The new way forward... for Democrats and Republicans.

Well… I put in a pit thread talking about dividing the country up into two seperate pieces. But now I read about a better idea.

here’s the link:

Now, I don’t necessarily see this as a way to get political power, but I think that it would be a good idea in general for us to be able to live in a country.
Basically, to me, it has become apparent that we liberals are outnumbered in the US. There’s no way we are going to get our way through too much political action. But I am not from a Blue state, but I’ll more to one and take sides if this happens.

The Democrats should simply give up any effort to push their agenda on the federal level and go to a specific “State’s rights” policiy with low taxes and a heavily reduced Federal government.

My dear republicans. I don’t hate you, but it becomes painfully apparent that we are not getting along well. I suggest we have a higher degree of independence within the USA. I mean do you really care that gay marriage occurs in California if it is outlawed in Alabama? I know I sure as hell wouldn’t care what they did in the red states. So why don’t we just agree to live and let live and see who benefits in the end. What do we need to be the same nation for in the first place? Defense and economic reasons, I imagine. That’s the only ones that I can fathom. Do you really care if a person takes someones guns away in Rhode Island if you can have assault weapons in Mississippi? This whole govern from the center thing has worked pretty well for a while, but since winner-take-all politics has happend with GWB and it has us torn apart.

Why did we want Kerry to win? So we can feel the good effects of his policies on our lives. Why did the Republicans want Bush to win? I don’t think it was so the people in New York would become more conservative and be forced to live more conservatively. You are concerned about its effect on you.

We will probably never split up as a nation, but we should realize that we are so politicized, and if George Bush doesn’t do something to unite us, and if he continues on his current policies then we will need to take drastic steps.

Here’s how I propose it to happen, and I don’t know if these things are legal in the constitution, however.

First the democrats need to push a “state’s rights” platform on the national level.
Push a tax-cut platform that also includes the requirement of any kind of transfer payment of any kind. No more pork to the big companies. Welfare of the people will be take care of by the states.

Smaller democratic states could merge to form larger ones. Sure, this would probably cost us political power in the Senate, but who cares? We will be getting a lot more votes on the national level if we only have the policy of destroying the federal government. Obviously there would need to be security that would have to get paid for. But… don’t you think that people would would require lower taxes when they saw directly how much the military costs? It would probably lower the military budget and the bureaucracy when one see exactly what it takes to keep it running.

Nationally democrats will push state’s rights, and on the state level there can be the typical social-welfare systems that will be much more effective due to smaller size and the added benefit of having more control. I tend to think that the bigger the state is the worse the system of social welfare is. Look at the larger European states like Germany. That doesn’t work so well, but the Scandinavian countries have had success. We could leave guns, gay-marriage, almost any policy that we want a state-controlled matter.

Perhaps we are moving in this direction anyway with the blue states allowing gay marriage and the red states banning it.

So why don’t we realize that there are some things that we need to be united on and some things that we can leave to the others. It is a great idea, I think and it really addresses a lot of the problems that we have. Honesly, Republicans, imagine if Kerry had won? How would you have felt? It would be horrible, wouldn’t it? There are some things that we need to be united on, and others that we should quit trying to control nationally. Republicans should stop trying to push a lot of their agenda on us, just because its somethign that they want for themselves. Democrats can stop trying to take the red-state guns.

What about the minorities, you may ask. I mean political miorities. What about the Republicans in NY, MA, and wherever else? Well, they can either move or try to affect the state through their own local governments. By keeping the source of power closer to the people it becomes much more efficient.

What would be the point of a President then? Hopefully it would be much less important. National security would be important. That’s what I’d like to see now, because I am convinced that our differences are just too great to continue on in this way, especially if GWB’s next term is anything like his first.

But this would be a good idea for democrats, I think to get power back. Completely change the national party platform. What republican is going to object to cutting taxes and welfare reform? I can imagine it now… We NEED the government to be big. We need corprate welfare. Ha! The welfare of the people should be up to the state that they are in, so blue states can quit subsidizing the red-states whose only thanks is to get them into wars they don’t like and give out their tax money in the form of corporate welfare. The Republicans couldn’t actually make a case that blue states are obligated to paying the red states, now could they?

What is the end goal? I don’t know. Maybe the red states will realize where the real power of America lies. If that is in the blue states, then maybe they’ll be a little more respectful of our needs. Maybe the red states won’t need us? Fine, great! Maybe we could move towards more independence. Sure it will suck for the liberals in Mississippi (me) and the conservatives in MA, but I’m willing to relocate. I’m willing to pay higher taxes

What about things like the FCC? That’s a tough one. Blue-states would probably rather have less stringent policies reguarding content, and red-states more stringent. Maybe we could find a comprimise somewhere there that would allow each state to have more power over federal matters like that.

I know there has to be some libertarians that like this idea as well, right? But mainly I like it because it is very decietful :wink: I mean if the democrats could manage to be united on this front, then we could really throw the Republicans for a loop!

I’ve tried to argue this on several occasions, and have just proposed it in the PIT thread I started today. If you give the government lots of power, don’t be surprised when it get used for things you don’t like. The best way to prevent abuse is to not give the government power in the first place. Welcome to the libertarian (samll “l”) mindset! :slight_smile:

Thanks John…
But… I have to admidt that I am still big on social welfare. But I think that it should be left up to the states. While I agree ideologically with the Democratic platform ( I am even further left) I would argue that Libertarianism is the way for Democrats to get their way in a way that affects them. We can use libertarianism to get our way in our own states and then use the increased support nationally to get our international agenda pushed (less war, etc.) I still agree with many liberal agendas on the international level, but I am beginning to see that we are so different that we need to stop forcing the other to go our way on as many issues as possible.

I wouldn’t argue for that on a smaller level, but I think that states should have more power because this culture war that is going on in America now is very divisive. We should focus on the things we need each other for and that’s it. Blue staters don’t need the religious right to tell them what marriage is and Red staters don’t need liberals telling them they can’t have assault rifles.

So democrats should still have the same policies, but only on a state-wide level.

Why the hell not? I don’t like the Republicans telling me one bit how run my life…

Hey… these things actually make sense ! Except uniting democratic states… there are so few of them.

I didn’t know so much money went from blue to red states… actually that really surprises me since they talk so much self reliance ! The only problem is unemployed rednecks invading your cities and voting differently than you… crime, etc…

I am surprised that nobody finds this idea worthy of debate…

It seems pretty damn controversial, which would at least warrant some flamage or some praise or some kind of discussion. What’s wrong, somebody say something

Sounds like a fine idea. I operate from a simple principle: The degree of control over my life by government should be inversely proportional to how hard it is for me to go somewhere else if I don’t like it.

Thus, I’ll accept a fair amount of control in neighborhood zoning laws. I’ll accept somewhat less from city bylaws. Even less from provincial/state lawmakers, and even less from the federal government. If I don’t like my neighborhood, it’s relatively easy to move. If I don’t like the city, it’s somewhat harder, but not impossible. Etc.

So sure. Give the power to the states. Get rid of interstate wealth transfer from the government. Get the Washington politicians off the gravy train by severely scaling back the power and scope of federal government.

If you’re a progressive, move to California or New York. Let those states decide how much gun control they want, how much tax they’ll raise, whether gays can marry, etc.

Thank God…

Maybe this is the way to end the cultural warfare. Sure, I guess building up a huge government in the New Deal seemed like a good idea at the time, but now things have changed.

Sam, what do you think would be the consequences?

I think that it would make a lot of poorer states poorer (Arkansas, Lousianna, Mississippi) do you think it would or wouldn’t? Do you think it is fair that way?

This is never going to happen, but as long as we’re dreaming…

Of course it would work. States could experiment and see what works and what doesn’t work. States like NY would end up like Europe (comfortable but not inovative) and some of the western states, maybe even CA, would lead the way in private enterprise.

Change is good, but how many Americans, Republicans or Democrats, do you think will jump on any bandwagon that looks like spliting up the Union. Let’s be realistic; in terms of actual numbers Kerry got over 55 million votes. Many of these voters were passionately supportive. Before that energy dissipates, why not refocus it on a new goal, with similar aims.

It is clear that, Republican whining notwithstanding, we DO NOT have a “liberal” press. FOX News and CNN have a consistent conservative agenda. Reporting from these sources are skewed and progressives are scarcely covered at all - thus all the complaining about Kerry NOT getting his message out. Be that as it may, these news outlets still have a very large viewing audience. We need to force a more balanced view of issues in front of these viewing eyes. Democrats, progressives, and all Kerry supporters should organize to put pressure on the corporations to pull their advertising dollars from the most skewed programs. 55 million organized people have alot of financial leverage. A boycott on any corporation would be immediately noticed and yield results. Intially the highest rated programs would easily be able to fill there commercial spots. But if the pressure was maintained, they would eventually be pressured into lowering them to attract new advertisement. And that is the language that all corporations speak.

On a positive note, you would probably only have to campaign on this issue for a couple of minutes in Texas before we sent you to go convince the other guys.

I don’t know if I agree with that. Firstly there are many difference between America and Europe, but it isn’t just the government. The differences are cultural, and whatever government is elected wouldn’t change that. I think it would more than likely look like Canada. Sure, I’d say that the blue states are probably exactly in the middle with the red states on one side and Europe on other side.
As far as Texas is concerned. Sure be your own state! I’m from a really red state, but if this were to happen I’d move. How hard would it be, honestly to convince people? It could be a slow process starting with the end of unequal transfer payments.

Have you ever met a Republican that didn’t like tax cuts? Hell, that’s the stated goal of so many conservatives in America, You know, “starve the beast” and all that. There would be no objections on terrorism grounds because defense would still be there. The only hard thing would be to get the republicans to agree to cut spending. But there is currently a group of republicans that don’t agree with GWB’s spending. They don’t give a damn if we were to tax our citizens to start our own welfare programs as long as we don’t make them pay for it.

Sadly the main problem would be democrats. Most probably wouldn’t want a larger degree of autonomy.

Hey its not such anti-american idea either. Its just federalism. Don’t we have a Federal government? We are obviously two different people with two very different ideas of where America should go. Why fight it?

The only problem I see is a wave of people trying to witness to the blue states…

Also, would it be hard to convince, Texans, Californians, New Yorkers and people from Illinios?

No, I dont’ think so, and there are a lot of people who live there.

Well, it would have to be a gradual process. But it’s ultimately healthy. Take farm subsidies - what long-term effect do they have? They maintain a glut of farmers, which hurts the economy and prevents diversification. There’s nothing stopping a state like Iowa from transforming itself into a high-tech center, or a service economy. It takes a long time.

My own province, Alberta, has done this. We used to be pretty much an agrarian province. But about 30 years ago we began aggressively courting business and technology. We cut taxes and business regulations, and our leaders travelled the country and the world selling us to business. Alberta now has a modern, very diverse economy.

And here’s an interesting thing: Many Canadians say that the “Alberta Miracle” is due to our oil and gas resources. But , Alberta brought in about 8 billion billion dollars from oil and gas revenues. Of that, we ship about half to the rest of Canada in the form of ‘equalization payments’ to the poorer provinces. That means Alberta gets a ‘winfall’ of just over $3,000 per person per annum. However, a province like Nova Scotia gets about $4,500 per person in windfall payments from Canada’s equalization system. So how come Alberta’s economy is roaring, and Nova Scotia and Quebec, which get huge equalization payments, aren’t?

The difference is that Alberta has taken its money and invested it in infrastructure. We don’t maintain a debt. We don’t have a sales tax. We have the lowest taxes in Canada by a wide margin, and as a result people are flocking to this province.

So there is room for every state in the U.S. to find its way in the global economy. The U.S. could basically be a gigantic free trade zone between the states, all operating under a common framework. States can set their own social rules - and suffer the consequences of bad choices. Raise taxes to pay for social programs, and hey, what do you know, you’re no longer attracting business capital. That’s the way it goes. But lower taxes and regulations, and you can become an island of prosperity and investment.

It’s a process that would take a long time. You can’t just pull the rug out from under a country full of dependents. The change has to be gradual.

Yeah, almostenough people to get a majority. :wink:

ladyfish, that’s the beauty of it: it can be sold as not “splitting up the union”, but rather going “back to the roots of Federalism”.

“States’ Rights” has been tarred, maybe indelibly, with being the South’s slogan for supporting first slavery and then segregation. But there is much to be said for devolution of authority and responsibility for policy down to the level that most immediately reflects how that policy affects the individual.

Now, yes, of course this would have some consequences unpleasant to some or all. It would mean half of us would have to just sit there and allow the other half to go on doing things that we think are just plain wrong. Do we have it in us?

A glimpse of what this might look like can be seen in the Stem Cell inititative in CA. The feds say no, so CA decides to go solo.


There are some steps in this direction already. The Gay Marriage laws are a state-wide initiative. There was recently a bill to legalize Marijuana in Alaska, which lost 43 to 57. That’s pretty impressive.

Honestly, the republicans have drawn the line in the sand. They hate blue America, and they want to have nothing to do with it, especially serving under a Democratic president. The Democrats have tried and tried to convince the moderate republicans of their ideas, but they will have nothing to do with a guy who isn’t “like them” or from the south.

The Democrats are in the unique advantage of controling almost all of the states with the most financial power (outside of Texas) on the state level.

All the democrats have to do is quit opposing the “Starve the beast” approach that the republicans have. Once they have the Federal Government bone-dry, then they can just say, “Screw you” and tell Mississippi to come up with its own money to build its roads, or to come up with its own money to entice Nissan to build a plant there. If you look at where the money is coming from and where it is going, you should be mad if you are in a blue state.

But this isn’t secession. Its just devolution. I am beginning to think that implementation of democratic policy across the whole country isn’t a good idea anyway.

Oh yeah. It wouldn’t really matter if the Republicans didn’t like what the democrats were doing, because they would more than likely take control of congress again. If you run a state’s rights campaign, where the hell would the republicans go? Would they take the position of being the good stewards of the government?

Plus the people of these individual states don’t really think that they are getting money from other people. Not even in MIssissippi do people realize that their funds come from blue states.

How could you speed this up? By playing on our divisions.

A great idea!

One problem that will arise, if the country is to still have a united foreign policy, is who decides on how much to spend on foreign policy and what the foreign policy should be. Obviously the Red States and Blue States will disagree on this.

Also, it may be a bit embarassing to know that some of the states in the Union teach creationism or criminalize homosexuality, or other such stuff.

Overall, though, a good idea.

That isn’t going to change so much, except that a smaller overall budget will make foreign wars much harder to fund.

The SCotUS will still have the authority to enforce the consitution nationally. There might be school disctricts teaching creationism, but I think *Lawrence *put the kabosh on ciminalizing homosxuality.

Wasn’t that the kind of diametric difference of “moral” opinion that was at the root of the first Civil War? The North wanted (and from a federal point of view, NEEDED) to dilute the concentration of economic - thus political - power in the south, and essentially used the banner of freeing the slaves as the “moral” grounds to procecute that war. If “freedom loving” Americans can ostensibly empathize with an oppressed Iraqi people 6 to 9 time zones away enough to “ok” a mass deployment of “liberating” troop forces, is it realistic to expect that they would keep their peace with a situation that was occuring within national borders? Unless we are talking about secession, which would bring us back to the splitting of the union obstacle.