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The Sheer Impracticality of Secession

Calling for recounts? I'm good with that. Let's make sure that whatever the results, they're accurate.

Talk of moving to the blue states? Fine. I think it's important to carefully consider the potential long-term impact of that before packing your bags, but people have moved for worse reasons.

It's all these people talking about secession that's causing me to shake my head in disbelief. I just have a hard time taking it seriously. The phrase "that's just crazy talk, y'all" comes to mind.

First off, it's just not practical. Look at the geography, kids: one coast, and then the other coast all the way across America. Unless someone clever has invented teleportation, getting from one region to the other is going to require crossing the red states on a regular basis.

Additionally, let's face it: blues need the military. With so many of the gun control fans on the Democrats' side, and so many Republican brethren who go hunting on a regular basis, it's a pretty safe bet that the blues wouldn't have the military might necessary to secede. The reds are simply better armed. Might may not make right, but it's pretty darned good at producing the results desired by the ones wielding the weaponry. What, you think they'd let the natural and economic resources of the blue states just go after a polite "we disagree" conversation? If the last election results are true, blues also don't have the numbers. It also appears that there are more of them than there are of the rest of us, independents and third parties included.

Sure, we all want to go where there are people like us. I genuinely understand the motivation for the wishful thinking, and the desire to just quit fighting and have done with the other side once and for all. I share the frustration; I really do. Been there myself. It's painful feeling like you don't belong, and that you have so little in common ideologically with your neighbors. It may be selfish, but we all get exhausted from the battle, and just want to go someplace where we don't have to explain ourselves and feel like an alien in our own land.

But, even assuming it were possible to secede, if we were to pack bags and leave, then our "loyal opposition" as Winston Churchill called it, gets to stay comfortably closed-minded, with almost no challenge whatsoever. If we truly believe in progress and science, and if we genuinely care to see the advancement of humanism, then we must continue to confront, refute, and try to engage in dialogue.

For what it's worth, I'm writing the latter paragraph as much to convince myself as to convince others. I'll be honest: I vacillate daily about moving. I'm in an unusually indecisive state of mind at the moment; I'm trying to see all sides, and trying to figure out what's going to be best as well as what will produce happiness. I've spent my whole life in the South, but I've been wanting to get the heck out of Atlanta for a while. Been thinking about paying a visit to Oregon for quite some time, and maybe Vermont, too. This last election only added fuel to the fire.

Even though it's an admittedly ridiculous rationalization, I can't help wanting to think that the inordinate difficulty we've had finding a house means that in the grand scheme of things, we're not meant to be here. Trying to swim upstream so hard, well, maybe fate is trying to tell us something.

So, to get back to my original point, while I may consider migration, I've yet to hear any compelling and plausible plan for how bicoastal secession could possibly work. In the meantime, I'm hoping people will instead devote their efforts to more practical means of instigating change.

I can see and understand both sides on this, and I realize that people feel like lobbying, letters, and volunteer activism aren't getting us anywhere. I wish I had a better answer than those options, but realistically, I don't think secession is a viable alternative.

Maybe try to outlive them? Stay fit, eat your veggies, and so on. If redneck conservatives keep consuming an artery-hardening diet, it can't do anything but help the blue population. :) Of course, the fundies believe in hetero family values, so they may have reproduction on their side. (Just trying to inject a little levity.)

Seriously, though, I wish I knew of a good, fast solution that wouldn't end up making things worse than they already are.


Nov. 12th, 2004 06:59 pm (UTC)
Well, if you move to Oregon you'll be closer to us! Visiting distance maybe? You've expressed quite a few things that I have been thinking too. I can't see the Bushites letting the natural resources of 1/2 the country go, nor can I see them relinquishing 1/2 the taxable population.

What scares me is Bush's whole plan for an 'ownership' society. (Article in the paper last weekend talked about this.) Yes it is good to have people own homes and property, but isn't part of the problem with our society the concept of property and ownership? What if you never become a property owner? Will you be devalued (even further) in Bush's 'ownership' society? And call me paranoid, but if your 'social security' is caught up in privatized US investment and you own a home/property you'll be less likely to leave the country, and you'll be easier to scare and manipulate by fluctuations in a manipulated economy and so on. If I have my history straight, one of the things that really upset the Romans about the Celts was that the Celts had an intellectual class (Druids) that traveled and never stayed anywhere for very long. This made it harder for the Romans to control information and attempt to conquer them as a people. Nomadic groups are harder to control. Something like that. I'll have to go back and look it up. Maybe owning a house isn't so bad - at least we're mobile. Grumble.
Nov. 13th, 2004 12:42 am (UTC)
That's an excellent point, canopic, about the "ownership" society. Also intriguing about the Celts.

If the article you mentioned is online in some form, I'd love to read it.

*smiles* Visiting distance would be quite fun.
Nov. 13th, 2004 11:23 pm (UTC)
If you move to Oregon you'll be further away from us :(

In any case, let me remind you of the purple map ... moving won't get you away from red state people by any significant margin - you'll only shift a few percentage points in one direction or another. That's another reason why secession is an unworkable idea - it's predicated on a faulty assumption that blue states are chock full of contented Kerry voters who don't disagree with you in any significant way. In truth, on an average day you'd only encounter 48 Bush voters out of 100 instead of 52. Is that really worth it?
Nov. 15th, 2004 01:52 am (UTC)
Well, that's certainly one thing I wouldn't like. We love you two and think you are generally nifty. :)

May I have my private island yet? The one with lovely mountain ranges and nice beaches, with room enough just for the people I like to have comfy houses and such? Oh, and an airstrip for you? :)
Nov. 14th, 2004 03:39 am (UTC)
"We will all become capitalist investors."
The next 4 years: a shift to "ownership society"

By Peter G. Gosselin Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — President Bush is poised to pursue an aggressive "ownership society" agenda of Social Security privatization, new tax breaks for savings and investment and additional incentives for homeownership as cornerstones of his second-term economic initiatives.

Bush hinted as much in his victory speech Wednesday, promising: "We will reform our outmoded tax code. We will strengthen Social Security for the next generation."

His conservative supporters, meanwhile, rhapsodized about prospects for new tax and budget legislation that they asserted could remake the nation and usher in a generation of GOP dominance.

"The aim of the ownership society is to create a country of stakeholders in the American economy," said Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, a conservative activist group. "We will all become capitalist investors."

Bush is expected to start rolling out his proposals early next year, with his State of the Union address and next budget proposal.



Twin Peaks: Snoqualmie

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