Can we stick together?
One big problem I have with the notion of separating red states from blue is that this is an oversimplified fiction.. As a leftist living in West Virginia, naturally I hate the idea. I also note that while WV's legislature is now 90% Republican, just 25 years ago it was 90% Democrat, so these these change. And what about the west coast? Oregon and Washington would need to be split down the middle, with their left coasts and red interiors.Another problem, with the idea of devolving power to states, is that states are still too big to have genuine democracy. And I note that "national defense" is the one thing still to left to the feds--who have have been dedicated to imperialist wars and blocking any kind of international progress, on behalf of special interests like the fossil fools.
Clearly leaving things as they are is a horrible prospect. But I don't see an improvement from division, unless it was a more serious devolvement of power to the local level.
I live in a purple region of a Pacific Northwest state. Our representatives hold on to one political party for long years but do shift every so often, at need. This past election cycle, our congressional representation in the region changed from red to blue (a Trump style abrasive Republican against a small community business owner moderate Democrat new to politics.) Twelve years earlier, it shifted from moderate (but somewhat arrogant) Democrats to a moderate Republican. You get the idea: many people are not comfortable with extreme posturing. The problem with separation is how far one can (cannot) take it. Would my state break in half? What about counties? Neighborhoods? House to house? My neighborhood probably has a rainbow of political affiliations. Would some of us be expected to move? Not talk to our best friends because they're the wrong side of the political fence? How much unraveling would result if this even gets started? My Republican neighbors are showing a certain paranoia by putting up No Trespassing signs all over their property. It's baffling -- do they think those of differing politics are zombies? Coming to get them? Blue contagion, or something???
Kristal McKinstry - Mar 1 2023
One influence leading up to this desire for partitioning is that this nation has become a top down central authority. This is by interpretive implementation, not by legal configuration, as our representative government could have, and likely originally was intended to operate just as much as a localized bottom-up democracy as a top down centralized democracy. We have the civil war to blame for this fading away of the Xth amendment, as at that time it became apparent that some of our neighbors in distant states need our help, and others can become a threat to us all.
Our central authority has two components, restrictive laws and taxes. These could both be replaced by virtual confederacies, in the manner of volunteerism, so for instance only states which desired so would participate in Medicare or various defense budgets. However this would add some complications, for instance the state (or individual) to state cost of transferring benefits - just as one now has to personally buy their way into nations with socialist benefits (which our own nation will not reimburse or subsidize).
No mention is made in this article of the modern migration towards global fascism. While Amazon might prefer uniformity of taxes and shipping laws, they would also be happy to write those and other laws themselves in compacts with small nation states that have no authority or bargaining power. It's also not inconceivable that the CEOs of America would step in to fill the national void (competing against each other) on law policies like gay marriage or lawn herbicides, just as they sponsor ad campaigns and lobbyists today. It would become a champion system regulated by those corporations with strong local influences. Our nation can barely stand against the will of such forces as is. At a smaller regional level companies like Comcast and Amazon would extort whatever they could get away with short of getting banned from business in the region, and much like the G20 or the TPP, a confederation of other global businesses would more likely be setting the standards of conduct nation states must abide by. Already as consumers we have little say in how these corporations exploit africa, south america, or the east.
I do believe in rights of self governship, for communities to establish their own rights, provided people know of the alternatives, and have mobility access. This is rarely the case. Already millionaires can afford to immigrate to wealthier nations while others can not. Most people can not even afford to switch jobs or get a moving truck.
However this goes, we have to look at this as what 'is' happening, not merely what could happen. For everyone of us objecting to a policy elsewhere, there is someone there objecting to a policy here. Global fascism, for instance NAFTA, has always thrived on divide and conquer, leveraging regional and class workers and consumers against each other as revenue streams.
We need to identify where people have the greatest communication and empowerment to control their lives. Generally the smaller the community the better in that regard, and yet only through unification can we ever stand against the giants of industry, religions, and such. Large institutions which are themselves organized with centralized representatives have had an inside ear with our likewise centrally representative government. Where our national governance structure has failed us, we need to develop grass-roots points-of-unity sentiment into systems of virtual confederacy representatives with bargaining power against larger centralized structure forces like the mega corporations or politicized social/religious movements. Undoubtedly those in power are already analyzing the current zeitgeist in terms of opportunity to increase fascist power. We need to analyze this all in terms of identifying opportunities to increase competing grass roots democracy empowerment. If we remain oblivious to this, then with each subtle shift in socio-economic-political configuration we will be losing ground. The rich and powerful are enemies of public democracy, and they are not asleep at the wheel, but rather employ strategists to ever increase their relative empowerment over us. Any juncture of change at any level is an opportunistic moment for the vigilant and aware on one side or the other. Any shift in any direction will become a loss of public empowerment if we do not remain engaged in the new structure and flow of power.
I completely agree that the Dems abandoned WV--the way my sister put it "Joe Sixpack used to vote for the Democrats because they protected his paycheck. But now they don't so he figures he may as well please his preacher and vote for the Republicans."
On the division, while the culture wars did arise organically, I suspect that they have been managed to widen the gap. Because in the past, when levels of inequality got this great, the torches and pitchforks, and guillotines, came out. But there is none of that now, as the 99% have their guns trained on each other, sometimes literally. Maybe the 1% just got lucky. I think they ensure their luck--social media is manipulated.
I've been influenced a lot by Taoist philosophy, from ancient China, in which opposition is often re-framed as complementarity rather than mere opposition. And, more recently, by a scientist and philosopher who literally embodies this notion of the marriage of opposites, and speaks for such a marriage as a good thing -- who goes by the name of Iain McGilchrist.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iain_McGilchrist
For McGilchrist, much of our recent difficulties arise from an incapacity for the two hemispheres of our brains to speak to one another adequately, and so to wish to war with one another for hegemony. If we undererstand what he, and the Taoists, have to say, we wish to be free of the Great Divide. We seek for a harmonic in the clash. This stuff isn't anything near to being recent or new. It's as old as civilization itself.
The state of Oregon cannot retreat from the defense of abortion rights in the East, any more than Israel can retreat from defending such rights in the West Bank and Golan!
City abortion funding saves city school tax, so much so that cities can then fund country abortions as well, all without answering to country voters.
In this way, my guess is that 10 cities can cover the USA and 25 can cover the world.
The whole history of The Great Migration proves blacks capable on emigrating from Jim Crow states, so you are totally wrong on that point. Though the desire of Northerners to end the Great Migration was no small part of the Northern impetus to end Jim Crow. Abortion migrants will be far better tolerated.