When the results for the 2004 presidential election were finalized and it was clear President George W. Bush had triumphed over Democratic Sen. John Kerry, a rush of anger and sadness swept through me. It was powerful enough to cause me to drive around the block, transmitting my anger through the poor car to relieve my sudden stress.
But California’s secession from the United States of America was a thought that never crossed my mind. I never thought I would see the day that I would defend Bush, but as recent talks have suggested choosing between enduring one’s president and giving up on America, it was a simple decision which had only one reasonable answer.
Because of Bush’s less-than-stellar public speaking skills, he may function as a convenient scapegoat for our many problems, but consider Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s comments that Bush’s tax cuts helped ensure the recession was ‘mild and brief.’
Regardless of which action plan a president may carry out, no single politician is ever responsible for a country’s economic downturn, boom or individual states’ policies. The natural ebb and flow of the economy is more powerful than any politician’s exercised policy.
While I agree that Bush may not have used the best strategy to tackle many issues, to blame him for one’s problems and threaten to secede, however exaggerated the threat, is simply ludicrous.
Where would our nation be today if every time a minority group did not get its way, that group abandoned the United States? If California seceded from the United States, California life would be harder and more expensive in many ways. As a brand new nation, California would be susceptible to manipulation and pressure to accept disadvantageous trading conditions from other countries, including our neighbor country, America.
The United States provides its citizens with a diverse range of products from various market sectors, from the domestic to the foreign. If California emerged as its own nation, this remarkable diversity would scarcely be possible due to the high costs of trading with other nations.
America’s military reputation, one not acquired overnight, would no longer shelter us from the dangers that affect more vulnerable nations. Amidst more chaos and controversy than what the 2000 presidential election caused, California would likely be forced to reinstate the first military draft since the Vietnam War to assure its citizens’ protection.
Federal benefits, a form of protection most of us take for granted, would vanish. Social Security benefits and health care provided by our national government would no longer exist.
We have thus far ignored what should be considered one of the most binding forces to this great nation of ours. Is there anything to be said about loyalty to one’s nation, or can it be disposed of when we finally tire of its policies not affecting us in a favorable way?
To focus solely on the problems which affect Americans today is to look beyond the progress made in the past few years. Home ownership is at an all-time high. Interest rates are low. Taxes on small businesses are down, and the GDP of this fine nation is growing faster than it has in 20 years.
Diversity is one of the primary reasons I am proud to be an American