by Dan Gibson
In case Linda Ronstadt didn't upset your regional pride enough yesterday, here's a blog post over at our Portland alt-weekly cousin, the Willamette Week, which starts (sorta) as an attempt to find a distinctive food from Arizona to eat in Oregon and turns into an extending troll of our state. Full disclosure: I'm friends with (and a former co-worker of) the post's author, Martin Cizmar, who has a lot of practice upsetting large groups of people. Also, he has frequently told me that he thinks Tucson sucks, so prepare yourself for this argument that the non-Coconino County portions of Arizona be removed from the United States/given their "freedom":
The state’s return to sovereignty seems like the best solution for everyone involved. The United States should acknowledge the claims of small town Arizona Republicans who say the terms of the state’s admission to the union were improper, and grant the people their freedom. President Brewer could do then whatever she wants with any illegal immigrants found there. Including you or I—if we wanted to travel to Arizona we’d need the proper papers. No visa? Tough luck us.
The rest of the U.S. could then use the money currently earmarked for the state of Arizona—far more money than most states get from the Feds—to help those poor migrant kids.
However, I would also propose the other 49 states extend Coconino County, Arizona’s gorgeous northernmost county—where the Grand Canyon sits and which supported Obama over Romney—the right to re-join the union if it wishes. It would then get the same rights and privileges as old Arizona. Including, of course, water rights not claimed by any part of our country that's downriver. As is the current situation in Sonora, Mexico, the SRP would be welcome to any water from Coconino/New Arizona that flows into its territory. Arizona is free! And, with the consent of residents, the U.S. of A will keep Coconino County as our own. The newly sovereign lands south of the Mogollon Rim get control of all formerly federal land and no longer have to pay federal taxes.
Everyone’s happy, right? Let’s do this.
He does allow for the idea that Tucson might not deserve to cast off with Phoenix, but nope, since "that would just be weird" we're off to join a sovereign super-screwed up new political entity.
Good news for Portland, however, since the impending re-organization of the nation's borders will end up working out ok for northern Oregon's dining needs:
But, if we implement a plan to to grant Arizona the freedom it so richly deserves, that could change. After all, Mexicans would likely flee Phoenix for the United States, leaving people there without the annoyances that come from living near people who are different from themselves, and giving places like Portland the little booster shot of culture we need on this front.
An idea: Let's just let Portland become it's own nation, floating on a cloud of its wild self-importance above the rest of the country. Then all the people who left Arizona (or every other inferior-to-Portland place in the other lower 47) behind to bucket-drum, write their memoirs, start food trucks or breweries, or whatever-the-hell-it-is-that-people-do-there can fully no longer be bothered with our state and its complicated, but hopefully evolving, politics. Seems like a win/win for everyone.