Blue-state secessionist

If you live in the Northeast as I do, have you looked at the projected 2012 electoral map lately?  See that blue lake of color spread across ten states? That’s our bubble. At a time when the left/right, Republican/Dem divide has never been deeper, maybe it’s time for us to declare a stalemate, surrender the dialogue, and retreat to our respective bubbles.

Perhaps the best tactic up here in the blue zone would be to revisit the demands of the New England Federalists in 1814. It was then, in Hartford, Connecticut, in the midst of the punishing War of 1812, that seafaring New Englanders proposed secession in a desperate protest against the devastating economic blowback from the conflict with the British.

Those angry New Englanders were following a well-worn path. History is littered with ethnic and linguistic groups, political purists, or downright angry, xenophobic mobs who, fed up with negotiating the jostle and political compromises of diversity, preferred to retreat into the warm embrace of similarity.  It’s called secession.

If you’re having a problem imagining what the secessionist impulse is all about, think the Confederacy, Texans, the Tea Party, the Basques, the Quebecois, the Kurds of northern Iraq, the Palestinians.

You might be surprised to learn where in the world a new tribe is proposing to break away. This time it’s northern Italians shouting “basta!”   Extremist members of the Lega Nord, a confederation of eight regions in northern Italy, are expressing the frustration of many of their compatriots—the Milanese and the Venetians among them—who live and work in the most industrialized and prosperous areas of Italy. They’re saying in no uncertain terms that they’re fed up with shouldering the financial burden for the more impoverished southern regions. What the most vocal amongst them want is the whole cheese: secession and creation of an autonomous state to be named Padania.

The Italians may be choosing the right path. If they’re frustrated enough to talk about ripping apart the boot, why not us? We northeasterners could just pick up where the New England Federalists left off in 1814.

So what say you, New York, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and D.C.?  Beep your Prius horns if you want to have a go at it. Let’s stop beating our heads against the ideological divide and stop duking out the culture wars.  Let’s go it alone. Let’s abandon the industrial ruins of the Midwest and midwesterners’ indecisive shuffling from blue to red and back again, leave the gun-crazy Southwest to conceal-carry till their pants fall down, and simply pretend that we’ll never again fly south for the winter and bask in snoozy sunlight below the Mason-Dixon.

(Note to the “live free or die” state: Folks, you’re going to have to get your act together and stop waffling between blue and red if you want to play in our game.)

And for those who walk the red line but live in the blue, we’ll respectfully acknowledge that you live somewhat peacefully among us.  Many of you are our neighbors.   Still, when our new blue union is created, why not take Mitt Romney’s advice and self-deport to more congenial climes? You’ll find a lot of folks in the red  who will welcome you with open arms.

Once we’ve seceded, we’ll even negotiate treaties with those of you whom we’ve left behind . First, we’ll start by agreeing to disagree.  Then, we’ll promise to stop trying to push our views on you, if you’ll promise to stop trying to push yours on us.  How great would it be to not have to negotiate with us teary-eyed knee-jerkers with our annoying talk of economic fairness, concern for the middle class and impoverished, and the clouded future of the planet? What a sense of liberation you’ll have when you can pursue, with no pushback, your own fun and fanciful reddish ways.

So go ahead and teach your teen-agers abstinence only, and outlaw birth control and abortion. Go all the way and mandate that doctors medically probe into pregnant women’s vaginas without their consent. Throw away that stuffy, useless scientific method and teach your children that the world’s three thousand years old.  While you’re at it, drag your kids out of college.

Build your stockpiles of new nukes. Gobble up your super-sized, unlabeled GMO foodstuffs. Bust your unions and fire your teachers, cops, and firefighters. Let loose and let your impoverished live on the streets. Criminalize the Mexican farm workers, housekeepers, gardeners, and sitters you depend on. (And why stop there? For a bit of Saturday afternoon fun, why not get together after the game and fill out the forms to deport their American-born children and finally kill their dreams once and for all?)

Let your sick get sicker for lack of insurance and access to doctors’ care. Shout “drill, baby, drill” till your voices crack.  Pollute your air, water, and land.  Frack to your heart’s content.

But, please, just leave us alone in our bright blue bubble. All we want here is the chance to at last say to you (as the Padanians hope someday to say to their southern neighbors), “Arrivederci!”

Renee Shur Renee Shur (89 Posts)

Renee Shur lives and works in New York’s Hudson Valley.


  • Licens2kill2000

    We’ll have to take Utah, Arizona, Indiana and (sigh) West Virginia, and there’s no way I’d give up Alaska.  That way, we have contiguity and the biggest chunk of real estate in the Northwest.  That said, let’s do it, and close off the borders for 10 years — and then see how many of the Reds want to come back in to the USA.

    Oh, and let’s negotiate a place for Atlanta, Ga — something like Berlin during the Cold War.  It’s a nice city, most people are Blue, and there’s the matter of the Braves and Falcons.  (Texas, alas, can stew in its own juices for the decade it will take for intelligent Texans to rest control from the racist goobers and science-denunciators who control it today.)

    Give it ten years and I’m thinking a dozen Red states would come back.  The rest can stay in the hell of their own creating.

  • Hemlock5200

    Disagreeing with right wingers, bigots, gun nuts, etc. is just part of the deal that comes with democracy.  I can live with that.  The distribution of expenditures will differ from the distribution of tax burdens in every nation, and even a reformed nation of New England.  I can live with that too.  What does matter, though, is the way economic flows might change.  In 1776, our founding fathers were aiming the Declaration of Independence at the rule of King George III, but the separation they really wanted was from the British merchants systematically stripping wealth from the colonies.  Similarly, we’re not happy with Washington in large measure because it is massively corrupt and it lends its power to corporations who are also stripping away the wealth from our communities.  I am vigorously in favor of erecting barriers to national and international corporations.

  • Bluestocking

    I recently informed a red-stater on another site that if they should ever become sufficiently fed up to consider seceding, I’d be more than happy to let them go it alone and see how well they do…but that unless they want civil war (and I think some of them actually do), one thing they’d better be prepared to do is either purchase or surrender all the military equipment that is housed in their state.  That stuff belongs to the US government…it isn’t theirs.

  • Phil Martin

    Have you ever been to Delaware or Maine? Reading this, I have my doubts…

    This red/blue divide has a fractal pattern – if you drew the map by district instead of state, and then by neighborhood instead of district, and then by household instead of neighborhood, and then by individual instead of household, and then by issue instead of individual, you’d see that you’re not in a bubble, and you never will be.

  • Bluestocking

    How long would it take, do you think, for some of the former red states to petition for foreign aid from the US government?  I actually don’t think it would take very long…maybe no more than two or three years.

  • Pluege

    a lot to be said for it.

    Aside from not being subject to their constant idiocy, the best part would be for blue staters to stop subsidizing the morons in red states while they rail against my blue state tax dollars subsidizing them. I’d be more than happy for my New Jersey 33 cents of every federal tax dollar to stop going to the suckling red states. See how much they miss blue stater ‘national community’ and ‘we’re all in this together’ ways then. 

  • Thomas Ware

    My as yet unpublished book (amongst others) is Where The Salmonberry Grow, Cascadia, A Place Apart. Neither of the Pacific nor of the North “American” but rather the rubble, the detris, built up over millions of years of collision twixt the two, where our waters run to sea through the Northern Hemisphere’s only “temperate” rainforest, and those waters are Kool-Aid free.

    There is nothing east of The Rocky Mountains we need.

  • Sidney18511

    Maybe when the redstate patriots find themselves living under their crumbling bridges with their uneducated hungry children and the only jobs available pay $3.00/hr, they will put down their “don’t tread on me” flags and realize that they have been played for fools. But…maybe not.

  • charmed

    Well, we know that Communism has failed, so we need to continue the march towards Fabian Socialism.  Only by soaking the rich will we prosper!

  • charmed

    Oh, I do not mean to denigrate communists, please study their methods of gaining control!!!  Extremely valuable!  Study their tactics!!

  • Spudz

    Starng how the above map was published in July 2012, and the november election was EXACTLY the same. Perhaps the popular mass media, had already elected the president in july, BEFORE the common man had a chance to voice their opion and cast their vote….