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You're FIRED
Pink slip for the Red States

David Donnell
January 26, 2005

NOTE: I wrote this right after the November election, but I can't think of a better time than now to distribute it... Inauguration Day, 2005 marks the start of a 4-year referendum on "red voters" -- 1,460 "judgment days" in a row. (Apologies in advance to the Red State folks to whom this doesn't apply -- you know who you are -- thanks for ALL your patriotism.)

Dear Red States of America,

We, the Blue States of America, have just completed a periodic review of our working relationship with you, the Red States of America. As a result, we have concluded that your services will no longer be needed. We must, at this time, let you go.

Frankly, we here in the Blue States are no longer clear exactly what you bring, or once brought, to the partnership -- other than farm products, which we will gladly import, and NASCAR, which we can live without.

Over recent decades your major exports have dwindled down to anti-intellectualism and intolerance -- in an illiberal global market where supply thereof far exceeds demand. What was once your rustic trademark, rugged individualism, has been surreptitiously replaced by off-the-rack conformity. And you demonstrate an ongoing contempt for the Blue States -- despite our considerable contributions to the partnership. In a nutshell, we no longer find such a draining, lopsided partnership workable.

We have noted your brief spurts of 'concern' for the Blue States -- most notably in the aftermath of September 11 -- but that characteristically tapers off quickly. For this reason we have come to question your genuineness, and some have suggested that your 'compassion' is feigned and self-serving. In any case, it has been too little, too late.

Over the years we have strived to support your often very different needs and lifestyles. You, however, have not reciprocated. Despite our forewarnings about social issues we struggle with first in the Blue States -- issues bound to complicate your future -- you remain rapt in fantasies of a simpler past which never really existed, pigheadedly suspicious of our agenda.

Despite the statistically higher divorce rates in the Red States, and your efforts to constitutionally confer second class citizenship on some taxpayers, you flaunt an ironic, holier-than-thou attitude in the workplace. The sum of your contributions is markedly diminished by the trouble you have separating your spiritual life from your work life (which you increasingly see as a good thing). 

Also, you consume obscene quantities of the lowest-brow cultural commodities produced by the Blue States, then you both blame us for a moral decline in America and also hold the higher-brow, intellectual stuff against us.

Despite a system of democracy rigged to heavily favor the Red States -- which you've used well to take control of every branch of the federal government -- you remain consumed by an irrational fear that we, the Blue States, are actively rigging the game against you. Despite being the overwhelming beneficiaries of federal tax and spending policies -- a unidirectional flow of Blue State tax dollars to the Red States -- your resentment has reached a fever pitch. And we have reached an impasse on how to address this.

We have been witness to your stultifying inferiority complex, and we have witnessed your rage. We've been on the receiving end of unrestrained, vile insults -- to our patriotism and even to our 'masculinity'. Frankly, after multiple attacks by international terrorists (here on the front lines of a war you help exacerbate from a safe, comfortable distance), the Blue States will in no way tolerate being portrayed as 'the problem'.

While we are not in the business of doing psych assessments, we would advise you to seek a professional mental evaluation in the interest of avoiding such issues in future work situations.

In summary, we, the Blue States, feel that a dissolution of our partnership is a logical next step for both sides. In fact, it is our impression that this is something a majority in the Red States have desired for quite some time.

We hope the parties will make every effort to ensure that this transitional period is a smooth one. An armed guard will escort you off the premises at 5 p.m., allowing you time to collect any personal effects.

Best of luck in your future endeavors,

The Blue States of America

David Donnell, a Missouri native, is a linguist and songwriter living in New York City.

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