Lately, the writer in me has been thinking of a story where the U.S. breaks into two, peacefully(maybe). The conservative-libertarian states would create the limited government they want, while the liberals/progressives/socialists would have as much big government as they could stand (California comes to mind). Since three of my novels are heavily political, I thought I’d write a post on my thoughts (to a point, I could go on a rant if I’m not careful). I’ve been thinking about this on and off since the early 1990’s, when I was in high school, when RINO George HW Bush was President. Sure I’m unhappy with Obama being re-elected, but I could see that coming, what with the Republican Establishment forcing Romney down our throats. Being in Texas, I couldn’t vote in the Primaries until May, so my vote for Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, or Governor Perry would have been pointless. Thanks RINOS! Anyway, I’m sure you’ve heard about the petitions on the White House’s website where people from at least 20 states (since yesterday) have asked that their states be peacefully released from the Union. As of 11/13/2012 at 8:50 am Central time, the Texas petition has received 65,630 signatures, out of the 25k that was needed. I know people think states can’t secede thanks to the War Between the States, but if Puerto Rico can vote itself into the U.S., then why can’t states vote themselves out? Food for thought.
Here are my thoughts on what my theoretical conservative(or would that be libertarian?) country would govern like:
1. No central government, which means no fixed central capital. If there are enough states that join, for a chosen period of time, say 4 years, a state capital would be chosen to be the nation’s capital. The Chief Exec would be the Governor of that State. The Legislative Branch wouldn’t meet in person. Since we have video chatting, they can stay home and telecommute. This would limit the ability for lobbyists and others to corrupt our representatives. Judicial Branch would also be elected, that means no more sitting on the Supreme Court for a lifetime.
2. All laws and constitutional amendments are to be voted on by the people. The politicians would be required to live under the same laws because of this. Politicians would be limited to a term of twelve years, and their salaries would be less than the average citizen makes, since most politicians already have a lot of money. Voting would be a requirement, even if you don’t want to vote for anyone, you would still have to show up at your polling place.
3. Churches and charities would take care of those less fortunate, no more spending billions on people who never lift themselves out of their situations, causing generations of people to be on the government dole. These churches and charities would teach people how to do things for themselves, how to make a living, etc. Families will be encouraged to take care of their elders.
4. The education system would be run locally. Each state and each local community has different needs, so it wouldn’t be possible to have nationwide standards. I wouldn’t expect a farm state like Kansas to need the same education that an oil/cattle state like Texas would have. All that would be required is that the Bible be part of the education and that Creationism also be taught in addition to the “established” sciences. University education will have less of an emphasis, that way having a low-level college degree will be a bigger deal, instead of making everyone have one just to have a job, which dilutes the importance. The free market system will dictate the needs of the education system.
5. We will have no official denomination, so this will not be a Baptist, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish, or even a Catholic nation. However, due to the inherent conflict with our nation being mostly Judeo-Christian, Islam will not be welcomed, as it is in direct conflict with our beliefs. Other faiths are welcome as long as they don’t try to change the culture of our nation. We will also not sell alcohol on Sundays.
6. Immigration – Considering how unlimited immigration ruined the United States, we will limit who can come here. We will welcome all conservatives from other states who are stuck in liberal/progressive/socialist hell, and if liberals in our new country want to leave, we will propose a trade agreement with the USA: Your conservatives for our liberals, kind of like a trade in sports. As for other immigrants, only those that contribute to our overall technological progression as a society can live here; i.e. scientists, inventors, people with knowledge. Other than that, all illegals who try to cross our borders(including liberals) will be immediately returned to where they came from. No amnesty. Asylum will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Anyone who needs medical care will be welcomed for the time it takes them to get the required care.
7. Defense/Military – All citizens will be required to buy a gun, learn how to use it, and open-carry will be encouraged. Graduates from high school will be required to serve at least 2 years in the military or in service of some sort that will teach you to be invested in your nation, so that way you will care what happens. We will not have entangling alliances with other nations; no military bases or embassies so we won’t be tempted to get involved in other peoples’ affairs, nor will we recognize the United Nations. If we’re attacked, we will respond in kind, maybe with a stronger response. When we go to war, it will be all-out war, none of this hobby war stuff the U.S. engaged in. One caveat to alliances: we will have an alliance with Israel, because it is the Christian thing to do, God blesses those that do, and they are one of the few nations that wouldn’t need us to hold their hand or fight for them in a conflict. Each state will have a ready-to-go militia, but the nation as a whole will not have a standing military. All militia will train for three days a month. Some of our states have nuclear weapons facilities, so those will also be at the ready to show others that we will not be trifled with.
8. Medical – The government will stay out of the way to let the Free Enterprise system handle this. Tort Reform will be done to prevent lawyers from suing every Doctor or Hospital, which would cause skyrocketing medical costs if there is no Tort Reform. Insurance can be bought across state lines so that costs can stay down. Technological progress will be encouraged and we will strive to have the best medical care in the world. We will be a Pro-Life nation; you can be abstinent, use protection, or carry the child to term and give it up for adoption (there are many families who would adopt). If you are unable due to your life being threatened, we will do all we can to help you both survive, but there are times when an infant can’t be saved. We will mourn the dead unborn as we do any person who has been alive for any period of time.
9. Resources – Since the new government will not gobble up all the unused land for themselves, companies will be encouraged to search for new sources of energy: oil, coal, natural gas. These companies will be asked to search for energy as cleanly as possible, since it would be in their best interest for us to stay healthy and our environment not damaged, since they have to live here too. No more subsidizing ethanol production, since that drives up the cost of food and other products made from corn. Large windmills will be taken down, since that kills off birds, instead of actually contributing to our energy production. If it makes economic sense, car companies will be encouraged (but not given oodles of “stimulus” money) to see if electric powered or hydrogen powered cars are actually feasible. We will encourage the mining of gold and silver, and base our monetary system on one of these minerals. Eminent domain will not be used by the government, state or local. If a person’s property has some resources beneath it, the company will pay for the use and royalties will be paid. Conservation will be encouraged and the free market system will dictate what works and what doesn’t.
10. Spending/Taxes – Instead of an income tax, we will have a flat sales tax, 10% will be the rate. Since we won’t have permanent military bases overseas or embassies, we won’t need to spend that money. We will not send monetary aid to other nations. There will be no Departments of Education, Energy, Homeland Security, HHS, or Labor, no IRS, no Federal Reserve, along with other pointless agencies that only spend money. We will go back to having only a Department of State, Treasury, Interior, Commerce, and Defense (or War). The States will build their own roads and maintain the interstate highways. Government will require that contractors bid as low as they can stand, no more paying $20k for something like a hammer. The government will live on a budget, like everyone else.
That is all I can think of for now. I know there are plenty of people who disagree, and will probably voice their displeasure. But remember, this is all theoretical and I’m writing out a possible storyline. Do I seriously think this will happen? No. But, having differing opinions is what used to make the United States such a good place to live, but now it seems like everyone is just angry with each other. In the immortal words of Rodney King…. can’t we all just get along?