The attorney general in Texas is urging gun-toting New Yorkers to move to his state now that common-sense firearms control has been enacted in their state. It’s just one more issue dividing this conflicted nation. I fear the United States cannot long survive its people’s irreconcilable differences. I see the population coalescing into two nations with completely opposite views as Americans gather in states that tend to nourish their prejudices.
There’s a stubborn third of the population that cannot get along with the other two-thirds. These are the Second Amendment disciples, the Birthers, the Secessonists, the white supremacists, the climate change deniers, the anti-Evolutionists, the defenders of the fertilized egg, the Bible thumping religious zealots…
These are the people who oppose Obamacare, who call the president Hitler and share racist cartoons of him. They’re the jingoists who cheered the misbegotten Iraq adventure and want to keep American troops in Afghanistan for “as long as it takes,” who see bombs and bullets as the answer to any and all disagreements. They’re white, of course. Republicans. And male. And no, they didn’t go to college.
You know them well. You probably went to high school with some of them.
They were the guffawing bullies that picked on younger, smaller kids, the boys in the back of the classroom who kept the rest of us from learning. It “didn’t hurt them none” (as they might say), as they were incapable of learning anyway. Their skills were purely physical. They’re the wannabes who see themselves as jocks – and people like you and me as nerds.
I imagine these wannabe jocks and their beer-bellied buddies will eventually find each other in places like Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Missouri, the Carolinas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming , Utah … And when they do, they will probably want to secede from the rest of America. They will likely be joined by women who prefer their men rough, bossy and dumb. And they will surely propagate vigorously, as they don’t believe in birth control or abortion, or same-sex marriage.
Those of us who sometimes read a book, who take the time and trouble to find out what’s happening to the environment – the nerds who are troubled by practices like fracking and offshore oil drilling – will probably seek the company of like-minded people, too. And – since we think society would be better off if the mentally ill and criminally violent were not allowed to own military weapons – we sissies would gravitate toward states with common-sense gun laws.
The population growth in these states will come in part from immigration as – unlike the jocks – we nerds understand and welcome diversity.
This ideologically driven demographic shift has already become evident. Recent election results show the “red states are getting redder and blue states bluer.” And the rift can only become wider. I doubt, for example, that people who see freedom as the right to bear arms can have much in common with those who see freedom as the right to marry a member of the same sex.
There’s not much to unite American states with such divergent views.
Perhaps the Secessionists have a point. They should form the Newnited States and leave the rest of us in peace.