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Two Americas ?

(42 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by BevanEvansMcdougie
  • Latest reply from BevanEvansMcdougie

  1. BevanEvansMcdougie
    Member

    I've long had a vague idea of a series based on the " If the U.S. DID seperate into two countries , more or less on the ' red/blue ' , ' conservative/liberal ' , divide..." .
    Well , just recently I was mentally diverting myself imagining how the divorce , as it were , might work out , " who would get what " in a America Red/America Blue split ~ in a sense , too , in the aftermath of a divorce , who'd start dating the busty cocktail wairess/handsome ski instructor , so to speak , though maybe that metaphor's too " cute "/clever...
    I know that , after the earlier Asi/Log experience , " basement "-leaning topics are discouraged here , but I think the subject could be gone into w-out getting into overly tagging " YOUR side would " arguments .
    Then , just today , I see a story about a former Reagan administration figure suggesting that some Old Confederacy states secede to start a new country on anti-gay rights principals !
    I DON'T want to concentrate on that - It does make me want to put up a placeholder , anyway , topic of this ~ As I said , I'm likely not going to be able to get to a computer the nexdt several days , anyway ~ If nothing else , can anyone recall previous SF-F stories reasonably realistically exploring a " near-contemporary America (or authors' other countries) splitting along this.that side lines " ?
    I am REALLY pounding this out ,before time runs out , please excuse any sloppiness...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. Anonymous

    Just my opinion but the idea doesn't sound realistic, something more fundamental would have to be the cause but maybe it might work as satire?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. Marian
    Member

    And then there was the push a few months ago to divide California into six states! It seems to have died a natural death. Growing up in Los Angeles, every few years there would be a proposal to divide California in half but since it was totally impractical nothing ever came of it.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. Greg
    Member

    I think we should abolish all current state boundaries and remap the country as a giant Venn diagram, so everyone can find the specific little area where they'll feel perfectly comfortable about absolutely everything.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. Ron
    Member

    Greg: I think we should abolish all current state boundaries and remap the country as a giant Venn diagram, so everyone can find the specific little area where they'll feel perfectly comfortable about absolutely everything.

    Ron: Well, in that Venn diagram I want to be in the spot where I can smoke some dope, and pay low taxes.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. Steve R.
    Member

    Well it didn't happen. Maybe his prediction was before its time: As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S. This is a Wall Street Journal Article, that may not be accessible due to a possible paywall.

    The Wikipedia version: Igor Panarin

    May still make for good fodder.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. BevanEvansMcdougie
    Member

    ...Marian:
    As a former registered Cali voter* , I remember that Ca/l/i/for/n/ia initiative...I think it's still on the upcoming ballot (Some Sillicon Valley zillionaire of Sili-libertarian leanings threw enuff mazuma around to get it on the ballot .) .
    Those " CA in half " proposals would be on a " horizontal " , not " vertical " level , right ?
    With the line between Northern California and Southern California a touch below Montery ?
    Ron: DON'T SMOKE DOPE ! Fry your hair:-)...........
    *-Now: WA , haven't really been able to go go get myself registered yet...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. BevanEvansMcdougie
    Member

    ...From the map graphic at the Wikipiece , I see than Panarin predicts an America with existing countries carving us up between them , no " new countries " .
    Say , yeah , you have a point , when I got to thinking about things like how the two countries might differ in ecological policies and how the miles of existing Amtak railroad might be carved up:
    Okay , you might assume that AR would be all " Drill , baby , drill...and SCREW THE SNAIL-DARTERS !!!!!!!!! " and AB would be " tree-hugger "...but , um , air and water and such doesn't exactly respect man's orders , so the two would have to work around each other somewhat .
    Amtrak: With present-day " cultural divides " you might assume AB to build up on more mass transit while AR , considering (especially with any sort of government aid) mass transit to be " Socialist BS " , would be all Highways Ahoy !...BUT , for all the relative truth in that , it's many more conservative Congress members from states where there are a lot of places where Amtrak is the only contact to the outside world that have kept Amtrak relatively safe from the complete plug-pulling that I suppose some gung-ho-er Reds have called for...And , really ,would either side want to make a lot of track go idle/pull it up OR build new track ?
    In my idea for for the " TA " concept , actually , I assume that some - I haven't exactly worked out just what - Great Disaster happened , in the leadup to the TAs' birth , which led to much tension and , furthermore drove technology back to 1987 or so , rather monkeywrenching much of the Internet and satellite communication/commands ~ And , led the " former U.S.A. " to be somewhat disliked in much of the rest of the world , leading inhabitants of the TAs still having to lean on each other a lot , whether they liked it or not , and immigration to elsewhere less an option...As far as " states split into two " the former East/West Germany came to mind , but I don't see the TAs as seperated from eah other to an extent that armed soldiers at the boundaries of one will shoot you if you try to escape to the other , more...- um , testy with each other , perhaps , upon occasion , the populace of one (Manipulated to an extent by " Let's distract the masses " forces .) gritting their teeth and growling at each other but not - I thi8nk , anyway . - ever going to war with each other , border with each other basically always open if not maybe the most totally pleasant to get through?? - I picture the story taking place 20-30?? years after the seperationn had , either happened or had at least started to become " final " - I picyure there being a class of old-timers , affectionately known as " Tizzies " , who predate the split and still retain , grandfathered in , a greater amount of dual-mutual citizenship , with more lax/lenent traveling-from-one-side to the other privliges...which some may take advantage of (and get caught doing) by bringing stuff that's contraband/whatever from one side to the other...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. BevanEvansMcdougie
    Member

    ...Now , when the split happened , each side would want to get the largest possible amount of the old America , so that would serve to modeate "We must go ALL in this way ! " forces in either side - I am , frankly , inclineed to think that RA , the conservative side , wo8uld be a bit more plagued by the inernal forces disagreeing with each other about what laws/rulus to have than BA , the liberal side , would which may rflect my prejiduce as someone who tends more to liberal side ~ Maybe ~ But , really , wouldn't you say that the more conservative side , if we divide things into two , within the U.S. tends to have an , um , " uneasy caucus " of factions that might disagree with each other quite a bit on certain issues but have agreed to put those issues aside , at least for now ???
    Briefly , the " social " conservatives versus " economic " conservatives split exists , with economic conservatives sort of dividing into " traditional " versus " Objectivist/Libertarian " , and perhaps we could even count more sort of - um , " traditional " conservatives - uh , kind of " what was considered ' conservative ' fifty years ago or so " - Besides , if the agreement among all of those is that they dislike certain modern-day trends it follows rather that those they oppose would be more united in support of said trends , the " against " side , once (At least somewhat .) freed from those trends might then tend to split ~

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. BevanEvansMcdougie
    Member

    ...Just for land:
    What parts of the U.S.A. would go where ?
    Starting from the U.S. as it exists right now , in 2014 (As would be the position for basically everything , I suppose):
    Would it be by state ?
    That's sort of more logical , but there's divides within states , and it's more fun to imagine California , say:
    (1) Measured " horizontially " , split at Orange County or so , Red from there through Sa Diego and the Border , Blue upwards .
    (2) It has been commented , howevr , that Cali's " traditional " political split is now , maybe , more a matter of " vertical " , coastal California blue , inland red .
    And what about the more perhaps " traditional " conservatives in the more rural upper Califonia counties ? Like their hunting and guns , maybe not precisely Falwell-ites . Then again , there's perhaps pot-loving (& growning??) , hunting but perhaps somewhat lefty-based sorts up there...Factor in the long-running California thang up there of wanting to spiin off upper California (and part of Oregon) into the state and , well...........
    Might Washington , D.C. , at least in a " settling in " first 40 years or so of the RA/BA split , be treated as " to be left alone/something of a seperate-meeting zone " , given its immense symbolic importance ? Or would it become either a flat-out state in one or be incorporated into Virginia or Maryland ? Would Michigan split into U.P./" glove " Michigan North & South ? (Presumably South a more government support-oriented Blue land while less populated , I guess proportionately more Caucasians , North a " We like our hunting ! " Red place ?
    I don't think either AR or AB could be a literally contingous country - And , especially with that a factor , might there , at times , be little " enclaves " of the othe other country within another one ?
    And borders ~ Especially with my theory of Red lower Cali , presumably the entire border with Mexico would be Red , Texas , Arizona , New Mexico and lower Califronia all going blue ~ Or would they ? And if so , would somewhere around Taos or so be a blue " enclave " , perhaps even reaching to the border ?
    As for the border with Canada , one would tend to assume , from the east , the New England states (Even if sixty years ago or so New England , Maine especially , was considered to be the home of a starin of " rock-ribbed conservatism ") and NYS going Blue , from the West , WA - while Montana goes Red ~ and what I sometimes like to call " New Scandamavia " ? Would the Dakotas go Blue along with Minnesota and Wisconsin or go Red (the latter might seem more likely) ?
    Alaska and Hawaii Red and Blue respectively but with enclaves in both ????? And what about Puerto Rico ?
    And the remaining " lil' chunks o' U.S. attempted colonialism " , Guam and American Samoa and the like ??? Would these be , in the " divorce " , rather like a " Alright , I'll take those Jim Reeves and Gene Pitney and Operetta and Polka and Big Band Favorites put out by The Readers' Digest eight-track tape boxed sets but you have to take that damn Ross Perot for President full china set that Aunt Betty left " matter ?
    Hee hee .

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. Marian
    Member

    Bevan, regarding cutting California in half - Not possible vertically or horizontally. It's true that Northern California and Southern California are so different it seems like they should be two states, but there's the San Joaquin Valley which makes any cut impossible without a civil war since no one is going surrender it.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. BevanEvansMcdougie
    Member

    ...Well , Marian , thank you very much !
    Interesting comment .
    Was the SJV your home ara ?
    Something I started to write about above but got distracted from was this long-running , in an off-and-on manner (And recently it's been revived again .) notion up in rural way , way , Northern California that the area ~ and some of Oregon , as well ~ split off into a new state with the name of " Jefferson " .

    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. Anonymous

    The Civil War was fought over slavery, secession and state's rights, etc. But the Confederacy didn't succeed. Compared to these issues gay marriage is trivial. So if you're going to write a story about the U. S. splitting in two or some other number of parts the issue that drives it would have to be very fundamental otherwise it just wouldn't be believable. But maybe the idea could work as satire.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. LukeJackson
    Member

    Well, there was Richard Morgan's THIRTEEN (BLACK MAN in UK) where the Midwest/South was cordoned off as "JesusLand." That was pretty funny. The Cali coast was part of some "Pan-Asian" conglomerate, or something.

    The DMZ comix had the remnants of the federalist square USA fighting against the hillbilly Free States in the Manhattan DMZ.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. Marian
    Member

    Saywhat, for an issue that divides California, think water.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. Anonymous

    Marian, well, drought divides California among other things but it that enough to cause secession?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. Marian
    Member

    Drought comes and goes but water battles in California go on forever. Did you see the old movie, Chinatown? Based on the true story of how Los Angeles took the Owens River and Owens Lake and that was early 1900s. You'd be amazed if you knew all the places Los Angeles gets its water which is one of the squabbles Southern California has with the rest of the state.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. Steve R.
    Member

    The California water situation is more complex and potentially even more divisive. The Washington Post, a few months back, had an article on the current California drought situation. A person commenting on that article lamely stated that the drought could be resolved by simply importing more water!!!

    The idea that more water can be simply imported implies extreme arrogance and naiveté. To rephrase, those living in California seem to believe that they have some sort of right to extort water from other areas of the country to serve their selfish needs. People in Nevada or other areas may have need of the water themselves. Furthermore, the people who would have their water expropriated should have a say in that decision.

    Next, transferring water from one location to another has environmental and economic effects in the watershed that is having its water removed. Not to mention the resources/energy that will be needed to build and maintain the water transference infrastructure.

    Colorado River Compact

    In terms of this thread, the need for resource possession by various nations has led to war. Whether the water question could lead to a break-up of the US at this time would appear to be premature since the issue is apparently not critical enough for extra-legal resolution.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. Chris DeVito
    Member

    Forget it, Marian. It's goat town . . .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n56opj5gJhc

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. Anonymous

    We finally got some rain early this morning and late last night but it wasn't much. The weatherman said some time ago that it would take 60 inches to make up for the drought over the last several years? Not sure about that number. That's not counting the previous draught. It was never made up. But how would this situation cause secesssion or a breakup? California needs water not a political crisis and if it broke away that would make it even more difficult to grab other people's water; at least in theory.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. Marian
    Member

    Saywhat, there was talk of dividing California back in the 1950s and '60s, long before the current drought. It's a silly idea, basically.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. geoffhart1962
    Member

    Saywhat wondered: "But how would this situation cause secesssion or a breakup? California needs water not a political crisis and if it broke away that would make it even more difficult to grab other people's water; at least in theory."

    (Speaking from Quebec, where we know somewhat about separatism...) Separatism doesn't always need a rational rationale. It's more often demagoguery, with someone wanting to be a big fish in a small pond rather than a minnow in an ocean. Sometimes it's a primarily emotional response, and one that may be legitimate for various historical reasons, but that's not the same thing as "rational".

    I suspect it's more likely for upstream regions to separate and "nationalize" their water supply rather than being forced to give it to California, Nevada, and others. Some of the papers I edit strongly suggest that there's a long-term drying trend in western North America, and that the situation will grow worse, not better in the future. If Californians insist on their wasteful water use practices (e.g., watering lawns when crops are drying up) and Arizonans and Nevadans insist on ecologically lunatic practices (installing golf courses in areas that should be desert), you can't expect people upstream to cheerfully give up their water to support such behavior. A water war between upstream and downstream regions has been brewing for probably a century or longer.

    A not-implausible SFnal scenario is the U.S. annexing Canada to gain access to our freshwater resources, which are the largest on the planet. Canadians have already been skirmishing with Americans over these issues. It would only take a reactionary conservative government facing domestic revolt over water shortages for this to happen. And if you think protesting to the U.N. would save Canada, you haven't been paying attention to the last half century of world politics.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  23. harpal
    Member

    I read a short wonderful story written in F&sf by Poul Anderson (in early 60s?) called No truce with Kings about USA split in to small groups.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. Steve R.
    Member

    The world changes fast, looks like we are up to a potential 11: Which of the 11 American nations do you live in?

    "Colin Woodard, a reporter at the Portland Press Herald and author of several books, says North America can be broken neatly into 11 separate nation-states, where dominant cultures explain our voting behaviors and attitudes toward everything from social issues to the role of government.

    More links, a map, and a brief summary of each "nation".

    Posted 3 years ago #
  25. geoffhart1962
    Member

    Steve, thanks for sharing the Woodard link. Seems reasonable. I'm particularly impressed that he remembered that 33+ million people live north of the border, and that he recognized the issues going on in French and aboriginal Canada.

    I always watch, bemused, as American weather reports show the weather systems stopping at the border, as if there were a huge glass wall and "here be dragons" beyond it. Must be awfully disorienting for American border dwellers when a weather system appears (literally) out of nowhere (i.e., Canada) and clobbers them.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  26. Steve R.
    Member

    geoffhart1962 wrote: "I always watch, bemused, as American weather reports show the weather systems stopping at the border, as if there were a huge glass wall and "here be dragons" beyond it.

    That has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time. I agree, it is quite unfortunate to ignore Canada and Mexico.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  27. BevanEvansMcdougie
    Member

    ...I'm barred from even traveling to the " True North " , now , apparently anyway :-( . F*ck Canada (the land , not th' peeps) !

    Posted 3 years ago #
  28. Anonymous

    Bevan, how did you get barred?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  29. BevanEvansMcdougie
    Member

    ...Briefly , the same legal difficulties in 2013 I discussed in the " Fresh Outta Jail " line .
    It's apparently the case for (I just mean tourism , again .) Australia , too...SNIFF .

    Posted 3 years ago #
  30. BevanEvansMcdougie
    Member

    ...I recently happened into a 1987 novel that , while apparently seeming to be an alternate history novel , turned out to be a " Two Americas " novel .
    It's TEXAS TRIUMPHANT , by Daniel Da Cruz , the third installment of a series , with this one being the only one I have either seen or read .
    It deals with the Republic of Texas being , in the future of 2008 an independent country and in conflict with the Soviet Union .
    I first presumed that it was about a world where Texas never joined the union ~ And I wondered how , in this world , the slavery issue was resolved , both in Texas and the U.S. , while thinking that the author might want to tiptoe past that sensitive issue - However , then I noticed that the outline of Tejas shown on the cover art was the post-1845 one , not the original one , and the bacover copy refers to " the fledgling Republic of Texas " or similar . In the novel reference is made to the secession of Texas from the U.S.A. in the recent past , IIRC under the same person who is now President of Texas . Presumably this was filled out in more detail in the earlier installments .
    Frankly , in this novel's world , the independent Texas and the T-free USA appear to get along pretty well , and there is no reference in what I've read so far to any great emmnity between the (presumably) 49-stated U.S. and the Alamo country , which seems odd .

    Posted 3 years ago #

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