Opinion
Reading Los Angeles: Join The Times' new book club
Opinion Top of the Ticket

Save the U.S. from political gridlock: Trade Texas for England

For the sake of the republic, it is time to say, “So long Texas; welcome England.”

The government shutdown and the game of chicken over the debt ceiling demonstrated just how dysfunctional the American political system has become. Congress cannot even pass a budget, let alone deal with climate change, Medicare reform, a jobless economy or the looming national debt.

And the situation will not improve because there are so many safe, one-party-dominant congressional districts where deluded voters keep electing the sort of Republicans who think political compromise is a far greater sin than hiring prostitutes or keeping an Argentine mistress. (Remember David Vitter and Mark Sanford?)

These safe-for-screwballs districts must be eliminated and, if accomplishing that through redistricting is impossible, then more creative means must be employed.

Since so many of the districts are in Southern states, we could tell, say, South Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama we changed our minds about the old secession thing and they are now free to leave. That could do the trick, but it would also undo all of Abraham Lincoln’s hard work. Who knows? They might bring back slavery.

A better idea is to take advantage of a historical anomaly. I’m talking about Texas, the state whose senator, Ted Cruz, ran the charge to close down the government and whose entire Republican congressional delegation voted against the bill to restart government functions and forestall a calamitous credit default.

Texas was once an independent country. It wouldn’t set such a bad precedent to let it be independent again (even if native Hawaiians start shouting, “Us too!”).

Cruz could get his wish to be president of a whole country (something that will never happen if Texas remains a state), the balance of power in Congress would shift and we might see a bill or two get passed for the first time in years.

Of course, it would be a shame to lose a star from the flag. The easiest remedy for that would be to finally make Puerto Rico a state. Economically speaking, though, Puerto Rico for Texas is not such a great swap. It would be far better to reach back pre-1776 and renew a historic connection: We once belonged to England; now they can belong to us.

I do mean England, not the entire United Kingdom. Scotland is already taking a highland fling toward independence. Northern Ireland can finally become part of the Irish Republic (what could possibly go wrong with that?). Wales ... well, maybe Wales can be a territory, like Puerto Rico.

England is the perfect replacement state. London is a financial powerhouse far beyond even the loudest boasts of Houston and Dallas. English and American cultures are more intertwined than ever. We listen to the same music, watch the same TV shows, and 80% of English actors already live in Los Angeles. 

The best part is English conservatives. They are nothing like tea party Republicans. They’re all educated at Oxford and Cambridge, not Oral Roberts University. They all think universal healthcare is a sensible idea, not a pact with Lenin and Marx. And they hate being part of the European Union -- so much so that they’d be eager to tell the French and Germans to bugger off and then join the U.S. Besides, the English conservatives’ greatest hero, Winston Churchill, was half American.

Imagine trading Ted Cruz for David Cameron. There is no part of this deal that does not sound like a plus for our political system. 

Texas liberals might not be quite so thrilled. Still, if they are patient, Latino voters will become the majority in Texas in just a few years. When that happens, they can throw out the crazy conservatives and, if they so choose, rejoin the union. Heck, just for fun, we’ll put stars on the flag for Wales and Puerto Rico too.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • What would Jesus say about Republican attack on food stamps?
    What would Jesus say about Republican attack on food stamps?

    Most Republican members of Congress claim to believe in Jesus Christ, but their votes against the food stamp program suggest they do not share their lord and savior’s love for the poor.

  • Shutdown has proved one thing: Government is vital to us all
    Shutdown has proved one thing: Government is vital to us all

    Ranchers in western South Dakota are busy with the grim work of gathering the carcasses of more than 75,000 cattle killed in a freak wind and snowstorm last week. They could use some help, but none is coming from a shut down federal government. 

  • California's cracking down on urban water waste. What about the farmers?
    California's cracking down on urban water waste. What about the farmers?

    California's brutal drought has state officials looking for ways to conserve water. Ideas that they are considering include "directing urban agencies to limit the number of days residents can water their yards," according to The Times. The emergency restrictions also "prohibit landscape...

  • What's the Afghanistan endgame?
    What's the Afghanistan endgame?

    President Obama's announcement this week that he will delay the withdrawal of some 4,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan is an acceptable course correction. Keeping troop levels at their current strength will allow the United States to continue training Afghan forces while also helping with...

  • California rightly revisits its tough-on-youth-crime stance
    California rightly revisits its tough-on-youth-crime stance

    California long led the world in juvenile injustice. Just five years ago, when there were only seven people outside the U.S. serving life prison terms with no possibility of parole for crimes they had committed before they became adults, California had more than 200.

  • How to fight government by money in L.A.
    How to fight government by money in L.A.

    This month Los Angeles voters — at least the sliver of the electorate that managed to vote — approved two ballot measures that moved the date of city elections from the spring of odd-numbered years to the November of even-numbered ones. The rescheduled elections will now coincide...

Comments
Loading