America: Love it or leave it (Another modest proposal)
It seems pretty obvious there are a growing number of people of the right-wing persuasion who simply hate America. Isn't it time to consider some pragmatic solutions so we can find a way to make all of us feel happier and welcome in the particular societal environments in which we live?
It’s likely the haters were always there, but were keeping their hatred to themselves - that is until the 2008 election of the first African-American president, since which they’ve been coming out of the woodwork in mind-boggling numbers.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that: “The number of Patriot groups, including armed militias, skyrocketed following the election of President Obama in 2008 – rising 813 percent, from 149 groups in 2008 to an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012.”
And according to the New York Times, a recent study from the New America Foundation, a Washington research center, says that since 9/11, almost twice as many people have been killed in America by right wing domestic extremists (including, according to another report, 25 law enforcement officers) as those defined as self-proclaimed Muslim jihadists.
Not to mention it takes almost no effort to go online and find innumerable vile hate-filled invective-laden rants posted by those who believe our country in no way resembles the type of nation they think it should be.
Oh, sure. I doubt there’s anyone who doesn’t think America has flaws that ought to be corrected (myself included). But it seems as if uber-conservatives who dream of a fundamentalist “Christian nation,” or a society in which they don't have to live alongside and interact with people who they virulently despise, or the kind of objectivist utopia envisioned by Ayn Rand, simply perceive so-called “American values” so differently than the rest of us that the gulf is perhaps just too vast to bridge.
So, I think I have a solution that may serve everyone’s desires:
Let’s pay everyone who hates America to leave.
I mean it. I think we should offer to pay the relocation cost for anyone who chooses to just go.
All they’d have to do is pick any country in the world that they think is better and in which they’d prefer to live, and the rest of us would pay the costs associated with them moving there.
Perhaps they’ll choose Russia, seeing as how several right-wing legislators have expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin and his authoritarian style of governing - not to mention the fact that, according to this facinating article from Politico, Russian right-wingers and our right-wingers - particularly seccessionists - already regularly network.
But truthfully, since most extreme right-wingers also tend to be xenophobic, they might not be willing to live amongst people who talk funny or look different.
I have an idea for that, too.
Let’s allow Texas to secede and invite all the America haters to move there.
Here’s my reasoning for choosing Texas:
- It has an active secessionist movement (the Texas Nationalist Movement), and its more conservative elected officials (including former governor and now presidential candidate Rick Perry) have often hinted that they believe Texas should secede.
- It’s big enough to accommodate all the America haters.
- A huge number of its citizens say they identify as Texans first and Americans after that, and already believe that there’s a vast conspiracy within the federal government to oppress them.
- It’s an attractive, well-developed state. It has agriculture, seaports, energy reserves, a world-class transportation infrastructure, culture, and pretty much anything else needed for a sustainable economy.
- It would likely welcome fellow right-wingers with open arms.
Let’s keep in mind that most conservatives are loyal, patriotic Americans who have reasonable differences of opinion with moderates and liberals. It’s really just a (not insubstantial) extremist fringe that actually hates our nation. Texas should have plenty of room for the true haters.
I know there a lot of right-wingers who would prefer that the states they currently reside in could secede, too. But I think Americans’ willingness to give up Texas without conflict is generous enough.
And again, Americans should pay the expenses of not only anyone who wishes to emigrate to the new "Republic of Texas," but also those of any current resident of Texas who prefers to remain an American citizen and wishes to relocate here within our (new) borders.
So how can someone determine if they’d be happier living in the new Republic of Texas (or elsewhere)? Here are some hints:
- If you believe freedom means the freedom to oppress, segregate, impoverish, or otherwise marginalize anyone you choose.
- If you believe in any sort of aristocracy or privileged class.
- If you believe business should be able to operate any way they choose with no regulation.
- If you feel the need to denigrate anyone based on their lack of material worth.
- If you believe there’s any kind of conspiracy within the federal government to suspend the Constitution and impose martial law.
- If you believe in any kind of conspiracy involving Jews.
- If you believe the laws of your state should supersede those of the nation.
- If you believe that laws should be dictated by the Bible, or any doctrine based on religious dogma.
- If you believe that the American Civil War was NOT about slavery, or in any way, shape or form wish the Confederacy had won.
- If you believe you should be allowed to weaponize yourself in such a way that you can be sufficiently equipped to stage a violent, armed revolt against America at your discretion.
I don’t necessarily think any one of these things in and of itself is a definitive indication that you hate America, but it makes sense that the more of these points you agree with, the more likely it is that you’d be happier elsewhere - someplace you could live and congregate with people of a like mind.
And those of us who love America would be sacrificing a lot. Texas is no small gift. The rest of us who pay taxes have contributed hundreds of billions of dollars to the Lone Star State over its history that we’d have to write off.
There are also many patriotic Americans from Texas who would have to give up at least a piece of their heritage.
And American taxpayers will also probably have to cough up many many millions of dollars to pay for all the relocations.
So that’s my idea. I’m coopting an old phrase with which to label this proposal. I’m calling it: “America: Love it or leave it.”
To summarize, if you hate America, why don’t you just carry your ass?