It doesn't take a crystal ball to see what's coming — a satiric parable

If you think of America's two competing political belief systems as two trains heading towards each other on a single track, a clear picture emerges — a satiric parable.

There are two trains on the track, moving from opposite directions.  Train one is a super-speed, solar-powered train à la France's Train à Grande Vitesse.  You know, the one where every car's roof is an energy-producing solar panel and there're windmill doohickies spaced along the top, too, taking great advantage of the speed-generated wind.  Its cars are filled with the woke, excited for their shiny future — a future without COVID because everyone's vaccinated; a future without fossil fuels, because the alternatives work; a future where equity reigns.  Proudly, the engineer and all the staff were hired for their diversity, and all are masked and "fully" vaccinated with their mandated bi-monthly "boosters."

Train two is a lumbering, old-fashioned, diesel-burning relic, the kind that has moved freight and people for years on end.  It's a long train, pulled by two engines, filled with working folks and consumer goods.  Nobody's terribly excited to be on it, but it's reliable.  It gets you there — and you don't need to show a passport to travel on it.

The problem is, they're on the same track and will collide if somebody (a fully vaccinated BIPOC hire!) doesn't wake up and hit the button to confirm the computer's switch mechanism that diverts one train onto another track.  That person just collapsed from an unspecified physical problem and won't be confirming the switch, no matter how many prompts the computer gives.  Instead, like so many others, they (we will not identify a gender, because they haven't told us their pronouns) are waiting for an ambulance to come.

There's a shortage of medical transports, you see, because there's a shortage of personnel willing to be jabbed (again) in order to work, a shortage of fuel for the vehicles, and a shortage of certain parts, so repairs are hard to make.  Plus, 1970s-style gas lines have come back, and the one local ambulance staffed with EMTs is in line, waiting.  It hasn't been electrified yet because the town can't afford the astronomical cost of the upgrade.

The rest of the staff at the switching station is scrambling, trying to figure out what to do.  Since all the competent people were let go for refusing their seventh booster shot in a year, the folks manning the controls are a bit untrained.  Plus they are dealing with their downed co-worker, who is barely breathing.  The stress has caused yet another worker to collapse — their heart (again, we're not assuming gender) just isn't strong enough to get through this.

The engineer on the slow train is watching his computer, and he sees the problem coming at him.  He just thinks on his feet and figures out what to do.  Repeated calls to the switching station have gone unanswered.  He's also called the other train — but that didn't get him anywhere, as the engineer, thinking the train was doing just fine without any input, was smoking a doobie and imagining the delicious fake meat burger he'd have at the end of the trip.

The engineer on the old-fashioned train realizes there really isn't any choice left.  In another ten minutes, the collision will occur.  He gets on the intercom to all the passenger cars, tells everyone he's stopping the train, and they have an emergency.

The woke train is barreling towards them, and unless they get off ASAP, and run as far from the tracks as possible, they'll be killed.  He asks them to move in an orderly fashion; line up; and, as soon as the train stops, get off.  He asks them to please let a few young, strong guys get off first so they can help the rest of the passengers and nobody twists an ankle or falls.  He reminds them to not panic.  There is time.

And so, the people on the slow train are saved.  They move away, climbing the hill from the tracks to the bucolic, middle-American farm field above.  As they watch the horror of the collision between the fast train and the empty old train take place, all give thanks that they had the smarts to travel old-style.  After all, this train was the only option, since they couldn't get on an airplane without their up-to-date vaccine passports.

They were a kind bunch and did their best to triage the wounded from the packed TGV train.  As they were trying to help the others, tearful at seeing so much wanton death and destruction, they heard and saw a plane crash nearby.  A large passenger plane.  When they finally had the chance to listen to the news, they found out that both the pilot and co-pilot had collapsed, mid-flight, from unspecified medical conditions.

Later, the media blamed it all on domestic terrorism.

Image with permission from GB Paulding.

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