Pink slip for the Red States
January 26, 2005
NOTE: I wrote this right after the November election,
but I can't think of a better time than now to distribute it...
Day, 2005 marks the start of a 4-year referendum on "red
1,460 "judgment days" in a row. (Apologies in advance
to the Red State folks to whom this doesn't apply -- you know
who you are -- thanks for ALL your patriotism.)
Dear Red States of America,
We, the Blue States of America, have just completed a periodic
review of our working relationship with you, the Red States of
America. As a result, we have concluded that your services will
no longer be needed. We must, at this time, let you go.
Frankly, we here in the Blue States are no longer clear exactly
what you bring, or once brought, to the partnership -- other than
farm products, which we will gladly import, and NASCAR, which we
can live without.
Over recent decades your major exports have dwindled down to
anti-intellectualism and intolerance -- in an illiberal global
market where supply thereof far exceeds demand. What was once your
rustic trademark, rugged individualism, has been surreptitiously
replaced by off-the-rack conformity. And you demonstrate an ongoing
contempt for the Blue States -- despite our considerable contributions
to the partnership. In a nutshell, we no longer find such a draining,
lopsided partnership workable.
We have noted your brief spurts of 'concern' for the Blue States
-- most notably in the aftermath of September 11 -- but that characteristically
tapers off quickly. For this reason we have come to question your
genuineness, and some have suggested that your 'compassion' is
feigned and self-serving. In any case, it has been too little,
Over the years we have strived to support your often very different
needs and lifestyles. You, however, have not reciprocated. Despite
our forewarnings about social issues we struggle with first in
the Blue States -- issues bound to complicate your future -- you
remain rapt in fantasies of a simpler past which never really existed,
pigheadedly suspicious of our agenda.
Despite the statistically higher divorce rates in the Red States,
and your efforts to constitutionally confer second class citizenship
on some taxpayers, you flaunt an ironic, holier-than-thou attitude
in the workplace. The sum of your contributions is markedly diminished
by the trouble you have separating your spiritual life from your
work life (which you increasingly see as a good thing).
Also, you consume obscene quantities of the lowest-brow cultural
commodities produced by the Blue States, then you both blame us
for a moral decline in America and also hold the higher-brow, intellectual
stuff against us.
Despite a system of democracy rigged to heavily favor the Red
States -- which you've used well to take control of every branch
of the federal government -- you remain consumed by an irrational
fear that we, the Blue States, are actively rigging the game against
you. Despite being the overwhelming beneficiaries of federal tax
and spending policies -- a unidirectional flow of Blue State tax
dollars to the Red States -- your resentment has reached a fever
pitch. And we have reached an impasse on how to address this.
We have been witness to your stultifying inferiority complex,
and we have witnessed your rage. We've been on the receiving end
of unrestrained, vile insults -- to our patriotism and even to
our 'masculinity'. Frankly, after multiple attacks by international
terrorists (here on the front lines of a war you help exacerbate
from a safe, comfortable distance), the Blue States will in no
way tolerate being portrayed as 'the problem'.
While we are not in the business of doing psych assessments,
we would advise you to seek a professional mental evaluation in
the interest of avoiding such issues in future work situations.
In summary, we, the Blue States, feel that a dissolution of our
partnership is a logical next step for both sides. In fact, it
is our impression that this is something a majority in the Red
States have desired for quite some time.
We hope the parties will make every effort to ensure that this
transitional period is a smooth one. An armed guard will escort
you off the premises at 5 p.m., allowing you time to collect any
Best of luck in your future endeavors,
The Blue States of America
David Donnell, a Missouri native, is a linguist and songwriter
living in New York City.