Earlier this year, Melinda Byerley, CEO of the TimeShareCMO marketing company in San Francisco, wrote a Facebook post in which she offered her fellow Americans some helpful advice for improvement: “One thing middle america [sic] could do,” Byerley suggested,

is to realize that no educated person wants to live in a shithole with stupid people. . . . When big corporations think about where to put call centers, factors [sic], development centers, etc [sic], they also have to deal with the fact that those towns have nothing going for them.  No infrastructure, just a few bars and a terrible school system.

“So if you want jobs,” Byerley continued, “clean up your act and make your town a place that people like us want to live in.  Add fiber internet.  Make it a point to elect a progressive city council and commit to not being bigots.”

It’s not that Byerley is opposed to living a “more rural lifestyle,” she adds.  It’s just that, her dismissal of nearly the entire country notwithstanding, she doesn’t want to “sacrifice tolerance” in order to do so.

In Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas—the places where I have spent most of my days—I have actually had the opportunity to live the “more rural lifestyle” that Byerley claims to want.  That lifestyle was one where “stupid people” stood ready to offer help and friendship in good times and bad.  According to Byerley and millions like her, those little towns, in which I enjoyed years of Christian fellowship and honest, daily toil, were just “shitholes” full of “bigots.”

One bigot in particular stands out.  I will not give his name.  (And who would care anyway, since he has no fiber Internet and does not work at either a “factor” or a call center?)  Suffice it to say that he wakes before dawn each morning to begin work at the small family barbecue restaurant that he owns clear of any creditor or bank.  He does all of this work by himself, as his wife, bigot that she is, is busy homeschooling their six children.  When their lessons are done for the day, the children who are old enough to work at the restaurant help their father by taking orders, bringing food to customers, and cleaning up around the dining area and kitchen.  This family, whom Byerley would surely treat with disdain, greets patrons with a smile, calls everyone “ma’am” or “sir,” and refuses to do business on Sundays in order to observe the Sabbath.

Such contrasts between the California liberal and the hardworking Christian family stuck in unprogressive nowhereland are hardly anomalous in the United States today.  Indeed, stories like these could be repeated ad infinitum.  For every Melinda Byerley in the West Coast Sodomy Belt, there is a quiet hero in Middle America doing his part to raise his children right and provide a better life for his family.

It is tempting to draw the conclusion from this stark divide that there are two Americas.  (Hardly anyone in the media has proved able to resist this pat analysis.)  But this conclusion—this temptation—is possible only because we have readily accepted the lie that America is “an idea.”  To argue that there are Americas in the plural is tacitly to admit that America is not a place but an abstraction, as fluid as the “gender” of a women’s studies major at Evergreen State.  Scientists sometimes claim to have discovered tantalizing hints of multiple universes.  Such things are infinitely more plausible than multiple continents.  There is, demonstrably, only one America, as any map will soon make clear.

As unrealistic as the notion of “two Americas” is, it is not hard to see where it came from.  There were, of course, different American foundings accounting in part for the different conceptions of our homeland.  Some founders came first from Siberia, walking down the great expanse of land from Alaska to the tip of Tierra del Fuego.  (Yes, Russian meddling in this hemisphere goes all the way back to the Stone Age.)  Some came on ships, from Spain and England, France and Scandinavia, and possibly even from Polynesia.  (The Polynesians probably landed at San Francisco but turned back when they got their first property-tax bill.)  There were colonies, confederations, empires, tribes: an Amazon rainforest of diverse political organizations.

One founding in particular stands out.  In a hall in Philadelphia—which, having visited, I can testify is still an actual place—some men came together to hammer out what kind of government they would have for themselves.  As momentous as this founding was, it is also where our current trouble began.

At that time, there were, among the jotters of political treatises, two broad conceptions of what America was.  For many—native, settler, and slave alike—America was obviously a place.  The way to get by in whatever part of that place one lived was mainly to dig in the local dirt.  One had fields to plow, livestock to tend, and other occupations as one had time and inclination, but always with an eye to the betterment of that individual place.  Wild speculation was a quick way to starve to death.  The “idea” of America consisted of nothing more than not getting something for nothing.

For others, however, America was not so much a place as an idea.  This idea was “freedom and democracy,” or some variation on those themes.  And it was the greatest speculative bubble since the great Tulpenmanie of 1637.  Never content with freedom and democracy as one happened to find them, the idealists were constantly pushing on to find the El Dorado of high liberalism somewhere over the horizon.  For the America-is-an-idea crowd, the land, the township, the entire world was as a body of water, existing solely to propagate the ever-rising inflationary wave of currency manipulation, real-estate insider trading, and on-paper bank growth.  The America idea, for them, was to the real America as paper plates are to the picnic.

These two visions of America—as a place and as an idea—correspond roughly to the writings of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, respectively.  Whereas Hamilton was a cagey upstart, determined to make his way by outstripping all rivals, Jefferson was old aristocracy, rooted in a particular place.

To be sure, Jefferson had his days of wild-eyed radicalism in his callow youth.  He was, at best, a practical atheist who saw America as virgin soil for transplanting the secular anthropology of Hume, Locke, and Rousseau.  But the word soil here is key.  Places have a way of taming ideas.  The mind learns honor, religion, and love by nurturing a home, a village, a graveyard, a grove.  Ideas need pruning as gardens do.  Hamiltonianism, by contrast, is sheer kudzu.

Unlike the trellis-climbing Hamilton, Jefferson was gently curious about the world for its own sake.  Even when he sought knowledge of the far-off wilderness, sending Lewis and Clark to trek across the great continent to where it fell off into the sea, what he wanted most was to understand what kind of a place America was—who lived there, what were their strange and savage customs, what fantastic beasts (Jefferson was an avid fossil collector) had loped and darted across the prairies in eons past.

In other words, where Hamilton saw America as Americanism, a formula for turning scheming into cash, Jefferson saw, and loved, America as a place, wondrous and good, flawed and heartbreaking: home.

These differences played out in American history time and again.  In the War Between the States, especially, the Jeffersonian place-ists were overrun by the Hamiltonian idealists (who promptly changed the name of the war itself to make it seem as though it had been more about ideas than about place).  The people who once declared that the South must be burned to a crisp in order to save it from itself were the direct ancestors of those who later did precisely the same thing to Germany and Japan, and who today deal in artillery and democracy (they are, after all, the same thing) with the world’s beadiest-eyed dictators.  Operation Bother Iraqis was euphemistically called “Operation Enduring Freedom.”  And it is no coincidence that Hillary Clinton, North African arms smuggler extraordinaire, was also an all-star speaker on Wall Street.  The Clintons’ initiative could never have been anything other than “global.”

However, when shipped off to the latest unpronounceable battlefields of vital strategic importance to the gaggle of war profiteers stuffing the Pentagon, the American cannon fodder finds that Lares and Penates and not Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty compel him to fight through and return to the land which the eternal Hamiltonians told him it would be glorious to leave behind.  (On a related note, when Xenophon’s stranded detachment first glimpsed the hope of home, it was not “Freedom! Democracy!” that they cried.)  The great irony is that it is the placeless and godless who always stay behind to reap the rewards won by the churchgoing mechanics and fieldhands—for whom America is most certainly not an idea, but who, in exchange for the president’s shilling, get themselves dispatched thousands of miles from their homes.

War is thus the handmaiden of Hamiltonianism.  At Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania—a state that ideas and warfare helped destroy long before the globalists ever arrived on the scene—Abraham Lincoln, surrounded by dead people, vowed that government of, by, and for the people would not perish from the earth.  Conceived in liberty, Mr. Lincoln said, waxing poetic, we are all dedicated to the proposition (first made by Lucifer, but anyway) that all are created equal.

By their fruits ye shall know them.  Mr. Lincoln could hardly have chosen a better setting to demonstrate the horrors attendant on putting place in the service of ideas.  Freedom and democracy are everywhere the enemy of free and democratic people.

Pace Abraham, if we are lucky, we are conceived not in liberty, but in wedlock.  We do not dedicate ourselves to propositions; we care for particular places with particular people in them.  We are not equal; we are as different as Heraclitian rivers.  The mark of Cain is on all of our foreheads, but apart from that we are as various as the rainbow hues us.  (And those with Cain’s mark might want to be especially careful about perfecting the world with ideas.)  With love for neighbor, we muddle through, somehow.  Each man figures out how best this should be done.  Love for mankind, such as Lincoln had, leads us to slaughter all who do not quite measure up to our ideals.  And with love like that, who needs malice, after all?

Donald Trump recently visited Gettysburg to find a land laid desolate by Hamiltonianism.  America the idea has hollowed out Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and West Virginia.  America the idea has addicted entire swaths of Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Georgia to methamphetamine.  America the idea has made the federal government the proud father of millions of children, cared for with money that is itself merely a figment of the government’s imagination.

When those children go to school, their father the state educates them just shy of the point of being able to ask probing questions.  When the children later inevitably commit violent crimes, their father the state incarcerates them.  A good liberal father, the state kindly pays for its concubines to get rid of those inconveniently sired.  And when the state’s born-alive children age beyond the Singerian threshold of social utility, their father looks the other way while doctors euthanize them.

This has all been done under the full faith and credit of the Republicans as much as of the Democrats.  A plague on both your houses.

The invertebrate idealists who run Washington, D.C., are as devoted to the well-being of the United States as the remora eel is to the health of the hammerhead shark.  Indeed, whither lumbering Leviathan, thither the managerial bureaucrats.  The crowd of New York bankers whose henchmen torched Atlanta did not suddenly repent of their ways and return home to raise beets and do penance.  They went on to wring the last few drops of pride and sustenance out of the poor, coal-mining schmucks in the valleys of the Allegheny and the Monongahela.

The time has come to turn globalism against our oppressors and drive them out of this place, America, inch by inch.  Here is how we do it.

If America is truly an idea, then it should be no trouble for the globalists in San Francisco to accept as many of our tired, poor, huddled masses, yearning to shoot up in public parks, as we can send them.  As a defiant sanctuary city, San Francisco has to accept these refugees from “Middle America.”  Let the San Franciscans build a Statue of Libertinism—perhaps Jerry Garcia in board shorts holding up a roach clip—to guide into safe harbor the godless canaille foisted upon “Middle America” by more than a century of liberal parasitism on what is, truly, this place made up of united states.

Once we are freed of our idealists and their minions, the next step must be to encourage San Francisco to secede.  This should not be a hard sell.  Melinda Byerley—a living synecdoche for Left-Coast Liberalism—is the left.  She should be happy to be rid of us.  San Francisco’s chief industries of nudity and online-dating apps will surely flourish once freed of the rubes holding back the progress of liberal civilization.  Imagine the magical gates of Tijuana opening directly into the Castro District!  What a future awaits the unfettered City by the Bay!

We are so conditioned to hearing of “two Americas” that we forget to ask what the premise is which makes such an absurd notion sound intelligible in the first place.  The answer is liberalism, and the solution—not just to the illogicality of the proposition but also to the real troubles that are miring our beloved country—is to deport liberalism at our earliest possible convenience.  There are not two Americas, there is one.  But it is badly stained by liberal mendacity and needs to be rinsed and renewed.  There’s no need to choose among multiple Americas—let us just launder and gather the perfectly good one we already have.

Liberalism is not some alternative to family, place, patriotism, and religion: It is a stain on them.  Out, damned spot.  This land is my land.  Not yours.