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 one awaiting results from an important medical test harbors, an image emerged in my mind that clearly conceptualized my feelings regarding this current election cycle and ridiculous sociopolitical climate we are somehow existing within. I saw the image of a conjoined twin. A conjoined twin with one half resting quietly, the other compulsively eating fistfuls of broken glass. A perfect metaphor for 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 impacting 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 and supporting Trump as just having a difference in personal beliefs. 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.
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 referred to as 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 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 influence regarding political matters. The evolution of this movement 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 in his Chevy might be a nice dream for those who feel disenfranchised, but is ultimately only a dream.
Why discuss such a preposterous concept like the state of Jefferson? Well, I believe it may not be so preposterous after all. This concept has the foundation to be the start of something wonderful. Something amazing for our country. Something even magical. I also feel compelled to expand upon this concept with a couple alterations, so not to exclude others who might feel unrepresented 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” as well as their like-minded ideological friends. I am talking about the cousins of such antigovernmental enthusiasts like those adorable conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, flat earthers, originalists, religious extremists, Trumpets, and anyone who refuses 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 that take from your earnings only to turn around and give it to those deplorable drains on our society. At Freedom Sauce we leave the blind, sick, and disabled for Jesus to sort out, so you can keep your cash.
Second, measures would be taken to ensure that those choosing to occupy Freedom Sauce hold true to their word. No flip-flopping. No migrating out of Freedom Sauce. No mercy. These inhabitants will serve as a living reminder for those living in the America based on reality of what can happen when people forgo common sense, science, and humanity to pursue a narrow-minded, selfish existence under the guise of freedom, religion, and patriotism. This state will be isolated from the others in the form of…lets say a wall. Closed circuit televisions and drones will be installed to provide the rest of us with real-time footage depicting how this social experiment plays out.
What happens next could be anyone’s guess. My prediction would involve an increase in preventable diseases, deterioration of essential infrastructure, decline in innovation and agriculture, and basically the inevitable decay of all the social arteries needed to sustain the way of life we all take for granted. As ill health, anger, hostility, blame, and isolation ensue, panic will begin to spread among those entombed into a world of their creation as they begin to understand how good they had it back in an America grounded 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 entire 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, republicans and democrats 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.