What if the U.S. was divided into Liberal & Conservative?

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Magna
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25 Oct 2018, 12:03 pm

Firstly, this is purely theoretical exercise. I know this couldn't actually happen.

Secondly, even if it could, I'm sure there would be both advantages and disadvantages on both sides.

Thirdly, if it did actually happen, that would mean the freedom of the citizenry to vote as they see fit would be compromised.

With that said, what if the U.S. was divided between "liberal" and "conservative" areas or states? Say, for example that if the land was more or less divided right down the middle and states on one side of the line would always have "conservative" political leaders from federal, state and all the way down to local and the other side would always have "liberal" political leaders from federal, state and all the way down to local.

Aside from contributing equally to a national defense system, everything else would be the responsibility and the prerogative of each side to either flourish or fail. Infrastructure all the way on down. The sole responsibility of each's respective "side of the fence".

Citizens would be allowed to move freely between one side or the other but knowing that there would be no possibility of changing or influencing the ideology of a "side" that they didn't agree with. Their only real recourse would be to move to the "side" they aligned with in ideology.

There's nothing wrong with a bit of daydreaming. What would your thoughts be on such a theoretical scenario?

I envision, for example a "liberal" side of the country that would have absolutely no possibility of having any "liberal" issues of importance jeopardized. I envision a "liberal" utopia like nothing ever seen in that "liberals" would feel absolute freedom to be "liberal" and all issues of "social justice" would be embraced and allowed to be unfettered with no threat of being overturned. LGBTQ and other minority rights would be firmly and forever a respected part of that society. Environmental concerns would not only be taken seriously, but the society as a whole could actually implement climate change regulations and the citizens of that society could feel good about being able to live in a manner that they believed in. Even in regard to immigration, that "side" of the country could choose to have open borders, etc. If you're a "liberal", daydream as though you had the ability to make every wish of yours come true and you'd be able to live in a place where others felt your same passions in that regard.


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Last edited by Magna on 25 Oct 2018, 12:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Fnord
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25 Oct 2018, 12:33 pm

"What if"?

:lol:

Dude! Look around! This "Theoretical Execrise" of yours is going on right now between gerrymandered "Red" and "Blue" voting districts.

While the country is not yet physically segregated into red and blue ghettos, a drive along highway 5 from San Francisco to San Diego should provide enough visual evidence.



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25 Oct 2018, 12:44 pm

Fnord wrote:
"What if"?

:lol:

Dude! Look around! This "Theoretical Execrise" of yours is going on right now between gerrymandered "Red" and "Blue" voting districts.

While the country is not yet physically segregated into red and blue ghettos, a drive along highway 5 from San Francisco to San Diego should provide enough visual evidence.


Oh, the country is certainly divided in ideology. However, this mental exercise contemplates physically dividing the country. Again, clearly theoretical and impossible in reality. I like "What ifs" sometimes.

If the country were literally divided into "liberal" and "conservative" sides there would be no divisiveness any longer like their is now. There would be no "liberal" neighbor living next to a "conservative" neighbor. There would be no 24/7 liberal vs. conservative pre-election advertising. If you don't like living on a certain side, you move to the other and enter your own ideological Shangri-La.


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25 Oct 2018, 12:53 pm

Dear Red States...

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss. We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy b*****ds believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

By the way, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Peace out,

The Blue States



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25 Oct 2018, 12:53 pm

Dear Blue States,

We need to talk.

This relationship doesn’t seem to be working anymore. We’re not saying it’s your fault, it’s just that we both seem to have gone in different directions recently. What used to be a cordial, comfortable relationship has started to seem to us like a blind date with a meth addict.

We can still remember the good old days, when we defeated the best that Japan and Germany could send against us, and those frantic but rewarding postwar years when we managed to raise all those kids and build a great economy in spite of those worries about nuclear war. And we remember when Ronald Reagan told Mr. Gorbachev to tear down that wall, and he did, ending the Cold War and fifty years of mistrust.

Those were great times, and it seemed you were having as much fun as we were. But lately, you’ve changed. Nothing we do seems to make you happy anymore. We take you out to dinner and you complain that none of it was ethically-sourced, or organic, or vegan. You say our SUV is killing polar bears. We understand that you don’t like our new friend Donald Trump, but did you have to try to get him impeached before he even took office? And when did the FBI become only your friend? We thought he wasn’t supposed to play favorites.

We’re not having as much fun either, truth be told. Last time we visited one of your places we had to get a map so we wouldn’t step in poop left on the streets by homeless people. You insist on welcoming millions of strangers to your side of the country without even checking whether they’re criminals or terrorists or carry strange diseases. Are you really that desperate for attention? You even complain when the census wants to ask a simple question about citizenship. It’s gotten so bad we’re not even sure we can trust your vote totals anymore. I mean, we knew Illinois had its problems, but it seems to be everywhere now.

When this relationship started, we all got together to sign the same pieces of paper: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution. We thought that meant as much to you as it did to us, that we were pledging “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” to the cause of freedom. But lately you’ve been acting like that meant nothing to you; you want the Constitution to say whatever you want on any given day and complain that it’s an outdated piece of paper. Well, however you feel now, it meant something to us at the time and it still has the same meaning now.

You don’t even like the idea of separate states anymore. Every time we try to do something different from you, you run off to the Supreme Court to get your pals to apply what you want to the whole country. Frankly, we’re still miffed about that abortion thing, and there are several others since then we’re not happy about. Justice Brandeis, a friend of yours, once said that states should be free to try “social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country,” but nooo, not anymore, according to you. And we can’t even get you to talk about the Tenth Amendment.

The reality is, we’re exhausted. Every day you seem to come up with something new you’re not happy about and you and your pals in the media instantly demand we get in line and agree to it or you’ll throw another fit, fill the streets with protestors and break windows. Logic doesn’t help; we can explain all the reasons your latest cause doesn’t make any sense and all you do is yell at us. In fact, we don’t think you’ve listened to a thing we’ve said for twenty years or so.

So, we think it’s time we went our separate ways. We don’t necessarily have to get a divorce, but we certainly want to have our own place with its own rules. You can go out all night, run around with your foreign pals, ban guns and legalize drugs, but don’t expect us to go along or help pay for it. We just want to go to work, have our families, acknowledge that there’s a God out there and live our quiet lives.

And if you insist on a complete breakup, well, there are a couple of Canadian provinces that have been looking at us lately and Britain is single again, so don’t worry about us getting lonely.

Cordially,

The Red States



Magna
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25 Oct 2018, 1:01 pm

I was thinking more of a split down the middle or using the Mississippi as the dividing line, Maybe flipping a coin and not getting caught up on an equal division of square miles rather than having current "blue" states stay "blue" and current "red" states stay "red".


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25 Oct 2018, 1:18 pm

I like your letters from blue to red and red to blue, Fnord.

Most of the issues raised in either letter would irrelevant though in a literal split. "Liberal" society wouldn't care about how the "conservative" society orchestrated itself or vice versa since many of those things you bring up would have no impact. If a "conservative" living on the "conservative" side was still bothered by "liberals" passing blunts back and forth on "their side", I suppose the "conservative" could pay the money to work such a thing out in therapy since they'd be bent about something that didn't affect them. Conversely, if everyone on the "conservative" side turned into snake handling Bible thumpers in a generation....of no consequence to the "liberals" living on the "liberal" side. None of each other's beeswax....


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Trogluddite
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25 Oct 2018, 1:25 pm

Magna wrote:
If the country were literally divided into "liberal" and "conservative" sides there would be no divisiveness any longer like their is now.

For those with sufficient resources and no emotional ties to people on whichever side of the divide they happen to be born on, maybe; but I wouldn't want to be a child growing up questioning their parent's belief system, facing witch hunts by those who decide I should be expelled to the other side or change my beliefs, and so on. There are people here on WP who face these kind of problems right now due to the demographics of the communities in which they live, and are trapped where they are due to reliance on family members or lack of resources.

Once the two sides have parted, they will soon realise that their compatriots' ideologies are not as homogeneous as they would like to think, and having set the precedent that partition is the solution, would likely be tempted to continue partitioning. The result would end up much as now; multiple states within a federation (assuming no secession, which seems most unlikely); except that, unlike now, there would be no incentive to co-ordinate anything for mutual benefit (except, as per your proposal, defence), making it much easier for individual states to hold each other to ransom over access to natural resources, transport hubs, energy supply, inter-state trade tariffs, etc.

Magna wrote:
Aside from contributing equally to a national defense system

Why this particular exception? It is surely a huge bone of contention between liberal and conservative ideologies; against whom would they wish to defend themselves? (maybe each other); degree of isolationism vs. international cooperation; justifications for increasing or decreasing military expenditure; and so on. What if one side decided to politically ally itself with a declared opponent of the other?


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Magna
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25 Oct 2018, 1:37 pm

People could move freely between each side and wouldn't be required or forced to adopt the ideology of the side they reside in or visit. They would just be required to live by the rules of that society. If they didn't like it, they could move to the side aligned with their beliefs.

Fnord gave a scenario where the "liberal" side may have natural resources such as agriculture and water to which the "conservative" side couldn't survive or thrive. Perhaps a "conservative" side would become a leader in manufacturing or be a world leader in other types of commercially viable products or services in which trade would be possible.


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naturalplastic
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25 Oct 2018, 2:25 pm

Little Belgium is divided between the French speaking south, and the Dutch speaking north. The country has one capital, and the single government that runs its foreign policy and its defense/military. But after that the two sections operate as separate nations within a nation. Each with its own laws, its own education system, and everything else.

Sometimes I have wondered if the US wouldn't be better off with a system like that. The states already have a lot of autonomy. But you have blocks of states operate as nations within nations along the Belgian model.

The states that made up the old confederacy could have one regional government, New England another, and like that. And it would work out to something like red states and blue states being separate countries-within-the country.

Maybe you could go one better, and invite Canada to join in a greater USA, but allowing Canada to retain autonomy along this new regional model. So you have red states, blue states, and the more blue ( traditionally even more socialistic)parts of former Canada. Of course if Canada joins then the French speaking province of Quebec would have to have regional autonomy from the rest of former Canada. So it would be red, mild blue, deep blue, and purple (purple is sometimes associated with France). Maybe Louisiana would break with the south and join Quebec in donning purple.



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25 Oct 2018, 2:32 pm

It happens on a microcosmic basis in the U.S. already in that there are cities or even different neighborhoods within the same urban area that are vastly different from each other in ideology. There are very "liberal" neighborhoods or even cities as well as "conservative" areas. There are gated communities, etc. Madison, WI as a whole is far more "liberal" than rural Wisconsin. If a rural Wisconsonite doesn't like the politics of those around him/her living in a rural area, that person could move to the deepest liberal areas of Madison and be far more happier in many ways.


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25 Oct 2018, 3:19 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGU_4-5RaxU

Well; We Do/Need both Kinds;

Both Liberal and Conservative:

Those Who Don't Jump into the Deep End of the River and Drown.
Those Who Cross the River, Find the Next Village, Find a New Mate who is Much More Different
And Bring Her Back to the Original Village to add a little Spice is Nicer to the Gene Pool at Hand.

Some Folks Stay in the Cave;
Some Folks Venture Outside and Get Hit by Lightening and Die.
Others Folks Who Do Move out of the Cave, Don't Get Hit by Lightening,
Survive, and Say Wow This Enlightening is Cool i wanna see more, more, more.

And on the Other Hand; Some Folks Stay in the Desert and Do Barely Get By Still
then/now to Survive; but Never Really Thrive From a Basic Staple of Water that is So Hard to Find.
So, Yes; others Leave the Desert, Some of those Find Death and Some Find Living Waters in Garden Of Edens
Full of Green and Water Like India, as such; but true, they find Monkeys too who will compete with them too.

Anyway, as i usually Love to Share, here at least, in YouTube Link Ways of Social Scientist Jonathan Haidt; Conservative And Liberal is in the Human Gene Pool as is; and no matter where one lives, Liberal and Conservative may be born into
the Same Family as well. True though; that may be less likely in someways of Cousins Interbreeding but move back up
to Non-Labeled Paragraph one, if it is not too Hard to find; and see where the New 'Spices of Life' Brings More Life to
the Variety of the Human Species too for the Gene Pool at Hand for Additional Human Potentials That May Allow the
Entire Village to
Survive and
By God of
Nature Potentially Even Thrive too;
But True, Considering how Dependent Humans
are on Water for Survival it's Probably a Signal
that overall, one is More Likely to Enjoy Life more if one Lives Near Water.
It's no Wonder, Really, why more 'Nomad' Leaning Liberal Folks Still Do this even in the Path of Hurricanes more.

But again, back to Square one; there is Risk in Thriving More but the Benefit of Give me Liberty or Give me Death.

But no; Hell no, i ain't Moving to Mars where not only is there no Source of Natural Spring Fed Waters; but
additionally; there Are No Heavenly Sunsets to Enjoy as the Art of Soul Flourishes in Romancing Nature More.

Bottom Lines really; it's impossible to separate Hell from Heaven as there is no Separation in even one
Family
now
Still,
Overall.
In other Words,
it will lead to more
Separation of Families
and even more stuff like Opiate
Addictions; truly it's still 'the Village' that is missing that is a largest issue now.
Other than that yes, we do need both Kinds as both Kinds make Human and there
is no escaping
that reality too;
According
to Biology
and at
Least
Social Scientist,
Jonathan Haidt, as it's
still pretty easy to tale
who passes or Fails the
'Michelangelo David Test'.
It's Still All About The IN Between IN Balance of Both.
In other Words, 'You' can't take the Cat out of the Cat
and the Dog out of the Dog in the Same Family now to put this in "Layman" terms too.
And to make it even more complicated, it's worth Noting now that there are more so-called
Politically Labeled Independents than Republicans or Democrats now as there is always a Third
Choice too as it is very True there are some Folks who are more Polyamorous Leaning and Financially
Conservative too; for they get all their pleasure more out of Flesh and Blood more than stuff, stuff, stuff
to Fill
Up
Walmart
Garages too.
And on Top of that only
A Minority of Folks even vote.
There is also the Apathetic I don't Give A Crap Type Folk;
And for all practical Intents and Purpose there are also two
Kinds of Folks; those who give a Crap and Those who are just Scraping by in Chicken Stuff as such.

That's why I do Neo; and let 'them' do tHeir 'Thing' Now.

Not totally Easy; but yes, it is still possible Now to Escape the 'Whole F'ed uP Matrix at Hand'.
And Still Live Enough in 'Rome as the Romans' still Do to Get by in Red, Blue, and or Whatever Greens Comes next.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs41JrnGaxc


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Trogluddite
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25 Oct 2018, 3:40 pm

Magna wrote:
People could move freely between each side...

Yes, that is implied by the scenario in principle, but you haven't addressed the personal practicalities and/or cost of actually doing it, either economically or emotionally. We've been having a little experiment with open borders in the European Union for quite a while now, and it doesn't seem to be going too well at the moment! So long as there are people on either side willing to cast aspersions on the motives of people making the switch, divisiveness will still exist and people will still be treated with suspicion because of their origins. Dismissing certain practicalities (e.g. immigration policy) for the sake of the thought experiment is one thing, but it becomes pointless utopianism if we're going to assume a sudden change in human nature so that people are no longer territorial, suspicious of outsiders, or emotionally attached for reasons other than political allegiance.

Magna wrote:
They would just be required to live by the rules of that society. If they didn't like it, they could move to the side aligned with their beliefs.

That is going to be a big "just" for some people. Moving away because one cannot live according to one's beliefs without fear of state punishment is not emigration, it is a form of exile, and it is arguable to what extent you could truly call it self-imposed; there are several ex-Soviet dissidents who have written at length about psychological effects of this. For the voluntary exile, would there be a job waiting? A home? Would these be equivalent to what they previously had? In a similar setting? How long before someone accuses them of being a filthy immigrant only there to steal someone's job? How long before one side or the other tightens border controls so that they can no longer see family members? Just upping sticks and moving to what is effectively another country is not a trivial thing; I imagine all the more so when done under duress.


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25 Oct 2018, 3:59 pm

Trogluddite wrote:
That is going to be a big "just" for some people. Moving away because one cannot live according to one's beliefs without fear of state punishment is not emigration, it is a form of exile, and it is arguable to what extent you could truly call it self-imposed; there are several ex-Soviet dissidents who have written at length about psychological effects of this. For the voluntary exile, would there be a job waiting? A home? Would these be equivalent to what they previously had? In a similar setting? How long before someone accuses them of being a filthy immigrant only there to steal someone's job? How long before one side or the other tightens border controls so that they can no longer see family members? Just upping sticks and moving to what is effectively another country is not a trivial thing; I imagine all the more so when done under duress.


You have some valid points. If a person, however, were to feel oppressed living on a side that was counter to their ideology and would know that picking up and moving to the "other side" that would figuratively embrace them with open arms, there would be logistical and financial uncertainty, but if you hate where you are and you have the option to go somewhere you love and live among people who share your views and from that sense "love" you. I think many people would take the plunge.

It's happening in a sense now in the U.S. where "conservatives" in "liberal" states like California are pulling up stakes and moving to more "conservative" states like Texas.

In my theoretical exercise, I'm taking it a step further and postulating a scenario where each "side" of the country would be a secure and perpetual bastion, structured based on the shared "liberal" or "conservative" ideology of its respective citizens.


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25 Oct 2018, 5:15 pm

Magna wrote:
It's happening in a sense now in the U.S. where "conservatives" in "liberal" states like California are pulling up stakes and moving to more "conservative" states like Texas.

Indeed, and to some extent across the open borders in the EU; that's what makes this an interesting debate, I think. I have even been advised to do it, on a smaller scale, myself; to move to a region with better autism services, as where I am now is known, even officially, to be particularly poor. It is part of the founding story of the USA, given how many early settlers were fleeing religious persecution in Europe.

Magna wrote:
based on the shared "liberal" or "conservative" ideology of its respective citizens.

Which leads to the problem of each side having to formalise its ideology so that it can be turned into a constitution of some sort. Once the two sides are no longer fighting each other, divisions within each block would arise very quickly, I think. It is also a huge assumption to think that everyone can easily be split between the two sides. There are both Christian fundamentalists and LGBT people who believe in conservative economic principles, and there are people with religious objections to abortion who are stereotypically libertarian in other respects, for example. The grounds for disagreement within both proposed camps are plentiful, and will quickly become sources of social stigma once there is no "common enemy" to fight. The situation resolves to just what you started with, but at a smaller scale of population, and you could potentially keep segregating ad infinitum. Is there an optimum ratio of idealogical cohesion (however one might measure that) versus population size? If people are raised from birth in an environment where one side's point of view is implied to always be right over that of the other, which each side would have to do to preserve their bastion, is this not just indoctrination?


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