"THE COUNTRY HAS NEVER BEEN MORE DIVIDED, AND GIVEN OUR INCREASING MULTICULTURALISM, THIS DIVISION WILL ONLY GROW..."
THE IDEOLOGICAL FRACTURING OF AMERICA
PUBLISHED: 13th March, 2017 | By ROBERT TAYLOR
Over at the New Republic, Kevin Baker pens a "modest proposal for separating blue states from red." With ironic echoes of Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged, Baker argues that for too long, blue states have been supposedly carrying the burden of the federal government. Blue states have subsidized infrastructure projects, schools, power plants, and highways in red states, and they have thanked their wise, progressive benefactors by becoming "more bitter, white, and alt-right than ever."
Baker's solution? Dissolution, which Baker calls “Bluexit”:
So here’s my modest proposal:
You go your way, we go ours.
We give up. You win. From now on, we’ll treat the animating ideal on which the United States was founded—out of many, one—as dead and buried. Federalism, true federalism, which you have vilified for the past century, is officially over, at least in spirit. You want to organize the nation around your cherished principle of states’ rights—the idea that pretty much everything except the U.S. military and paper currency and the national anthem should be decided at the local level? Fine. We won’t formally secede, in the Civil War sense of the word. We’ll still be a part of the United States, at least on paper. But we’ll turn our back on the federal government in every way we can, just like you’ve been urging everyone to do for years, and devote our hard-earned resources to building up our own cities and states. We’ll turn Blue America into a world-class incubator for progressive programs and policies, a laboratory for a guaranteed income and a high-speed public rail system and free public universities. We’ll focus on getting our own house in order, while yours falls into disrepair and ruin.
In short, we’ll take our arrogant, cosmopolitan, liberal-elite football—wait, make that soccer ball—and go home...
...For starters, we now endorse cutting the federal income tax to the bone—maybe even doing the full Wesley Snipes and abolishing it altogether. We will raise our state and local taxes accordingly to pay for anything we might need or want. We ask nothing more from you and your federal government. Nothing for infrastructure, or housing, or the care of the poor and sick—not that you gave us much, anyway. All we want is our money, and you can keep yours, dollar for dollar.
No more Obamacare? Hey, that hot mess was tricked out the way it was mostly to appease you in the first place. Since we have nearly all of the country’s leading hospitals, medical schools, and medical research institutes—and a much healthier population, one that’s happily short on automatic weapons—I’m sure we’ll come up with something better.
Go ahead, keep on voting against your own economic interests to satisfy your need to control other people’s bodies, sex lives, and recreational habits. We’ll be creating cities and states that will defend gay marriage, a woman’s right to choose, and sensible gun control against your intrusive federal judiciary.
Now, this is a liberal diatribe against Trump's America and all of those stupid, rural hicks who vote "against their economist interest," (forgive me for not being too shocked that Middle America preferred Trump's economic nationalism to Hillary's "hemispheric common market" and global corporatism), so the hysteria is predictable.
But what I cannot critique is Baker's conclusion. I have a whole chapter in my book dedicated to the topics of secession, nullification, and a breakup of the United States into smaller units. The country has never been more divided, and given our increasing multiculturalism, this division will only grow. Left and Right really do no matter as much anymore either; ideological liberals preferred Bernie to Hillary, and although Trump won, his Buchananite throwback nationalism represents a break from ideological conservatism.
Look around the country. Why should we all be crammed together under the same political unit? Why should the interests of Berkeley, California be subordinate to Belleville, Illinois, or the other way around?
So I fully support a Bluexit, and secession in general.
I do have a few issues, however, with Baker's bitter diatribes against red state America's supposed leaching off of the blue states. Obviously, a liberal like Baker is not going to be too well-versed in economics, otherwise his justifications for Bluexit—get those damned redneck parasites off my back!—lose a little of their strength.
I am not going to dispute the numbers Baker cites in his piece, many of which conclude that in general, blue states send more taxes to the federal government than they receive while the opposite is true for red states. But given that states are winner-take-all in elections, there are still a lot of Progressives who live in red states and conservatives who live in blue states, so simply grouping the tax receipts of individual states paints a misleading picture. For example, if only net taxpayers (meaning Whites) voted, the Democrats would receive less than 100 electoral college votes.
The U.S. government is also $19 trillion in debt, and owes $222 trillion in unfunded liabilities due to Medicare, Medicaid, the welfare state, and other entitlements. Did conservatives and libertarians inaugurate these programs or did progressives like Baker? The Federal Reserve, another creation of the Progressive Era, has essentially allowed the US government to paper over its financial liabilities by pyramiding debt. If the American public actually received a direct tax bill for all of the government they get, there'd be a revolt tomorrow.
Most glaringly, Baker also ignores demographics. Like I said earlier, Left and Right, while useful if you zoom out far enough among a population, does not account for the role that demographics plays in red and blue states.
Conservatives are fond of pointing out that crumbling Detroit has been run by Democrats for decades, but so have Denver, Portland, and Seattle. These blue areas like Colorado, Minnesota, New England, Washington, and Oregon are all beautiful, safe, and prosperous, while other blue areas like New York, California, and Illinois are massively in debt, have higher-than-average crime rates, and people (mostly Whites) are fleeing these states every day.
Progressives also might be embarrassed by the fact that California, thanks to its incredibly high cost of living and burdensome taxes, has produced a two-tier society: wealthy, suburban liberals and an immigrant underclass, many of which are there illegally. According to The Sacramento Bee, California's economy appears better than it is because it exports large numbers of its poor and working class who suffer under the state's progressive policies:
California exports more than commodities such as movies, new technologies and produce. It also exports truck drivers, cooks and cashiers.
Every year from 2000 through 2015, more people left California than moved in from other states. This migration was not spread evenly across all income groups, a Sacramento Bee review of U.S. Census Bureau data found. The people leaving tend to be relatively poor, and many lack college degrees. Move higher up the income spectrum, and slightly more people are coming than going.
About 2.5 million people living close to the official poverty line left California for other states from 2005 through 2015, while 1.7 million people at that income level moved in from other states – for a net loss of 800,000. During the same period, the state experienced a net gain of about 20,000 residents earning at least five times the poverty rate – or $100,000 for a family of three.
Baker points out that red states like Mississippi and Alabama are poor and heavily reliant on federal money, which is true. But again, demographics play a role; what are the major racial and cultural differences between these states and, say, Republican strongholds like prosperous Idaho and North Dakota?
Demographics matter. As a libertarian, it has always been tough for me to admit this (though I am finally coming around), but culture and demographics trump economics almost every single time. Conservatives can point to Venezuela and claim that state socialism is destroying the country, while the liberal will object that Sweden and Denmark seem to be doing just fine. And they'd both be right, but miss the demographic point by a mile.
Baker also takes a jab at the Alt-Right, and I may just be speculating here, but something tells me that he has not read a word of Carl Schmidt, Evola, or Hegel, let alone Richard Spencer. The Alt-Right must be about laissez-faire capitalism because, to the Left, everyone to their Right is a corporate apologist. While there are indeed more libertarian-leaning figures in the Alt-Right, from what I can tell, the majority of the Alt-Right are protectionist, pro-labor (support for unions and opposition to immigration which drives down wages), comfortable with a minimal welfare state, place an emphasis on conserving the environment, and critique global capitalism as atomizing and alienating.
After the recent debates over the GOP's Obamacare replacement bill, Richard Spencer even called for Trump to create a "single-payer" healthcare program so that we can stop having what he sees as a pointless political debate and get to what the Alt-Right cares about: demographics, immigration, multiculturalism, and preserving White identity and culture.
Now, I have my own libertarian critiques of people like Spencer and many on the Alt-Right—namely, that socialism and the welfare state are incredibly dysgenic no matter what race is implementing them—but their emphasis on the importance and reality of demographics cannot be ignored. Progressives like Baker, with their ideology dominated by liberal abstractions, always preach egalitarianism and equality out of one side out of their mouth but have no issues using identity politics to advance their interests against Whites who stubbornly "vote against their own interest." American Whites, more than any other ethnic group in the US, reject progressivism, which is why the Left hopes to replace them with a new, more compliant voting constituency.
On Twitter, Deplorable Primate's recent epic tweetstorm completely ripping apart Baker's Bluexit article also makes several points worth highlighting:
While Baker focuses on economics, taxes, and the supposed unfair parasitism of red states against blue states to make his argument for Bluexit, the reality of a country like America—and the West in general—with so much new and ever-increasing diversity means that economics will take a back seat to the tribe. Thanks to policies that progressives have cheered on, multiculturalism and diversity, especially in a democratic society, increases conflict, decreases social trust, civic participation, and voting, and makes people more tribal. This is why Whites, according to progressives, vote "against their economic interest."
This is why ethno-nationalism, not blue versus red states, will define the borders of the future in America if mass immigration, cultural marxism, and multiculti dogma continue unchecked.
So please, blue states, us on the Right urge you to take your soccerball and go home. But we also have long memories; there have been untold numbers of right-wingers and libertarians who have been maligned as "neo-confederates" and other nonsense, Bolshevik slurs for advocating secession, nullification, and dissolution when a Democrat was in charge of the federal government. The Right just wants to be left alone. We have no interest in dictating how you live your lives and run your states, and we would be much better off if progressive Puritans had no power to impose, meddle, and dictate as they are prone to do.
But would the progressives return the favor if the Right wanted out during a Bernie Sanders presidency? I doubt it. So for the next (hopefully) eight years, the Left will just have to deal with President Trump. Trump, and the rise of the Alt-Right, after all, are only reactions to the non-stop progressivism that has been shoved down our throats.
One day, we can say goodbye to the Left—but not yet. They unleashed a monster--America's reckoning—and deserve to see it unleashed.
IF YOU ENJOY OUR CONTENT AND WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE. SIMPLY DONATE THE PRICE OF A PINT, CHEERS.