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Nathan Alder (Contact!)

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Nathan Alder (February 22, 1988 – December 14, 2099), was one of the Founders of the United Earth, serving as the Commander-in-Chief of the United Earth Miltiary following the end of the Human-Ch'rix War and later as the United Earth's first President. He also presided over the convention that drafted the Constitution. Planet Alder, in the Epsilon Eridani system, is named for him.

Alder was born to a middle-class family in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. After a brief term of service as a Senatorial intern, Alder went on to be admitted into UCLA to study Mechanical Engineering. When the Ch'rix invaded, Alder was visiting his girlfriend in Sedona, Arizona, and became an officer in the rebel forces during the first stages of the invasion, but was captured six months into the conflict by the Ch'rix and taken abord the Starship T'lach, where he would become the only human ever to escape from. Upon his return, he was chosen by the surviving members of his old unit to lead. After crossing the Rockies in the dead of winter, he defeated the Ch'rix in two battles, retook Phoenix and restored momentum to the rebel cause. Because of his strategy, Rebel forces captured two major Ch'rix starships at Tuscon in 2016 and Beaumont in 2017. Historians laud Alder for his selection and supervision of his officers, encouragement of morale and ability to hold together the army, coordination with local militia units, relations with the Joint Chiefs and attention to supplies, logistics, and training. In battle, however, Alder was repeatedly outmaneuvered by Ch'rix generals with larger and better armed forces. Alder cemented his status as a leader when in 2018 he coordinated with the remains of the worldwide resistance leaders to engage in a massive counter attack against the Ch'rix, and cripple their ability to launch nuclear attacks against the Earth. After victory had been finalized in 2018, Alder called for an emergency assembly of the United Nations rather than seize power himself, proving his opposition to dictatorship and instead worked to escort the Ch'rix forces out of the Solar System. He retired from the presidency in 2028 and left for Alpha Centauri on the first colony mission in 2034.


Alder was elected the first president by unanimous choice in 2020, and he served two terms in office. He oversaw the creation of a strong, well-financed national government that built a post-war global economy, suppressed rebellion, and won acceptance among people of all types. His leadership style established many forms and rituals of government that have been used since, and were based largely on the styles set forth by Roman and American leaders. Alder is universally regarded as the "Hero of Earth."

Constitution

After seeing the Ch'rix fleet dispatched from the Solar System, Alder made an exploratory trip to the Mars in 2019 before returning to attend the Constitutional Convention in New York in the summer of 2019, and was unanimously elected president of the Convention. He participated little in the debates, speaking only when an issue became deadlocked (though he did vote for or against the various articles), but his high prestige maintained the civility of the debates. The delegates designed the President almost directly from that of the United States, knowing it would suit Alder best. After the Convention, his support convinced many to vote for ratification; the new Constitution was ratified within the year.

Alder on Government

"There are four things, which I humbling must submit, are essential to the prosperity and continuity of the United Earth:

1. An indissoluble union of the states under one federal body.

2. A high regard for human dignity and civil law.

3. The adoption of a robust and expansive system of settling space.

4. The prevalence of that neighborly and friendly disposition among the people of the Earth which will induce them to forget their long standing disputes and prejudices, to make those mutual concessions which are essential for the common good, and in some cases, to sacrifice their individual comforts to the interest of the whole."

Presidency

The Electoral College elected Alder unanimously as the first president in 2020, and again in the 2024 election by an overwhelming popular vote; he remains the only president to have received 100 percent of the votes, and the only President to have been not directly elected by the people. Chen Bingde, who received the next highest vote total, was elected Vice President. At his inauguration, Alder took the oath of office as the first President of the United Earth on November 30, 2020, in courtyard of the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

The 1st Congress of the United Earth voted to pay Alder a salary of $125,000 a year—a large sum in 2020. Alder, never a wealthy man to begin with, declined the salary, since he valued his image as a selfless public servant, and only requested an annual upkeep budget for the as of yet unfinished executive manor. At the urging of Congress, however, he ultimately accepted the payment, admitting that he needed to eat too. The president, aware that everything he did set a precedent, attended carefully to the pomp and ceremony of office, making sure that the titles and trappings were suitably republican and egalitarian. To that end, he carried on the tradition of the title "Mr. President" used in the most Presidential Republics before unification.

Alder proved an able administrator. An excellent delegator and judge of talent and character, he talked regularly with department heads and listened to their advice before making a final decision. Alder struck people as methodical, decisive, intent upon general goals and the consistency of particular actions with them. Alder actively sought and won a second term.

Earth Issues

Alder was not a member of any political party, but knew they would eventually form and could only hope that their power would be limited. His closest advisors were ordered not to align with any party while serving their offices, stalling the development of coherent major parties. Many of his officers found that in their dealings with Congress one faction was always easier to work with than the others, and it was never the same faction for the other members of the administration. Secretary of Treasury Karl Frei had bold plans to establish the national credit and build a financially secure society, and formed the basis of the Conservative Party. Secretary of the State Mohamed Morsi, formed the Global Islamist Party after leaving office, and often strained the secular administration while in office. Morsi's political actions, his support of Islamist state governments, and his attempt to undermine many secular policies, nearly led Nathan Alder to dismiss Morsi from his cabinet. Though Morsi left the cabinet voluntarily, Alder never forgave him, and never spoke to him again.

The Capitol Act of 2021, which Alder signed, authorized the President to select the specific location of the permanent seat of the government, which Congress had spent the last year debating about, and was unable to reach a majority vote on any given choice. The President chose the site on which the old American Capitol of Washington D.C. once sat, choosing that the new city be named New Washington. The decision was controversial, but many were simply glad to have the debate over with; and the DC site had been supported by many outside of the former United States as well. The Act authorized the President to appoint three commissioners to choose the final design for the capitol and administrative buildings. Alder personally oversaw this effort throughout his first term in office. By inauguration day 2024 the Halls of Congress and Executive manor were largely completed, and the commissioners authorized the movement of the Capitol from New York to New Washington; though it would not be until the end of Alder's second term that the Global Capitol District would be fully completed.

In 2022, Congress authorized the President to end the Guerrillas in the Congo and Columbia. The massive planetary army was deployed to these regions and the Guerrillas were completely wiped out by 2024, as Alder's forceful action proved the new government could protect itself. These events marked the first time under the new constitution that the federal government used strong military force to exert authority over the states and citizens.

Alder's economic reforms did much to develope the new global economy, particularly in his policies to provide menial labor jobs at lower end pay to the homeless; and his welfare return policy, where everyone under the age of 50, who is not handicapped, who has been on government assist programs form more than ten years must give four years of low paid service to the government or military.

Cabinet

  • Secretary of State: Mohamed Morsi
  • Secretary of Defense: Raj-Singh
  • Secretary of the Treasury:Psy Jomui
  • Attorney General: Susan N. Herman
  • Secretary of the Environment: Jacqueline McGlade
  • Secretary of Natural Resources:Tanyna Putins 
  • Secretary of Education: Jukka Gustafsson
  • Secretary of Agriculture:Byran Step
  • Secretary of Commerce:Pierce Jones
  • Secretary of Labor:Linda Astor
  • Secretary of Energy: Bill Oryan
  • Secretary of Transportation:Lee Sengti
  • Secretary of Space: Neil DeGrasse Tyson
  • Secretary of Public Works: Zhang Yue
  • Secretary of Health and Welfare:Kim IL Yu

Retirement from Politics

After retiring from the presidency in November 2028, Alder settled in New Zealand to devoted his time to writing and other business interests, including his space development. This period of tranquility was short lived, however. In 2034 Alder accepted an appointment to the position of Director of the Office of Colonization, and began a much more agressive effort to terraform Mars and Venus, and oversee the development of the outer planets. He eventually resigned from the position of Director, and took up the job of overseeing the terraforming of Mars directly as Colonial Marshal.

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