GLENDIVE, MT – During a recent visit to Makoshika State Park in the Montana badlands, Glendive resident Frank Bell stumbled upon a rare moment of clarity. If the discovery is confirmed, it will show that the tenuous agreement reached between 18th century yeoman farmers representing a population the size of present-day Los Angeles may not be wholly capable of addressing the challenges of the modern era.
The find came during a short vacation from Bell’s job as manager of a liquor store in Glendive, a town just east of the state park with a population of about 5,000, whose motto is ‘good people surrounded by badlands’.
Bell, 52, a high-school dropout and divorcé, said he never expected to make a find of such devastating import.
'I was just planning to go get my head together, maybe drink a few beers by the campfire,' recounted Bell. 'It’s been tough lately, you know. But then I get to thinking about the economy, and health care, and fucking global warming. And our politicians just don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. And suddenly it hits me: maybe 315 million people need more than two Senators per state.'
'It just makes sense, doesn’t it?' he added.
Diggers have already managed to expand on the original find, uncovering dozens of fragments near the site that are serving to complete the picture of an instant messaging state bound by fountain pen logic.
'Why does the Supreme Court keep citing the personal correspondence of a few dozen people with conflicting opinions who died before the industrial revolution began in its decisions on campaign finance reform?' ran one of the fragments.
'How come your vote doesn’t matter if you vote Democratic in Texas or Republican in New York?' ran another. 'Isn’t that kind of intolerable? How is that the best we can possibly do as a society?'
Reactions to the find paint a sad portrait of a community lost in a queasy nostalgia that is at once too deep and too shallow to sustain itself. Ideological adversaries continue to become knotted in a debate over what laws we are allowed to make – a question with dwindling relevance to many.
'I know that Jefferson and Hamilton had clashing views on property rights and the place of lawmakers within the constitutional order, but I could really use a kidney transplant,' said long-haul truck driver Bob Kirkendall, also of Glendive. 'It would keep me alive.'
Given the staggering possibilities in the wake of the discovery, Bell has been invited to present his findings by no major institution at an indefinite date.