Kevin Baker, in the New Republic, concludes that the Left really is screwed politically nationally, permanently limited to political control of its one-party-state metropolitan satrapies. The Clinton Archipelago, he concludes, cannot literally secede, but the answer he proposes is de facto secession. The rest of us are supposed to become upset when the liberals shut up, go away, and start leaving the rest of us alone. What a nightmare!
What are we in Blue America going to do about it? What would it mean to remove ourselves as far as possible from the federal government?
For starters, we now endorse cutting the federal income tax to the bone—maybe even doing the full Wesley Snipes and abolishing it altogether. We will raise our state and local taxes accordingly to pay for anything we might need or want. We ask nothing more from you and your federal government. Nothing for infrastructure, or housing, or the care of the poor and sick—not that you gave us much, anyway. All we want is our money, and you can keep yours, dollar for dollar.
No more Obamacare? Hey, that hot mess was tricked out the way it was mostly to appease you in the first place. Since we have nearly all of the country’s leading hospitals, medical schools, and medical research institutes—and a much healthier population, one that’s happily short on automatic weapons—I’m sure we’ll come up with something better.
Go ahead, keep on voting against your own economic interests to satisfy your need to control other people’s bodies, sex lives, and recreational habits. We’ll be creating cities and states that will defend gay marriage, a woman’s right to choose, and sensible gun control against your intrusive federal judiciary.
Still think FEMA is some kind of liberal welfare scam? Poof—it’s gone! We will never again beg the people you elected to office to help us in the wake of what should have been considered national tragedies, such as September 11 and Hurricane Sandy. Meanwhile, best of luck with all those tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, forest fires, and—all new!—Oklahoma fracking-earthquakes you always seem to be having.
What’s the matter with Kansas? Who cares! This is the good thing about a divorce—the chance to get all of your crazy, deadbeat in-laws out of the house. How can we save Detroit? Hey, she’s your baby now. Didn’t you say something about the private sector, or maybe casinos, or that mortgage loans guy who owns the Cleveland Cavaliers? I’m sure that’ll work out just fine for you.
With all the extra money we’ll have, we can set up our own Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid systems once Paul Ryan manages to “privatize” them for you Trump Staters. And what city is all that privatized money likely to come to, on its way to the markets? Oh, right, New York, which you hate so much! All those extra Wall Street bonuses and dividends will really help the local economy.
What’s more, as a quick glance at the electoral map will tell you, almost all of blue-state America is now concentrated in three contiguous clusters: the East Coast from Maine down through Virginia; the West Coast, along with Nevada and Hawaii; and the Rocky Mountain zone of Colorado and New Mexico. Disastrous as this allocation is when it comes to winning our country’s fatally antiquated Electoral College (is there another republic in the world, or indeed the history of the world, where a party has won a national election by nearly three million votes and still lost everything?), it’s perfect for developing highly efficient, cutting-edge regional networks in everything from transportation to clean energy to health care.
Under the New Federalism, you won’t have to engage in political convolutions to try and reconcile your conservative ideology with your extortionate demands for yet another federal handout. Take Amtrak’s “Acela corridor,” which your commentators like to deride as the route along which we elitist liberals all supposedly live. Fact is, the Northeast Corridor is the only part of our national train system that makes an operating profit. But every year, your Trump State congressmen threaten to pull the plug on Amtrak unless it continues to guarantee daily, money-losing service to all the little towns out on the prairie, in empty, SUV-loving red states like Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, and Kansas. Then you go right back to fulminating about how much Amtrak costs. This is the legislative equivalent of Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles holding himself hostage at gunpoint to fend off a lynch mob.
Go ahead, end your federal Amtrak subsidies. In their place, we will build fantastic, new high-speed rail systems of our own. They’ll run past our state-of-the-art wind farms, fiber-optic networks, and highways that recharge our self-driving cars as we travel. We also don’t want you to bother us about money to repair your Trump State airports since, as you always claim, we will just be flying over them anyway.
There are still a few kinks to work out, of course. What to do, for instance, about the likes of Illinois and Minnesota, blue states adrift in a red sea? Or all those individual “blue cities” trapped in red states, like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, or Cleveland and Columbus? We’ll need to reach cooperative agreements with them to exchange goods and services as needed. They will become stops on our new information superhighways, or on our superfast rail networks, or self-driving highways. Our cool new trains and cars will glide past you all the faster, now that we don’t have to stop in between. Be sure to wave!
A much weightier problem will be ridding ourselves of the Trump States within, our own rural counties full of angry right-wing voters, convinced that their money goes to support welfare queens in the cities even as their last, visible means of support crumble away. Considering how susceptible they are to fake news, one strategy might be to recruit those Russian hackers to create shiny new web sites extolling how wonderful things are in, say, West Virginia, or rural Arkansas. Perhaps, in a historic reversal, it’s time for a mass migration from urban North to rural South, of Trump voters flocking to Red America in search of a better life for themselves and their families.
Whether you stay or go, we’ll be reaching out around the globe to recruit the most talented, intelligent, and ambitious individuals we can find to come to our America. Actually, we already do this, thanks to institutions from Silicon Valley to the University of Chicago, MIT to Wall Street, Hollywood to Broadway. Oh, and be forewarned: We will also be coming for your best and brightest in Red America, offering them free rides at many of the finest universities and research centers in the world. But don’t worry: You’ll still dominate college football!
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