19 November, 2009

A Balm in Gilead

[jfwiw-- I posted this piece several years ago. I revived it now because it is becoming more and more relevant every day. So, if it looks familiar — no, you're not going crazy.]
I have a proposition for the ultra-conservatives in this country and for the rest of us. Now, I’m not including all born-again or fundamentalist Christians in this proposal—only those who don’t like the way this country was originally set up and would like to change the direction it’s going. Anyone who wishes to would be welcome to participate and no one would be forced to.
Here it is:

I propose that the US cede a certain territory—say, from the border between Mexico and the United States on the south and along the gulf coast, along the western Texas border north to the Missouri River, and east to the Mississippi River—as a sovereign territory to be handed over to those who don’t want to live under the US Constitution any more. For convenience’ sake, I’ll call the new nation ‘Gilead’. The area is not cast in stone—it is simply one possible region to consider.
The territory thus created would have abundant farmland, a coast and an already developed infrastructure including a number of urban areas ranging from large cities to small towns and the connecting highway network within it. It would also include the oil reserves of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and off the western gulf coast.

Now, before those remaining behind get all up-in-arms—allow me to remind you: the infrastructure was paid for by everyone’s tax dollars. Gilead’s citizens paid taxes while they were US citizens and are entititled to the benefits they would have received from them had they remained in the US.
Think about it on an individual level: if you and your family were to move from California to Boston, you would be inheriting the communication systems, roads and water lines set up there before you arrived. The same would be occurring here—just on a larger scale.
The two governments involved could, should they choose to, agree to a debt-repayment agreement for the infrastructure inherited by Gilead.

Homeowners who live inside Gilead’s boundary who wish to move out could register their homes on the internet. Those who live outside Gilead and wish to move in could do the same. We would then do a 1:1 swap between homes of comparably assessed value. The homeowners would carry their mortgages with them and simply pay them off on their new properties—or work out appropriate agreements with their respective lending institutions. Those who are renting would simply move to the area of their choice.

The area to be included is already populated by a number of people who would want to live in Gilead—so there would be less inconvenience to the general population than would occur if either the east or west coast were the region to be ceded.
Even so, this mass migration would take a while—so why don’t we give ourselves about 15 years to complete the move? This would avoid a massive upheaval of the population all at once and give Gilead’s government time to get set up before the Date of Government Transference.

Considerably less than one generation after implementation of the plan, those people who believe the Constitution was a mistake could move to Gilead and create their own country. Gilead would have no ties to the United States beyond a common boundary and any ambassadorial and trade functions the two governments wish to pursue—just as we have now with Mexico and Canada.

* Inside Gilead, if they wish their legislation to consist of the laws set forth in Leviticus, they could set that up.
* If the primary government or that of any city or state wants to put the 10 Commandments or a Nativity Scene on a public building’s lawn or in the lobby, they could do so.
* If the populous wants to ban any religion other than Christianity, they could do that, too.
* They could close all businesses on Sundays if they wish.
* They could mandate state-sponsored prayer in the schools. They could ban evolution and teach only creationism.. They could include Bible Study in their curricula, as well.
* They could give government funds to faith-based charities.
* Given today’s technology, if they wanted to keep unwanted radio and television broadcasts from crossing their borders as well as limiting internet access, I imagine they could do so.
* They could limit marriage to a union between one man and one woman.
* They could ban abortion and contraception and practice abstinence-only and the rhythm method.
* They could prohibit assisted suicide and direct hospitals to practice all heroic measures to maintain life for as long as possible.

Well, you can see the advantages, I’m sure.

Once an adult moved to Gilead, he or she would no longer be a citizen of the US and would not have the Right of Return. On the off chance, someone wanted to come back, they would get in line like any other immigrant and go through the full process. [I would recommend an exception be made for people who were below some agreed-on age—say 21—when the move occurred so that people who were minors on the Date of Transfer can make their own decisions when they reach adulthood. Most of them, though, would likely choose to remain where they grew up.]
Travel between the two countries on business or vacation or to visit friends and relatives would be fully permitted, of course.

In exchange, the United States’ Constitution would be left intact. Those of us remaining in this country would be let alone to live our lives as we wish to do.

This seems to me to be a win-win situation for everyone involved. The needs and wants of all current United States citizens could be met with minimum upheaval and turmoil.

And, whatever you may be thinking—no, this is not tongue-in-cheek. I’ve been thinking about a way out of the situation this country finds itself in and, though many details would have to be worked out, this general plan seems to me to be a fair and equitable solution.
One more bit:
Since posting this, I thought of another site for the new nation. How about the US Virgin Islands?
Separation by ocean waters rather than a couple of rivers and a land border would be more secure. And they'd love the name, right?

The US might have to offer more help during set-up, I'm not sure. I don't know the economic situation in the VI, what their infrastructure is like, etc.
I do know that the US is notorious for ignoring its possessions off its southeast coast.
And, of course, we would have to secure the cooperation of the Islanders. If we've been ignoring them for centuries, they might not be of a mind to collaborate with this scheme.


Anonymous said...
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two crows said...

for what it's worth--
the above post was one of the 1100+ bot-spam posts I received that eventually urged me to close this blog and start Preserve, Protect and Defend.

JollyRoger said...

You'll see "Gilead" in your lifetime.

It'll call itself "The United States of America," but it'll actually comprise the old CSA minus Texas.

two crows said...

hi J R--
I think we already see it.
it terrifies me -- that's why I would much prefer to cede some territory to the fanatics and let them go to hell all on their own and leave the rest of us alone.

I'm sure some folks would opt to stay here at first to 'save us from ourselves' and proselytize but, they'd get lonely after a while and apply to Gilead for citizenship.

I wasn't joking in the post. I've had this idea kicking around for years -- and I'm completely serious when I make the proposal even tho I know it will never come to pass.

Snave said...

Wow, that is a GREAT collection of thoughts! I love it. But would it create a country which could be considered an "axis of evil" type, right on our very border? Heh...

Along with trading houses 1:1, jobs could work the same way.

I would be all for your idea, as long as Gilead was not allowed to have "nucular" weapons, and as long as they didn't have the technology to create such things. After all, they would probably be similar to Iran in their world-view and in their resulting approach. The U.S. would have to secretly shut down the missile silos in that area, and move the missiles back into the U.S. territory. Border security would have to be very tight, because Gilead would probably be training terrorists to create havoc inside the U.S.

I have also always thought that the coastal areas of the Pacific NW should be allowed to secede and/or be an autonomous area. Everything west of the Cascade Range in Washington and Oregon, and then western California south to the Bay Area could be included. Ernest Callenbach wrote about such a thing in his book called "Ecotopia" in 1975 (I still need to read that one!) Anyway, this area would have plenty of timber resources and agriculture, as well as some fishing and ranching. It could be self-sufficient. High-tech and scientific research would also be prominent, and things would often be accomplished in league with Asian nations. Left-wing politics would dominate, and this new nation would undoubtedly have universal health care.

Another area that could secede and be self-supporting would be the southern half of California, combined with Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas. (East Texas would probably be part of Gilead!)

Eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, western Montana and western Wyoming could stand alone.

Utah would of course be a nation unto itself.

The rest of the U.S. could still be called the U.S. and would include the Great Plains all the way to the Atlantic, north to the Canadian border, and south to Gilead.

Time to go create a map of all this!

two crows said...

Like minds, snave--
I see you've given considerable thought to the idea, too.
errmmmm--- where's florida fit into your plan? I'm afraid I know the answer to that question. since I just played hell [it took about 5 years] moving here, I'm loathe to move again -- though I would if fla became part of Gilead -- that's for certain-sure.

I'm not familiar with TX politics and didn't know it would be likely to to be split. so, maybe the area east of the mississippi river to the coast and north to what? S Carolina or so? that puts the border pretty close to DC. the MS river is a good cut-off -- if bridges are cut and only ferry traffic were allowed, it'd be a pretty secure border. and S Carolina's northern border is a river isn't it? [geography was never my strong suit]. that river, whatever it is could, along it's entire length, be the northern border. wherever possible, I'd want to use rivers as borders-- in order to make them more secure. and, if DC is fairly close to the border, they'd be certain to monitor it closely. nothing like a little self-preservation to motivate washington, right?

:( and here I lived inside the borders of Gilead till I moved last feb. then I moved smack back into the area, again. :(

agreed about the nukes. hadn't thought of that. they'd also have to have no nuclear [nucular? :) ] plants -- otherwise they'd be manufacturing plutonium every day. that would be an un-good situation.

as far as the other sovreign states go, I'll leave that to your expertise. you seem to have that worked out quite efficiently.

now, let's go sell DC on the idea! :)

Mary Ellen said...

Actually I was thinking the Amish route would be good. I'd like to go back to the days of no cars, farms, no electricity...no tv or radio which means no O'Reilly, Fox News, or Rush Limbaugh. But wait...that means no blogging. I'll work on that idea...

Isn't there some Christian town in Florida or something that has strict rules on morality and stuff?

I'm sort of stuck in the middle here, though, two crows. I am religious...but I don't force it on others. I'm certainly not a fundamentalist and I'm married to an atheist. Where would I live? I don't want to be with the fanatics, but I still want to go to church. Yikes! I a woman without a country!...and would they let me wear my wimple in Gilead?

two crows said...

btw, Snave--
I'm planning on reviving this blog. I'm going to scrub the political posts -- will probably post them one-by-one over to pp&p.

then, I plan to make this a recreational blog. a place to play and kick back and try to ignore what's happening outside the fence surrounding the playground.
I don't know about everyone else -- but I get so discouraged some days I just need a place to hang out with friends and pretend what's happening isn't.

so, hope you'll keep dropping by to chat on the chat box, check out the occasional video and contribute to discussions of light hearted topics -- as opposed to the doom-and-gloom we're surrounded by these days.

Alien Citizen said...

Gee, my father has been saying this for some time now. I wonder how many people would consider this...

I think Snave mentioned some of the biggest concerns that came to mind when reading your proposal, most specifically the likelihood of Gilead becoming a new breeding ground for terrorists like Bush and folks. At least they would have much of the oil reserves but they would be sure to use all of what they had very quickly and afterwards they wouldn't have Alaska. If they were such a fundamentalist nation, the US would be like Vegas for Mormons...what you aren't supposed to have always looks really really enticing. We'd have some serious issues with illegal immigration from Gilead.

Nice Blog, 2C! Stupid Bot-Spammers!

two crows said...

g'morning AC--
yep. bot spammers rank up there with gum disease.

maybe we should find an island for the fundies that want out. I'm sure the US must own some island territory we could swap out the current population for. bring the current [non-fundie] population to the mainland and sign over the island and let em create their own sovreign nation there. we'd send aid to help em get started -- then, they're on their own.

kinda like Bush and the rest of the anti- abortionists treat the rest of us.

two crows said...

and, it's amazing how many people have had similar thoughts. just among my small circle I've found 3 others already!
so, why doesn't congress get on the stick and start implementing something of the sort? surely, some of them have thought of it, too.

SadButTrue said...

Very interesting premise, but I've seen it a couple times in other forums. I think this post was put up shortly after Bush was re-elected in '04. Dear Red States It points out the tremendous advantages that the Blue states have over the Red. (I suppose the definitions of red and blue are based on support for Bush in 2000 and '04.)

I think it would be entertaining to see how the newly formed nation of Gilead would make out with an economy largely based on chawin' tobaccy, moonshine, and passing the plate in the local Baptist church.

two crows said...

Hey, SbT--
I love it when I see others have had the same idea. I just wish we could convince the gov't to actually do something about it. Surely at least some of them have had the same thought.

As I said in my post, my proposal isn't tongue in cheek. I've spent years working out the details-- though the borders would be flexible. mebbe we could hold a vote as to how many would want to move into Gilead and then cede them a proportionate fraction of the country.
acourse, given the state of the vote, right now, we'd have to use PAPER BALLOTS and make sure everyone voted only once -- to be sure the country was proportioned fairly. :)

then, let them become a separate nation -- in exchange for leaving us and our Constitution alone.

two crows said...

btw, SbT--
as you can see, this blog is still a work-in-progress. the swing set and slide aren't set up yet. hell, even the grown-up crap isn't cleaned out, yet.

workin on it, tho. hope you'll drop back by when the playground equipment is all in place. :)

two crows said...

I was having major modem problems when I wrote this and couldn't get it to publish. so, I filed it on my desktop and forgot to publish later.
sorry m e-- :( I wasn't ignoring you, honest!
hold it, m e—
go back and read the 1st paragraph!
anyone of any religion [even fundy] is welcome to stay if they want to.
it’s just that those who don’t like the way this country is run can leave if they want to, that’s all.
and if you want to wear your wimple every day, that’s absolutely your right. so don’t panic.

actually, I can’t wait to see you swinging up to the treetops in your habit, veil flying and beads clacking!

and, your 1st paragraph scared the bejeebers out of me no PUTERS??!??
I think Molly and Huck would picket your house if you tried to make that happen!
how bout a compromise? no internal combustion engines but electricity is ok.
I hate to drive so I’d be in a win/win situation all round!