"Let 'em secede!". That's the latest challenge from some here at the Great Orange Satan. Some politicians in a Red state are unhappy with the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act? Call their bluff! Screw 'em! We can keep the United States of Blue, and cut those ignorant, greedy Red States loose!
Some of us happen to live in a Red state. We may have been born here. We may have relocated here for school, military service, work, or love. I moved to a very large Red State - Texas - when my husband relocated here for work. Having grown up in Massachusetts and lived in New Hampshire, life in the Lone Star State has been a revelation.
Our Progressive values are strengthened, not imperiled, as a result of living in Red surroundings. Every day offers us the chance to hone our powers of persuasion and to reach out to others of our kind to work together to support Progressive candidates and causes.
As chronicled in my many Texas-related diaries, those of us in the Lone Star State have heard more than our share of derogatory remarks. When Texas was plagued with epic drought and widespread wildfires, we heard from some - including some here - that this was God's wrath or some other form of divine or secular vengeance for our political views.
When our witless Secessionist-in-Chief told us to pray for rain, you laughed. We would have laughed too, were it not for the millions of Texans whose farms, ranches, homes, businesses, and livelihoods were wiped out.
When our witless Secessionist-in-Chief played the "well... We have the right to secede" (wink, wink) card, threatening to exercise the option to leave the Union and return to the days of republic, we cringed. Hey, Rick, we thought, why don't YOU leave, and we'll carry on as we have. Some of us actually love America.
Secession, it turns out, is complicated business. Texas is full of federal facilities: NASA, Army, Air Force, federal prisons, Department of Energy, DEA, Department of Agriculture... We have some of the largest ports in the country that facilitate the mass movement of goods essential to global trade. Traversed by interstate highways and rail lines, we connect the Gulf Coast to the rest if the country.
Texans aren't the only folks who've borne the blame for the inane thoughts, words, and deeds of horrendous elected representatives. How could you people have elected (or re-elected) these jackasses, you ask. What's WRONG with you people?!
I'll tell you: absolutely nothing. We're Americans, just like you.
Keep in mind: none of these elections were unanimous. Many of us voted for (and actively campaigned for) the Democratic candidate. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Actually, as long as you keep up the good fight to turn your state Bluer by the day, you really don't lose.
Through the hard work of those of us in the political minority - and the demographic shifts that are changing the face of Texas at an accelerating pace - our day will come. Texas, currently home to over 25 million Americans, will change its coloration from Red to Blue.
By then, you might want us back from the Secession hinterlands.
I realize that this diary won't stop the calls by some for Red states to secede. It won't stop the snarky remarks that Red state denizens deserve the next drought, flood, tornado, hurricane, or wildfire that we've brought upon our selves by allowing our political opponents to retain power. It won't overturn the worn-out stereotypes that Red staters are all knuckle-dragging, gun-toting religious nut-cases and low-information voters.
Still, if you've read this far, may I ask you to consider that, with all that lies ahead of us in this election year, we simply cannot turn on one another like rats in a laboratory experiment run amok. We're all in this together. Let's skip the secession talk and get to work.