MEMO TO THE SOUTH: PLEASE SECEDE AGAIN
Dear Red States,
Remember that thing you did about a hundred and forty some-odd years ago? You know, where you threw up your hands at this country and said, “Outta here!” You made up new flags, which many of you still fly on your pickup trucks and statehouses or work into the logos of your shingle installation companies today. Then you elected your own president and started making your own laws. Well, maybe it’s time we tried that again. Yeah, I know, we pesky northerners got a little upset the last time around, and it got pretty messy. But things were different then. Slavery is an issue worth going to war for. Tax cuts for the wealthy, not so much.
You don’t even need to look at the electoral college map to see how deeply divided this country is. Let’s face it, this has been going on for a while now, and it’s only becoming more pronounced. You’re concerned about things like gay marriage and abortion. We’re just as concerned about maintaining equal rights and Roe v. Wade. I’m not sure what you think about running up the deficit, but my guess is you’re either: a) in full support or b) completely oblivious to the fact that it’s even happening. That’s fine. Separate countries mean separate economies. We can split that debt in half and then you can deal with your half however you want. You can spend millions of dollars on think tanks to come up with new names for french fries. Whatever. It’s your country!
Just think: if you had your own country, you wouldn’t have to worry about what we’re doing in ours so much. You don’t want me to teach your kids because I’m gay? Fine. I’ll teach some kids whose parents are willing to let them learn about such “controversial” subjects as evolution and birth control. You’ll be able to set your own standards of indecency, program your own TV networks and build a creative community that shares your values. If you want to take that extra leap and nationalize ownership of the media, that’s your prerogative. Seriously. You get to start from scratch and write your own constitution. Have Jerry Falwell do it, that’s totally cool with us. You don’t like certain parts of the Bill of Rights? Cross ’em off! Hang the Ten Commandments in your courtrooms and teach creationism in schools, we won’t bat an eye.
I’ll be honest. When I think of the kind of world you want to live in, it makes me sad. I look around my city, and I see a lot of things that would make many of you uncomfortable. People of one race marrying people of another race, people of one sex falling in love with people of the same sex, women postponing marriage and having kids in order to pursue their careers, Jews, Christians, Muslims and atheists living next door to one another and sharing a spirit of genuine respect. And those things, which irritate and worry many of you so terribly, make me really proud. I love the country I live in and the things it represents to me, and I don’t want somebody to try to take any of that away from me because they believe in a different kind of world than I do. Sure, life here isn’t perfect, and there are plenty of people here who don’t like seeing happy gay couples and biracial babies just like many of you don’t. And some of those people make life unpleasant for the rest of us by committing hate crimes or pursuing careers in law enforcement. But maybe if you guys seceded, then those people who disagree with the way we live here would have somewhere to go. And anyone in your part of the country who didn’t like your laws could escape and come here.
So please, secede. G’head. We won’t make a big fuss this time, I promise. And it’s not like this is goodbye forever. We’ll stay the best of friends. That’s what good neighbors do, right? We can still share the same sports leagues and morning news shows. We’ll even keep you on the U.N. Security Council — if you have any interest, that is. And we’ll maintain open borders so that any of our citizens who want to live under your style of government are free to do so, and any of your citizens will still have somewhere to go if they need an abortion or affordable healthcare — or a top-notch university to attend. You’ll even be able to share in the medical advances we make from the stem cell research you find so distasteful. It’s win-win.
You’re not bad people. In my heart, I know that. We just want very different things out of our government. So let’s admit we have irreconcilable differences and go our separate ways. No hard feelings. We tried it for a few hundred years, and it just didn’t work out. We’ll keep in touch, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for you, we really will.
There’s just one thing I insist on:
We get to keep the name America.