positive way for everyone; less Village of the Damned and more The Manchurian Candidate. Influential little whispers like “a great wall built over the border to a neighboring country would keep citizens safer” or “women should be held accountable for not carrying a child to term.” You know: the kinds of things that make it seem like the pressure is too great and the nominee is having what the media calls “a meltdown.”
You’re welcome, America.
Keep each other safe.