Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Backing Out

Trey Smith

The Reagan era produced a cultural belief that government is inherently bad and that big government is inherently worse than small government. This sounded like it made sense when it came out in warm, condescending grandfatherly tones from an apple-cheeked old actor-cum-politician but ultimately the fallacy becomes apparent.

The truth is, the whole point of creating a United States rather than a Loose Affiliation of Sovereign States was that there are things a centralized government can accomplish that several competing and feuding governments cannot. At the start, of course, it was about throwing off British rule and the life of colonial fealty to a distant monarch.
Over time, our nation found other benefits to being a single country under a centralized government. We were able to build commercial and economic resources in ways that made us a world power. As a country we have been able to exploit innovation as it has occurred from the cotton gin to the steam engine to the electrical distribution system and space exploration. We have grown more inclusive in terms of our own governance and economic participation, abolishing slavery, accepting women as full citizens and disallowing discrimination based on race or religion. The seven day work week, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, a public education system, child labor laws, great, hard-won accomplishments, all of which came to be under the single banner that flies above all the state flags in our Union.
~ from All Fascism is Local by Dylan Brody ~
One of the trends in the news these days is the number of groups in various states who are pushing for secession. More often than not, these efforts are led by arch conservatives who proclaim that the "socialist" Obama is set to lead the country to ruins. So, they want their states to jump off the ship before it sinks.

The concept of democracy seems particularly lost on such folks. Oh, they embrace democracy when their side wins -- Hey, it's the WILL of the people -- but when they lose, all of a sudden democracy ain't so important! (By the same token, these folks are strong proponents of state's rights...until the voters of a state pass or defeat something the conservatives cherish, then they have no use for the right of states to decide anything!)

As you all know, I didn't vote for Obama. I'm not happy about his reelection or the direction this country is headed. Even though I favored a far different outcome, that does not mean that I want to take my ball and go play somewhere else. I understand that in a democracy, sometimes you win and sometimes you don't. If you lose, all it means is that you need to work that much harder to convince others of your vision.

But, you know, I would almost like to see one of these red states -- like Texas or Alabama -- actually secede. I think in a very, very short amount of time the citizens would recognize the folly of their ways and then BEG to be allowed back into the Union.

If the state in question was Texas, we could let them sweat it for a year or two!

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