* Is It Time To End the USA Experiment?

If so, then what new countries should be formed?

The first paragraph of the US Declaration of Independence (https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript) states:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

On the day before Election Day 2022, I think that it is pretty clear that the “political bands which have connected” the 50 US states are no longer equitable.

Without a doubt, the single biggest mistake that the US Founding Fathers made was the Senate. The Senate is anti-democratic and gives disproportionate power (including veto power by way of the filibuster) to small, mostly rural, mostly white areas at the expense of large mostly urban, mostly black areas. In addition, the Senate holds the keys to various appointments (including the President’s Cabinet and Justices of the US Supreme Court). In recent years, the Senate has delayed and denied nominations from one party and accelerated nominations from another party, which is also anti-democratic. Add the Electoral College to the mix and you have an argument that the office of the President itself is not determined in a democratic manner. This leaves all three branches of the government: executive, legislative, and judicial andi-democratic and broken.

So perhaps, in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, it’s time to “impel them into the separation.” Perhaps the American experiment is over.

What would the former USA look like going forward? How about these 4 countries:

1. United Atlantic States

This would include the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) as well as other states mostly bordering the Atlantic Ocean: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Statehood would be granted to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, giving this country 14 states. Politically, the United Atlantic States would be medium blue.

2. United Lakes States

This would include four states in the Great Lakes region: Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Politically, the United Lakes States would be light blue.

3. United Pacific States

This would include five states mostly bordering the Pacific Ocean: California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Politically, the United Pacific States would be dark blue.

4. Texas

Texas used to be its own country, so that seems a logical name for the remaining 29 mostly landlocked states:

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Arizona
  4. Arkansas
  5. Colorado
  6. Florida
  7. Georgia
  8. Idaho
  9. Indiana
  10. Iowa
  11. Kansas
  12. Kentucky
  13. Louisiana
  14. Mississippi
  15. Missouri
  16. Montana
  17. Nebraska
  18. New Mexico
  19. North Carolina
  20. North Dakota
  21. Ohio
  22. Oklahoma
  23. South Carolina
  24. South Dakota
  25. Tennessee
  26. Texas
  27. Utah
  28. West Virginia
  29. Wyoming

Politically, the country of Texas would be red.

Each country is contiguous, which is important considering how the United Nations defines a country. Also, this would encourage left-leaning residents in red areas to move to blue ones and vice-versa, meaning that there would be less political division within each country.

Democracies do not last forever (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/08/countries-are-the-worlds-oldest-democracies/). Just like trees do not live forever. When a tree falls in the forest, it decomposes and becomes fertilizer for new trees.

Democracy in the USA has been decomposing for quite some time now. Perhaps it’s time to look the the future to see what new democracies can be fertilized. The Founding Fathers did not fear change, we should not either.

US flag upside down (public domain).

Failed Pols (https://www.failblog.com) was founded in the fall of 2016 to shine light on Failed Policies, Politicians, & Politics. From all parties.

Editorial: To Prevent Another Donald Trump, We Must Consider How We Got Here

On Wednesday, January 20, when Joseph Biden became the 46th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump’s presidency came to an end. If the results of the 2020 presidential election, including the record voter turnout, are an indicator, most Americans never want a president like Donald Trump again.  

When asked if he was the opposite of Donald Trump, Joe Biden crossed himself and said, “I hope so.” 

Most Americans never again want a president who makes them feel the fear, worry, anger, uncertainty, and chaos that Donald Trump constantly stirred up. They are tired of the constant stoking of division, and they wanted nothing to do with supporting Donald Trump’s autocratic tendencies. For four years, with each horrific, absurd, cruel, or corrupt action, deed, or word from Donald Trump, many Americans regularly thought, “Surely THIS time, he’s crossed the line,” and we were continually wrong. 

Leah Wright-Rigueur, associate professor of American history at Brandeis University, sums up Donald Trump’s presidency as “a case study in the naked, unadulterated pursuit of power and self-interest, at the cost of 400,000 lives and at the cost of the American union.” 

Over the years of Donald Trump’s presidency, we have chronicled here the many ways our 45th president has failed America. It was impossible to capture every falsehood, every act of corruption, every dangerous action and inaction, but in this blog, we have documented some of the more notable highlights of the time in our history known as “The Trump Administration.” 

Many Americans, both Democrats and Republicans, are hopeful and optimistic that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will be not only a soothing balm for our hurting nation, but also a strong voice in support of equality and equity for all Americans. Americans have great hope that under the Biden administration, the democracy that Donald Trump came so close to shredding can be saved. 

We must keep in mind, however, that 74 million Americans voted for Donald Trump in 2020. 

David Nakamura of The Washington Post writes that “Trump did not come out of nowhere — that his rise to political prominence behind a false birther conspiracy seeking to delegitimize his predecessor, President Barack Obama, is rooted in the Republican Party’s history of racial grievance politics and its leaders’ increasing willingness to embrace the far-right wing.”

Trump loyalists have been willing to hand Donald Trump everything he needed to become an authoritarian ruler. They refused to convict him during his first impeachment; they defended his every corrupt move before and after that impeachment, and they excused or tried to justify his attempts to ignore the checks and balances of the three branches of government, tear down the rule of law, and trample over the democratic process.

The mindset we now think of as Trumpism will not be going away, even if Trump himself fades away (and/or goes to prison). It was not enough to vote Donald Trump out of office. 

There will be more like Donald Trump, and they may be more savvy and sharp than Donald Trump; and thus, successful at overturning our democracy. Donald Trump may no longer be president, but he showed us how willing many Americans are to naively pledge allegiance to a corrupt, despotic leader. We must take this as a lesson so that when the next would-be authoritarian comes along, we’ll recognize the danger and quickly douse it. 

Many of us are exhausted from four years of Donald Trump in the White House. It’s tempting to “take a break” from the news. We expect to no longer wake up every morning dreading the next threat the president will have posed to democracy or human rights or the environment. Joe Biden’s presidency— any presidency, frankly— hints at being dull in comparison to the last four years. 

If we never want a debacle like the last four years to happen again, however, we need to consider how we got here. 

For decades, Americans as a whole have become increasingly complacent about the workings of government. We have written off an education in civics as dull and unnecessary. Many Americans have little knowledge of history; no understanding of how Hitler and other despots gained power, or what it looks like when a country approaches the edge of succumbing to authoritarian leadership. A lack of understanding of the world has caused many Americans to classify any ideology to the left of extreme rightism as Socialism, a term they use interchangeably with Communism.

As a result, they elected Donald Trump, who not only embodied this apathy and lack of awareness, he capitalized on it, and sold it as a virtue. 

Many Americans became engaged in politics and civics for the first time during Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and presidency. This is very likely what saved us from another four years of Donald Trump. 

More Americans learned how our government is supposed to work, because, in response to what we saw, they began to care. We became more curious about the U.S. Constitution, and we came to understand what “rule of law” means, and how the democratic process should work. And many of us saw, perhaps more closely than ever before, the racism, misogyny, and xenophobia that have always been with us; we have seen them at work, and we’ve seen how they’ve infiltrated a large segment of government. And maybe for the first time, we were disturbed enough to speak out about it, even if just with our vote. This is a part of Trump’s unintentional legacy. 

Citizens’ knowledge, participation, and interest… and passion for right,  are how a democratic country thrives.

“Here, right matters,” said (now retired) Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.

We must make sure that right continues to matter.

The 84 million who voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris breathed a sigh of relief on January 20 when they were inaugurated. If we assume, though, that the Biden-Harris years will be a time to “check out” of politics again, “relax’ from speaking up, or leave politics to someone else, our country’s current step forward could easily become two steps (or more) backward. 

4 Years of the Trump Presidency in 6 Minutes | NYT Politics [2020-01-20]

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris inauguration ceremony | Vox [2020-0120]