Editor's Letter: A modest proposal

For ending the nation's bitter bickering over health care, abortion, affirmative action, religion in the public square, taxation, torture, and the proper role of government

Perhaps Abraham Lincoln made a mistake. When some Americans believe the current president is a communist cult leader trying to brainwash the nation’s schoolchildren, and other Americans want the last president to be dragged off his ranch in handcuffs, it is time to reassess the state of our union. So may I make a modest proposal. There is a way to end the bitter bickering over health care, abortion, affirmative action, religion in the public square, taxation, torture, and the proper role of government. It is called secession. Yes, I know: Splitting the United States into two nations is a bit extreme. But extremism in the defense of America’s sanity is no vice. And since we’re already segregating ourselves by what we watch, listen to, and read, why not go all the way?

Think of the possibilities. In a new nation fashioned out of the current red states—call it, for the sake of argument, Limbaughland—the federal tax rate could be cut to 10 percent, Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security would be abolished, abortion would be illegal, gays would be closeted again, and Christianity would be the official state religion. Anyone could buy any kind of gun, no questions asked. In the current blue states, which we will call here ObamaNation, the federal tax rate would top out at 90 percent; all employers would institute quotas for minorities, women, and less-abled persons; and you’d get your health care from a single-payer system like Canada’s. Fast food and guns would be banned, while gay marriage and marijuana would be legal. Voilà! No more rancor, leaving only one remaining problem: What would we all feel so aggrieved about?

William Falk

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