Monday, July 4, 2022

Declaration of Divorce

In despair, July 4, 2022

The reluctant declaration of the twenty five or so blue states of America:

This isn't working out. And sometimes, you know, in the course of human events, people just gotta go their separate ways, and set up the kind of government that suits them best. We’re sure you could see this coming, but we do need to explain it, for the benefit of the neighbors as well as you folks in the red states.

This part is obvious, to us at least: we’re all born equal, right? And for us that means our queer kids, our immigrant kids, our daughters as well as our sons. It means folks of every religion, and folks with no fucking religion. It means people of every damn ethnicity. We’ve been over this before. And people ought to be able to live their lives as they see fit, and have a government that protects their rights, that lets folks do what makes them happy. We want a government that reflects the consent of the governed, and we’re not getting that anymore.

The form of government we are stuck with now is destroying our hope for a secular, multiracial democracy. We’ve been working for that for a long time, and it’s pretty clear you’re not into it. We’ve had some big-ass fights over the years, at Fort Sumter as well as in Selma; in Seneca Falls and at Stonewall, and we just want different things. That bullshit in DC last year made it obvious: we have irreconcilable differences, and we need to split up, for the sake of the kids.

We’ve got the right to form a government that will suit our needs, and the system we’re in now gives you too much power to fuck with us. You take the White House when we outvote you, you take the Senate when we outvote you, you pack the Courts when we outvote you, and you’ve made it clear you don't want to stop there. We could keep having elections, but you obviously won't accept the results if we win, and frankly, we can’t accept what will happen if you win. It’s time to move on.

We know our rights. We should be able to set up our own government, one that will keep us safe and healthy, let everyone live how they please. We have the right to self-government, and frankly, so do you. So we’re leaving. We’re taking Wall Street, Hollywood and Silicon Valley with us; you never liked them anyway. You’re gonna get most of the oil and coal and farmland. If you don’t like it, talk to our attorneys and work out the details, but let’s not fight anymore.

This is no trivial disagreement. We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t have good reasons. We had some good times, and we’re always gonna love you, but we can’t do this anymore. If there was a way to work this out, believe us, we would. We’d keep putting up with you until we couldn’t stand it anymore, but that’s where we’re at right now. It’s an abusive relationship; in fact there’s been a long train of abuses. And you intend to keep usurping more power for your side until you have your boot on our damn necks. So we don’t just have the right, we have the duty to stand up for ourselves and say: no more.

We’ve been patient with you, we’ve tried negotiating with you, we’ve tried contesting elections and sharing power with you, and you just want to take all the fucking marbles. You folks won’t stop until you’ve established a tyranny over us, a minority government that absolutely dominates both red states and blue. Look, the whole world can see your bullshit for themselves:

  • You stand in the way of the laws we need to promote the public good. We pass laws in the House of Representatives that are urgent and necessary –  to protect the environment, voting rights, women’s rights, civil rights – and you keep blocking them in the Senate.

  • Our Senators represent tens of millions more people than your Senators, but you insist on using supermajority rules to maintain control. And when you control the Senate, you block us from appointing our fair share to the Judiciary.

  • Now that you’ve taken over the Supreme Court by gaming the system, you impose your will on all of us. You deny the blue states the right to regulate gun safety, but grant the red states the right to regulate women’s bodily autonomy.

  • Your Court tears down the wall of separation between church and state, insults the sovereignty of our indigenous tribes, allows corporations both foreign and domestic to corrupt our elections, destroys the Voting Rights Act that Dr. King fought and died for, and compromises our ability to regulate the fossil fuel emissions that are strangling our children’s future prosperity.

  • Now your Court threatens to take away our democracy entirely, by removing the rights of the people to vote your asses out of office. If they give red states the ability to override the consent of the governed in presidential elections, and substitute the will of a gerrymandered state legislature subject to no checks and balances, it’s game over for us.

  • Your red state legislatures have no respect for democracy. We all saw what happened in Wisconsin and Kentucky, when the people elected Democratic governors and the legislature turned around and fucking stripped them of their powers! Your continued willingness to usurp the people’s sovereignty is intolerable.

  • Your red state governors have no respect for federal laws. They work to run their own immigration policy. They work to suppress the votes of minority communities. They work to destroy the institution of free public education.

  • Red states won’t stop at removing the rights of women to plan when and whether to have children; they want to prevent women from traveling to blue states where those rights are respected. They want to prevent folks in blue states from informing women of the information they need to control their futures, from delivering to women the medication they need to prevent unwanted pregnancies. None of this is constitutional – for now. But you’ve made it plain that you want judges dependent on your will alone.

  • We fought a Civil War that settled the idea of whether you could nullify federal law, keep other humans in bondage, or ignore the freedoms granted to all of us by the Bill of Rights. You fought for another hundred years, using terrorist militias and crooked judges, to deny the implementation of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. When we passed implementing laws like the Voting Rights Act, you worked sixty years to destroy them. You simply don’t see human rights the same way we do.

  • Twice in this century, that ridiculous Electoral College system has given us presidents that the majority of us voted against. Maps drawn hundreds of years ago give you more power than you deserve in the Senate, and maps drawn by computers have made less than a quarter of the seats in the House subject to contested elections. Maps drawn in the red states prevent the people from voting you out. You use your minority power to pack the courts and deny us liberty and justice for all. We keep proposing reforms that would make this system work better for all of us, but you have no incentive to change, and you prefer minority rule. We don’t. We fucking don’t. We won’t accept it, going forward.

  • Seriously, red state folks. The last time you lost an election, you would not abide by the will of the people. Your unelected president refused the peaceful transfer of power. He filed dozens of baseless lawsuits, threatened public servants, spread odious lies, and still could not prevail. So he conspired with red state allies to file fraudulent electoral certificates, pressured his Vice President to accept them and had crooked legislators ready to ratify this transparent busllshit. And when that too failed he summoned up private terrorist militias to invade the seat of government, to violently and unlawfully overthrow our duly elected government. The whole world saw this happen.

  • And finally, as if that weren’t enough: you won't stop there. You keep making excuses for this bloodthirsty tyrant and his failed insurrection. You will try again and won’t stop until you have usurped control over all three branches and then, quite obviously, you will game the system so that you cannot lose another election. We can see you working to achieve this. You are not fucking subtle about it; you make your plans openly. You don’t accept our democracy, you never have and you never will.

At every stage of this game we have been willing to work with you. We’ve offered plenty of compromises on the issues that divide us, and many of our leaders have humbly petitioned for bipartisanship. Instead we’ve had the hand of friendship slapped away. And so the divisions between us have worsened with every election cycle. Your repeated and obvious insults to democracy mark you as unfit to rule over a free people. We want out.

You can’t say we didn’t warn you. We’ve complained that you are dangerously out of line, and that we won’t put up with minority rule. We’ve gone over it before, how we got to this point, from the compromises in Philadelphia to the March on Washington, and how we are not going back.

And friends, we have carried you for too long. We have shared our bounty with you. Where you insist on keeping wages low, communities powerless, corporations unfettered, you have reaped the whirlwind of higher poverty, earlier mortality, more disease, fewer educated. We keep sending you federal dollars to help. You have accepted our welfare and we have provided it magnanimously, paying out to DC far more than we get back. In essence: We have the taxation, and you have the representation. But our assistance, based on our common kinship, isn’t enough anymore. You’ve got us backed into a corner now.

We, today, recognize the need to separate, and we hold you red states as we do other countries: friends in peace, but if need be, enemies in war. We know you may well want to fight us if we walk away, that you won’t give up wanting to dominate us, continue taking from us and bullying us. We the people have fought tyranny before: at Yorktown, at Gettysburg, at Normandy, and also on the streets of Birmingham. You may well prevail this time, or you may not. But if we fight again we are going to fucking kill each other, in large numbers.

There's another path available. The people of Czechoslovakia, unlike their neighbors in Yugoslavia, were able to negotiate a peaceful divorce. Let’s take ten years to figure out our borders, a fair and beneficial trade agreement, a proportionate division of federal properties we have all invested in, and some sort of military treaty. 

There are going to be millions of people in your states who will be unhappy to live in your version of Red State America, and there will likewise be millions of our citizens unsatisfied with the government that Blue State America sees fit to create. Let ‘em vote with their feet. Let’s allow unfettered migration between our regions while we work out the details of our partition. Let‘s help them relocate, so they can live where they can best pursue their happiness. And maybe we’ll see whose system can best deliver that happiness.

Partition is wrenching and painful, but it’s better than civil war. Even if we can pull it off, we will be creating a whole new set of problems to deal with, both within and between our new countries. Hopefully our two governments can get along. We may yet come to blows, but we hope you might instead heed the example of the white minority of South Africa, who came to realize that the path of minority rule, and subjugation of the will of the majority, was a path of mutually assured destruction, of endless bloodshed in which they were unlikely to prevail. 

But we need you to figure that out on your own now, because we’re done with you. We know how you are, and you’re not going to be allowed to continue fucking us over.

Now, therefore, the representatives of the future Democratic Republic of America, based on the will of the people and their elected representatives, appealing to whatever deity folks choose to worship regarding the rectitude of this plan, do solemnly publish and declare, that these blue states are and damn well ought to be free and independent to determine their own destiny, and that after July 4, 2032 we will no longer be bound by the 1787 Constitution of the United States, and that any and all political connection between them and the future Confederate States of America (or whatever you want to end up calling yourselves) is and damn well ought to be totally obliterated, and that we will be a free and independent state, able to wage war, negotiate peace, join alliances of like-minded democracies, trade with whom we please, levy sanctions on regimes that have no respect for human rights, and do anything else a free and sovereign people have the right to do, and know that in support of this here divorce letter, we are willing to put our blood, our treasure and our reputations on the line.

PS: Don’t expect any fucking alimony!

With love, 

Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and by all rights, Georgia too, but we’ll swap you for North Carolina. Call our attorney.