I don't agree, but I don't not agree either with a letter to the editor of the local paper this morning. It may be "impossible" or "childish" or "idealistic" or "ridiculous" or "simplistic," but I also found it delightful that someone might posit, without apparent venom, the idea that there was nothing sacrosanct about the "united" in United States and that current governmental dysfunction might be mitigated if there were a little less "united."
'Reasonable' people may yelp in fear or outrage or dismissal, but I appreciate the fact that Mr. Dym took the trouble to verbalize his non-venemous thoughts and, more, that the local paper printed them.Isn’t it time to recognize the reality that the United States is no longer a single country? Rick Perry — out of pique or sincerity — suggested that Texas might secede.Why not — and why only Texas?If it is more palatable, let the blue states secede. It doesn’t matter. (We can flip a coin to determine who gets to be called the United States).Right now, the two sides are horribly entrenched with no exit. So why not create two (or more) countries composed of communities and peoples that are united in purpose and beliefs.There is nothing sacred about having all 50 states in a single country — there used to be only 13!I know this sound ridiculous and perhaps will never happen; but I think it deserves serious consideration. From my perspective, the people of Massachusetts and other progressive states are being held back by a set of values diametrically opposed to mine and the community in which I live.Instead of continuing to argue as to who is right and who is wrong, let’s just end the game by agreeing to disagree, by saying you go your way and I’ll go mine.In my scenario, states like Massachusetts get to implement universal health care, raise the minimum wage, offer food stamps and provide early childhood services; states such as Texas can have a system in which there is minimum government involvement. If it turns out well for them — people prosper, income rises, health improves — then good for them.No doubt the separation will be difficult. They always are. Untangling would be quite complex. But the 50 states came together; they can figure out a way to split apart, especially if it meets the needs and concerns of both sides.Kenneth DymNorthampton
Concrete implementation or dismissal of Mr. Dym's proposal requires an intellectual exercise that is too vastly complex even to be considered. For this reason, we can probably kiss his proposal good-bye. But to the extent that the proposal encourages a reconsideration of the blithe conclusion that the United States is somehow "united" -- well, I think that is good for the country, be it united or fragmented.