[Discussion] Should/Could Blue states leave the union?

The idea has popped up in a couple different threads and I thought it was worth its own discussion.

farley3k wrote:
Jonman wrote:
farley3k wrote:

If you and I and our 300 million friends are going out to eat and you say you want Denny's and I say I want Olive Garden why is it not acceptable to decide not to eat together but to force 150 million people to each go where I want?

That's why.

Considering that the majority of voting Americans being forced to go where they don't want because of the way the republic is setup I have a hard time digging up sympathy for people who don't like the Olive Garden.

No.

You've gotten lost in your own analogy. We're not talking about what to eat for f*cking dinner, we're talking about stripping half the nation of their citizenship.

Is Olive Garden a blue state or red state in this analogy?

Jonman wrote:
farley3k wrote:
Jonman wrote:
farley3k wrote:

If you and I and our 300 million friends are going out to eat and you say you want Denny's and I say I want Olive Garden why is it not acceptable to decide not to eat together but to force 150 million people to each go where I want?

That's why.

Considering that the majority of voting Americans being forced to go where they don't want because of the way the republic is setup I have a hard time digging up sympathy for people who don't like the Olive Garden.

No.

You've gotten lost in your own analogy. We're not talking about what to eat for f*cking dinner, we're talking about stripping half the nation of their citizenship.

Once again. That's not what the actual article talks about. It talks about simply using blue state tax dollars on solving problems in blue states progressively.

DSGamer wrote:

Once again. That's not what the actual article talks about. It talks about simply using blue state tax dollars on solving problems in blue states progressively.

[Discussion] Should/Could Blue states leave the union?

Self evident thread title is self evident.

Rezzy wrote:
farley3k wrote:

And....if it is ok for me to leave as an individual why is it suddenly not ok for thousands of individuals to leave? And if all those thousands are in one geographic area why is it wrong for them to form their own country and leave the US?

Not 'wrong.' It's stupid. Stupid to a degree that is really tricky to articulate because it fails at every single thing that makes a country a country.
For starters :How would you evaluate Ideological purity of the 'thousands of individuals?' A vote? A show of hands? What question would you ask? How many dissenters would it take to sink the idea?
Let's assume that every one of those thousands of people is in perfect lockstep. Great! How do you secure your border? What if it turns out someone was lying and they're really one of 'them.' Kick them out? A child grows up and expresses 'wrong' ideas. Now what?

How are any of your questions related to idea of a bunch of people picking up and going somewhere else? There's been no suggestion of idealogical purity or enforcing anything.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

How are any of your questions related to idea of a bunch of people picking up and going somewhere else? There's been no suggestion of idealogical purity or enforcing anything.

"thousands are in one geographic area why is it wrong for them to form their own country and leave the US"

a "one geographic area"
b "form their own country"
c "leave the US"

So let's humor this idea for a few more seconds of my life. 1) a is pointless to mention, unless it is meant to imply that the geographic area is where b will happen. It's been tried, didn't work.
2) If the plan is to leave to form their own country... okay? Where? Any leads on vast areas of sustainable lands unclaimed by sovereign nations with the means to enforce their claims? Asking for an old droog.
3) If the plan is to just leave.... then a and b were pointless to mention.

Doing your own thing with those that think like you do (or why else would they decide to go with you on this adventure?) Sure... but that's where my questions come in. The premise, as outlined in the quote I included in my reply, is unworkable and stupid. It falls apart as soon as you work out any single detail of how that would function.

Just leaving? Great. People do that all the time. It's not the easiest thing in the world since most of the nice areas in the world are spoken for, but as long as you're willing to join someone else's country there's lots of options. Good luck taking along your thousands of neighbors though. That's going to raise some eyebrows.

jdzappa wrote:

As much as I hate to admit it, some of my rural conservative friends make good points that the coastal elite cities could not feed themselves without the rural areas. Blue states need red states even if it's just for basic necessities, and that's before we factor in the need to unite to face climate change, or to have a shot competing globally against the EU, China, India or a resurgent Russia.

Your conservative friends should also realize that a lot of rural Americans depends almost entirely on the "coastal elite" cities they hold in such contempt.

Without the money that cities generate rural farmers don't get the tens of billions in crop subsidies that protect them and their families from bad years. Without the connections to the global financial market those cities have rural farmers don't have stable prices and loads of customers and can only sell their crops at the next city over at whatever price is offered.

Hell, without cities buying crops the economic heart of a lot of rural areas would be completely torn out.

OG_slinger wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

As much as I hate to admit it, some of my rural conservative friends make good points that the coastal elite cities could not feed themselves without the rural areas. Blue states need red states even if it's just for basic necessities, and that's before we factor in the need to unite to face climate change, or to have a shot competing globally against the EU, China, India or a resurgent Russia.

Your conservative friends should also realize that a lot of rural Americans depends almost entirely on the "coastal elite" cities they hold in such contempt.

Without the money that cities generate rural farmers don't get the tens of billions in crop subsidies that protect them and their families from bad years. Without the connections to the global financial market those cities have rural farmers don't have stable prices and loads of customers and can only sell their crops at the next city over at whatever price is offered.

Hell, without cities buying crops the economic heart of a lot of rural areas would be completely torn out.

No doubt - hence my point that we're all more interconnected than we'd like to admit and need to find ways to live together rather than indulge in secession fantasies.

I reread the initial article and realized one other thing that bugged me is this idea that blue cities are the epitome of progress and while ignoring all the problems of crime, congestion, and homelessness that plague many American cities. Sure, coastal cities are more welcome than say sundown rural towns but they are rather dysfunctional compared to say Sweden or Japan. I'm not sure all those problems can be laid at the feet of a conservative federal govt, especially when it's Democrats who hold most of the power in those cities.

jdzappa wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

As much as I hate to admit it, some of my rural conservative friends make good points that the coastal elite cities could not feed themselves without the rural areas. Blue states need red states even if it's just for basic necessities, and that's before we factor in the need to unite to face climate change, or to have a shot competing globally against the EU, China, India or a resurgent Russia.

Your conservative friends should also realize that a lot of rural Americans depends almost entirely on the "coastal elite" cities they hold in such contempt.

Without the money that cities generate rural farmers don't get the tens of billions in crop subsidies that protect them and their families from bad years. Without the connections to the global financial market those cities have rural farmers don't have stable prices and loads of customers and can only sell their crops at the next city over at whatever price is offered.

Hell, without cities buying crops the economic heart of a lot of rural areas would be completely torn out.

No doubt - hence my point that we're all more interconnected than we'd like to admit and need to find ways to live together rather than indulge in secession fantasies.

I reread the initial article and realized one other thing that bugged me is this idea that blue cities are the epitome of progress and while ignoring all the problems of crime, congestion, and homelessness that plague many American cities. Sure, coastal cities are more welcome than say sundown rural towns but they are rather dysfunctional compared to say Sweden or Japan. I'm not sure all those problems can be laid at the feet of a conservative federal govt, especially when it's Democrats who hold most of the power in those cities.

I think right now most liberal-leaning folks and progressives are trying to find solutions. If we think that global warming is a problem we'd like to see less energy consumed. If we think crime is a problem we'd like to start by at least studying crime statistics.

We now have a conservative orthodoxy that rejects facts, that rejects data and wants to do away with measuring and analyzing how to even start to solve problems. In that kind of world I don't know how we can agree on anything, to be honest. At least at a political level. Progressive cities obviously aren't perfect. But they're usually, at some level, engaged in the process of trying to improve instead of trying go back 50 years and hope for the best.

Well, per the article's suggestion, with no longer sending more money out than they receive back in, they could work to resolve those issues better than they are now with an increased budget.

That said, that's not exactly a "city problem" either, just more visible in cities than elsewhere. Homelessness in rural areas is as much a thing as homelessness in urban areas.

boogle wrote:
farley3k wrote:

If Red folks want to live one way, with one kind of government and Blue folks want to live another way why is it not acceptable to split?

States are not evenly divided along party lines.
States are not evenly divided along party lines.

Exactly. Even if they were evenly divided, if a split happened today, could you or almost anyone you know pick up and leave for another state?

Personally, I'd have to sell a house, figure out where my job would let me work, if it'd even be possible to live in a blue state and work for a red state, and probably a thousand other things. The vast majority of the poor may not have those same problems, but couldn't afford to move their family cross-country, or probably even to the next state. Reminds me of how I loved Sam Kinison's World Hunger bit as a kid, but it just makes me sad now.

I'd say crime is the result of massive income and status disparities. We have an economy and political philosophy that maintains this disparity on a national level. Cities can only do so much.

If you run on an idea that the people on welfare are the moochers, while the rich get massive tax breaks and every advantage, you are going to see friction between the haves and have nots, and certain level of crime and violence among those that have access to the least. We live in a nation that refuses to educate the poor, heal all of the sick, and clings to politics of racial division.

We already have the answers to these problems. But as Cheeze pointed out in another thread, Republicans are now the party of fiscal morality. Their entire platform is designed to sh*t on those they don't like. And Republicans have now embraced full on fascism that started long before Trump. Years of Fox News and and other right-wing "news" sources have destroyed any ability to have a logical discussion about how to fix our problems.

Why? Because regardless of the solution, you will never get conservatives to sign off on making the lives of minorities and the poor better. The very fact that their lives will improve will always be viewed as theft or, as libertarians like to put it, turning the producers into slaves for the lazy.

And that is the bullsh*t lie that is sold in red states. That somehow, those working poor are not worthy of healthcare, education for the children, and decent wages, even if they are working longer hours for less. The higher the taxes are on the rich, the better our country has functioned. It does redistribute the wealth, because unfettered capitalism will always result in a class that is denied access to the very things it requires for upward mobility. That is how the rich maintain their wealth, because it diminishes the risk in not being as an effective producer by eliminating a significant portion of the competition.

jdzappa wrote:

I reread the initial article and realized one other thing that bugged me is this idea that blue cities are the epitome of progress and while ignoring all the problems of crime, congestion, and homelessness that plague many American cities. Sure, coastal cities are more welcome than say sundown rural towns but they are rather dysfunctional compared to say Sweden or Japan.

Now you have an understanding of how much it bugs me when conservatives paint rural and small towns as the absolute epitome of American life.

Of course that Norman Rockwellesque view of America doesn't really have any room for people who aren't straight, white Christians. And it ignores their problems of crime (man small town America just *loves* its meth, oxy, and heroin!), pettiness, poverty, and struggling economies often based on environmentally damaging resource extraction.

jdzappa wrote:

I'm not sure all those problems can be laid at the feet of a conservative federal govt, especially when it's Democrats who hold most of the power in those cities.

You're forgetting how much your tax dollars get redistributed.

In 2015 the federal government funneled $617 billion to state and local governments in the form of grants for a wide variety of needed programs. That represented about a quarter of all state and local spending.

And states did the same thing, redistributing state tax revenues to local governments. And state legislatures also have a very big voice in determining how the federal funds it gets can be spent by local governments.

So while Democrats might have political power in large cities, they are at the mercy of Republican-dominated state legislatures and the Republican-controlled Congress to get money for much needed programs to address crime, congestion, homelessness, etc.

Growing up I remember hearing the vicious political fights over the then Republican-controlled Congress deeming that federal grants for programs like midnight basketball leagues in large cities--which had been proven to keep at-risk men (largely black) out of gangs and away from drugs--as a complete waste of tax dollars and that the money should be spent on more police, tougher drug laws, and mandatory prison sentences.

Congress cut the funding and left cities to deal with the consequences...all during the midst of the crack epidemic. And I imagine the vast majority of those Republican Congressional representatives had never come within a mile of a midnight basketball league or the people that needed it.

A more recent (though less big city) example would be Mike Pence and the Republican Indiana legislature deciding that Planned Parenthood shouldn't get any state funds. Which led to a PP clinic in a city in southern Indiana closing its doors. Which mattered because it was the only clinic around that did HIV testing. Which mattered because there was a rather large problem of heroin abuse in the area. Which led to the largest outbreak of HIV in recent decades. And the impact of which could have been minimized if Pence hadn't decided that he had a moral issue with authorizing a desperately needed needle exchange program.

No city, regardless of its size, is an island.

so if in CA for example there is a majority of liberals who want to leave why should they not be able to - if such a referendum passed?

Because they will show up with guns and they will kill you if you try.

They will not let you go. It will not happen. Don't even bother pretending that it might.

And note that the exact argument was being used the other way a few years ago, and people piled on bigtime, talking about the new assholes that would get ripped if the conservatives were that dumb. There were a couple people in particular that were really vehement.

For what it's worth, I thought then, and I still think now, that any state should be free to secede, although it should probably require a supermajority to do so.

But from the savage, vindictive glee I saw from supposed liberals here at the thought of the beatdown that would ensue back then, and the likelihood of even worse coming from the conservatives now.... just drop the idea. It's not going to happen, and a hell of a lot of people will die in any attempt to do so.

Regardless of the name of the thread, I do think that by far the more important and not-fantastical questions we should be discussing are the ones along the line of that article.

The question that we are going to have to face, in real life, isn't "should Democrats leave the Union" it is "Have the Republicans demonstrated that Federalism, not a National Government, is the way that the current United States needs to or should be governed?" (And the answer to "needs to" and "should be" may very well be different).

That has been quite possibly the largest and most consistent question of US governance, and the pendulum has gone back and forth a bit. Recently, though there are exceptions with various levels of hypocrisy, the Democrats have been the party of "there are basic standards of life that should be given to all people, and there are government programs that have been demonstrated here and abroad to be so beneficial and cost-effective that they should be mandated Nationally."

While the Republicans have been the more the party of "The local situation is so vastly different from State to State that very few programs can be implemented at a scope larger than that".

I personally think that the Democrats are more right than not, for reasons I don't want to derail into. For the question of "should" the Democrats stop attempting to push their superior agenda Nationwide to save people's lives and give them more opportunity I tend to think "no, no they should keep fighting".

However I am much, much less sure on whether the Democrats can do that. And I am even less sure on whether they need to change to a local focus if it is decided that they can't execute their national agenda. We've had 6 years of a paralyzed National government. The next two years are certainly not going to be moving forward, and the two after that are unlikely to be better.

In that environment is freeing more resources to do more concrete good for the ~40% of the States where that is attainable the optimal way to go, even if it's morally objectionable? The 2016 election has made me really pessimistic about the ability of facts to change public opinion, but on a longer time scale of 4-8 years maybe the increased difference in outcomes of Blue States and Red States would change opinion on public policy.

In a political culture as divided and polarized as the US is right now, where people hate Obamacare and love the ACA, where people want liberal tears because liberals are bad, would stopping to push for healthcare, for minimum wage, actually make those things happen faster? (I don't for an instant think not fighting for LGBT/gender/minority rights would make attaining them easier, to be clear). If the Democrats walked away and said "whatever Alabama, you do you, we honestly couldn't give a f*ck what your minimum wage is" would Republicans stop pushing against it? I'm honestly not sure, but if I've decided anything over the last year it's not to underestimate how petty and vindictive human beings are.

In the last decades, and especially in the last 6 years, the Democrats have had a huge, huge, huge penalty in policy negotiations: they care about the Federal Government. That has hampered their negotiations the entire time, and we saw that the most during the government shutdown. A shutdown which demonstrably did not hurt Republican medium or long term political ambitions, though at the time we thought that it would. After six years of the Republicans holding the Federal Government hostage, and most especially after a month of the Trump Administration starting to cut off Federal Government fingers and toes, without even ransom demands, just to do it, I think it's time to both start thinking. First we need to think "how important is the Federal Government, really, to liberal policy goals" and secondly "ok, it turns out that the Federal Government is super important to liberal policy goals, but regardless of that it's being cut apart, and we're going to need some contingency plans to make the best of this bad situation.

Resist the dismemberment of the Federal Government and hold out for 2018 and 2020 is a decent plan A, but it's time to start covering our bases.

Good, thoughtful post, Yonder.

India went through this about a half century ago; there were growing pains, and it's not like India and Pakistan are bffs, but it worked.

Although I do 100% agree with Malor, both that 1) there would be no secession without violence, and 2) i do remember the warmongering among liberals when the roles were reversed in 2012.

That said, nothing being suggested here sounds even remotely like secession. It sounds like 1) ignoring all the evidence that small government conservatives are fascists in everything but name, and 2) negotiating in good faith with these "fascists in everything but name" in an attempt to salvage the populous parts of the country at the expense of the rural parts.

What was the warmongering about? I just thought the notion was as silly as it is now.

I do remember often wondering if we could dump Texas, though.

Jonman wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Once again. That's not what the actual article talks about. It talks about simply using blue state tax dollars on solving problems in blue states progressively.

[Discussion] Should/Could Blue states leave the union?

Self evident thread title is self evident.

I dare say at this point for that specific question the sentiment seems to be: Could is a very weak maybe at best, and Should is not an actual physical separation.

That being said the question of with the apparent future being considerably less federal dollars going to the states for social programs if nothing changes course what obligation, if any do the regions of the US that generally have been putting more into the federal pot (which are generally bluer areas) have to make sure that the areas that generally have been receiving more (which are generally redder areas) can maintain some level of social safety net.

Personally I am of the opinion that they have little obligation; something that strikes me as reasonable would be for these regions to increase their local tax revenue (in lieu of the federal taxes that would have been payed) and use that money to make it easier for people to move to that region (e.g. local housing assistance programs).

Bear in mind that out of 340M people in India in 1946, up to 2,000,000 were killed and 14,000,000 displaced from their homes through violence during Partition. Small percentages, big numbers. If the same thing happens here, that would be over a million dead Americans, and that's without outright fighting by state and Federal militaries.

Jayhawker wrote:

What was the warmongering about? I just thought the notion was as silly as it is now.

I do remember often wondering if we could dump Texas, though.

...you'd find a lot of people here that'd be willing to dump the US.

Splitting the country along ideological lines is not peacefully possible, or possible at all. There are far too many mechanisms in place that have been set up to make any such idea a true no-go.

Really, all of this, for all the trumpeting that 'the sky is falling' will begin to swing back toward moderation and middle ground. I've been libertarian for as long as I could vote - I do believe in the rights of local government to govern themselves with as little oversight as absolutely necessary, but I also believe that we're a connected society that depends on the 'free' trade, infrastructure projects, protections of the rights of the minority, among the many other things our federal government absolutely needs to be directly involved in to ensure that our freedoms are protected.

I have a feeling that the ideology of the Republican Party will be its instrument of destruction - they will have to reinvent themselves again in order to stay or be relevant. I was watching a ww2 documentary the other day about the operation Barbarossa in which the Wehrmacht made phenomenal gains (with a war machine that was built on the nazi ideologies), but when resistance was finally really met near St. Petersburg, Moscow, kursk, prokrohovka, and Stalingrad, those ideologies demanded that the Germans not use their texhnological and superior maneuverability because hitler viewed such actions as a 'retreat' and a 'loss' so the armies got mired where those advantages were stripped from them and led to the destruction of the regime.

All that being said, I also think that we are often guilty at looking at these timelines in too short a scope - cultural changes may have taken hundreds of years 2000 years ago, but now with technology and our ability to dispense information (or misinformation) at such a rapid rate, I think we misjudge just how long some of these changes will take. Just because there's righteous anger on the internet, doesn't mean that the old people in power, and those that have built in mechanisms to keep them there are going anywhere. Yet.

BlackSheep wrote:

All that being said, I also think that we are often guilty at looking at these timelines in too short a scope - cultural changes may have taken hundreds of years 2000 years ago, but now with technology and our ability to dispense information (or misinformation) at such a rapid rate, I think we misjudge just how long some of these changes will take. Just because there's righteous anger on the internet, doesn't mean that the old people in power, and those that have built in mechanisms to keep them there are going anywhere. Yet.

I'm sympathetic to this, but I don't want to diminish the pain of those who are currently suffering and threatened, either. They're right to cry out.

BlackSheep wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

What was the warmongering about? I just thought the notion was as silly as it is now.

I do remember often wondering if we could dump Texas, though.

...you'd find a lot of people here that'd be willing to dump the US.

I'm shocked to hear this. Shocked!

wordsmythe wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:

All that being said, I also think that we are often guilty at looking at these timelines in too short a scope - cultural changes may have taken hundreds of years 2000 years ago, but now with technology and our ability to dispense information (or misinformation) at such a rapid rate, I think we misjudge just how long some of these changes will take. Just because there's righteous anger on the internet, doesn't mean that the old people in power, and those that have built in mechanisms to keep them there are going anywhere. Yet.

I'm sympathetic to this, but I don't want to diminish the pain of those who are currently suffering and threatened, either. They're right to cry out.

Yeah. Individuals don't have the luxury of waiting. Their lives will be ended or ruined. Tanihisi Coates said this really well in an interview after the election.

https://soundcloud.com/panoply/ta-nehisi-coates-theres-not-gonna-be-a-happy-ending-to-this-story

At 19:45.

Hey, hey, hey now. Let the free market work. As long as white men feel comfortable in this country, we can afford to let everyone else wait to be treated with respect.

wordsmythe wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:

All that being said, I also think that we are often guilty at looking at these timelines in too short a scope - cultural changes may have taken hundreds of years 2000 years ago, but now with technology and our ability to dispense information (or misinformation) at such a rapid rate, I think we misjudge just how long some of these changes will take. Just because there's righteous anger on the internet, doesn't mean that the old people in power, and those that have built in mechanisms to keep them there are going anywhere. Yet.

I'm sympathetic to this, but I don't want to diminish the pain of those who are currently suffering and threatened, either. They're right to cry out.

It isn't about diminishing or marginalizing the minority (those are usually the sufferers) or even trivializing their rights to speak up, stand up, or fight for the rights that should be afforded to them. It was more an observation that cultural shifts happen faster than they used to, but more slowly than people still expect. It simply is what it is.

There's always a leap forward, followed by backlash, followed by a more stable environment for everyone. We're seeing this currently with LGBT rights (marriage and military integration) but you've got segments still lashing back with idiotic bathroom bills, rights for government employees to deny services on religious basis, and in my 'great' state of Texas, they're currently pushing hard to disallow gay couples to foster or adopt children.

It is the same with the legalization of pot - states have taken it into their own hands to decide enforcement (and 'legality') and you have Jeff sessions yammering about going back to the Nancy regan lock their asses up for having an ounce because drugs are bad.

Yeah, there's just an intellectual tension in understanding both parts of that (the historical perspective and the individual perspective).

wordsmythe wrote:

Yeah, there's just an intellectual tension in understanding both parts of that (the historical perspective and the individual perspective).

You're certainly right about that. If only our society were better educated and informed