I have had it. The U.S. has become a hopelessly fractured, divided country. The average person feels little ability to influence the policies of the national government. We send representatives to Washington, and instead of being our voice in Washington, they end up becoming part of the Washington power elite. We had a Congressman some years back, Dan Glickman, who did not even reside in his District during the last part of his Congressional tenure. He just melded into the Washington scene, never to be heard from again as far as his District is concerned. Not exactly what our founding fathers had in mind.
In looking at the electoral map provided at http://www.electoral-vote.com/ it is obvious that the U.S. needs to be broken up into smaller countries that are more cohesive than the mess we've got now. Those areas that like being ruled by the Republicans, that like the uncontrolled deficit spending, the disastrous foreign policies that have made us the laughingstock of the world, and the head-in-the-sand refusal to address the health care criss, those areas can go their merry way and continue to elect Republicans. Those areas of the country which would like to move into the 21st century with alternative energy and humane foreign and domestic policies can do so free of Republican domination.
I propose that the 3 Pacific Ocean states be one country. Perhaps the capitol could be in Portland, the largest city in the middle of the 3 states.
Next we would have the huge mass of Western states over to the Eastern borders of North & South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Next we would have the Southeastern states, basically the states of the old Confederacy except for Texas.
The 4th country would be the upper Midwest, basically the "Rust Belt" states. These would include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and perhaps Missouri.
Next we would have the New England states, plus New York, Pennsylvania, and the little states down to the Northern border of Virginia & West Virginia. One important caveat here, though. Vermont has its own secessionist movement which has been gaining traction in recent years. Support among Vermonters is now at 13%, up from 8% the year before. For an article explaining Vermont's rationale for secession, see http://www.vermontrepublic.org/in_defense_of_vermonts_secession_from_the_union_2 For a concise statement of the 8 principles of the Second Vermont Republic movement, see http://www.vermontrepublic.org/about
In recognition of its progress towards independence, I would give Vermonters the option of being its own country (as it was from 1775 to 1791). Similarly, Maine could choose to become part of Canada if it wished. That leaves us with the problem states of Missouri and West Virginia. Both of these states voted twice for Clinton, then twice for Bush. They would have to choose where to go, with Missouri choosing between the Confederacy and the Midwest Republic and the West, while West Virginia would have to choose between the Confederacy and the New England Republic and the Midwest.
Think of the benefits! Each of the new countries would be free to pursue it own vision and ideas of how to make the best future for its people. As one of the Vermont principles says, "We believe life should be lived on a human scale. Small is still beautiful."
Putting Missouri with the Midwest, West Virginia with the South, and Nevada with the West, the current 538 electoral votes would break down as follows: Pacific--73, West--102, South--132, Midwest--107, New England--117, Hawaii--4, and Alaska-3.
When Obama says "We are not a collection of red states and blue states, we are the *United* States of America, I think he is engaging in wishful thinking. The fact is that not only are we a collection of red and blue states, but we are a collection of red and blue *regions*. The only states out of step with the rest of their region in the above breakdown are Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri. Colorado and New Mexico have longstanding traditions of supporting environmental concerns and opposing unchecked growth. (Years ago I recall seeing a sign in New Mexico saying "Don't Californicate New Mexico".) Missouri is really a Southern state, and the southern portions of Indiana and Ohio are really southern also at heart, possibly explaining why those stateas are out of step with the rest of the Midwest.
The electoral vote distribution between Obama and McCain based on region is 301-237 for Obama. Adjusting for the discrepancy posed by the 5 states just mentioned add 28 to McCain's total, arriving at the current (as of 9/22) electoral vote count of 273-265.
On the Mountain: Comforted / Called
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