Our tourism bureau heavily advertises Sonoma County around the globe as a welcoming, educated, chic, beautiful, wine-savvy, progressive, suave and debonair place to visit. In so doing, it artfully avoids even the slightest mention of our Dirty Little Secret: Sonoma County is home to 51,408 people who voted for Donald Trump.
To appreciate the relevance of that, imagine the devastating impact on tourism if the world learned that 51,408 people in our county were infected with, say, Ebola. With the endless negative news coming out of the White House and the self-inflicted passions it stirs in Mr. Trump and his supporters (e.g., the accused mail-bomber arrested recently in Florida), some in our hospitality industry are increasingly concerned that the presence of 51,408 untreated Trump supporters in the county could prove devastating to our county’s reputation and economy, and must be addressed.
But how? There is yet no cure for what ails Trumpsters: the dreaded Systemic Transmittable Underlying Political Incoherence Disorder (STUPID). Even conversion therapy hasn’t worked. What’s more, county mental health services are stretched thin. Only recently was our 1st District Supervisor able to twist enough arms to get emergency mental health services – previously available only along the Hwy 101 corridor — extended to our Valley. Vast rural areas of the county that are home to many sufferers remain underserved.
As with many cognitive disorders, those who most need help are often unable to realize it. In this case, sufferers believe they are being targeted by Deep State Evildoers who torment them with invisible rays of Fake News. Their condition is inflamed as Mr. Trump veers ever-more-wildly ‘off the rails,’ causing even some of the less seriously afflicted to retreat from public view in panicked confusion and scream silently into a paper bag. This makes it difficult for family, friends and professionals to find them and coax them to treatment.
How bad is it? In a worrisome development that hasn’t gone unnoticed, Republican Party voter information kiosks at farmers markets and festivals in the county have been few and far between this year. It’s anyone’s guess how many of those 51,408 MAGA hats, T-shirts, hoods and sheets are now hidden in barns and attics away from prying eyes of neighbors, and employers.
In other types of emotional crises, authorities or family members have been able to have loved ones committed to psychiatric care on what is known as a 5150. That number refers to the section of the state Welfare and Institutions Code allowing those whose behavior or ideations appear to present a danger to themselves or others to be involuntarily detained for a 72-hour psychiatric assessment (a ‘hold’), and perhaps medicated.
There has been no reported instance of 5150 being used to help animated Trump supporters. But with 51,408 confirmed cases, STUPID is a public health crisis that could soon bar its victims from gainful employment, or living within 1000 feet of a school.
Particularly dreaded this year is what is being called the “November Rapture” – a looming confluence of traumatic events that could stress the afflicted to the breaking point: Namely, the November 6th midterm elections, quickly followed on November 22 by a full moon and Thanksgiving family dinner.
Authorities are preparing for a sharp increase in 911 calls, and saloons and firearms dealers may close early on the 21st. But beyond that and until a cure is found, mental health professionals have nothing in their treatment arsenal except the standard 50 mg tablet of Thoughts & Prayers.