I watching that 90’s movie the other day. You know the one with the guy – wears those shirts? He’s like, this cool, rebellious teenager. And his family moves to the midwest from the west coast, and he’s all, “Whoa,” and the plain old townsfolk are all, “Huh? What?” And hilarity ensues? Well, I realized something today. That story is not only applicable to the United States as we know it, but we’re actually on both sides of the coin. Still with me? Rock on.
This used to buy two orgies with the senate, with enough change for a leg of pork.
On one side of the coin (we’ll call it heads), there’s the US and Texas. When we bought Louisiana in 1801, we wanted Texas, but Texas didn’t want us. Then in 1821, it became part of Mexico. Then, in 1835, when Texas was fighting for it’s indepence, and we tried to help, you know what they said? “No, thanks, we got this. Nobody messes with Texas.” Then, in 1845, we annexed them anyway. America, the cool new kid in town comes guns a’blazin, and sets that giant midwestern town straight. We’re awesome.
Ever since, they, more than any other state, has asserted their uniqueness from the other 49 children. My guess is, what with recent talk of secession by everyone from current Governor Rick Perry to professional facemelter Chuck Norris, that they may not really want to be a state. Sure, Texas is 2nd in population among the states with 24 million people and has 3 of our 10 most populous cities. You know how it ranks in population density? 26th, with about the same average as the whole US. You know what that little disparity there says? Two things: vast, and wasteland. Basically, it has ~1/3 the population of Germany spread out across twice the space.
The only state more populous is the flip side of this argument. Back in the 1820’s, when all them gold diggers went to California all a’hootin’ and a’prospectin’, that was the lesson that their kids took to bed every night. And then their kids, and then their kids, who became so fixated on power and money that they elected not one, but two movie stars governor. The only baffling part is that they were both republicans, and Cali hasn’t really been a beacon for the right wing all too often historically (except that gap in the 70’s and 80’s).
To them, we as Americans are a a firm, nubile farm girl, who practically creams herself every time our young action hero blows up a helicopter for fun and profit. And since a majority of Californians still think that popularity is analagous to political competence, they put him in charge. Ever since the he took office, he got old, never really shed his strange accent, and now all we can do is cry after every time he screws us.
Why wouldn’t you look at me … during?
Back in the day, it too was part of Mexico, and like Texas, it also wanted to be an independent republic, but during the Mexican-American war, in all our Manifestly Destined brilliance, we decided it would look nice as a state, and it became one in 1850. Ever since, it’s grown to house 33 million people, and it has a Gross State Product that’s higher than all but 7 countries. In fact, Texas is #2 on the list, and between the two of them, they’re responsible for ~2.5 trillion dollars in annual revenue, or roughly 18% of the US economy. This is mostly due to A: the fact that we’ve been stuffing business down in Texas since the Industrial Revolution paved roads into it, and B: Steven Spielberg.
So, what am I getting at with all this? Basically, it’s time to just let ’em go. Now, like every situation, this has it’s pros and cons. Let’s examine them:
Pro: This doesn’t really upset the balance of power in the political arena all that much. California has 55 EV, and Texas 34. It would maybe even look bipartisan-ish of Obama to give up part of that historically built-in 52-vote handicap (along with NY’s 31) the Republicans have to overcome every 4 years. Sure, we’d have to get rid of our Speaker of the House, but … oh, no? It’s not like there aren’t 12 or 15 people in those chambers just as or more qualified than the one we have now. Nothing personal, just simple probability. They’d only have to preside over 350 Representatives, anyway.
Con: Sure, there’s a lot of history. That’s how it is with any break-up. They have a good portion of our business, and we still have all of their movies & tv (Ca.) and Tom Landry & sand (Tx.) to remember them by. And of course, there’d be acrimony and people would suffer, both in their business and personal lives. But again, like any break-up, we’ll start to see each other in the halls after a couple of weeks, and wonder how the other is doing, and eventually one of us will go over and talk, and everything will be fine.
Pro: In this age of “global economic downturn,” California’s not only most vulnerable in that its main exports are culture and … airplane parts(?!), but that it hasn’t passed a feasible budget basically since the last ice age. As a result of these two things, and the fact that the US has been handing out money hand over fist lately to failing businesses, a dangerous precedent has been set. If we don’t bail out them out now, there’s no way it won’t backfire. However, if we were to just suddenly to encourage our little teenager to grow up, get a job, and move out of the house, maybe it would learn the responsibility it somehow missed while we were trying to raise it right. Or, maybe it will look to it’s responsible big brother Texas for guidance. Texas definitely has its shit together financially.
Just because I knew you didn’t want to see it.
Con: I’m a big fan of symmetry, so I like having 50 stars. Of course, 48 wouldn’t look bad on a flag, but if you really want the world to know that we’re still the land-conquering badass we used to be, all we’d have to is grant statehood to two of the nine territories we already hold, and voila. Also, did you know that in addition to being the legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Tom Landry was a bomber pilot in Germany during World War II, who later earned a degree in Industrial Engineering? I suppose that doesn’t really have anything to do with the argument, does it?
Pro: We still get to play sports games against the Cowboys and the Lakers just the same as we play the Oilers (Edm) and the Blue Jays (Tor). In fact, it makes our so-called “World Series” claim that much more valid. On top of that, we can deny Kobe’s visa every year when the Lakers make the playoffs. Just because he’s a dick.
Obviously, there’s far more to it than I’m suggesting, and obviously, it probably won’t happen in my lifetime. I merely wanted to start a discussion about the possibility of a better world. A world where we can let California sink slowly and quietly into the ocean, and where Chuck Norris is able to run for President of Texas. What say you?