“The only way to save Progressivism,” says the voice that allegedly comes from inside a vacuum chamber three stories tall, “is to entirely abandon Euclidean reality, even at the political level.”
I’m in an underground laboratory somewhere in Alexandria, Virginia — which is appropriate, since Euclid of Alexandria was the father of the geometry that has described our three dimensional world for more than 2,000 years — interviewing the first “quantum politician” ever to run for office in America.
And things are getting spooky, even from a distance.
I’m interacting with the candidate through speakers and a computer monitor that displays a fuzzy white object approximating a human head, which is surrounded by particle detector data depicting colliding protons decaying into hadron jets and electrons.
The colliding protons, says the lab tech, create the projection of the floating head.
“If you look closely enough into the vacuum I occupy,” says the head, “you can see … no, closer you fool! … you can see that the supposed nothingness around me is boiling with an immense amount of political energy.”
Using math that has never before been applied to politics, the head assures me, we can apply quantum mechanics to things like the budget deficit and healthcare policy.
“As the first quantum politician in the universe, my federal budget will allow Congress to appropriate the vast sums of money required to give every city in the entire country a block grant to fund whatever they need,” says the head. “But only for an instant because the math also requires the same amount of money to be paid back immediately. After that, we’ll just tax people according to their ability.”
I start to ask how a block grant that lasts only a few milliseconds could possibly benefit anyone, but the head is talking again.
“The cost of having a baby with health insurance today is $4,500,” says the head. “But the cost of having a baby under Quantum Medicare is absolute $0.”
A formula so complex that it’s utterly meaningless appears on the screen.
“We can afford Medicare for an infinite number of people because at the quantum level the energy that represents your tax dollars is constantly and spontaneously coming into existence,” says the head. “What we can’t afford is continuing to charge families more than nothing.”
I try to ask if this money disappears as fast as the block grants, but the tech is reassuring me that the calculations which produce such an astute politician are so exquisite — simple on the surface, yet profoundly deep — that the Democrat National Committee expects massive turnout at the polls when the candidate is finally unleashed onto the electorate.
“Of course, there is some uncertainty built into the math,” says the tech. “Policy wonks can either drill down into the ideas at vast levels of magnification, or they can understand what the overall policy actually means, but they can’t do both.”
My own head feels like it’s decaying into hadrons and electrons, but I manage to spit out a question. “Aside from unlimited government funding, what other policy goals will be achieved by quantum politics?”
“I’m glad you asked. Take something simple like the middle class,” says the head. “Modern politicians — who know that the class structure shouldn’t even exist — don’t have the language to talk convincingly about how fundamental unfairness can be eliminated.”
“Quantum politics will do that for us,” the head says. “There will be no need to fail to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have, because thanks to math everyone will already have those things.”
Colliding protons fill my brain with understanding. “And we won’t have to stop there, either,” I say breathlessly. “Because math will give everyone free college, homes, and healthcare, they won’t need to worry about the self-discipline, or the ability to defer gratification, that my generation needed to achieve those things.”
The lab tech says the next reporter is waiting for her chance to interview the head, so I put on my blindfold and get into the elevator. A few minutes later I feel the afternoon Virginia sun on my face, and I can’t wait til the next election.
For the first time in my journalism career, I’m going to shout my political preference from the top of my platform.