By: Lloyd Burt . “When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe”- Thomas Jefferson. The election of president Donald J. Trump has created a “yuuge” outcry from the political and social elites, both right and left. How could this political upstart that eats ketchup on steak, eats Wendy’s hamburgers, and is just at home talking to a lowly construction foreman as a head of state possibly get elected?
These people have lived in ivory towers for too long. Like the ruling class in “Hunger Games” they believe the filthy unwashed masses only live to serve them. They believe the rural areas of the nation are only there to feed the behemoth cities in which they live. Those folks “out there” attend tractor pulls and Nascar races. They own RV’s and bass boats. How dare they think they are intelligent enough to know how to run the country? Elite progressives of both party’s assume they are anointed with divine knowledge. How could someone with a lowly high school or trade school education possibly know how to run their life?
As elitism continues to percolate as an issue, progressive states like California are threatening secession from the Union. It looks like it will appear as state ballot issue in 2018. And within the states themselves, there is mass dissatisfaction between urban progressive centers and more conservative suburban and rural areas.
There are many intrastate secessionist movements. Northern California wants to divorce itself from southern California; Western Maryland from Eastern Maryland. Upstate New York has been complaining for years. Increasingly those in the rural areas of a state have less and less in common with their city brethren almost to the point where the city dwellers have no idea how to relate to their country cousins. We are several generations removed from a time when those city and suburban parents packed the kids up and sent them back to a family farm for a couple weeks every summer.
What I’m proposing isn’t secession. The Constitution forbids the federal government from changing state boundary lines. What if we gave the people in neighboring states permission to redraw the map themselves?
This might work especially in liberal progressive states on the coasts. Progressive mega-cities have population densities large enough to hold control of the state legislatures. Politicians of both parties think like their constituents. A Democrat and a Republican from New York City are going to have views much closer to each other than two Democrats or two Republicans from upstate New York. Upstate New York is for all intents and purposes left out of the decision making process within state government.
The fracking ban in New York State is a prime example of this. Legislators voted to ban a method of petroleum extraction that has been used for decades safely to the financial detriment of the farmers who own the minerals. From gun control to land use there is a growing rift between urbanites and the people that keep groceries on the table, gasoline in their cars, and electricity in the wires. More and more those making the rules have no idea how much time, talent and treasure is used to supply them with their daily needs and desires.
For generations, Chicago has controlled Illinois. The story repeats itself over and over again. Allowing people with common values to remove themselves from a state where a couple of large cities have enough population to control a legislature would prove beneficial for everyone.
For example, the New York/D.C. corridor could become one state. Those people have much more in common with each other. Western Pa, and upstate New York could then form a state. The Chicago to Cleveland arc could become a state, leaving Southern Ohio and Southern Indiana to go their own way. West Virginia could take in Western Maryland creating another state of people with common values.
Many theories have been floated as to why things in America have become so divided. Population density is one of those theories. When Donald Trump won the electoral college, many detractors said land mass doesn’t vote. That might be true…but there are citizens living on that land mass that have long been hurt economically and socially by those residing in large population centers. Last November they won a small victory. Maybe it is time to level the playing field.