March 22, 2010

A Balm in Gilead

I have a proposition for the ultra-conservatives in this country and for the rest of us. Now, I’m not including all born-again or fundamentalist Christians in this proposal—only those who don’t like the way this country was originally set up and would like to change the direction it’s going. Anyone who wishes to would be welcome to participate and no one would be forced to.
Here it is:

I propose that the US cede a certain territory--say with the Rio Grande as the southern and western borders, then east along the Arkansas river to the  Mississippi river on the east—as a sovereign territory to be handed over to those who don’t want to live under the US Constitution anymore. For convenience’ sake, I’ll call the new nation ‘Gilead’. The area is not cast in stone—it is simply one possible region to consider.
The territory thus created would have abundant farmland, a coast and an already developed infrastructure including a number of urban areas ranging from large cities to small towns and the connecting highway network within it. It would also include the oil reserves of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana.

Now, before those remaining behind get all up-in-arms—allow me to remind you: the infrastructure was paid for by everyone’s tax dollars. Gilead’s citizens paid taxes while they were US citizens and are entitled to the benefits they would have received from them had they remained in the US.
Think about it on an individual level: if you and your family were to move from California to Boston, you would be inheriting the communication systems, roads and water lines set up there before you arrived. The same would be occurring here—just on a larger scale.
The two governments involved could, should they choose to, arrange a repayment agreement for the infrastructure inherited by Gilead.

As to those oil reserves: as the United States of America proceeds into the 21st century without the ball and chain of the population of Gilead around its ankle, it won't need them anymore.  In fact, ceding them to the infant nation may just spur us to get on with the transition already!

Homeowners who live inside Gilead’s boundary who wish to move out could list their homes on the internet. Those who live outside Gilead and wish to move in could do the same. We would then do a 1:1 swap between homes of comparably assessed value. The homeowners would carry their mortgages with them and pay them off on their new properties—or work out appropriate agreements with their respective lending institutions. Those who are renting would simply move to the area of their choice.

A jobs exchange could also be set up online and people could apply for jobs which would be abandoned by those leaving the area they wish to migrate to.

The area to be included is already populated by a number of people who would want to live in Gilead—so there would be less inconvenience to the general population than would occur if either the east or west coast were the region to be ceded.
Even so, this mass migration would take a while—so why don’t we give ourselves about 15 years to complete the move? This would avoid a massive upheaval of the population all at once and give Gilead’s government time to get set up before the Date of Government Transference.

Considerably less than one generation after implementation of the plan, those people who believe the Constitution was a mistake could move to Gilead and create their own country. Gilead would have no ties to the United States beyond a common boundary and any ambassadorial and trade functions the two governments wish to pursue—just as we have now with Mexico and Canada.

* Inside Gilead, if they wish their legislation to consist of the laws set forth in Leviticus, they could set that up.
* If the primary government or that of any city or state wants to put the 10 Commandments or a Nativity Scene on a public building’s lawn or in the lobby, they could do so.
* If the people want to ban any religion other than Christianity, they could do that, too.
* They could close all businesses on Sundays if they wish.
* They could mandate state-sponsored prayer in the schools. They could ban evolution and teach only creationism.. They could include Bible Study in their curricula, as well.
* They could give government funds to faith-based charities and allow discriminatory hiring.
* Given today’s technology, if they wanted to keep unwanted radio and television broadcasts from crossing their borders as well as limiting internet access, I imagine they could do so.
* They could limit marriage to a union between one man and one woman and bar LGBTQ individuals from living in their country [though how they would manage that I do not know.]
* They could ban abortion and contraception and practice abstinence-only and the rhythm method.
* They could allow hospitals to refuse medical care to any woman hemorrhaging from a miscarriage.
* They could ban stem cell research and outlaw the use of any cures found through such research.
* They could prohibit assisted suicide and direct hospitals to practice all heroic measures to maintain life for as long as possible.

Well, you can see the advantages, I’m sure.

Once an adult moved to Gilead, he or she would no longer be a citizen of the US and would not have the Right of Return. If, on the off chance, someone wanted to come back, they would get in line like any other immigrant and go through the full process. [I would recommend an exception be made for people who were below some agreed-on age—say 21—when the move occurred so that people who were minors on the Date of Transfer can make their own decisions when they reach adulthood. Most of them, though, would likely choose to remain where they grew up.]
Travel between the two countries on business or vacation or to visit friends and relatives would be fully permitted, of course, with the same restrictions currently practiced between the US, Canada and Mexico.

In exchange, the United States’ Constitution would be left intact. Those of us remaining in this country would be let alone to live our lives as we wish to do.

This seems to me to be a win-win situation for everyone involved. The needs and wants of all current United States citizens could be met with minimum upheaval and turmoil.

And, whatever you may be thinking—no, this is not tongue-in-cheek. I’ve been thinking about a way out of the situation this country finds itself in and, though many details would have to be worked out, this general plan seems to me to be a fair and equitable solution.
For what it's worth, I originally published this post back in 2001. Since that time it has become even more urgent that some solution to our situation be found. More and more, I believe, our circumstances are becoming untenable. We must search for a viable alternative to our current problems. I think this proposition may be our best chance.


Dave Dubya said...

I'd even let the authoritarians call their country Amerika, White America, or Confederate States of America, or whatever.

The United States may even re-ratify the Constitution, and re-pledge to affirm our right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. And any politician who incites fear in the people with lies and deception shall be tried as a domestic terrorist.

two crows said...

hi, Dave--
so what do you think of my 'divorce agreement'?

yeah, they could name the country whatever they want -- Gilead just has a kinda nice religious ring to it, doesn't it?

yeah, re-ratifying the Constitution does seem to be in order.
Acourse, we'll have to put a bunch of stuff back into it. Like habeas corpus, a spelled-out refusal to endorse torture, free speech, the right to privacy, no sponsoring of a specific religion, etc. etc. etc.

Brother Tim said...

This may be coming sooner than you think. It may even split up into 4 or more regional governments, much like what happened to the USSR. Don't be misled into believing 'It can't happen here'.

two crows said...

hi Brother Tim--
yeah, I think it may.
that's why I'm hoping against hope that our government wakes up and takes the lead in making the choice rather than going to civil war to try to prevent it.

historically, republics haven't lasted too long.
if the US gov't would choose to let go of the dissenters, it might last longer than if it tries to force us all to remain together as splintered as we all are right now.

Tengrain said...

Two Crows -

an interesting idea, to say the least. I think instead of Gilead, you should consider calling it Gilligan. Truth in advertising.



two crows said...

thanx for stopping by Tengrain--
Gilligan would work. too bad it wouldn't really _be_ an island.
still -- I figure bordering it with rivers would make it harder to sneak into the US with WMD's. too bad there'd be no river on the western border.

the fact that it would, almost certainly, be a totalitarian country might result in Gilead/Gilligan building its own wall along the western edge. problem solved.

PoliShifter said...

Hi Two Crows

I too have had similar thoughts and written posts about just letting these right wing fucks have their own country.

Though I prefer to call it Dumbfuckistan. Most of the Red States pay the least in federal taxes and get the most back.

We'll see how well they fair on their own.

Be funny to watch a right wing government have to raise taxes on its right wing citizenry only to have them flee back to the United States to escape excessive taxation.

Also, while the right wingers love all their guns my guess is a right wing governmet won't let just anyone have a gun.

I am for the secessionists.

I think the question is what region of the country do they get and relocating people who don't want to live in RightWingVille and vice-versa.

I am in California so I think I am fairly safe though we do have very conservative regions.

Could it be done in an orderly fashion?

For example a right winger in California may want to go live in this new country and a Liberal in what is now right wing country may want to stay in the United States. Perhaps we could set up job swap and house swap programs where people in comparible jobs making comparible salaries living in comparable homes can trade.

What I don't want is a bloodbath. If we can have an orderly restructuring of the 50 States in such away that placates the divide in this country that's fine.

If it's a fight to the death I'm sorry but the south will lose again.

two crows said...

hey, Poli--
what are the url's for your posts? I'd like to read em.

well, if they want to flee back here, in my perfect world, they'll have to take a citizenship test.
what do you want to bet the secessionists don't have a clue about the founding of this country, the history previous to its founding or the Constitution?

as I said in the post, I chose the region I did because it's already got lots of secessionists in it. that would, hopefully, lessen the amount of upheaval.
fwiw -- when I wrote the post, I lived within Gilead's boundaries. I've moved out since then, [although the number of wingnuts in FL are probably on a par with MO.]

as to it being done in an orderly fashion -- that's why I gave it 15 years.
but, when we look at the precedent [India and Pakistan] that was pretty brutal, I think -- even with Gandhi to help steer it along.
and those two countries are mortal enemies, still.
so, I have no guarantees this will work.

still, I think it would have to be better than what we've got today.
I say, let's stick em all in one place and let em try to make a go of living their own version of the sheria laws.
AND see if they can handle closing all businesses on Sundays [electric companies? fire departments? police departments? water departments? yeah, right.]

as to it being a fight to the death -- THAT'S why I want this plan. another civil war could be the only alternative.

PoliShifter said...

Hi Two Crows

here is one that I can find, I will have to look for the others

PoliShifter said...

A couple more that are not all about breaking up the country but talk about it.

two crows said...

thanks for the urls, Poli--
I'll give em a read.

two crows said...

oh and btw--
I've rethunk the region to be ceded.

How about the Virgin Islands? They'd love the name-- and it WOULD be a number of Islands. No problems with boundaries.

Just a thought.

two crows said...

for those who access this post after July, 2007, please note that the borders have changed. I moved the proposed northern border so now only one side is bordered by a river.

I just don't want to foster confusion if you read the comments above and see references to 2 river borders.

Juny said...

This is a political Civil War and like the martial Civil War the 'rebs w/no cause' can make all the splash and noise they want but in the end, like it was 145 to 150 years ago, demographics of non-whites, mixed-race, and progressive whites will put them in an electoral Appomattox this November to once again end their dreams of their 'peculiar institutional thinking'.

two crows said...

I hope you're right, Juny.
but then, I thought the insanity would end when Bush II left office. I was wrong - it just got stronger. one major reason was likely because Obama was elected.

as the nation progresses toward more inclusivity, those who are determined to exclude WILL just become more and more hysterical.

that's why I think Gilead may be the best [if not only] option. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
two crows said...

Another update. I just changed the proposed borders again. Now the new nation of Gilead is again bordered by rivers. Just so you can keep up with my obsession with this idea . . . .