A thorough examination of how two new United States could emerge from a Constitutional Convention to divide the nation into two new portions must include a look at the geography of those new nations. The case for pursuing this course of action is clear because of the great and unbridgeable chasm between the Left and Right on some many critical issues. The first and foremost disagreement concerns Federalism or the size, scope and power of the Federal government. The sides have vastly different outlooks on that vital issue. Personal freedom from Federal control and regulation is very important to the Right but the Left views that central authority as benign or even a force for good. Economic and tax policies couldn’t be more disparate between the sides. Then there is the list of social issues that are viewed differently be the sides. The sides don’t respect the views of each other and indeed on many important matters see the perspective of the other side as anathema to their core beliefs. To some extent it can be viewed as large urban areas versus the outer suburbs or rural
America. The divide between those two areas could not be more profound. Geography matters greatly in all societies and cultures and the division of the US should be sensitive to those effects.
Fortunately the geographic separation is mostly manifest to any rational mind. One only needs to look at the last few decades of Presidential elections and the elections down ballot at both the Federal and State level. It is very apparent that the Left is concentrated in the Coastal regions of the country and that definition of coastal would include several states around the coasts of the Great Lakes. Thus a likely moniker of “Coastal America” because that would be a reasonably accurate description. But one of many advantages of this separation is that the new Left region can call themselves whatever they want. The remainder of the country is “Middle America” or whatever that region will ultimately wish to call themselves. Coastal America would encompass the area north of Virginia to Maine and then pick up a couple of three states on the Great Lakes shores and then move west to the Pacific and all three states from California to Washington.
The Left should be more than satisfied with the area. It would include many of the great cities. They would have New York, Boston, Philly, Baltimore and it is posited here that they could have Washington D. C. Then they would pick up Chicago and likely Detroit. Out west they get those great urban areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco. They would have a huge industrial base and abundant natural resources if they wish to develop them. They would have plenty of great port cities and access to both oceans. They would get the economic center in New York for as long as they can keep it. They would have great advantages they could exploit. Indeed some might point out many difficulties like the NYSE and the commodity exchanges being in Coastal America but that wouldn’t prevent cross border commerce and Middle America would be free to compete for all that business and the better run economy would emerge the strongest which is as it should be. As far as this commentator is concerned Coastal America could keep D. C. Middle America would choose its own capital city. Many of those Lefties in northern Virginia would decide to leave because the size and scope of the Federal authority in D. C. would diminish and Virginia would return to a more robust and long term rational balance economically and politically. Remember there would be a free flow of people and trade between both nations. But you would be a citizen of only one or the other with the attendant right and privileges granted by your chosen nation. You would be subject to the local criminal laws of the nation where you reside or visit and have to pay locally imposed taxes but all other legal matters would be determined by you own nation or State as the case may be. There would be a sufficient time period allowed for people to migrate from one area to the other before the division takes official status.
Middle America would have the Mississippi and Missouri and the Gulf of Mexico and access to the Atlantic from the southern states. It would not have direct access to the Pacific but the Panama Canal would be accessible and trade and goods would be allowed to flow freely to the Pacific coast from Middle America so there would be no impediment to its economic viability. There would also be very abundant natural resources available and it would continue to be the breadbasket for all America and much of the world. There would be beautiful and beckoning sea shores and New Orleans for the entertainment minded.
Yes, there would be many concerns to be addressed but they could be dealt with. Even the professional sports of the US could continue without interruption. It might even add a little more spice to some of the rivalries. Take the time to look at a map and you can see the logic of this division. Each state after the Constitutional convention would make its own determination as to which nation it would elect. That selection process by each state would be determined by each state, closer to the real voters. For each problem with this proposed solution think about each new opportunity it brings to the two sides. The Left can have tax policy as they wish. They can attack the “rich” to their heart’s content and use affirmative action as a hammer to fashion the society they want and do these things without any interference from the Right. They can let their judges legislate directly from the bench if that is their desire. They would be free to nationalize any industry or enterprise they wish for the greater good to spread the wealth around in any manner they deem more equitable. All problems can be solved and both sides will be so much more content without having to deal with the other. The hard cold facts are we don’t like each other and there no longer exist even mutual respect for the views of the other. All societies are better off dealing with reality rather than a fantasy society built on the bludgeon of legal force against a sizable minority. I am confident about the future of Middle America; it will be a nation to take pride it and support and Coastal America can forge its own destiny for good or ill. Give these ideas reflection. We created the US from nothing and it turn out pretty good; each of the new nations would have tremendous advantages in their fresh starts. More of the problems and concerns you envision will be addressed in future posts.
“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” James Madison. US President. http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com