LOS CONSERVATIVOS CHINGANDOS, CALIFORNIA — This morning, a day after Christmas, impeached President Donald J. Trump lashed out at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the State of California, and its governor Gavin Newsom. Trump is understandably in a state of triggered rage at Pelosi, given that she successfully managed to get two articles of impeachment passed against him just before the congressional holiday break.
In a pair of tweets, Trump trashed Pelosi’s district — which he’s president of — and Governor Newsom’s performance as governor. Trump claimed that “California has rapidly become one of the worst anywhere in the U.S.” He claimed that the state has seen a spike in homelessness and crime that he attributes to Pelosi and Newsom. The president tweeted that Pelosi “has lost total control,” though it’s not sure if he meant of the state, which she is one of several congressional representatives, or of something else entirely.
Nancy Pelosi’s District in California has rapidly become one of the worst anywhere in the U.S. when it come to the homeless & crime. It has gotten so bad, so fast – she has lost total control and, along with her equally incompetent governor, Gavin Newsom, it is a very sad sight!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2019
Political commentator and former Bush administration official Matthew Dowd replied to Trump’s tweet and reminded him that red states — the states that Trump won in 2016, are in the bottom 10 of several key economic indicators. In terms of poverty, education, and healthcare, ten red states occupy the bottom ten slots, Dowd said.
Ummm, nearly every state in the bottom ten of the categories of poverty, education, health, economy is a state run by a Republican Governor and Republican legislature.
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) December 26, 2019
Herb Rigglesby is a 56 year old homeless man living in a sleepy beach community on California’s central coast. Mr. Rigglesby was told by some folks about Trump’s tweets, and Dowd’s reply this morning. Herb says that Dowd “brought up a very solid point” about what it’s like to be homeless in California, a state with one of the largest economies in the world, and living in a red state.
“I can say without a shadow of a doubt I’d rather live here in California, where the air is cleaner, the weather is warmer, and I can get real Mexican food than in any shit hole red state,” Rigglesby said. “I used to be a stock broker and day trader. When the economy took a dump in in 2007, I freefalled financially for a time, and eventually wound up on the streets. But before then, I tried reducing my cost of living by moving from New York to Alabama. Worst mistake of my life.”
Rigglesby bought a house cheaply in Alabama, but as the economy worsened, he couldn’t keep up with it. The lack of social services in the Yellowhammer State meant he had no safety net to fall into when his savings ran out. After trying, without success, to find another job, eventually Herb said he sold his house for what he could get for it, packed up his car, and moved out west. He’s been living out of his car in California for several years now, and Herb says he’s still much happier in that situation than he ever was in Alabama.
“That state sucks. The politics are so hard right that there are no services whatsoever, and the people are dumb as shit because they don’t fund their schools well enough. You know, on account of taxes being theft or whatever,” Herb said. “I’m even a pretty fiscally conservative guy, but even I have a limit of how much inbred stupidity I’m willing to subject myself to.”
Rigglesby says that with California’s booming economy, he feels like he has a lot better shot of finally getting back on his feet there than when he was living in Alabama, too. Trump may slag off California, he said, but having lived in a Trump state, Herb would much rather live in his car, or on the street, in the Golden State than ever return to Alabama.
“Even if you promised me a house and a job if I moved back to Alabama, I’d still rather live in my car in California,” Rigglesby insists. “Because…duh. Alabama.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.