If America could be split into two separate countries...
...one controlled by liberals, and one controlled by conservatives, I think it's interesting to imagine what those two countries would be like.
Liberal U.S - We'd have national health care, and a much smaller military with essentially no overseas presence and thus a much smaller military budget.
We'd have a strong social safety net, and our costs for police and prisons would be much lower as well, because some degree of de-criminalization of drug use would occur. Pot legalized. Emphasis on treatment programs as opposed to jail for people found guilty of possession of certain drugs.
Gay marriage legal, gay rights, racial and gender equality. Strict gun control. Free education through college.
Much higher taxes on upper income earners and thus less social stratification between rich and poor. Probably higher taxes for all to some degree.
Instead of giving money to oil companies, massive investment toward promoting alternative energy resources, electric vehicles, etc.
Conservative U.S. - "Entitlement" programs would be eliminated, which would probably take care of the illegal immigration problem, since desperate mothers would take to the fields picking cotton for dollars a day to keep their kids from starving, putting the Mexicans out of work.
Homelessness would sky-rocket, crime rate would sky-rocket, social unrest would sky-rocket as a result of the loss of the "safety net".
Massive military budget, and no gun laws, but then we would need a strong military to deal with social unrest and a personal home arsenal to protect our property from the have-nots.
Most environmental and safety regulations abolished, with expected consequences. On a positive note, when the Cuyahoga River catches fire again, it'll make for great tv on FoxNews.
Homosexual acts deemed illegal, all affirmative action programs eliminated and initiatives to promote gender equality - like Title IX - abolished - which would mean most women's college sports would be eliminated.
Abortions rendered illegal. This - in combination with the elimination of welfare - should allow us a return to the good old days when dirt-poor parents would drop off their kids at orphanages because they could no longer support them. Again, the good news here is that Hollywood celebrities will no longer have to go overseas to adopt a waif.
Seriously, if this were to happen, what would these countries be like, and in which one would you prefer to live?
The liberal one but I'd learn to shoot since the Nazi's (conservative) next door would constantly be declaring war on us.
I think the first one is called Canada.
And this would have been the positive side of losing the Civil War.
The conservaturds would wrangle a way to declare war on the happy and peaceful people...
I fucking love you, R2.
Yeah, R2, the lib one would a lot like Canada, but I think the conservative one would be an oligarchy a lot like Mexico, just with more money and a bigger military.
Interesting, but there are a lot of unintended consequences. Should the wealth gap be narrowed, yes. Should people have affordable healthcare, yes. But, the reality is that finite resources and human nature make some things problematic.
1. Looking at the number of wealthy progressive supports vs. conservatives, would you expect to see wealth flight or would you enact draconian legislation to prevent ex-patriation.
2. With fewer incentives for entrepreneurship, would we have a more static economy - would a flatter structure yield a less porous social hierarchy.
3. Pragmatically stated, who is picking the food crops and cleaning toilets? Think about the most coveted workstudy jobs in college. If you're being paid the same wage, who would want to do the backbreaking stuff - especially if you've received a good education.
4. Smaller military with no overseas presence. So, you're okay with what's going on in Syria or do you think the rest of the world should take care of it. When the US decided to let other people deal with the problem, we ended up with Neville Chamberlain, Hitler, and the Holocaust.
My point is that there needs to be a healthy debate to balance between two sets of opposing objectives whenever there are finite resources.
That said, the social stuff like marriage equality are clearly not optional.
Like heaven needs hell the conservatives need the liberals to fuel their desire for conservatism. Because of that the conservative side would invade the liberal side in order to liberate them from their liberal views and therefore keep the neverending struggle going.
I was coming to say what R2 said. We already know what a more liberal government in charge of America would look like, just look at Canada (current administration there aside).
Also notice how almost all their quality of life indicators are better than ours. Funny how that works.
OP, have you actually taken the time to read about American History? Your thread screams "No" but I just wanted to make sure. I ask because your scenarios are based on some ridiculously naive assumptions.
By the way, your belief that liberals would cut funding to the military industrial complex physically made me laugh out loud.
Democrat country with smaller military? How will shillary bomb those middle eastern countries?
r7, if it could work in Canada and the Nordic countries, then it could work here.
[quote]By the way, your belief that liberals would cut funding to the military industrial complex physically made me laugh out loud.
Wtf, R10? Your comment makes no sense at all!
Of course liberals would cut funding to the military! If they're peaceful, why would they need to spend so much on it?
[quote]Pragmatically stated, who is picking the food crops and cleaning toilets?
Obviously both countries would still need Mexicans.
So 2 Americas,
1. No guns, no religion and gay marriage
2. All the guns, all the religions and no gays.
This would last about 2 weeks until the one America invaded and took over the other.
This sort of reductionism may tickle some, but it's too simplistic and inaccurate for any meaningful consideration. I'm liberal, but as the pompous R10 notes, there would not be the sort of military cuts posited under a "liberal" system. Reordering, yes, but the USA would still be the USA. Also, "liberal" is not inevitably "pacifist." Nor is it "sitting duck." Nor is it "against the oil lobby and big business who are often needed for campaign support and political leverage."
But what's more alarming in the polarity described is the misunderstanding of the term "conservative." I guess the real dichotomy presented is between sensible humanist idealists and craven Tea Party neofascist demagogues. The latter is not really what conservatism is about (if one could only find a conservative today), and many of the extreme positions presented would be mitigated in reality. The lip service of the mob would crash in the event of the attempt to actually implement the policies they pretend to support, mainly because they simply think they want to stick it to others to make themselves feel better.
Rereading this, I see I'm pompous, but I still haven't accused anyone of not reading history or declaring I've laughed "out loud" like R10. And here I thought a donkey had escaped from the children's zoo.
Of course they would cut military spending. You still can be a big military power when you don't have to fill fat cats' private bank accounts and all the budget goes to actual military safety measures.
Less money, but yet more effective.
WORLD DOMINATION, ROCKS!
There are already 2 Americas. The 1 percenters and the 99 percenters. The 1 percenters can leave at anytime and form their own country, but the 99 percenters keep 99% of the money.
R7 is clearly an idiot
[quote]would you expect to see wealth flight or would you enact draconian legislation to prevent ex-patriation.
Why would there be more wealth flight? The rich have already moved as much money as they think they can get away with. We do need draconian capital controls as well as an invasion of all the world's tax shelters to seize their records.
[quote] With fewer incentives for entrepreneurship, would we have a more static economy - would a flatter structure yield a less porous social hierarchy.
That's just not true. Entrepreneurship is driven by credit and demand. In the 1950s new business formation was much higher than today and so was invention. Yet the marginal tax rate on the wealthy was 90%. The fact is, that when too many people control too much of the national assets, they retard innovation and they misdirect investment as well as retarding the velocity of money. A broader spread of income leads to more demand, to more creativity, and to fewer distortions. Remember money represents the PAST, and money given to the rich, because it turns over less, is even older than money spent by the middle class.
[quote] who would want to do the backbreaking stuff - especially if you've received a good education.
More people would do it if it paid better, dumbo. The only reason they don't line up for it now is that you have to make enough money to live off or it's not worthwhile. Raise the wages and people will do the work.
[quote] Smaller military with no overseas presence. When the US decided to let other people deal with the problem, we ended up with Neville Chamberlain, Hitler, and the Holocaust.
But since we've kept our military on war footing, we have become Hitler and the Holocaust (see Bolivia water privatization program, undertaken by our stooges). The reality is that the world will never pay us to be their security guard, so this idea that we should be running the world militarily as a force for "good" is something we simply cannot afford.
The liberals would have to start by building a gigantic wall to keep the sick and hungry conservatives out.
When too few people control too many assets, not when too many people. Sometime I amaze myself in that I read it over before I posted and still missed that.
Keep in mind OP that most military bases are now in red states. They did that for a reason, and not just because they didn't have any industry in their crappy states. They did it to have military power concentrated in their states.
R7, Regarding who would do the "mindless labor" work, not everyone is equipped to or wants to spend 16 years in school.
Not everyone is going to stay in school and be an engineer or accountant. They may go with a trade school option or just drop out and spend the rest of their lives doing itinerant labor, just like people do now. Living in a liberal society isn't going to change basic human nature.
As far as dealing with an emerging Hitler if we reduce our military presence, I really think the raging dictator with expansionist tendencies is an outdated meme. If you want to take over the world, you don't have to do it like Hitler did - you do it like the Chinese have done to us, you just buy out your enemies and devastate their economies. Victory without a drop of blood.
What are the border of this new found utopia going to be?
The North would be a second Canada with more fat people.
The South would be a large Venezuela.
So far no one has mentioned which country gets all the Black folks.
In fact, both these countries sound pretty fucking white to me.
R13. It's called the military industrial complex.
The first would quickly become a totalitarian state and the second would become like Europe in the Middle Ages.
So one country is going to be full of rich white men, the other full of poor women and minorities (with no military and open borders). Hmmmm. The decision isn't as easy as you think it is.
What a joke R30. White men who are not from the south don't care for your ways.
I don't understand why would Freepers need to invade our country? They're getting their utopia, so why would they need to invade?
If that's the case, then I think if we did get to have a liberal country, we would need at least one nuke as a deterrent -- and I'd like to control the button on that one.
If Freeperland so much as lets a fart cross the boarder into our country, they're gone.
They'll kick our asses in sports.
R33, chances are, they won't let in black people, so highly doubtful they could beat us.
Bowling and Hockey - that's about it.
Besides, we can import rugby. Lots of hot liberal guys.
They can keep their Tim Tebow. Here's Aussie Rugger David Pocock for your viewing pleasure. He's another Christian (the good kind):
[quote]Like Desmond Tutu, sociologist and evangelist Tony Campolo and Baptist Pastor Matt Glover (who's job was recently jeopardised for openly supporting the LGBT community), I'm supportive of gay marriage, not despite my faith in Jesus, but because of it.
You think meathead Tebow even knows who Desmond Tutu is?
R29 hit the nail on the head. In fact, thinking about this makes me realize we actually have it good with a healthy mixture of the two as we are. (each keeping the other side in check).
No, R35, we don't have a healthy mixture.
I can't speak for all blue staters, but I'm sick of red state assholes who -in theory- are Republicans but in reality would shrivel up and die without the federal government.
I'm tired of paying more in taxes than them, yet they get to dictate the direction of the country because they get to have an equal voice in the Senate despite their population being lower than my apt building.
I'm tired of ignorant, red state turds complaining about the "liberal agenda" then getting to collect federal aid. I'm tired of these assholes complaining about what they "pay for" when they don't pay for shit.
They whine about having to pay for women's healthcare, yet I'm supposed to pay for viagra and the wars perpetrated by the morons who need viagra because they can't get it up.
Fuck the red states. They can have the middle of the country for all I care. Corn is garbage. They can keep it. Let them have zero regulations.
The fucking internet was started because of government funding, and these assholes use it for the sole purpose of screaming about not wanting government. They're a bunch of troglodytes who should have to live like backwoods morons.
[quote] and a much smaller military with essentially no overseas presence
this depends on what you call "presence". the liberal form of governance would possibly have a greater and more beneficent influence abroad.
I still want a strong military. We just wouldn't use it for the sole purpose of advancing the neo con agenda.
I'd want to be able to go into the Congo and stop the genocide.
R38 So you would send American service members to end the genocide? With or without Congress' permission? How does genocide in the Congo threaten American national security?
Oh, OP. Your naivete is stunning, but to address some of the most blatant fallacies in your hypothetical:
1) The most liberal states are on the West and East Coasts, with the very sizable middle comprised almost entirely of red states or ones that switch back and forth depending on the year. How do you propose to marry the West Coast with the Northeast in terms of establishing a "liberal nation"?
2) If the nation was split, the 1% would almost certainly relocate to the conservative side. How would you develop a fair tax structure when your revenues would come overwhelmingly from taxing the middle class, at rates undoubtedly higher than before? (to support the "safety net" measures you advocate) Also, it's safe to say that nearly all corporations would relocate to conservative states with low taxes.
3) Given the exodus of high wage earners and multibillion-dollar conglomerates, where would all this infrastructure building for alternative energy sources and electric vehicles come from? You do understand that the reason we don't have more of either is because a) we can't produce enough alternative energy to even come close to meeting our electricity needs, and b) electric vehicles have extreme limitations that would only be increased by segregating America, given the inevitable increased cost of electricity?
4) Why on earth would "homosexual acts" be made illegal, when a conservative Supreme Court already ruled strongly in favor of allowing privacy rights for gays? How do you reconcile this belief with the fact that the many libertarians in the GOP believe the government should stay the hell out of such matters?
5) Ditto abortion. You are aware that abortion was legal in many states, including conservative ones, before the Supreme Court decided to legalize it on a national level? And that the Supreme Court, even though it's conservative-dominated, has specifically decided to not take any cases that directly challenge a woman's right to choose as defined by Roe v. Wade?
6) On what basis do you believe "homelessness would skyrocket"? You provide no facts, or even suppositions, to support this claim. (Also, if you'd spent any time in liberal meccas like San Francisco, you'd know that the homelessness problems is already out of control in many locations with temperate climates, including California and much of the Southwest.)
OP, why don't you just go ahead and remove the tinhat, and perhaps seek help for the conspiracy theories that threaten to overtake your entire personality?
[quote]I still want a strong military. We just wouldn't use it for the sole purpose of advancing the neo con agenda.
We would adopt the Swiss model. Everyone would serve, we would all get super cool training, and we would have a rifle and ammunition in our closets (that we would never use). Two weeks a year we would all go train, which would consist of camping and blowing up stuff. It would be terrific fun, and would have bicycle troops and all the other tricky stuff the Swiss have.
We would only defend our borders (guess who we would practice defending against), we would have all the roads and bridges at the border mined, and we would build secret underground air bases, hollow out mountains to hide cannons and tons of other really neat stuff.
The "Other Guys" would be jealous as all Hell.
r23, the reason all the military bases are in the South is because the South was so solidly Democratic for so many years (a century) that getting elected to the House or Senate meant you were there for life. Being in Congress for life meant that you got power in the your committee(s) and got to steer the money and the bases to your district or state. And you wanted those bases because back then there was very little industry in the South. You needed to deliver the government-funded jobs that the military bases provided. Now the Republicans, who are the heirs of those Solid South Democrats of old, pretend they don't believe in stimulus spending or Keynesian economics, but there is simply no denying that a huge percentage of the employment and growth in the South for much of the 20th century came from government spending in the form of military spending. Today, some Republican idiots truly don't believe government spending creates jobs because they're so fucking stupid they don't consider military spending to be government spending. Others know better.
R42 Uh, no. Although your anti-Republican propaganda is admirable.
The reason all the military bases have SHIFTED south is because it's cheaper; there's more land and there's quicker deployment to the coasts. We don't need submarine bases as close to Russia as possible anymore because the threat (not Russia) has changed. Plus Northeast cities/towns are growing much quicker than the South which results in higher land leasing prices and less geographic area for training. Most of all, the culture in the South is much more attuned to the martial mindset.
R42 is exactly right. You are the fool here R43, and what you say is a lie. Actually there were some other reasons, such as 1) the South revolted against America so the feds wanted to keep a watch on them; and 2) The South was closer to fields of action in Mexico and the Caribbean. But mainly, it was the Congressmen and Senators.
I'm all for dividing the country. I'm pretty tired of the conservative states dragging the rest of us down.
As far as the geography of it, there would either have to be 3 countries, or the liberal country would be split down the middle.
I imagine the northeast states, from DC up to Maine as one country, the 3 west coast states as another, and all the leftovers as the conservative country.
It cracks me up how all you druggies want pot legalized. It WAS legal at one time and caused too many problems.
We already have one legal drug, Alcohol that causes so many problems why on Earth would you want to add another?
The west, northwest, east and northeast should just join Canada. Clean break.
R44 Your ignorance is amazing. I can see how much thought you actually put into what you believe.
Am I lying about land prices? Northeast expansion being faster than South? The fact that Russia is no longer the primary enemy? That there's more available land at a cheaper price in the South? Please tell me more about my lie because I'm dying to know.
Instead if being someone who offers up pathetic reasons like "But mainly, it was the Congress and Senators" you should take the time to actually understand WHY the Congressman and Senators made the decision. Maybe even read (novel concept) the Congressional documents about base closures and the reasons that were given.
Learn how to think.
Why are we over thinking this? Aren't most military bases in the South because no one really wants to go to basic training where there's 4 feet of snow on the parade grounds and the wind chill is -6?
If you joined the Navy you went through basic in either Great Lakes outside Chicago or San Diego. Where do think most recruits wanted to go when they enlisted in January?
From another thread that I always think of when I see posts like this: "It means I don't want to talk politics with YOU.".
R48, if they wanted the cheapest land, the Kentucky hills and the Rio Grande valley would have all the military bases. It was political.
Indeed, some of the most important command centers are in cities where land has never been cheap (Tampa, San Diego).
I believe this “experiment” has already happened. I also believe it was called East and West Germany, and we all know how that turned out. As a conservative I am hardly surprised that none of you “progressive” liberals can’t seem to remember that. I am however in favor of this “experiment” mainly because I am tired of seeing this country slowly turning into a socialist state and seeing my tax money go to not the poor but the lazy. Does anyone here really think that spreading the wealth around really work? Do you really believe that any of this so called “free” college or health care is really free? Again I point out another example that history has provided us…the USSR! Back a few decades ago the USSR tried this form of government and I failed miserably. It led them to produce many faulty products, not so much because of a lack of innovation, but more a lack of motivation. You see redistributing the wealth to a point that everyone makes the same amount of money it makes the workers think why should I bust my ass and take time to really think of ways to improve existing products or to create new ones. Then their colleagues think to themselves why am I doing all the work when my co-workers sits around all day doing nothing and yet we make the same amount of money. This led to them stealing a lot of the United States inventions and ideas, which by the way those people were given incentive to create and improve products. One product that I can think of right now all though not made back in that time period was the iPhone/iPod. Do you think that if Steve Jobs and his team would really have invented this amazing product if there was no incentive for them to do so? Now as far as the “free” health care goes, when has anyone ever drove by a doctor’s office and seen a sign out front saying “free check-ups” or “free exams”, please if you have I would love for anyone to share their address with me. Now I know that more than likely all of you have seen hotels advertising “free complimentary breakfast”, but ask you self is it really free? No, what happens is either they cut down on their staffs hours and have them just do a little more work or just simply raise the fee of a room by a few dollars to make up for the cost of providing this “complimentary breakfast”. I could go on and on and on about how this change is by far the worst idea ever conceived by anyone that thought we would benefit by it, but I have other things I would like to do and now I only ask one thing of the readers of my comments. Look back at history and see what Marxism/socialism/communism has done to many countries around the world, then I ask that you would do a little bit of research on the principals of Marxism/socialism/communism and compare them to what policies that this current administration has passed and also the ones that they are trying to, I promise you that if you do this with an open mind you will see that the two are not far off. But even though we still have another four more years of this coming there still is hope. Write your local and state officials and voice your displeasure with how these policies are not only economically destroying America but also morally destroying America, tell them and assure them that if we do not stop on this path to socialism that they have lost your vote in any upcoming election. I just hope and pray that some of you don’t just read this stick your nose in the air and write me off as just another right wing nut job, and I hope that something is done before the greatest nation that God has put on this earth is gone.
If America were split into two separate countries...
The top half (the Pacific West, Upper Midwest, and Northeast) would become like Canada - socially liberal, decent government services, and economically successful.
And the bottom half (the South, Texas, and Arizona) would become like Mexico - high income inequality, violent, and an economic basketcase.
If something so extreme as splitting into multiple countries were done, then there would probably also be some reorganization of the states themselves. When we think of blue states, we forget that geographically, much of the land at a county level is red. See 2012 results by county map at link. States like Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, Oregon and Washington would have huge sections that would probably break away from their state to join Red America, and what would states do? Would that be what leads to shooting war right at the start?
Blue American might be defined as New England, New York, the Pacific coast part of the Pacific states, and scattered city-states (e.g. Chicago).
I think the South (red) would degenerate into a gigantic "Lord of the Flies" scene. They wouldn't attack the blue country because they would have imploded. Someone asked about where all the Black Americans would go; right now well over half of the African American population lives in the "Old Confederacy"--I'm wondering if they will secede from the New Confederacy and form an autonomous area, something like what Black Muslims have been calling for for years. That said, I wonder what a new Black country would be like. Some counties in the South have majority Black populations but if they were to be strung together into a sovereign nation it would probably be among the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere.
[quote]I just hope and pray that some of you don’t just read this stick your nose in the air and write me off as just another right wing nut job, and I hope that something is done before the greatest nation that God has put on this earth is gone.
Wing nut job that doesn't understand what paragraphs are.
I'm most fascinated by Libertarians. There has never been a country that ran on Libertarian principles. How would a country survive without the social contract and where selfishness and every man for himself was the guiding principle of law?
I'd fear for the environment, the elderly and the animals stuck in Red Country.
This would be awesome, the lib side would kill themselves and starve to death at such a fast rate it would be astonishing.
you know if we split down the middle the conservatives can demand benefits from the liberals, and the libs would gladly pay it.
The sad thing is that there would be too many citizens of the liberal America that would insist since the conservative former Americans find themselves in such a dire situation that we are somehow obligated to bail them out.
I think a presidential commission should be established to seriously consider the states' requests for secession. Around November of next year, it's announced that Alabama and Mississippi will be allowed to secede without prejudice January 2014. A year later, we say goodbye to Tennessee and Arkansas. In 2015, it's South Carolina and Idaho. In 2016, we give Texas to Mexico.