Yes, that’s right—Scotland!
OK, let me back up. Recently, I have been obsessing over the possibility of America plunging into a second civil war. And I’m not the only one. Political experts are concerned that multiple warning signs indicate a violent conflict may be erupting soon.
Furthermore, even if armed militias don’t attack the government—again—the fact remains that America is becoming “two very different countries: a blue one and a red one, with little in shared identity and vastly different health and economic outcomes.”
For example, people in blue states live longer, have higher incomes, are more likely to have health care, and are less likely to get shot. But, to be fair, people in red states are less economically productive and more likely to die a miserable “death of despair.”
So there’s that.
In any case, maintaining one unified nation “may no longer be possible or even advisable,” and a “two-state solution may be the only answer to America’s woes.”
But do we really need to dissolve the country? Is there another potential solution?
Well, that brings us back to Scotland. You see, this hilly land of quirky accents “exists within the framework and political union of the United Kingdom and retains its sovereign state status and strong national identity.” Scotland has a large degree of self-autonomy “through a process called devolution with [its] own devolved government.”
This means that Scotland is officially part of the U.K., but to a great extent, it functions as an independent nation. That’s an oversimplification, of course, but the point is that many nations have autonomous regions.
So how would that work here?
Well, I live in California, and if there is any state that can realistically function as its own region, it’s this one. Yes, I know that California is, to paraphrase Fox News, an apocalyptic hellscape of loony liberals, high taxes, and homeless trans gangbangers who will force you to have an abortion and then strangle you with a burning American flag.
But you can’t beat the weather.
Look, we all know that California has its issues, and our state has lost population recently. I should mention, however, that not all transplants are leaving for Texas or Arizona. In fact, a “rising number of former Californians are migrating out of the country altogether and are instead heading south of the border” to seek a “more relaxed and affordable lifestyle in Mexico.”
Yikes. How long until crowds in Mexico start chanting, “Build the wall!”?
But I digress.
The point is that California has one of the largest economies in the world, a wealth of natural resources, myriad cultural advantages, and a fairly strong infrastructure. Also, if we didn’t give an enormous amount of our tax dollars to fund the red states, we would be in even better shape.
Of course, no one knows if semi-autonomy would work in America. It’s just theoretical. But let’s look at one example of what this might look like.
California has America’s toughest gun laws, and by any measurement, they work. This is in contrast to red-state America, where shootings are more frequent. In fact, despite all the shrieking about rising crime in blue states, studies show that “murder rates are actually higher in states and cities controlled by Republicans.”
Now, according to the GOP, gun violence just has to be accepted as part of a free society, an opinion that “is a striking departure from how the country as a whole views the issue.” In fact, Trump voters are about three times as likely as Biden voters to believe that “there is no way to stop mass shootings in the U.S.”
So, as they continue to mow each other down in Mississippi, we here in California should have the right to not be infected by gun-crazy conservatives. As a semi-autonomous region, we could establish gun safety measures and enact laws that simply wouldn’t fly in Alabama. And we could strictly enforce them within our borders.
Think of it as states’ rights but against racism.
Semi-autonomous regions are preferable to allowing the nation to fracture into two—or more—dueling countries. And the current situation—where we have granted “a veto over national policy to a minority of the states”—is unsustainable. And, yes, it is indeed “ironic that a nation so afraid of minorities is victimized by minority rule.”
Ha, yeah, we all laugh at the irony. Just look at all the laughing.
Regardless, I have no idea if semi-autonomous zones are the answer. They are just one suggestion in a painfully short list of possible resolutions to our current state of anocracy.
However, if we are not willing to consider innovative ideas, then we must answer the following question: How much longer will “economically vibrant and culturally diverse blue-state America be willing to subsidize its red-state brethren, particularly as the latter try to impose their extremist views on guns and religion to women’s rights?”
At some point, there will be no solutions.
There will only be chaos.
Featured image by Kevin Hutchinson/CC BY 2.0