The Divided States of America: Maybe It’s Time To Break Things Up
Realistically Speaking, Can 319 Million People Ever Really Be Unified?
George Washington once referred to the American political ideal as “The Great Experiment”. Of course, when he made that statement, things were a bit simpler and the population wasn’t quite as large. Diversity wasn’t a factor either, as only white male landowners were granted the right to vote back then. However, the concept of an experimental government has been lost throughout the years, and perhaps it should again be embraced today.
For decades now, America has watched inequality grow at a rapid pace. Increasingly, the working class has been drowned out by Big Banks, multinational corporations, lobbyists, superdelegates, and the consolidation of media outlets. The division between various factions of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents has never been more toxic. While Neoliberal ideology battles Progressive ideals, the Alt Right attacks the Religious Right, and traditional Conservatives wage war against moderate Liberals. Truth be told, it’s all just one big clusterfuck, and every last one of us is stuck in it.
Clearly, breaking up America into a collection of 50 smaller countries would be a monumental task, so I won’t pretend that it’s a very realistic thing to suggest. However, anything is possible, if not probable, and breaking up the country would allow for much more experimental policies on a smaller scale while also breaking up the monopoly on power.
Our Democratic Republic is currently broken, faith in our electoral system is at an all-time low, Donald Trump will soon be the most powerful man in America, and half of all eligible voters are either too disengaged or too disgusted to even bother casting a ballot. For eight long years Obama preached about the need for unity, and all we got was more war, insurance industry giveaways, bank bailouts, and more tax cuts for the wealthy. Now that the election is all but wrapped up, the same call for unity is coming from the President-Elect.
But let’s not kid ourselves, the Left is no more apt to unite behind a racist, sexist, climate-change skeptic than the Right was to unite behind Obama.
So let’s imagine a world where America is made up of a collection of self-governed countries that each elect their own President. This, of course, would be similar to electing a Governor, however, it would be a more direct form of government. Eliminating the middleman, if you will.
Like the collection of smaller countries that make up Europe, this system would distribute power more evenly, and increase government efficiency and accountably. Each President would be responsible for a far smaller constituency, and would be far more capable of making decisions that would directly benefit his/her citizens.
America is a massive country with many different viewpoints and many different perspectives. Insisting on unity might prove to be an impossible task, and maybe that’s ok. Maybe it’s time for another Great Experiment.