Liberals really should decide how they feel about the idea of southern states seceding from the union. The MSNBC crowd suddenly wraps itself in Old Glory and rediscovers the meaning of “treason” at the mention of it.
Others, like travel writer Chuck Thompson, wish they’d go. He honestly believes Southern conservatives are standing in the way of progress and solely responsible for political gridlock. The only ‘logical’ way of dealing with it in his mind is secession. Only then can the Northern states have the utopian society they’re apparently on the verge of attaining.
Despite being known for more of a tongue-in-cheek style, he couldn’t have been any more serious. So serious in fact, that he wrote a book called “Better Off without ‘Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession”. He promoted it in a recent radio interview with AlterNet’s Joshua Holland.
“We didn’t let the South go when we had the chance. We would have avoided a lot of problems,” Thompson said. “We – meaning this group in the north as we might identify ourselves – could take the country we want into a direction that we think is befitting of America without this push and pull that comes from the Southern states.”
The problem, he said, is that “dim-witted, mouth-breathing, racist rednecks” represent enormous “voting quorums” in the South. Apparently, they get that way by being Christian. Evangelical Christians who literally interpret the Bible and adhere to its principles are “lunatics” somehow. “In the South, it’s different, because there is no such thing as compromise,” he said. “If its God’s law that is driving you … then you simply can’t compromise, and that’s where I think a lot of the dysfunction of our political process comes into play.”
Following that statement, he immediately started rattling off wide-ranging statistics that were supposed to prove how uneducated the population is. “There’s less commitment to the ideal of public education in the Southern states than there is in the rest of the country,” he said. “The South has the lowest SAT scores, lowest graduation rates, and the most illiteracy.”
Holland was so inspired by the secession idea that he started pressing for more details, wanting to know how the South would technically be defined, among other things. “Are we losing Texas in this deal,” he asked. Is there any chance we could give them some of the duller states (like South Dakota)?”
Despite an earlier declaration that both sides would be better off without one another, Thompson contradicted himself when he refused to relinquish the highly conservative state of Texas. “In the end I decided Texas would stay with the North in large part for economic reasons,” he said. “Texas is really one of the economic anchors of this country.”
Holland got even more vicious when he asked what could be done to ‘rescue’ all the Democrats after secession. “There’s a good chunk of people down there who we would be consigning to basically an English-speaking Mexico," he said. "Do you just say, here you go, you have to live in a third world country with crappy education systems, no healthcare, and a government of snake handlers?”
The exchange doesn’t end there, but there’s a lot of back pedaling. Holland, for instance said that he has an affinity for the Southern culture and the friendliness of the people. Thompson echoed the sentiment, but the damage had already been done.