Since the election, secession is in the air. So far 20 states have filed petitions. This is mostly symbolic, but it merited an op-ed by one Paul VanDevelder in the LATimes “One nation — but maybe not so indivisible: You red states want to secede? Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” (I guess that J. M. Berger is wrong that advocating secession “might finally get me fired” [Foreign Policy, “My Awakening], thereby making those wonderfully tolerant folks at the SPLC deliriously happy. After all, if advocating secession is okay for a writer in the L. A. Times, it shouldn’t imperil my academic career.)
Obviously VenDevelder is a fan of blue state America, but what he says presents an ideal picture: A mutual understanding that red state and blue state America should just go their separate ways (VanDevelder’s article was titled “Irreconcilable differences” in the print edition). This is a point that Greg Johnson made in a recent podcast with Matt Parrott and me: The ideal secession scenario would be if both red state and blue state America agreed to go their separate ways. Non-violently.
Mr. VanDevelder is quite on board with that.
We wish you the best of luck with this. We feel your pain. If we can speak frankly, it’s been coming for a long, long time. The question now is: What’s next?
First, we’re happy to report that most people here in Oregon, Washington and California think you’re really on to something. This marriage has run its course. Too many niggling little things built up over time, driving us all crazy. So let’s just stop. It’s time to divvy up the china and draft a property settlement. In the spirit of fairness and goodwill, we propose the following as a starting point.
We’ll keep the West Coast, Nevada and Hawaii, New York, the rest of the Northeast and all the other states that turned blue on election night. You guys get Texas, Mississippi, the rest of the Confederacy and all the other states that turned red on election night. Alaska can do whatever it wants. It does what it wants anyway.
What Mr. VanDevelder has in mind is the following map.