Forget a new state for Silicon Valley -- let's divide the US with "Duck Dynasty"
You may have heard that Tim Draper hopes to convince Californians to separate their state into six pieces. The plan is the latest attempt by Silicon Valley to separate itself from the rest of California, where mentally ill people have the gall to clutter streets paved in alternative currencies and Series As and which lead to startup employees' lavish home-away-from-homes (bought at obscene prices in an overheated hot real estate market).
Draper's proposal would see the formation of six new states: Jefferson, North California, Central California, Silicon Valley, West California, and South California. In his vision, counties would be able to select which state they would like to join, and each would be managed on its own. In the meantime, the proposal suggests that Californians should "lessen the role of Sacramento over every aspect of our lives and to encourage regional cooperation and to begin the process of new state identification." This is every techno-libertarian's wet dream.
In the world according to Draper, techies might finally be able to live without the shame of sharing a state with the hippies and farmers who make up the rest of California, a land where regulations can go fuck themselves and "disruption" would flow like beer at a frat party.
But those are hardly the divisive issues that should lead to the splintering of our largest state. If we're going to screw with the flag and force someone to redesign the ol' stars and stripes, it should be led by a true separation of beliefs, rooted in true issues, not those that only affect startups. It should be eminently reasonable and beyond reproach.
What I'm saying is, it should be based on whether or not a state's citizens approve of A&E's decision to remove controversial hillbilly Phil Robertson from "Duck Dynasty."
Bear with me. This is more important than equal representation based on population, separating the Valley from the rest of the US so it can devour itself in peace, or showcasing the profound lack of self awareness that allows these techno-secessionists to believe they'd do a better job.
Besides the constant battle over the pronunciation of GIF, this might be the most divisive issue of our time. Forget venture capitalists and entrepreneurs -- America cares about the people who make duck calls.
Here is my proposal: There should be a citizenship test made up of a single question. Those who side with the Robertsons should be allowed to live in their own section of whichever state they currently call home. They should be allowed to wrongly claim that Phil has had his First Amendment rights trampled by A&E's decision to pull him from the show. They should also be allowed to form their own Internet service and television channels, where they can watch rednecks make duck calls and shoot themselves in their faces without having to worry about offending liberals.
Those who believe that A&E was within its rights to suspend Phil from the show should be allowed to live in their own section of the state. Besides that their lives won't change much, because they're adults who recognize that celebrities sometimes say controversial things and are punished for it. They'll move on with their lives and try to explain to their children why "New Mallard" and "Duck Dakota" are now states.
Both factions would be allowed their own representatives, as selected by population. The only difference is that people belonging to the former group would be represented by people who get things like "Don't tread on me" tattooed across their backs and the latter would be forced to spend 30 minutes of every meeting wondering what Schopenhauer would think about the issue at hand. Seems fair, right?
This is it, America. You can either stand with the Robertsons or join the hate-mongering people who want Phil removed from television. You can grab a duck call or a can of shaving cream. You can allow California to be separated into six states simply because the Valley wishes to free itself from the shackles of government tyranny or you can really shake things up. What'll it be?
Illustration by Brad Jonas