... or reasonable facsimile thereof ...,
United States, States! of America. It used to be that the Federal Government served at the pleasure of the States. It used to be that the 10th Amendment actually meant something. It used to be that from state to state, the differences in architecture, peoples, cultures, geography, micro-climates and to some extent micro-politics were something to behold, love, admire and appreciate. The diversity of America was natural, not legislated. There was a time that crossing a state border was akin to going from Spain to France. Starkly different it was. What happened?
Many things happened. Amongst them, the commerce clause in the Constitution gave way for "cookie-cutter" legislative powers to Congress. This in turn, led to one-size-fits-all mentality. A case can also be made for the effects of franchising and branding. When McDonald's goes nationwide, one can't tell if you are in a strip-mall in Kenosha, Wisconsin or Albuquerque, New Mexico. The building of the Interstate Highway system in the 50's led to the faster criss-crossing of the country. But most of of us can agree that forced Federal legislation has made once proud, independent and unique states simple "counties" of Washington, D.C.
It will change, and much sooner than I think. The globalization of the economic mechanisms, the light speed communication access to most citizens, and the recent multi-trillion spending by the Administration has opened up a psychological fissure not even considered a mere 4 years ago. Some states like Texas, are already barking up the secession tree. Other states are rejecting forced accepted of bailout dollars. The beginning of the end of "... a more perfect union", and in my mind a good thing. This country has outlived a 50-state union matrix. The time has come for States to either go their separate ways, or voluntarily form regional "American Provinces". This will help each state, each region deal better with their unique needs of population, culture and socio-political dimensions. The needs of schools in Amarillo, Texas are far from the needs of Provo, Utah; and that is but one of 50 other examples I can spell out to better buttress my argument. Division of states does not have to mean an end to the Federal Government need, but rather a return to basics Federal intent such as national defense, trade policy and protection of national borders. Let each state or regions decide for themselves what is best for their population's needs in health, education, economic engines, tax law and immigration policy.
In closing, I leave this microcosm for consideration. We each live in towns and cities. While we share some common things like schools and hospitals, at the end of the day we go home, to our roofs, our furniture, our taste of foods and preferred TV programs. As unique a thing to each family or household as a fingerprint. The "American City" has to allow the states, or its "homes" to have the unique stamp that makes them culturally autonomous to their population and history. Otherwise, states are merely a piece of land with names like "Alabama", "New York" and "Arizona" .... nothing more. It is time to decide what is it that "unites" us, but allow that which makes us unique not get lost in translation.
Long live the States of America, not America the master of the States.