Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Purple Land

Apparently after the re-election of Barack Obama, 23 states petitioned the US government to secede from the union, proposing to form little countries with their own governance. I don't entirely hate this idea. In fact, I had this very idea the morning after the election myself. Now, don't get me wrong - I don't think Mittens was much better for this country than the Big O. Different, certainly, but not much better. The problem with all this partisan BS is that there really are 2 base constituencies and a smallish pile of folks who are caught in the middle. What the real issue is, is that if your guy wins, my interests aren't represented, and my concerns addressed. And if my guy wins - the same happens to you. It is utter arrogance on the part of either group to say that their needs or wants are better, more valuable, or the "right" way to do things. Unfortunately for all of us - we don't get the America we want, we get the one we have. That includes a whole heap of people that don't look like you, act like you, believe like you, shop where you shop, or make decisions that you would make - yet they are no less valuable. I want things to be fair. I want everyone to be represented. Secession, to me, seems like the best option to represent the concerns of every American. It would never ever happen in a million years, but it is worth discussing. Here is my idea for three different countries:

Red Land
  • Mostly white, mostly Christian (we won't hold it against you if you aren't, so long as you are comfortable to say the pledge as it was written, allow crosses and bible quotations in traditional places, say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays", teach creationism along with evolution, teach abstinence instead of safe sex, and base all law making decisions on the classic protestant conservative interpretation of the bible.)
  • Laws are designed to protect the people from one another only. Free to carry guns, protect your property and family under any circumstances by any means necessary. No property maintenance standards, seat belt and helmet laws are repealed, etc.
  • Free from the tyranny of high property, school, state, federal income and SS tax. A bare minimum of fees are paid to continue law enforcement, fire protection, military, and governence services, and to support infrastructure such as road improvements and winter salting. 
  • No freebies or government handouts - no food for low income families, no housing for homeless, no free medical coverage for grandma. No emergency assistance, disability, unemployment insurance. A survival of the fittest model.
  • No illegal aliens allowed under any circumstances. A physical barrier exists between Red Land and the rest of society that is guarded 24/7 at every point of entry. Immigration is near impossible.
  • Few services offered - parks and green spaces are maintained on a volunteer basis only, libraries are not free for residents, you will be turned away at the hospital for non-payment, festivals and fireworks and special events are by residents' choice and funded by citizens.
  • The environment is used as a welcome mat for people to wipe their feet on, with no concern for the misuse or overuse of land and nonrenewable resources.

Blue Land
  • A mix of colors and religions (The most difficult color and religion to be is white Christian, but we will accept you so long as you agree to read your bible in your house under a blanket with all the lights out, and never ever express your intolerant ignorant faith in public.) All other religions accepted and celebrated, but any mention of a Christian God is strictly forbidden in public places. White people are still considered "the man" in many circles.
  • Laws are made to protect citizens from themselves. It is illegal not to have health care or offer it in your workplace, you cannot text and drive, eat salty fatty food, smoke or use illicit drugs. You can however marry whom you want, do what you want with your uterus (if you have one), and the government will ensure that you can afford to have safe sex. All workplaces forced to offer 6 months maternity and 3 months paternity leave, childcare is provided by every company larger than 30 employees for free.
  • High local and federal taxes under the wealth re-distribution program. CEOs have a cap on their annual salary, the rich pay 60% of their income in taxes. The weak, infirm, elderly, and helpless are cared for in every necessity or non-necessity.
  • Borders are open - people can come and go as they please, receive public assistance, speak whatever language suits them, emigrating is easy and permanent residence is granted to anyone who applies.
  • Tons of services are offered - libraries are top notch, public events are extravagant, parks are abundant and well staffed.
  • The environment is practically deity and is protected at all costs and put above the needs of the citizens.

Purple Land
  • Mostly young people (color and religion is irrelevant, however they are mostly white and liberal protestant. You can talk about God if you want to, or not - Purple residents don't really care.)
  • Laws are made to protect residents from one another only, constitutionally free. Marriage is legal between consenting adults of any gender, abortion is legal, illicit drug use is legal. Property owners can do what they want on their property and in their vehicle if it does not infringe on another's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Gun laws are loose.
  • Modest school, property, and federal taxes to continue basic services, and protect the smallest and weakest among us. When budgets don't balance, belts are tightened and services cut temporarily. Citizens are empowered to provide willingly towards community needs. Fair tax rates based on a sliding scale.
  • Borders are closed and protected, but the legal entry process is short and thorough. Citizenship is granted towards those who can demonstrate their ability to benefit society, or those seeking asylum from war torn nations.
  • Modest amount of services are offered such as tended green spaces and holiday parades.
  • The needs of the environment are balanced with the needs of the people.

Now, where do you think I live? And, did I offend you, both red and blue? Good. I am an equal opportunity offender. The answer to this problem is not that we divide, in my opinion it is that we all decide we want to live in purple land - where we abide by the Constitution of the United States, that grants us freedom. A freedom to speak, to protect, to be happy, make our own way, to not be discriminated against, to enjoy the lives we've been given free from tyranny. I, a middleton, and many on the right feel like we are living under a tyrannical government, and fear, that in the not too distant future, we as a nation will be so bankrupt, it will be impossible to succeed or make our own way in life. I don't want big brother looking out for me, do you? Really? What would our forefathers think of our laws, our taxation, our so called "freedoms"?

If you are on one side or another - wanting to pursue a model of light socialism, like many of the northern European countries have, or a model of Judeo-Christian based laws that are wrapped up in "personal responsibility", I challenge you to think about your neighbors - their views, beliefs and rights. And consider that the way forward isn't majority wins and minority pouts and threatens to move to Brazil, but to cross the street and meet in the middle. Let's see where we can agree. How we can live in an America that the founding fathers dreamed of - a safe and protected, fiscally sound nation of industrious souls, who are accepting and tolerant of religious, moral, and racial differences? Who have the freedom to make a personal choice that our neighbor might not make? Who protect the weakest among us, and take pride in helping that very small minority? It sounds beautiful. Why can't we live there? Because most every citizen of this country is trying to reside in either Red Land or Blue Land. But you know what I suspect would happen? Once they got there...
they'd hate it.


Jonathan Hoyle said...

The problem we have that makes us even entertain secession discussions is that the dominant political parties offer us Blue Candidate and Red Candidate, but Purple Candidate is not seriously considered. In part because Red supporters see only the Blue in Purple Candidate and Blue supporters see only the Red. It's as if they have their Rose/Amethyst colored glasses on.

Anonymous said...

Minor point: The pledge as 'originally written' does not contain 'under god':

Dan Termine said...

I like blue land a lot. I try to think of it more from the social aspect. I think faith is a great thing, and just because I don't I don't believe in what I think is a lot of hocus pocus, doesn't mean it doesn't help a lot of people. And in the end, compare our country with all it's flaws to anywhere else in the world. Not bad.
If this country really wanted an independent, which I still don't think there are many of, we would vote more into office. This country will never be perfect, and that's the great part. We have the freedom to vote people in and out of office who will either help or not help our country. Living in a Republic is a pretty cool thing.

shel said...

an anonymous poster said:
"We already have a party and a president who espouse every bullet point of "Purple Land"--the Democratic Party and Barack Obama. What you describe as "Blue Land" has never existed in this country except in the fevered imaginations of conservatives..."
And then apparently deleted it, since it does not show here. My response to that is: where are modest taxes, why is marriage and illicit drug use illegal at the federal level, why are laws created to protect me from myself, why do we not sacrifice when times are tight instead of borrow, why is there a rising majority of people who are unable to carry their own weight? We DO NOT live in purple land. We live in limbo with some red hold-over tenets and rapidly multiplying blue tenets. And we are arguably keeping the worst from the red and blue.

shel said...

perfect timing - ron paul's retirement speech today. thank you for your service sir.

Jonathan Hoyle said...

People THINK they want to live in Blue Land or Red Land, but they don't. Blue Land will suffer from the producers fleeing, and the nation taxing its citizens to the point of poverty. But Red Land residents will enjoy the economic prosperities for only as long as someone is hurt or something unfortunate happens. It's too draconian. This is why the US is neither. We want both prosperity and kindness, guns and butter. But we have neither. Lately we are pretty Blue, with socialized medicine and a $16 Trillion debt that whistling "Don't worry, be happy" doesn't suddenly make it workable. At the same time, the country as a whole want certain options as rights (abortion, same sex marriage, etc) which a Red platform denies.

I am not a Libertarian by any means, but I think a candidate who was a fiscal conservative and a social liberal would (in the end) be a compromise that more than 50.1% of the people could accept. Right now, we live on a razor's edge, with the split down the middle so sharp, only 1.5% separates "winner" and "loser". Not exactly a "mandate", no matter who wins. You might as well toss a coin.

It wasn't always this way. If we define "mandate" as having at least a 10% margin of victory in the popular vote, we had many from each party: Reagan, Nixon, Johnson, Eisenhower & Roosevelt being the most recent. (Even the relatively popular Bill Clinton managed only 5.5% and 8.5% in his elections, never even winning a majority.) Two thirds of the Presidential elections from 1900 to 1984 were "mandates" by this criterion. However, it's been almost 30 years (an entire generation) since any candidate has impressed more than 53% of the electorate. And that is just sad.