Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shades of Ecotopia!

In this morning’s Oregonian David Sarasohn in his online editorial in “The Stump” [i] made reference to the secession requests that have blossomed following the re-election of Obama.  He reminds Oregonians of the book by Ernest Callenbach, Ecotopia. In it the author posed the proposition of the western states of Oregon, Washington and California seceding from the union in order to form a “more perfect union,” or at least one more suited to their priorities.

It is almost laughable that since the election every state in the union has sent petitions to the White House requesting the right to secede!  Of course, it is clear that these petitions, for the most part, are simply symbolic of the frustration so many of us feel about the political craziness that has immobilized our governing process.  In the case of Texas, however, where over 100,000 signatures have been added to the petition, there probably is a much darker sentiment behind their effort.  While governor Perry has distanced himself from the current petition effort, we should remember that he also threatened such action when the health care legislation was causing such a stir around the country.  As I have stated in other articles, maybe we should honor the Texas request for freedom from the “dictatorial control” of the federal government and let them go ahead with developing a national status from which they can attempt to develop “international” relationships (without the backing of the power, economy, and security of federal government from which they have received a greater return on their contribution in money sent to Washington than any other state.[ii])

There may be many things we do not like about the federal government and the seeming inability of our representatives to find ways of working together for the good of all is all too apparent.  Political intransigence is now so deeply imbedded in the political process that the overall well being of our citizens is hardly visible.  The adage, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, seems fully implemented.[iii]  Having said that, is secession the answer?  Personally, I am not in favor of that action, but I am most certainly as frustrated as the majority of us when it comes to accomplishing what needs to be done.  Sometimes the threat of an action is as effective as actually taking the action.  Let’s hope we, as a nation, can get our act together sufficiently to overcome our differences and regain the democratic excellence that we have struggled to develop over the last two centuries.

For those of you interested in the Ecotopia project you can start by reading the articles I wrote about it on this blog awhile back. [iv], [v]


Shawn Blumenfeld said...

I have felt for a long time that texas Alaska Montana ,Arkansas,Louisianna, will ask to be on their own. I also feel like we are heading for our second civil war.
With Washington being the state of "safe zone" Of course Oregon will be behind WA and parts of California , most likely her Northern part. This is very serious , I have not laughed about it ,because these folks do not want a black man ruling them nor his medial decision. This is just the beginning of pure hell from these regions. Texas and AK leading the way.Behind the closed doors of the White House they are not laughing, I am sure of it.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

What a great post. I have often attributed the secession talks of Texas as merely empty rhetoric...but you could be right.

Dan Perin said...

Thanks for the comment. I guess we all get to wait and see!

Inspector Clouseau said...

Well articulated, thoughtful, and thought-provoking post, Dan.

It has always been my personal position (and not that of the Institute) that it is time for us to have another Constitutional Convention to write a Second Constitution. We now have the benefit of a couple of hundred years of experience operating under the original one and its amendments.

We'd call a business which maintained the same business model for years, despite management problems and repeated losses, poorly managed if it simply plodded along doing the same thing year after year. However, in the governance world, very few changes (in terms of the operational model) are made from decade to decade.

It's time for us to re-visit who we are. We are on a path of self-destruction through implosion. It used to be that we had enough similarities among us to join forces and collaborate and cooperate; that no longer appears to be the case.

Arthur Schlesinger speaks of our increasing lack of common values around which we can rally as a country in his The Disuniting of America. It's a good read.

Dan Perin said...

Inspector: I have also felt the need for a Constitutional Convention and have mentioned it elsewhere. As difficult as it is for politicians to get much of anything done these days, I can only imagine the difficulty of getting any consensus on even trying to start the process.

Inspector Clouseau said...

It does take a lot to even start the process doesn't it. Sorta like getting a divorce....