I’m still hung up on this fantasy notion of the United States being a little less united, as I find speculations on a divvied-up sectioning of the country by region to be fascinating. Obviously, we have a cultural identity problem and a governing crisis with the values of one region of the country have folks set on things like teaching creationism in school and deifying firearms, and another seems to think that gays and science are pretty cool, and then another is, well, Florida.
Anyway, here’s Ira Chernus feeling less attached, let’s say, to a monolithic America:
What would be wrong with imagining “the United States” as merely a loose administrative structure for a group of quite autonomous regions? Or perhaps an agency for safeguarding human rights and redistributing wealth in the interests of greater equity, or an entity serving only the purpose of protecting its various regions from threats coming from outside U.S. borders, or a vast debating society where we congenially discuss competing myths and values, or any number of other functions one might think of that “the United States” could play, while leaving regions as the principal source of political-cultural identity?
It’s worth asking why such questions are so rarely raised, while it’s widely assumed that the one question, “What holds us together as a nation?” is a burning question that must be answered, quickly and decisively, if we are to avoid perishing in some imagined catastrophe.
And come on. Florida.