"And they call me mad," the Mad Hatter said to Alice after the California State Board of Trustees meeting on this past week. "But they refused to support a tax on oil refineries that would provide a billion dollars a year for college education, and instead opted to raise tuition for struggling college students, many who are the first in their family to attend University, 30%! It's going to cost students a $1000 more per year!"
"Good gravy," Alice ejaculated. "That's a whole lotta macaroni, huh? The oil companies wouldn't even feel a tax, but the students better learn how to live on ketchup soup, eh?"
"Sad, so sad," said the Hatter with a long sigh. "And I wonder how many of those No Tax Maniacs themselves benefited from the social democracy that used to be California?"
"C'mon, Mad," Alice mumbled between scones, "Get with the times. You know, anymore, "it's all about me'.
The Hatter raised a reproving finger. "Now, Alice, that's not true. About half of the people recognize the benefits of moderate progressive taxation to ensure a social safety net and support superior education and infrastructure."
"And the other half don't know what those big words mean, right?" Alice giggled.
A nod. "You're right. Sort of. They may know what the words mean, but not the concepts, and, worse, they don't understand the impact of selfish decisions and votes. And how much they themselves have gained from the policies they now decry. Reflecting actually made me come up with a wonderful idea." The Hatter hesitated, "Though it is a bit mad."
"Spill, Dome-piece," encouraged Alice. "It's your brand."
"Well, California, and much of our country, too, if you think about it, has been split into two. Those who are mourning the destruction of our society and its institutions, including high quality health care, technology, education, support for the underserved and the disabled"""
"Yeah, yeah, bleeding heart liberals""
The Hatter raised an eyebrow. "How old are you again?" He shook his head. "Anyway, the opposing team are the No Tax Maniacs led by their knife-wielding governor who keeps shouting "Off with that budget! Cut off that program!"
"Sounds familiar," Alice admitted. "Perfect recipe for legislative gridlock."
"So," continued the Mad Hatter, "Since the social democrats don't have the heart to destroy social progress and toss the poor and needy into the street, and the No Tax Maniacs don't have a heart at all; we're always going to be at an impasse. What if--" he held up a hand, "hear me out--we officially acknowledge both factions, and separate them into two countries?"
"I thought we already had that. The two coasts vs. the Heartland and the South."
"But look at California. Orange County, the San Joaquin Valley, Ultra-Conservative; San Francisco, West LA, not. It's a wash. We have to stop dividing our country by states, and start dividing it by states of mind."