by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
We should peacefully break into two countries, one made of red states and one of blue. The red one would still be called the United States of America, since it would otherwise have to alter the lyrics of every song its citizens know. The blue one would be renamed something racially inclusive and exceedingly long and hard to remember. The Exceedingly Long-Named Country would be free to have the laws it has always griped about not being able to pass. Instead of guns, cops would carry Change.org petitions. Strip malls would be full of Planned Parenthood clinics. Recreational drugs would be sold at convenience stores instead of in convenience-store parking lots. It would be a Scandinavia-like country where very few people worked, income was redistributed through taxes and all the citizens lied to one another about which movies they saw.
Once the blue states were their own country, they would develop a greater appreciation for the South, as a foreign country they could visit when Mexico seemed like too much effort and Canada too little. A land filled with charming storytellers so friendly they say “Hi” even though they don’t know you. A place with the best breakfasts in the entire world. Where it’s easy to navigate since everyone speaks English, but figuring stuff out is still a bit of a fun challenge because, after all, it’s not really English. A place where you can shoot guns, drive cars with combustion engines and drink beer that isn’t painfully bitter–all at the same time. Best of all, the vacation would be really cheap. Imagine the fun of paying for your bed-and-breakfast with colorful Southern money. “Two Dolly Partons and one Merle Haggard? That’s like half a Samuel Gompers!” And just like when Northerners visit any other foreign country, if they get sick on vacation, they’ll want to come back home since the hospitals down there definitely won’t take their health care coverage. This split would in no way prevent Southerners from vacationing up North for the same reasons they always have: they have relatives there and have no choice.