Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nothing Secedes Like Secession

Gone forever the palmier days of the Nixonian era, when we were surprised to learn that there lived in our midst a "Silent Majority," an angry, scandalized, overtly religious and generally (we thought back then) elderly, white population. People who had no voice of their own, apparently (since silence was part of the brand), but who relied on the likes of Dick Nixon, Ed Meese, Ronald Reagan and Chuck Colson to speak their minds for them. Quieter times, if not gentler ones.

Forty years later, the din from this angry white mob of the disenfranchised is nearly as loud, grating and unrelenting as the Christmas music being piped into your local Super Wal Mart. And as night must follow day, the talk is of secession, evidently on the grounds that any collective decision taken in a putative if faltering democracy which does not accord with their own view of things cannot, ipso facto, have been a conclusion reached by a majority. What else but to voluntarily absent themselves from the Union and begin afresh with God's blessings and exclusive favor?

 Let's start over.

Secession petitions have appeared like a nasty rash on a White House website set up expressly to receive citizens' petitions. The petitions taken together have nearly 700,000 signatories - just about exactly the number of Texans able to write their own name on an important document such as an installment agreement for a 72-inch plasma screen TV for the rumpus room wall in the trailer. But no, in all fairness the petitions come from all 50 states, though most of them have originated, I suspect, from white bastions across the Swine Fever Belt. Guvunner Rick Perry is implicated in none of this current round of trash talk.

But they've convinced me, as I've mentioned before. I've become a states' righter almost overnight. Nothing secedes like secession, I say, so go for it and may God speed your efforts at nation building. I say this, not from any principle involving the rights of states, nor from any overarching poitical theory such as federalism, let's say, or the venerable Roman Catholic system of hierarchical pederasty. Nor do I entirely agree that a nation should be free to prepare its citizens for the 21st century by enforcing a strict regimen of creation science in its schools.

No, my agreement with the secessionists comes from a facile self-interest. First, the resulting federal budget surplus in this newly truncated nation of non-"real Americans" (or "unreal Americans"?) would enable us to build a veritable Utopian society - free high-speed rail, an excellent system of free universal health care, quality universal public education, superb roads, safe bridges, a no-fail power grid, disaster readiness, a courteous and efficient nationalized airline. In short, it would be a kind of reverse "Left Behind" in which everyone who's left behind gets all the good stuff ( you remember, all the "stuff" you voted for in the first place.)

And best of all, a friendly socialist pat on the ass in parting: the generous redistribution of all those newly released Social Security funds for liberal slackers and takers like me.


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