Every time I hear about the more than 30 states that have filed petitions asking to secede from the Union, I picture a teenager telling her parents, "I'm running away from home, and you can't stop me!" I tried to do that once, when I was about 14. You know what my mom did? She packed my bags and pretended to call a taxi. It worked like a charm.
This emphasis on theatrics - this obsession with making symbolic points instead of actual ones - is what lost the Republicans the election. On almost every issue, the right focused on figurative solutions instead of common sense ones.
Let's start with abortion, the issue that dissuaded so many women from voting for Gov. Mitt Romney. Do Republicans really want fewer abortions, or do they just want the symbolic victory of overturning Roe v. Wade? Because the best way to prevent abortions is to stop unwanted pregnancies, and one of the best ways to stop unwanted pregnancies is to provide women with contraception. Yet, the right also opposed Obamacare's contraception mandate.
The same thing happened with immigration. Do Republicans really think that the solution to our nation's 12 million undocumented immigrants is self-deportation? Or were they just saying that because they are discouraged by the current immigration system? Much like I would lock myself in my room and vow to never speak to my parents again whenever we argued during my adolescence, the Republicans took an outlandish, unenforceable position on immigration. And much like I would have to eat my words days later, the overwhelmingly Democratic Latino vote is making the right rescind its previous position.
Is the biggest threat to family really gay marriage, or is it divorce? Is it logical to ignore most of the scientific community and treat climate change as a joke? Is it responsible to promise the American people tax cuts and a lower deficit without actually showing them a specific plan of action?
The positions Republicans took were immature and childish. They were adopted, not as the result of thoughtful consideration, but as means to show off, to make a point, to stand for something only in a figurative sense. And now, they are at it again. All those people who have signed petitions to secede know what they are suggesting is ludicrous. They know that they can't survive on their own, but, just like when I was 14, they can't help but be overdramatic.
I so wish there was a way to call their bluff.
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