There are two kinds of people in the USA.
There are the rational people. You’ll find them mostly in the Northeast and West.
Then there are the Confederate flag-waving idiots. You’ll find them mostly in the South and Midwest. (Don’t believe me? Check out the Mississippi state flag and the Confederate flag in SC.) This group includes the Obama conspiracy theorists and whatever other stupid crap that we have come with.
This divide has existed since the founding of the country. Yes, things have changed. At one point, “radical Republican” meant someone who wanted to disenfranchise rich white voters, take their land, and give it to black people. But there has always been a divide.
And one of the critical aspects of this divide has been that the part on the bottom has usually been overrun by idiots.
Indian Removal supporters– the South. Slavery supporters– the South. Segregation supporters– the South. Creationism supporters– the South.
You’d think that some great president like FDR would do something and enlighten these people, so that they would stop being such bigots.
But that’s not how sectional democracy works.
Sectional Democracy is when you have a few geographical parts to a country that have distinctly different views. Eg, the USA. (I coined this term. Much unique!)
Typically, one side’s agenda is based on scientific morality. More opportunity for students as an investment for the future, lower taxes on the middle class to strengthen spending, raise in the minimum wage to alleviate poverty, etc.
The other side’s agenda is based on what they think is correct. As in, what their religious book says is correct. (Both sides can be stupidly bigoted in opposite directions. That works too.) But their illiteracy, mainly as a result of historical problems, precludes advancement in thought processes. (For the USA, this was the socioeconomic divide during the slavery period, and Johnson’s failure to effect Reconstruction properly after the South was devastated by the Civil War.)
(I will except Ukraine because it’s only been 20 years since the Soviet Union collapsed. Sectional Democracy stands for a long time.)
So then, the problem is, how to educate the illiterate? You could band-aid the broken bone with No Child Left Behind or some other stupid umbrella crap. But when they teach the Bible in school, do they really think about No Child Left Behind?
I made this point earlier– a person born to bigots in a bigoted town going to a bigoted school will almost inevitably become a bigot, no matter whether you say nurture or nature. You cannot tell a racist that racism is bad, walk out the door, and expect him to come to a realization. A blanket federal program will not, in the way it tries to, prevent the spread of bigotry.
The fact of the matter is, you must adopt a strong interventionist posture in order to fix the problem. You must walk into the town of bigots with a march of science teachers, burn down and rebuild the school (metaphorically), and force the presence of non-bigots. This is what activists did during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. They walked into the South, registered black voters, and progressivized people. That’s why it worked.
That’s nice and all, but who’s going to take this posture?
Activists? It’s not like rednecks are posing an actual threat to the intelligentsia of America. Sure, they’re screwing over the middle class and themselves, but the intelligentsia are international.
That leaves the federal government. The federal government has taken strong interventionist postures a few times, but only in the wake of war and extreme economic depression. Reconstruction. The New Deal. The Great Society (which, for the sake of argument, I will say actually originated in Truman’s presidency, but was realized by the “f**k the people who don’t agree with me” LBJ).
But the federal government can’t take a strong posture outside of those circumstances. Reason is, the bigots won’t let them.
Let’s say I have a committee. 5 people are idiots. Their IQ levels are about room temperature (Fahrenheit, because ‘Murica). 5 people are well-educated. They have six figure salaries.
The 5 smart people want to pass a bill that would allow any member of the committee access to the committee refrigerator at any time during the working day. The idiots think that they’re trying to steal the refrigerator, and block the bill.
The 5 smart people try passing a few more bills, all simple ideas that would benefit everyone. To their indignation, the idiots block each one.
They then try to kick the idiots off the board. Sadly for them, the idiots block that too.
That is the essence of our political system. You cannot do anything. If you try to fix the root of the problem, the same people who prevent you from doing anything will also prevent you from doing something about not being able to do anything. And even in the slight chance that there’s some urgent national problem that the nation can band together to fight against, you still can’t fix education! Bigots may temporarily agree to give up some of their bigotry because they have no other choice, but they will never allow you to teach science in their schools.
If I had no money, I might let you give some to me so I could pay my daily expenses for a while, even if you were an instrument of the devil. But would I let you teach my children your heathen ways? Think about that.
This leaves us in a peculiar spot. We have a problem. We know we have to fix it. But we don’t know how. There are simply too many idiots to stop their expansion.
There’s not really a realistic solution to this, sadly. You could win some kind of 1964-like victory with some kind of progressive revolution, but that’s just pie in the sky. I live in the Northeast, and most people vote Democratic, but only because they’re scared of an idiot like Romney becoming President. If it were something like Clinton vs Christie, they probably wouldn’t bother voting at all. People are fed up with government corruption, and just want to make sure that someone like Romney doesn’t win.
Sectional Democracy is a failure. Ukraine is demonstrating that to us right now. Jefferson said, “We are all Republicans– we are all Federalists”. Sadly, that’s no longer true. Sorry, Jefferson.
How much longer can America last before it falls at its own foundation? We are the only superpower that has not collapsed to some extent since WW2. But you can’t outrun time.