Friday, December 3, 2021

One Screen, Two Movies

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.   

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional meltdown.  
Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader 

"If the Constitution was a movie, the Preamble would be the trailer, the First Amendment the establishing shot, the 13th the crowd pleaser and the 14th the ultimate hero scene." -Henry Rollins

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

{I've got a great idea for solving America's one screen, two movies problem.}

Hey, Dana. May I suggest you define your terms first? 

{According to Big Concept Wiki "One Screen, Two Movies is an idea created by Scott Adams to describe how people...can interpret events and narratives very differently, because they have different mental frameworks."}

Left v. Right? Blue tribe v. Red tribe? Is that where you're going?

{Pervasive political polarization, yes.}

Our gentlereaders await your wisdom. 

{What if each of the fifty states had a lot more autonomy?}

Well, our country's full name is The United States of America, which would seem to suggest...   

{I remember hearing something about the colonies having a hell of a time agreeing on what the Rules&Regs should be and even if they should decide to join the team.} 

I was taught that the first attempt at solving this problem, the Articles of Confederation, vested too much of the governing power in the individual states and that the Constitution solved that problem. 

However, that's why the Constitution clearly states that The Fedrl Gummit (it was known as the Federal Government back then) only has the powers specifically spelled out in the Rules&Regs, that all other governing powers were held by the individual states. 

You get all the benefits of being part of a strong, independent country on a planet that's chock full of bullies that want your lunch money but you also belong to a much smaller, individual state where you and your neighbors can run things the way you want to. 


Also, different states can try different policies and programs and if they don't work out you can move on without harming the whole country, if they do work out the other states, or even The Fedrl Gummit, can follow the example.  

{I like it... so what happened?}

Better than 200 years of history. This being the work of a semi-humble columnist and not a book written by a respected historian (or even a semi-respected, best-selling charlatan) I semi-humbly offer the following summary.

Life was hard and harsh for most Citizens of the Republic, as it ever has been and always will be for most H. sapiens, but things slowly but steadily improved for many. Others not so much. 

For a very long time, a combination of different (many now outdated) sensibilities, 


Only so much money and technical knowledge (on all fronts) to go around, limited what was possible for a confederated group of states (united or otherwise) to accomplish.


Eventually, there was more than enough money, technology, and government to create The Fedrl Gummit.

Now, plenty of money sloshing around, ever-evolving technology, and the unlikely success (more or less) of the American experiment...

{American experiment?}   

From an editorial published in the New York Daily Tribune, 11/27/1860:  

Is the democratic principle of equal rights, general suffrage, and government by a majority, capable of being carried into practical operation, and that, too, over a large extent of country? 

See, when America was invented, we were the first ones to try to build a country based on the principles of what nowadays is called the Enlightenment. There was no guarantee that what we now take for granted would work as it hadn't been tried before.

Where was I? Prosperity...advancing technology...unlikely success of the American experiment... 

Oh yeah, this resulted in a hooge organization of federated states, a government unimaginable in size, and power, to our founding pasty patriarchs. 

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Big is good for crushing warped little dicktaters with tiny mustaches looking to conquer the world, for example. 

Big is bad when well (and not so well...) meaning utopians want to force the unawokened to adopt new Rules&Regs without being able to point to a successful experiment. 

California's run by Wokies. It's a mess and people are fleeing. If you don't believe me research it as if you're thinking about moving there... with children. Given the state of the Golden State, I wouldn't want to live there, however, I wish them well. 


If any other given state wants to outlaw things not actually covered by the Constitution, like abortion or gay marriage I wish them well too... although I personally support limited abortion rights and gay marriage.

Live and let live. As a briefly famous Californian once said, "Can't we all get along?" 

Poppa loves you,

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