We’ve been kicking this idea around for a while now, but here’s another take on it from The Washington Times’ Stephen Moore. Excerpt:
Houston, we have a problem. The federal government is losing the consent of the governed.
Could this red state-blue state America end in violence and uprising if one side feels hopelessly aggrieved by the tyranny of the majority of the other side? We know, regrettably, from history that it can.
How do we head this off? Two ideas need to be pursued.
The most practical solution is a reinvigorated emphasis on federalism — a political movement that takes ever-expanding power away from the federal government and restores the sovereignty and home rule of the states. That way Americans can self-select to live under the laws they agree with but within the context of the legal protections of U.S. citizens embedded in the U.S. Constitution.
If you want drugs legalized, government-run health care, abortion on demand and an end to fossil fuels, move to California. If you want low taxes, right-to-work laws, prayer in school, move to Alabama. This mitigates the tyranny of the federal government and is much in the intent of our Founding Fathers.
If this doesn’t work, America may need to consider a Brexit option. One of the flaws of the U.S. Constitution is that it never set forth terms of legal separation. Perhaps that needs to be fixed with a constitutional amendment that allows a state to leave the union if some super-majority of the citizens of that state want to opt out. As long as the states remained as a free-trade zone and perhaps agreed to a common currency (like the euro) the economic costs would be small.
Some may view this as an un-American and even treasonous idea. No. Offering states an exit option would force the majority of states to be more attentive to the grievances of the minority and would help resolve conflicts and could save the union from dissolution.
I don’t know as it would save the union from dissolution; not at all. Why not? Well, there are a couple of reasons.
First, the red/blue divide of the states isn’t as geographically coherent as the North/South divide in 1861. You have New England and the Atlantic Seaboard, Illinois and a few other parts of the upper Midwest and the Left Coast, Nevada and Colorado in the deep-blue column. The rest of the country is either red or purple, and I have little doubt that if a “USexit” was in the cards, plenty of folks would vote with their feet to either join or flee the seceding states, thus making the divide even greater.
Second, there would be a tipping point at which the Imperial city wouldn’t be able to hold things together. If, say, twenty of fifty states bailed – the aforementioned above plus, say, Alaska and Hawaii – I think you’d hit a point of no return where residents of the remaining states would start looking closer to home for resolutions of their distributed interests. The result of that would probably be several loose regional coalitions of states – several versions of something more like the Articles of Confederation in the red states, something more along the lines of pure democracy in the blue areas.
Either way, the United States as we know it ends at that point.
Now, Mr. Moore also advocates the more sane solution of a return to federalism. That’s my preferred action as well, but honestly, hardly anybody in either party in the Imperial City is interested in depriving themselves of what has become a truly staggering power over the citizenry.
That’s where we are, True Believers, and it ain’t pretty.