Courtesy of Wednesday morning’s Lucianne.com comes this pull quote from Geraldine Ferraro, the now getting long in the tooth former vice presidential candidate of the Democratic party:
“You know what? Just let me make one point. You were talking about the map before. If indeed all those blue states all got together and seceded from the union, think what would be left for those red states, nothing. There would be no educational system. You would have nothing. What would be left to you? I mean, where is all of this talent in this country? It’s on both sides, the Northeast corridor.”
— Geraldine Ferraro to Sean Hannity on Hannity and Colmes, November 6.
The “map” Ms. Ferraro refers to is, of course, the original one published in USA Today, showing red states and blue states, Republican vs. Democratic voting. Modern news has moved fast enough to discredit the state by state notion that it’s hard to find that map on the Web anymore. Here’s a little one from John Zogby’s home page. The first thing to say about secession is that it’s not going to happen. We fought a war about the idea, remember? The second is, never mind a state by state division. Individual jurisdictions within states wouldn’t stand for it. Look, more correctly, at the county by county map, here here. That’s what everybody has been writing about lately, and that’s what’s pertinent to the ridiculous notion of the blue states seceding.
The blue states aren’t all blue, with few exceptions.
Look just at California. The Central Valley, which supplies much of the U.S. (and the world) with food, registers solid red, as do San Diego and Orange County, San Luis Obispo, and Humboldt. Would the military folk of San Diego and the farmers of the mid-state region want to join what Washington Post editor Joel Garreau, in The Nine Nations of North America, calls “Ecotopia”? Nope.
Or consider even almost-solid blue Connecticut and Rhode Island. These states are home to the Electric Boat Corporation, the premier manufacturer in the world of nuclear submarines. It employs more than 11,000 people in Groton, Connecticut, and in Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Do the good liberal burghers of Connecticut and Rhode Island want to stay in the fast-attack and boomer business? Uh-uh. What happens?
Intellectual capital the blue capitals may have, as Ms. Ferraro says, but how will they eat? How will they defend themselves? Were I the base commander a military base in California, what would I do upon a movement toward secession by my county? I think I might be on the growler to my counterparts in Kansas and Nebraska, arranging to move in.
Among various kinds of fixed assets, only harborage appears to offer blue states an advantage. The Blues would have Boston, Baltimore, and New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, and Spokane. They could probably control the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Reds would take Galveston, New Orleans, Mussel Shoals, Charleston, Newport News, and Tampa and Miami. Airports would break just about even, with the edge going to the Reds for big, capable regional hubs like Atlanta, Dallas, and Memphis.
The blue states would have television and movie production. But what are movies without distribution networks of theaters? And what is TV without affiliates? The shattering of conventional media would proceed apace.
No, the interesting thing about all the current secession talk is its similarity to the pre-Civil War era. At that time, an area of the country felt itself threatened by the impending loss of a key portion of its agrarian livelihood. Kicking and yelling, it resisted being dragged into the new industrial age.
So what are the blue confederates kicking and screaming about? What well-nigh irresistible movement toward modernity do they refuse to recognize? Oh, I could name a few things.
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