United States of Mind
With the Michigan Militia bringing guns to a drone war, wild-eyed and bed-headed drivers yelling at Denver nurses in the crosswalk, and every liquor store full of masked patrons, it seems as though the US has totally lost the plot. This pandemic really brings out the crazy in our eyes. Those who believe we flattened the curve will say our actions were responsible for the crisis being averted, and those who don’t believe the science will say it was never such a big deal in the first place. There is one thing we can all agree on though, Mexican food is not the same when you get it to-go. Oh, did you think I was going to say, “we’re all in this together”? Well, not all of us.
The guy who is supposed to lead us through, as a united set of states, is acting like a deadbeat dad. He takes no accountability; not for our lack of preparedness, nor his team’s pathetic response to COVID-19. He makes false claims on television, backs up with more lies on Twitter, and then blames others for his incompetence. Under his governance no one has any idea what the plan is today, much less what it will be tomorrow…
I can’t help but wonder if this chaos is the beginning of a country divorce.
We could just split into two separate countries, drawing a line right through the middle of the fly-over states. Or we could become two nations without an actual border, i.e., one country on the map, but with two separate governments. Those of us who want to pay a flat tax and see that money actually go to the infrastructure of the country (Team Blue) should not have to watch a tyrant distribute the money to his freakishly rich friends (Team Red.)
Team Blue would drive our subsidized electric vehicles on the roads while Team Red could still rev up their non-emission-tested gas-guzzling SUVs in the toll lane. Team Blue would enact a socialized healthcare system, while Team Red continues to pay big insurance companies and a co-pay. Team Red could create a private education system to teach their children about Jesus and his pet dinosaur, while Team Blue would pay teachers a livable wage. Sounds complicated, but hey, we’re already at the ‘it’s complicated’ stage of the relationship.
Before he went to the Great Open Mic Night in the sky, George Carlin suggested dividing the US into regions, so people could move to the part of the country where they fit in. These regions would become more and more individually tailored to the people who live there, and eventually where you live would determine whether or not you can legally get married, or get an abortion, or get good Asian take-out.
For example, Region Georgia et al.) if you don’t want to help anyone else, ever, and you prefer to see regulations imposed on women’s bodies rather than your chicken processing plants, then pack up the ole family truckster and head southeast.
Region #Staygoldponyboy) if you love all things melting pot— including smoking pot, and you spent your quarantine time sewing masks for local shelters, then go northwest young man, and take your two-ply soft linen prototype with you.
Don’t worry, if we do split up, we can visit the other region every other Christmas. But I think the US is strong because all our individual backgrounds unite us, like one big extended family. Our differences can actually help us rally to face whatever comes next… (Old Irish proverb- as bad as things are, they can always get worse.) All we need to do is get rid of the charlatan using fear and anxiety to play the two sides against the middle, because the middle is where we all live. From the liberal, van-life, hemp-clad gatherers eating granola made from nuts and berries foraged in the bulk section of Whole Foods, to the conservative camouflage-clad hunters eating homemade elk jerky and driving some sort of gas-powered machine as far into the back country as they can get, “just to get away from all the damn hippies,” we are all Americans. And we may have to compromise if we don’t want to come from a broken home.