Australia has some big trains. Giants, hauling ore from mines to port cities in Western Australia. The biggest so far is the BHP Iron Ore train; all 4.53 miles of it. This monster sported 682 cars filled with 181 million pounds of iron, pulled by eight General Electric diesel locomotives, and rode 170 miles in ten hours and four minutes. If you stood in one place, this train would take a full eight minutes to pass by (video here).
Luckily, this train won’t stop traffic. There’s one road between Newman, home of the Yandi Mine, and Port Hedland, the train’s destination city. National Highway 95 is a two-lane, mostly paved road through the desert of Western Australia. The entire population of Port Hedland can fit into Capital One Arena. They can all watch the Washington Wizards play, with room for over six thousand of their closest American friends to join them.
Western Australia’s land area is 32 percent of the Australian continent, and its population is around 2.6 million (or, looking at it by density, one person per square kilometer). If everyone in Western Australia was evenly distributed throughout Australia’s Golden State, the nearest person in any direction would be a half mile away. Western Australia’s population is about 10 percent of the total of Australia, and most of them live in Perth. If you subtract Perth’s 2 million residents, the rest of Western Australia would occupy one person per 45 square kilometers, which is one person per 17.37 square miles. So lonely.
These 600,000 people in Western Australia, home to the world’s biggest train and one-third of the land in the country, have absolutely zero voice in Australia’s national politics. None. Outside of Perth, they are ignored, fly-over country. And since Australia is a “strict democratic” system, if you have no constituency except for snakes and mice, and a person every 17 or so square miles, you get no voice. That’s unity, Australian style.
Another train lives in Washington, D.C. For as little as $46, you can take the Amtrak Northeast Regional passenger train, or the Acela from Washington’s Union Station to Wilmington Station, officially named Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Railway Station. It’s quite a small honor to have a train station named after oneself, but Joe Biden fully deserves this. He rode this train 8,200 times in his over 40 years serving in the U.S. Senate. Nearly every night, Senator Joe would go home to Wilmington on Amtrak, and commute back to D.C. in the morning.
This makes Joe Biden somewhat of an anachronism in the Senate, as most Senators, from places like Montana, Idaho, Hawaii, Rhode Island, or Mississippi, don’t actually get to live in the states they represent. Biden never left Delaware. While serving as Vice President, the Secret Service required Biden to use more secure transportation when he went home, flying on Air Force Two out of Andrews. And in those years, he did live in Washington, at the old Naval Observatory that serves as home to VPOTUS.
Washington D.C.’s power would be like Canberra, in Australia (which is located halfway between Sydney and Melbourne on the east coast, where 80 percent of Australians live), if America were governed like Australia. And then it wouldn’t matter if Sen. Joe Biden lived in Washington, D.C. or in Wilmington, Delaware. It wouldn’t matter if the 2016 election was between two New York residents, one of whom lived for eight years in the White House.
The folks in far-flung flyover country would have the same voice as the denizens of Western Australia if America were Australia. And Hillary Clinton would be cruising to her second term if this was Earth 2 where the 12th Amendment wasn’t a thing.
But we live in the real America, with real features and real bugs. Thankfully, the 12th Amendment (the Electoral College) is one of the features, not a bug. Of the trains here, the four-plus mile GE-locomotive-pulled monster rolling through Western Australia is more akin to the Democratic Party’s vision of America, should it derail and leave a giant mess to clean up. And yes, it will derail, because it’s based solidly on utopian wish-casting versus human nature.
In comparison, Donald Trump’s cult is a light rail vehicle, like the Washington Metrorail run by the ever-plagued WMATA. These trains are between six and eight cars long, making the maximum length of a train 450 feet, or about 1.8 percent of the length of the BHP Iron Ore train. Trump’s train can derail every single week of his term and we can easily haul it back onto the track, or haul it away and replace it.
The main people inconvenienced by Trump’s derailments are the unfortunate riders–mostly the media who he endlessly trolls, baits, and denigrates. That we all get to see every derailment is our penance for electing Trump, and exercising the voice of the forgotten flyover people.
Nothing like the last election cycle and this one highlight the fact that America’s national motto of “e pluribus unum” should be “e pluribus duo.” Instead of “out of many, one,” in practical operation, we live under “out of many, two.”
There is the America in the Acela corridor between New York and Washington, D.C. metro, the conurbation home to over 40 million whose voice overwhelms the 24-hour news media cycle. Add to that the 30-odd million on the west coast between San Francisco and San Diego, totaling 21 percent of the nation’s population. Then there’s the rest of the country, over 250 million people, divided between extreme urban liberals in Denver, Austin, Houston, Atlanta, and Miami, versus the rest of Colorado, Texas, Georgia, and Florida.
The two Americas are different in almost every way, like Port Hedland is different from Sydney. In infrastructure, organization, self-reliance, occupation, income, education, worship, and cultural tastes, there are enormous gaps that are difficult to bridge. Rural residents find city life to be suffocating and claustrophobia-inducing. Urbanites find country people to be ignorant, superstitious, and backwards. The straw men and handmaids are so easy to construct and to burn.
When the Silicon Valley lords of information dissemination decided to block the New York Post from its own Twitter account, ostensively to stop the spread of “fake news” but in reality to quell a potentially damaging story based on some very true events from harming Joe Biden, they did so out of their own bias and assurance that they are doing the right thing–the moral thing.
But their self-imposed morality was not received well by those who saw it as implementing a tyrannical system designed to render them voiceless. Read Matt Taibbi’s (behind a subscription paywall, but worth it) rendering of the suppression trigger, which makes the actual story seem almost quaint.
The flow of information in the United States has become so politicized – bottlenecked by an increasingly brazen union of corporate press and tech platforms – that it’s become impossible for American audiences to see news about certain topics absent thickets of propagandistic contextualizing. Try to look up anything about Burisma, Joe Biden, or Hunter Biden in English, and you’re likely to be shown a pile of “fact-checks” and explainers ahead of the raw information:
The whole concept of the “silent majority,” which was used as a political slogan by Richard Nixon, is built around a belief that those whose voices are suppressed by the media and corporate America’s lockstep groupthink will express themselves at the ballot box. Of course, Nixon was a master going cynically lower than his opposition, and so is Donald Trump.
Joe Biden is representative of the loud minority shouting from Washington D.C, the Acela-riding public deriving its economic value from the governing class and the politically-connected remora who push their own agendas in the federal capital. That majority would quickly silence anyone with an opinion outside of their narrow and pecuniary interests.
They would leave 80 percent of Americans voiceless–except a shifting number, within 10 percent–might agree with them just enough not to realize they’re not really being heard, just assumed to be in agreement. It’s like when the politicians in Canberra sit around and agree the Sydney-Melbourne coalition surely represents the views of people in Western Australia, because our man in Perth says so.
Therefore, Austin speaks for Texas, Atlanta speaks for Georgia, Denver speaks for Colorado, Madison speaks for Wisconsin, and Minneapolis speaks for Minnesota. The rest of you people, flying your Trump flags and parading through cities in your pickup trucks, and floating on lakes and marinas in your redneck boats, can chuck your opinion where it belongs, in the cursed memory hole.
A vote for Trump isn’t exercising some silly and execrable notion of Trump as our “national good dad.” It is, rather, an eruption of dissent with those who proclaim we’re in agreement with their suppressive intent, because some who agree with our conservative ideals happen to also dislike Trump.
Whatever Trump does, whatever norms he violates, whatever Cheerios he urinates in, whatever cabinet members and allies he defenestrates and embarrasses and publicly insults, whatever foreign leaders guffaw that America is a laughingstock, these can be undone, and quite a bit more easily than those who cherish, polish and spit-shine them as idols and trophies say.
Trump himself carries relatively little weight, and moves few true believers on his Trump train, but the main motivation of those flying his flag are to stand in opposition against the Acela people who want to run their 4.53 mile monster through our lives. If Biden wins, they will feel free to continue building, moving, and derailing those giant liberal trains, which produced the riots in Baltimore, the cop-killers in Dallas, the Jew-hating politicians in New York, the Antifa terrorists burning Kenosha, and the absurdly stupid dismantling of police in Minneapolis and Portland.
One future president of either party can quite effectively reverse most of Trump’s worst faux pas. He has not gotten us into any wars. North Korea would have developed an ICBM and continued with its nuclear program whether Trump met with Kim Jong-un or another president continued our longstanding hand-waving and can-kicking of the North Korea issue down the road. Iran would have continued to be a possible nuclear thorn in the Middle East’s side, driving historic enemies Israel, UAE, Sudan, Bahrain, and even Saudi Arabia into cooperative self-interest. The difference is that another president would have sided with Iran’s interests, pitting us against our own natural allies.
Everything else is window dressing. If Joe Biden wins, he’ll throw out first pitches, go to Nerd Prom, and generally do things we consider becoming to the office. Why putting off those things for four years is somehow irreversible to American gravitas isn’t immediately apparent to me. Understand me here, I’m not apologizing for them. Donald Trump is, and always has been, a cheating huckster who delivers snake oil while selling dreams of gold bars.
But the alternative here is Joe Biden, a political hack who delivers snake oil while selling utopian dreams. And behind Biden is a Democratic Party ready and willing to assume you agree with everything they plan to do. Behind the Democratic Party is a media-corporate-tech conglomerate ready and willing to implement a suppressive, tyrannical censorship state that will effectively silence you unless you either live in the Acela corridor, the left coast, or become “their man in Perth” because you happen to agree with them.
Once this leviathan train leaves the station, it will be very, very difficult to stop. Only the “silenced majority” can even begin to stop it, at the ballot box. If you think the last 10 years is bad, protecting the left’s preferred candidate while performing journalistic gymnastics to ignore travesties such as Jill Greenberg’s disgusting cover photos of John McCain in 2008, or 2016’s GPS Fusion concoction of the infamous “pee tape” Russia collusion, then the next four years will make that look like Auntie Em’s Kansas farm come 2024.
Another four years with Trump in office will keep the propagandist media, the Democrats, and their corporate backers busy attacking him. I’m fine with that, as long as Trump’s fine with it. Let them all spend their energy spitting venom.
The real problem Americans face isn’t what happens in the next four years. It’s how to turn our nation away from the tyranny of the politically powerful. The Democrats, the media, and their corporate mandarins are peddling “unity,” Australian style, when they really just want you to be “our man in Perth,” speaking for the silenced multitude.
Follow Steve on Twitter @stevengberman.
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