’Twas the night after Thanksgiving 2028, and all the White House was dark, except for the kitchen. President Trump leant against the range, sipping from a can of Poland Spring cranberry seltzer as she watched the First Husband scraping the last of the stuffing from the cavity of the giant turkey.
‘Harder,’ she ordered.
‘Ivanka, I’m trying,’ Jared said. He was glad MBS and Kanye had already left.
Thanksgiving 2028 had been just like Thanksgiving 2018, except for the moment at the table when they had been taking turns to say what they were grateful for, and Jared’s electronic ankle bracelet had gone off. However much America changed, there would always be an extra dollop of mashed potatoes for everyone, except the migrants who had arrived before Donald Trump’s pre-electoral amnesty of 2020. But how easy it was to forget the old America, and how distant the Great Secession of 2022 now seemed.
Of course, everyone had blamed Daddy at the time. Even Jared had needed a stint in the spare room before he admitted that Donald Trump hadn’t broken America, but had saved it, when you really thought about it. Anyway, no one was really sure how it had happened, because it had all happened so quickly.
First, California seceded in late 2022, in order to print a devalued currency so it could pay for its universal healthcare. The coastal blue states had followed, but the Californian peso was a disaster. The joint presidency of Gavin Newsom and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had been unworkable; there was too much Flyover Country in between, and the money kept running out. So the New England Federation had broken off, using Harvard’s hedge fund as a bank. Then came all that live gunfire at the southern border, and the Hispanic Riots of 2023.
The states had pulled together one last time for the 2024 presidential election — Ivanka and Kanye had totally crushed Chelsea Clinton and George Clooney — but the writing was on the wall.
Both walls, in fact. With California collapsing, Ivanka had run in 2024 on the slogan, ‘Build another wall to make America greater.’ The walls and fences had gone up along California’s eastern border soon afterwards. It hadn’t cost the federal government a cent. Jared’s family had won the contract, then sold the right to work on it to levies of immigrants in return for citizenship.
Calfornia’s secession meant the end of the Union. The southwestern states had joined with the old South to form the Southern States of America — ‘confederated’, as the New York Times had snickered in its last editorial before a collective libel suit from the Trump family had closed it for good. The Midwest had gone it alone as the Republic of the Midwest, Oregon had joined Western Canada, Florida had broken away and formed the Caribbean Confederation with Cuba and the islands. The New Englanders had joined with French Canada, rebranded by the Disney Corporation as the Old World Federation.
The global markets had panicked, but in 2025, Ivanka Trump, taking her father’s dying advice — at least, that was what Melania said he’d whispered — had declared the independence of New York City and Washington DC. The old federal dollar remained the world’s reserve currency — the Euro had expired in Daddy’s second term, and the Chinese Revolution of 2027 had made the ren min bi virtually worthless — and it circulated in the seceded republics alongside their own wildly fluctuating currencies. With the United States now divided into the Old World Federation, the Republic of the Midwest, the Caribbean Confederation and the Southern States — the Estados del Sur, as everyone called them after the linguistic referendum of 2026 — the New York-Washington corridor functioned as a kind of Switzerland of the Americas.
People joked about the Acela Republic, but it all worked out fine, once people got used to it. New York was unchanged, and the Pan-American Congress turned out to be more popular than the old America. There were tough moments along the way — the Water War between California and the Southern States, the ethnic cleansing of English-speakers from Quebec — but most Americans felt that life was better without having to get on with so many different kinds of other American.
Defederation, as Jared had called it when he announced his proposals, had taken much of the heat out of politics. People in the Southern States and the Old World Federation sometimes went days without talking about politics. They made new friends, and made up rifts with old friends and family members, especially in the Acela Republic, where a referendum had suspended the electoral process, turned the Albany statehouse into a Trump resort, and confirmed the heirs of Donald Trump as permanent administrators of hospitality for the Pan-American Congress.
Jared sat up with a start. He didn’t know what time it was, but everything was dark. He looked across the cell. MBS was snoring fitfully, and moaning in Arabic.
‘Shh, habibi,’ Jared whispered.
He’d had the strangest dream. He wondered if they put extra tryptophan in the turkey dinners in jail. If it was Thanksgiving yesterday, that meant tomorrow was visiting day. There’s so much to be grateful for, he told himself as rolled over in his bunk, even here. Maybe Ivanka will be able to make it this time, he thought as he dropped back to sleep. She did promise, after all.
Dominic Green is Life & Arts Editor of Spectator USA.