Thursday, September 18, 2014

Secession Obsession

The latest fashion trend in geopolitics is secession. It's all the rage, all over the world. Sometimes it's peaceable, other times it's violent, but it's the latest and greatest trend facing governments the world over.

Scotland is on the cusp of conducting a vote that would separate them from the rest of the less than United Kingdom. If they are successful in this pursuit, it could very well embolden areas of Spain, Canada, or the remaining elements of Great Britain. No one really knows what to expect if these secessions were actually to happen, but the uncertainty is not blunting the growing enthusiasm for self rule by small groups governed by larger entities.

Ukraine is experiencing the spasms of violent secessionary efforts, and it's nothing new in the Middle East, where tribes have fought against the lingering effects of colonial rule established decades ago. The disintegration of the Soviet Union over twenty years ago looks like it was a precursor to secessionary efforts now underway in even democratic countries.

No one saw that coming, but Quebec might certainly disagree with that.

In the last election cycle in the United States, there were some idiotic comments from some radical conservatives that Texas ought to consider seceding from the USA. Maybe it wasn't merely racist tripe, but just another manifestation of an embittered minority looking to breathe free and control it's own destiny on the world stage.

Well, no, that's not likely. Rick Perry of Texas and the clown car of Republican pretenders were just using the racist code words that played to their confused and racist base. But, leaving all that aside for a moment, what would it mean if the red states were to secede from the union? Unhappy and unwilling to live in a country that would elect a black president, or consider common sense gun restrictions, or provide health care to millions more than ever had access to it before, maybe the blue states should look a bit closer at the prospects of secession.

Without the red states, the blue states balance of payments would be much more in line. The poor red states, always giving lip service to self reliance and "freedom" from government intervention, are net takers when it comes to government support. The education systems of these red states are encumbered with factions of creationists and anti-science lunatics, and are unable to adequately educate their charges with knowledge to survive and thrive in the twenty-first century.

The economy of the blue states would improve without the drag of supporting the backward red states. Social programs would be easier to enact, women's rights would have no opponents of any consequence, and the freedom of safety from the threat of uncontrolled gun ownership would make day to day life more safe and fair.

The polarization of America is growing worse and worse. The Red/Blue divide is not just rhetoric, but a true schism in values, beliefs, and traditions that make the governing of this country a near impossibility.

Maybe the 600,000 deaths from the Civil War will ultimately prove to have been not the exercise in honor that so many look back at that horror and believe. Maybe it will prove to have been all in vain. When Abraham Lincoln sacrificed everything for the Union to persevere, it may be that those that have benefited from it will walk away from it less than two centuries later.

Sometimes trends are hard to spot until it engulfs you. Will the secession trend head our way, and if so, will the decision we make be based on how things are, or how we wish they were? 

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