Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Divided States of America

This is an imagined speech by a beleaguered President Obama and follows up on the theme set forth in several recent posts:


August 1, 2011, 9 PM - President Obama, addressing the nation from the Oval Office:

150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln surveyed the landscape of a country torn apart. Fundamental and irreconcilable differences among its people as to the intrinsic value of each human being plunged this nation into civil war. For 4 years there would be bloodshed . No one was spared the agony of watching brothers stand against one another. The United States was, for a time, no more.

On July 8 of this year, this government lost its capacity to meet its obligations. Despite enormous sacrifices offered by the Democrats, hacking away at essential government programs, including education, health care, and family planning, not to mention the decimation of critical environmental and labor regulations, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives failed to pass a bill raising the debt ceiling, immediately sending the government into default and making it unable to meet its financial obligations, both foreign and domestic. Those who have lent monies to us on the strength of our word, and our deed, no longer find us credible or creditworthy. We have thrown our financial market, and those around the world into an economic decline unlike anything the world has ever seen. The Depression through which we suffered some 80 years ago seems insignificant in light of recent events.

Where has this left all of you? With the federal government in chaos, millions of government workers laid off, work on infrastructure halted, the social safety net--Medicare, Medicaid, and social security--defunct, poverty and unemployment have skyrocketed. Millions of private sector jobs have also been lost, as companies rely on direct government investment, loan guarantees, and the full faith and credit of US currency to operate, not to mention revenue from spending by government workers and their families. Protests and riots from each and every corner of the 50 states are a daily ritual. Shouts and threats of harm ring out as we inch ever closer to repeating the errors of 1861. Led by Governor Rick Perry of Texas, several state legislatures have passed resolutions nullifying federal laws or even demanding secession. Make no mistake, it is not if but when. It is not why but why not. It is not compromise but conflict that is on the horizon. And I cannot let it come to that.

We can no longer be called a union. Neighbors see neighbors as enemies. Our views on virtually everything are diametrically opposed. How we are to take care of each other, how we are to act as protectors for the planet, who we are and who we want to be no longer are part of a rational conversation. We have lost the ability, the will and the desire to communicate with one another and to try to bridge the gaps that separate us. And, as a consequence, our democracy has lost its ability to function.

I have been in meetings with leaders of both parties around the clock for almost 2 months. While there were once glimmers of hope, they had long since been eradicated. We have searched our minds and our souls but have not been able to bridge what is now clearly a chasm of hatred and mistrust. It is now time for us to face reality.

Therefore, as a result of agreement among all the leaders on both sides of the aisle, we will be bringing a resolution before both houses of Congress tomorrow. It will state that, on this coming election day, November 8, 2011, voters in every state will go to the polls to make a momentous choice.

As of that date each one of you will decide whether you wish to be under the care and control of a "red" nation or a "blue" nation. It is our only collective means of survival. It is the most important choice you will ever make, and it will bind to you to that national government. We are now a nation of 50 states. We will soon be 2 nations.

All the details will be set forth in the resolution and then you will choose your own destiny. I must come to the sad and irretrievable conclusion that no one among us is strong enough to bring together what cannot and should not be. The well being of the people is more important than the number of stars on the flag. We are no longer good for one another. We are only doing damage to this country and to this world. We must be better than that, separately, even as we can not be good enough together.

And so, once the results are tallied and certified, effective January 1, 2012, the United States of America will be no more, and two nations will be born anew, each one a set of states belonging to a different union. There will be 2 transition governments that will form among the present leaders, until elections take place for both the blue and red nations. There will be many hard days ahead. But I am confident that each one of us will find the resolve to move forward.

With much sadness, and much pain, I wish each and every one of you a better tomorrow. God Bless you and good night.

1 comment:

Bruce said...

Exceedingly well stated. The GOP will hold the greatness of this nation hostage if only to repeal Roe v. Wade through the back door. Ask any of them if they know what Bretton-Woods means and no one can answer.