The Dis-United States

A map of the U.S. states that might serve as safe havens for abortion rights . . .

. . . probably surprises nobody, and bears a strong resemblance to a map of the U.S. states that have banned the death penalty:

This may reflect opposing ideas of what it means to be pro-life or pro-death. But the same maps bear striking resemblances to countless other maps, such as the states that are seeking to abolish the Electoral College:

or the states that have made voter registration automatic:

or the states where an hour’s work has to earn you at least $10:

or where you have the right to organize a union shop:

or where the public high schools are ranked high:

or where the state has adopted any sort of greenhouse gas reduction goal:

As the U.S. federal government diverges ever further from popular opinion, there is a tendency to turn to state governments for action. But of course there are some states where the government has virtually never been moved in a positive direction, and some where the majority of the people wouldn’t want it to. And one of the ways in which the federal government chooses to be corrupted is by allowing low-population states to dominate the U.S. Senate — a problem exacerbated by devotion to the filibuster.

The steps taken by the colored-in states above are, of course, minimal, and the state governments are themselves dominated by the two political parties based in Washington, D.C. Still, these maps — which are not a new phenomenon — endlessly cry out for a reconsideration of the supposed benefits of treating secession as a crime.

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