Is America too big to be governed by one body?

Isobel - posted on 05/13/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )

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I've been thinking about what's going on in Arizona, and a comment that one person made...that Arizona should leave America (and Texas too).

The more I look at the politics in America today, the more I realize that each state is the size of a European country. With an area that is so vast, and States that differ from each other so greatly, do you think that America would be better served as a Union of Countries that are self governing? Like the UK?

I just don't see how any one government can equally serve New York and Texas, Oregon and Florida...these types of States have NOTHING in common, why should they be subjected to the same laws as each other?

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Esther - posted on 05/14/2010

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I would have to agree with Christa. New York is a pretty blue state although it has some seriously red spots too, but the local (meaning state) politics in New York are AT LEAST as bad as the federal version. Each one of them is more corrupt than the next one, on both sides of the isle.

Christa - posted on 05/14/2010

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Actually Laura, I totally disagree. As Mary was saying my state is very divided itself. We are what they call a "swing state". We voted for Clinton in 92, Dole in 96, Bush in 00 and 04, and Obama in 08. So our local elections are just as ugly as the national ones are. Our governor race this year is already gearing up to be pretty messy, they already started showing ads like a year ago. In fact almost every election that I can remember we have had some sort of abortion or gay issue on our ballots. We are having the same fights locally that you see on a national level. Some states that are more dominantly red or blue might be more like what you say, but I think you are missing the big point and that is most states need each other for something. And most states have a good blend of people of different opinions.

LaCi - posted on 05/14/2010

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OH. we also have county and city/town governments that are supposed to deal with local issues and have their own laws/statutes. It's set up similarly to your gov. seeing as how yours is like the parent. If that was all poorly written my apologies lol hard to summarize government with a toddler headbutting me ;D

Example of feds trumping all, while it's legal in california to have medical marijuana its still criminal federally. So local law enforcement won't arrest, but the DEA can still arrest you.

Things vary state to state, you can get a lifetime concealed weapons permit in my state, not in others, while my neighboring state will recognize the permit many states won't. Most states are similar, with slight variations. Each has it's own state constitution and such.

LaCi - posted on 05/14/2010

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Sarah, each state has it's own government and they pretty much run the show. The federal government is just to set up framework, run the military, and oversee the states to make sure they don't overstep boundaries. Feds allocate funds to states, help states in crisis, etc. Ideally, then theres the political catfights about who is responsible for what and who is doing too much and who isn't doing enough. Blah. blah. blah. Thats when the problems arise, normally. States have their own laws, their own social programs, etc, but the feds can trump all, if they want to.

Suzette - posted on 05/13/2010

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I agree with Christa on this. "states should have more power. That was the idea when our country was founded. The federal government is to oversee things, control national interests, like security, military and regulations. The states are to govern everything else. Over the past many years the federal government has begun and is currently over stepping its bounds. Obama is out of control right now and Bush is equally to blame for getting away from his conservative roots. Things like gay marriage and healthcare should be handled at the state level. That is EXACTLY why conservatives now are screaming for smaller government."



The states should have more power and the federal government has become "too big for its britches." My husband and I, along with many of our friends, believe that we need to basically start over with our federal government. It has gone into state business, outside of what the constitution actually meant for them to become. They've read things into the constitution just to fit their needs. And, because people place so much power into them, it's allowed. Personally, I don't believe it's only because of the Administrations, it's also because many Americans are uneducated. (Sad but true.) Many of them listen to campaign promises and think, "that sounds great!" and they vote without researching. I know many women, and this is so sad, that were ready to vote for Hillary just because she was female and they thought we needed a female president. The same for Obama and the race factor. (I'm not against a female president or a president of any race - purple, green, black, hispanic, etc.) I didn't think McCain should've won either (and I'm from Arizona!) because he didn't do a lot of what he said he was going to for Arizona and because I thought Palin's responses to interview questions could've been better answered by a fifth grader. I certainly didn't want her for a VP. I thought the three main candidates sucked, but that was just my opinion. lol.



I don't think a lot of the states want to succeed from the union, but I think there are some who will if they're pushed to do so. And, like Christa said, if they do it will hurt the U.S. dramatically. We definitely need a reform on the federal government.



(As a side note, my husband and I aren't conservatives, we're independents. Some of our friends are conservatives, dems, and independents. It makes for very interesting conversations! lol)

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Isobel - posted on 05/14/2010

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Ahhh, but Christa, I think that if States had ALL the power, and governments were elected within the states, then politicians would be forced to discuss the issues that matter in THEIR area instead of appealing to the lowest common denominator and making their opposition look like the devil while saying nothing of consequence and trying to keep a lily white image.

I don't think, under those circumstances, that the red and blue CRAP that you guys are suffering would matter half as much anymore.

Christa - posted on 05/14/2010

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Mary, I agree with you. I was just trying to demonstarte that you can't cut up the country based on location to put all the like minded thinkers together. :-) There are conservatives in New England and Liberals in the west.

Suzette - posted on 05/14/2010

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And the feds trumping it all, overstepping their bounds is the problem. For instance, take what's going on in Arizona right now. A State "copies" a Federal law because the Feds aren't doing their jobs or because they don't have the manpower to do their jobs (both cases in this instance) and all the sudden you have a president saying it's "unconstitutional" even though it copies the federal law.

Or you get problems like California, and other states are going through. California is worse off than other states though. They've got a crapton of federal land, parks and whatnot, that the federal government says "You will maintain this property and keep it open for the public... blah blah blah." Okay, so they do what they're told. They're supposed to get federal funding for that land, right? Well, they haven't been getting that funding to keep up that land, but they're not 'allowed' to close it either. So either they keep it up and keep it open, or they close it and get slammed with a bunch of fines from the federal government. Because California is going so broke they've been passing out IOU's to people on taxes, shutting down rest stops for hundreds of miles down the interstates (at least that was the case the last time we traveled through last year), and they're now charging outrageous rates on state registrations and tags - just for renewals. All in an attempt to get things going again. And the federal government, when they asked for "help," basically told them to kiss a big fat one. Personally, I think they need to be put in check and realize that the constitution says "We the People," not "We the Government."

ME - posted on 05/14/2010

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I don't know Christa, Denver is very liberal, and Ft. Collins is also kind of left leaning (I lived in both Boulder and Denver, so I know what you mean about how liberal Boulder is, I'm just saying)...I also know there are some liberal spots up in the mountain towns...I'm sure most states are this way actually. There are some very conservative spots in IL, for example, even tho it is a predominantly "blue" state.

I think one of the major problems with seperating the states into "small countries" or something like that, would be the danger of the loss of civil rights for some individuals. The federal government would still need to be able to override terrible state decisions...and we'd be right back where we are now!

Sarah - posted on 05/14/2010

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So explain it to an uneducated Brit...........
Each state doesn't get a say in anything? It's all decided by the president?
Here, Scotland and Wales have their own parliaments too. So, for example, Scotland's parliament brought in the smoking ban before the English one decided to join suit.

I think maybe each state having some power for themselves would be a good thing.
(In my little English simplistic view! lol)

Brooke - posted on 05/13/2010

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SMALLER GOVERNMENT! More responsibility to the states! That's what we conservatives would like to see. The Fed Gov has it's place but it should be left more so up to the states and the majority residing in that state. =) Or possibly a bi-partisan presidential team?! Haha! ;-)

Krista - posted on 05/13/2010

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And then what would you do with Austin? From what I hear, it's pretty liberal.

LaCi - posted on 05/13/2010

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maybe if new mexico lost it's mind too.. then they could all be a nation together. Until then it's awkward placement with just texas and arizona ;)

Christa - posted on 05/13/2010

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Ha ha. . . No I don't think anyone REALLY wants to secede from the union. Like I said we all need each other. And to divide us politically it would take much more then you states go here and you states go there. Boulder, a city in CO, is one of the most liberal cities in this country. It's basically surrounded by red within the state and all the surrounding states. I don't think they would appreciate being sent off with us "crazy conservatives" :-P

Isobel - posted on 05/13/2010

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Oh, and Christa...I've long suspected that it was a Conservative goal to dismantle the USA

I'm sorry...I just couldn't resist

Isobel - posted on 05/13/2010

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Canada's different...we're tiny in comparison, we need collectivism to survive. I truly think that if the US were separate countries with free trade and friendly relations, you'd all get along much better. just think how much more reasonable your politics would be, they could campaign on issues that matter to their voters instead of trying to make the other look like the devil (tearing the country apart in the process)

Jocelyn - posted on 05/13/2010

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It seems to me that it would be a good idea. Hell, we've been trying to get Quebec to leave for ages! :P We have enough issues up here and we're tiny (population wise) compared to you. I can see a Union working much better in the states. Maybe have the Eastern Union of America, the Southwest Union etc. Keep the borders open, keep the currency, just have each section governed separately.

Christa - posted on 05/13/2010

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Another thing, just because on a large scale you can say Texas and New York have nothing in common, that's really not true. There are liberals, conservatives and everything in between in each state. And really we need each other, some more then others. Everyone jokes about Texas leaving the union, but we'd be in a bunch of hurt without Texas. We get a bulk of our oil and agriculture from that state. Same with some of the western states, WY, MT, ID, etc. WY needs money from states like NY, but NY needs other resources from WY. I know we fight a lot about the hot button issues, but overall I think most are happy with how the states work together.

ME - posted on 05/13/2010

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No...you didn't Christa...that was the original post, and I sort of agreed with it without thinking it all the way through :)

Christa - posted on 05/13/2010

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I never said to separate the union, there is a place for our federal government, but it has grown too big for its britches.

ME - posted on 05/13/2010

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Very true Esther! There are lots of states with terribly limited resources who are dependent on a strong federal government and federal tax dollars to stay afloat. We'd be condemning them to a pretty sad existence by seperating the union!

Esther - posted on 05/13/2010

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I would be very interested to see how Alabama is going to make ends meet without the federal tax dollars that are shipped there but originated in New York.

Christa - posted on 05/13/2010

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Now you are thinking like a conservative. :-P

That's why conservatives have always said the states should have more power. That was the idea when our country was founded. The federal government is to oversee things, control national interests, like security, military and regulations. The states are to govern everything else. Over the past many years the federal government has begun and is currently over stepping its bounds. Obama is out of control right now and Bush is equally to blame for getting away from his conservative roots. Things like gay marriage and healthcare should be handled at the state level. That is EXACTLY why conservatives now are screaming for smaller government.

[deleted account]

Yes I'd say that America is far too big to be governed by one body. I think the EU should look at some of the problems in the US and take note before it ends up becoming one nation.

There's precious little point in voting if you live in a state like the one I live in. It doesn't really count towards presidential elections anyway.

ME - posted on 05/13/2010

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I fully and completely agree Laura. So would democratic theorists (by which I mean political philsophers who argue in favor of democracy). Rousseau said something like: If even one citizen fails to participate, then the democracy is already lost. In the US, at best, we have around 40 % participation...I'd say that's a failure by democracy standards! I would prefer something like the European Union...though I would like it to be that if certain states feel they would be better off returning to a world like that in the early 1900's, the sane folk could leave and go somewhere more progressive...and those offended by progress would have the same opportunity.

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