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Let's Call the Whole Thing Off!

Why the Blue States Should Secede

Carol V. Hamilton

They hate us. They say so in public. Bill O'Reilly hates us. Ann Coulter hates us. Sarah Palin thinks we're not "pro-American." And now an obscure Republican named Bachmann suggests that our senators and representatives be investigated.

It's like a bad relationship in which all you do together is argue. We got married too young. We didn't know each other well enough. And things have changed since 1789.

They're always calling us names: elitist, godless, defeatist, unpatriotic. They're paranoid control freaks, listening in on our phone calls and reading our e-mail. They think our friends are weird. We think theirs are scary.

They like country music. We like all the other kinds. They hate big cities, modern art, and research universities. We consider them essentials of civilization. They want to make war. We want to spend our tax dollars on domestic infrastructure, public education, and universal health care.

They believe that Jesus is coming back any minute, that global warming is a myth, and that evolution should not be taught in schools. We disagree.

Let's face it. This relationship has never been smooth. There was that huge fight we had back in the 1860s.

Here's the good part: if we split up, they're the ones who would have to move out.

What if Coulter, O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Karl Rove, and all their friends had to leave the big cities they revile? What if they had to live full-time in those glorious Red States, with their small towns, empty prairies, meth labs, and itinerant serial killers?

What if they had to hunker down in Juneau or Pierre for the winter? They could attend high-school football games and go to quilting bees. They could learn to square dance. As jets fly over on their way from the Atlantic seaboard to California, they could gaze up with outward shows of contempt and secret pangs of regret.

Because no more nights out on the town in Manhattan and Georgetown. No more of those risible libations, Chardonnay and café lattes. No more brie or arugula. Bring on the meatloaf, jello, and Sanka!

Much as they hate us, they won't like it if we leave. Without us the RSA (Red States of America) will be a second-rate power. They'll have no clout in international affairs. But they can console themselves by abolishing all taxes, massacring spotted owls, and engraving the Ten Commandments on their empty library buildings.

They'll tell us we'll be lonely without them. But we've always kind of liked the looks of our rugged next-door neighbor. You know. Canada.

Since they don't love us, we should leave them. What was that old slogan they used to like so much? "Better dead than Red."

Carol V. Hamilton has a Ph.D. in English from Berkeley. She teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. Her website is

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