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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Atlanta suburbs mulls seccession: Maybe America should consider it too

Part of Fulton County, a suburb of Atlanta, is threatening to split off and form its own county. Charges of racial motivations are flying because the possibly-future Milton County would be white-majority and more economically affluent than what would be left of Fulton County.

Reading this and doing a little more research into the situation, I can't really see where race is a factor here. It seems more like one part of the population is tired of waste and mis-management and is wanting more accountability over how its tax money is being used. I could see a very strong argument being made on those terms for the return (it originally merged with Fulton in the 1930s) of Milton County.

Maybe this should be a model of what we could be doing nationwide.

No, I'm not talking about succession from the United States. But I am suggesting that the more government is localized, the more efficient it is and the more answerable to the citizenry it becomes.

America is too centralized a country. The more power and money that has flown into Washington, the weaker this nation has become as a result. It has made us corrupted, and it has made us vulnerable. A smart terrorist would detonate a small-yield nuke in the vicinity of the Capitol building tonight while President Bush is delivering the State of the Union speech, with the Speaker of the House and Vice-President right behind him (aren't these people supposed to be kept away from each other during things like this, all because taking those three out in one fell swoop would wreck havoc with the Presidential chain of succession?). With those killed along with a full joint session of the House and Senate, not to mention the Supreme Court justices... well, to say that this country would be running around like a chicken with its head cut off would be putting it mildly.

I hope something like that doesn't happen. But if it does, this country would be in trouble, all because we have invested too much of our strength and leadership in the federal core. And it's taken our nation's vitality with it.

What's the answer? Maybe confederacy.

Give each state its own unique identity back. Quit sending so much money from the states and into Washington. Rescind the 17th Amendment so that once again it will be state legislatures that elect the Senators. Abolish federal departments like Education.

Centralized directing of a country's path inevitably leads that country into rot and stagnation. Consider what happened to the Soviet Union, and Rome before that. The only cure for corruption from power is to be willing to give up that power.

The state and local governments should be what hold most of the power in this country, not the federal government. Federal government is only really useful for national defense and not too many other things.

I'm not saying we give up our identity as Americans. That can not happen. Being an "American" is not dependent upon what form our government exists in.

But the quality of being an American certainly does.

The major political parties will not like this idea. They want the power to be centralized in Washington. That's what makes it so easy to seize power and then take more power. Neither will members of the mainstream press: they like the current power structure, because they love the role they have in maintaining it. Most Americans currently will not want this, because they have grown too comfortable with being wards of an all-encompassing State.

One day, it will all topple. It may even be starting now...

"The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."

(Ten bonus points to whoever can say where that quote is from without Googling it.)

We can either let it fall, probably sooner rather than later... or we start spreading all that excess weight around before the whole thing collapses in on itself.

The people of the once-and-future Milton County in Georgia may be doing a very wise thing, indeed. Perhaps the rest of us should be paying some keen attention to them.


Anonymous said...

I'm curious, what would be the advantage of having state legislatures choose the senators?

I'm guessing that maybe senators in this scenario would have closer ties to the state, having had more experience, contacts, and responsibility in the state from which they're elected.

It would avoid situations like Hillary Clinton getting elected NY senator even though she's lived mostly in Arkansas & DC and never served (as far as I know) in state or local governmnet in NY. Even though she represents NY, wasn't this always intended to be a stepping stone to her career at the federal level, and if so, weren't the NY people pretty much okay with that?

Is there more to it than that?

Also, I'll go ahead and claim my ten bonus points. That avalanche/pebbles quote is from Ambassador Kosh on Babylon 5, the best science fiction show ever on television. This is where I might have to give up a point or two, but I think it was actually Kosh "2" (Ulkesh) instead of the original Kosh that said it. Ugh, it's killing me that I'm not sure about part.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I didn't cheat. I posted first, then looked up the quote...

I was wrong. It was the original Kosh, and he said it way earlier than I thought. For such an excellent quote, it's in an uncharacteristically horrible episode called "Believers" in the first season.

Do I at least get five points? ;)

Chris Knight said...

State legislatures choosing Senators goes back to the "Great Compromise" that was agreed upon when the Constitution was first written: that the House of Representatives would represent the people, and the Senate would represent the states. The people would have a part to play in the selection of their Senators by voting for their choice of state legislators... who would go on to whatever Senators they believed in.

For a hundred years now it's been that the Senate represents the state *and* the people... with the result being that Senate races are the most expensive and hotly contested races apart from that for President. It used to be that Mr. Smith really could go to Washington... but now unless you are mega-rich or well-connected to the party elite, you will not serve as Senator, ever.

(Just one more bit of evidence that this government is no longer accountable to the people at all).

And at least you said it was *a* Kosh. Maybe not *the* original Kosh... but a Vorlon all the same. You not only get ten points, you get to go buy yourself a candy bar and pretend I gave it to you :-)