As I drifted off to sleep the night before the election results were revealed, with both the excitement a child has on Christmas morning and the fear of one awaiting results from an important medical test, I had an image in my mind that conceptualized how I feel about this current election and sociopolitical climate we are somehow existing in at the moment. I pictured a conjoined twin. A conjoined twin with one half compulsively eating fistfuls of broken glass. You might wonder why this bizarre image occupied the walls of my mind that night (I wonder that as well), but it did provide for me a perfect metaphor of the current state of our country. Two different people. Two separate world schemas. Two perceptions of reality. One shared body. The insane behavior of one directly impacts the health and fate of the other. If one side dies, so does the other. The side eating broken glass are Trump’s supporters and enablers.
This is not a matter of opinion. One sentiment I’ve seen shared throughout social media has attempted to frame those voting for Trump as just having a difference in personal beliefs, which should be as respected as those who are voting for Biden. I take issue with this minimization of such dangerous and insidious ideologies Trump and his enablers have been propagating over the course of his presidency. There is no longer any excuse his supporters can clutch to at this point in time. Trump has made his intentions strikingly apparent and clearly defined who he IS over these past four horrible years. Trump is a racist. Trump is a misogynist. Trump is a Xenophobe. Trump is an elitist. Trump is an authoritarian. Trump is a traitor. Trump is a failure. A vote for Trump at this point is only further validation and support for all the above mentioned bigoted attributes. Trump supporters are encouraging such abhorrent qualities, and by proximity, are racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, traitorous, fascist, and patriotic failures as well. Also, your religion will not wash your hands clean of this one.
The toxicity imbedded within the Trump campaign’s political rhetoric during the evolution of this election has achieved a level equivalent to sepsis within our systems of entertainment and news media. The need to purge oneself of all anxieties and anger retained from these past 4-years of lunacy have teetered towards an inevitable tipping point. What follows is a cathartic attempt to expel some of the more cancerous sentiments which have been consuming my being since the beginning of our departure from any collectively shared reality in these United States.
In my home state of California there has been a small movement of people calling for the creation of a 51st state, the state of Jefferson. This movement initially began in the 1850’s, with public interest peaking during the early 1940’s when the mayor of Port Orford, Oregon declared that counties in the southernmost region of Oregon and northernmost area of California should merge into a newfound state. As these locations are primarily rural in nature, Port Orford’s mayor felt they were underrepresented by their respective states and had disproportionately less say regarding political matters. In recent times, the evolution of this movement to form a new state lead to the adoption of ideologies excreted from the Tea Party (during their hay day) and most recently embracing the fantastical nonsense spewed from the gullet of our favorite narcissist in chief, Donald Trump. The call for a state to exist with limited government oversight, increased autonomy, and an endless fountain of freedom available for all to soak up until Jesus returns might be a nice dream for some, but is ultimately only a dream…or nightmare.
Why discuss such a preposterous concept like the state of Jefferson? Well, I believe it may not be so preposterous after all. As you’ll see, this concept has the foundation to be the start of something wonderful. Something amazing for our country. Something even magical. However, I would expand upon this concept with a couple alterations so not to exclude others who might feel disenfranchised by the state (and country) which they inhabit.
First, I would change the location from the currently proposed area for the state of Jefferson to encompass a larger territory to ensure enough space is available to accommodate such a delightful bunch of “rugged individuals” and their like-minded ideological friends. I am talking about the cousins of such antigovernmental enthusiasts like our delightful conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, flat earthers, originalists, religious extremists, Trumpets, and those who refuse to be “treaded on” by reality and commons sense. Texas sounds like a logical location for this new state.
In this new found state, which we’ll call “Freedom Sauce”, people will be given the opportunity to express their freedoms how they wish. You don’t believe in vaccinations? That’s alright, Freedom Sauce doesn’t either. Your open-range, vaccine-free children are not only free to attend our packed, science-free classrooms, at Freedom Sauce, we encourage it. Is that mask making it difficult for you to yell incoherent racist epithets or nationalist propaganda towards your pregnant neighbor while you’re shopping at the supermarket? Don’t worry about that either. Freedom Sauce understands how masks make us look and feel weak. No masks allowed here. Tired of “big government” always asking for a handout while also telling you how to live your life. No worries! Freedom Sauce doesn’t believe in government funded programs taking from your earnings and giving to those deplorable drains on our society. At Freedom Sauce we leave the blind, sick, and disabled for Jesus to sort out.
Second, I would ensure that those who inhabit this new state hold true to their word and desires. No big government assistance. No flip-flopping and moving out of Freedom Sauce. No mercy. This will serve as a living reminder for those living in an America based on reality of what can happen when we forgo common sense, science, and humanity to pursue a narrow-minded, selfish existence under the guise of freedom, religion, and patriotism. This state would be cut off from the others in the form of…lets say a wall. Closed circuit televisions and drones would be installed to provide the rest of us with how this social experiment plays out.
What happens next could be anyone’s guess. My prediction would be an increase in preventable diseases conjured from those organic, vaccine free offspring whose entitled parents put so much stock into. Infrastructure like roads, electricity, clean/waste water, etc. (as previously provided by government through accrued taxes) would deteriorate, as taxes would be abolished or reduced to an unrealistic minimal. Innovation would slow to a halt as religion and faith would replace science, increasing mortality rates by devaluing the value of scientists and doctors while embracing the farces offered by faith healers. Agriculture would come to a standstill due to the strict opposition to any immigration whatsoever. This matter could predictably be enforced some brand of homegrown militia that is in no way strikingly similar to the Taliban or other terrorist organizations our nation has been opposed to in recent history.
As ill health, loss of employment, crumbling infrastructure, depletion or and contamination of food and natural resources, anger, hostility, blame, and isolation ensue, panic will begin to spread as those entombed into a world of their creation begin to understand how good they had it back in reality. People will reawaken to a collective reality that drives all human existence and progress, realizing that denying such a reality to indulge in selfish fantasies is not only suicide for the individual, but for the community they belong to as well. They learn to stop eating glass…
Obviously this scenario is as fantastical as those beliefs and conspiracy theories held by Trump’s base. Like a conjoined twin, democrats and republicans are destined to remain connected by this shared piece of land. To share a sentiment that might make this point clearer to many in Trump’s base, “where we go one, we go all.” Don’t eat glass.