Terrance Heath

Dear Red States

Filed By Terrance Heath | July 18, 2010 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: conservative politics, government, Michael Tomasky, open letter, Red States, Tea Party

Like Michael Tomasky, this pretty much sums up my mood right now.

It made the rounds, I think shortly before the 2004 election, but I think it holds up well. With "mainstream" politicians now talking at least somewhat seriously about secession, it’s perhaps even more relevant.

Subject: Letter to the Red States:

Dear Red States.

If you manage to steal this election too, we’ve decided we’re leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we’re taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren’t aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all of the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.

We get stem cell research and the best beaches. You get faith healing and swamps.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood.

We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard. You get Ole’ Miss.

We get 85% of America’s venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama.

We get two-thirds of the tax revenue; you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian Coalition’s, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we’re going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they’re apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don’t care if you don’t show pictures of their children’s caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq and hope that the WMD’s turn up, but we’re not willing to spend our resources and the lives of our loved ones in Bush’s Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80% of the country’s fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation’s fresh fruit, 95% of America’s quality wines, 90% of all cheese, 90% of the high tech industry, 95% of the corn and soybeans (thanks Iowa!), most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92% of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of the televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, dinosaurs roamed the earth as recently as 4000 years ago. 62% believe life is sacred unless we’re discussing the war, the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals than we lefties.

Peace out, Blue States

Yeah, yeah, I know. Not constructive, but a blog post is among the least harmful ways I can think of to express frustration.

One thing on the whole subject of red states seceding. I say let ‘em, but on one condition. Being some the most heavily subsidized states — many of which recieve more than $1 for in federal government subsidies for every $1 citizens pay in taxes — it goes without saying that those subsidies will end.

However, I think it’s a good idea to welcome them to the global economy by retroactively turning those subsides into loans. In other words, debt. Of course, taking a cue from the IMF and its handling of debtor nations, we’ll have to initiate some serious negotiations over the handling of that debt, and the structuring of their economy (or economies, since they’ll probably all opt to be independent agents under some kind of articles of confederation) to ensure the repayment of debts.

That will probably mean we’ll have to insist on some serious austerity measures.

“Austerity” is one of those Orwellian terms that has been injected into our political discourse precisely because it is a nice-sounding word for a very painful reality. “Austerity” implies discipline, self-restraint, even nobility. “Austerity” is prudent. “Austerity” is modest. “Austerity” is a virtue. It is an end in itself.

If the IMF or the European Central Bank come to the people of a collapsing European nation and tell them to sacrifice their pensions and their savings and their very standard of living all for a debt that their government has fraudulently racked up in their name, no one would go for it, and rightly so.

But tell those same people that they need to implement “austerity measures” in order to “get back on their feet” economically, and many will be willing to live in the harshest of conditions, content to put up with the dismantling of their nation itself in the vain hope that by giving more power to the international financial institutions they can somehow avoid economic collapse.

The trick, of course, is that reality is completely the opposite. Like the doctor giving you false assurances that this will only hurt a bit, the economic amputation that the bankers have in store for the once-proud nations of the industrialized world will be excruciating.

Just ask anyone in the third world. They should know. They’ve been going through these “austerity” plans for decades.

That shouldnt’ be a problem, right? In fact, they’ll probably embrace the idea, given how popular it seems to be among their political representatives right now.

It’s a pipe dream, I know. But imagine what the rest of the country could do with the tax dollars we’d save by not sending federal money states where people don’t think the federal government should be in the business of helping anyone anyway. (And chances are we wouldn’t opt to blow it all on two “off the books” wars.)

Like I said. It’s a pipe dream.

Anyway, it’s almost time to go home, and I want to get in a quick round of NationStates before heading out.


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Now, now. A lot of those southern red states have beautiful countryside and the weather is much warmer than up here in the hinterland. How about we swap them land for a while? The southern conservative rednecks can move up here and join ours while the liberals head south for some sunshine and warmth for a while. :)

I'm sure you are tired of many of the people who get elected to Congress from red states. Many of us who live here (I'm in Tennessee) are, too. And we're fighting hard and we're largely fighting alone, except for our other underfunded progressive allies in the red states. Our national organizations and the major donors don't invest significantly in our states.

This lack of attention to the red states, particularly to the Southern states, is holding the whole country back. When there aren't many Southern members of Congress introducing, sponsoring, or even voting for equality legislation (there are exceptions), the problem is one for the whole country.

Sorry to see the swipe at Dolly, too. She's one of the few big-name voices for equality in Tennessee.

Gray Coyote | July 18, 2010 5:09 PM

Just a question:

Why would you give Iowa to JesusLand? They have marriage equality.

Jesse Monteagudo | July 19, 2010 11:03 AM

At the 2008 election, the states of Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia joined "the United States of Canada." We will see how many of those states rejoin "Jesusland" in 2012.

Oh my Gosh! Thank you so much for reprinting this!! I have been trying to find this since I first read it back in the day. You. Are. Loved.

"It made the rounds, I think shortly before the 2004 election" means it is out-of-date today. Iowa was in Jesusland then, and there are many reasons (beyond our interests) that it still belongs in the mythical, fun-filled snark called Jesusland.