Or, Let’s Really Divide the Red and Blue States
Forget the minor, temporary, largely illusory, shift in so-called power in one ineffectual branch of government resulting from the midterm election. Forget the next election when there will be a change in the name on the door of the White House. I want a “divorce.” Yes, I said DIVORCE.
No, not from my spouse. I want a complete divorce from the scary people who insist that torture is somehow acceptable if they merely redefine the word (as if a rose by any other name would magically remove the thorns). I want a divorce from those who feel the US can attack anyone they want at any time without so much as the same proof we would insist upon in a court case for marijuana possession. I want a divorce from those who arrogantly assume there are no adverse consequences from such rash actions, let alone unintended and very expensive ones. I want a divorce from those who apparently have never read the Bill of Rights, not to mention the explicit wording of the rest of the Constitution such as its absolute prohibition against warrantless searches. I want a divorce from those monomaniacs who say that it’s okay to require a license for parading and a test to drive a car, but neither to own an armor piercing, 50 caliber, sniper rifle capable of bringing down airliners.
I also want a divorce from those who claim that the only “patriots” are those who never question policies of those in charge (which of course makes George Washington a terrorist). I want a divorce from those who insist there is no limit on the President’s power (apparently Divine Right theories are back in vogue).
I want a divorce from those who feel it is perfectly okay to permanently foul the water, the land and the air itself. I want a divorce from the wastrels who think it is okay to create unpayable debt and save nothing for our children or their children. I want a divorce from those “Bad Samaritans” who have no compassion for the elderly, the ill, the disenfranchised, the poor. Someday, I could be one of those myself, not to mention that is not what we were always taught in Sunday School. I want a divorce from those zealots who shout that I must suffer their brand, and only their narrow brand of religion, in the schools, in the courthouses and the other places I must go too.
The list of irreconcilable differences goes on. The list of such domestic abuse as well as intentional international outrages grows daily. Worst of all, I no longer believe it is possible to change the minds of that half of the country which rigidly espouses such beliefs. We have drifted so far apart, we don’t even seem to speak the same language anymore. The words might sound familiar like “liberal” and “conservative” and “freedom” and “liberty” and “democracy” and “bipartisanship” but it’s obvious the definitions applied by each side are from totally different dictionaries. The meanings have become so twisted it is impossible to communicate.
For instance, I think of “liberal” as caring about your fellow humans, trying to protect the weak and disadvantaged, attempting diplomacy first, seeking justice and fairness or at least understanding, and insuring all are educated, not just your own. To the other side, “Liberal” is now an unthinking curse word, reflexively spit out with venom. Similarly, to me being “conservative” means saving for the future, preserving our infrastructure we have built, science before dogma, thinking before acting, attempting diplomacy before incurring the costs of war, living within a budget, honoring our agreements, and simply acting honorably. To those now in power who call themselves “Conservatives,” apparently it means the exact opposite if the budget deficit, the trade deficit, the moral deficit of officeholders, and the refusal to stop burning fossil (i.e. irreplaceable) fuels, to name a few dangerous policies, are representative of their concept of the word.
I wouldn’t mind if it was just the personal assets of the other side that got wasted, but they seem to want to use my relatives in the army, my taxes, my land, and my life to achieve their fixated objectives. Notwithstanding the 2006 midterm election (and in fact because of its narrowness), I regretfully have come to believe that short of jail, involuntary servitude or civil war, there is probably no way to hold this “marriage” of states and peoples together, not voluntarily anyway, not with knowledgeable consent of the governed. Moreover, I frankly don’t want to be around such people and the leaders they seem to blindly worship.
They must fear me given their passage of abominations like the so-called Patriot Act and even FISA which overturn everything that once brought us together as a county. I certainly fear them and their willingness, like an abusive spouse, to use any means to accomplish the ends they happen to like.
And no, I don’t want to hear the refrain of “Love it or Leave It” shouted by selfish intolergrunts who cannot abide dissent. Forget demands about my “just leaving the country.” It’s been my country too. I earned my Combat Infantry Badge under fire serving that country unlike some others on the other side holding high office. I paid my taxes unlike many of the campaign contributors to those currently in power. I worked hard to develop the assets enjoyed today instead of it being handed to me by inheritance or gift or fraud or theft. Consequently, like spouses in a divorce, I believe I am entitled to share in the resulting community property. Let’s split it up.
Let’s have a property settlement. Let’s divide up the country, each to our own. I’ll even be happy to let the other side pick first. Or, we could start flipping coins. I don’t care so long as thereafter I would not be the target of terrorist attack because of our country’s hypocrisy on the Middle East. Plus, I might finally have a chance at a resulting new body politic that will seek armor for its soldiers and health care for its sick and elderly. I might finally have an opportunity to put people in charge who understand that petrochemicals should be available for irreplaceable medicines, plastics, lubricants, etc. instead of ripping it out of the ground solely to run gas hog Hummers polluting the air. I might have schools that teach the scientific method, not the myths of one specific religion out of the literally thousands of competing sects.
Yes, I would no doubt still have stupid, venal, self centered, hard hearted, politicians. But, at least I would not feel, as I do now, they were a direct threat to every single thing I hold dear and important.
I would be sorry of course if my own particular state ended up being one of the areas with title transferred to the other side, but I will accept that. You can’t always get exactly what you want in a divorce. Besides, it’s better than ending up killing each other in a new “civil” war. And, war it is likely to be if we have with King George and successors to his throne who believe as he does.
I read that some fundamentalist Christian groups are currently trying to separate South Carolina from the rest of the Union. I genuinely hope they succeed in seceding. If they gain momentum on the concept, that means we might have a chance to do the same up in my neck of the woods for exactly the opposite reasons.