Rosalea Barker: The United Commonwealth of States
The United Commonwealth of States
March 4, 2012
It occurs to me that what US conservative voters want their President to be is the titular head of some entity that’s like a cross between the Commonwealth of Nations and the Eurozone. Only difference is that the UCS President wouldn’t be as powerless as the Queen with regard to foreign policy, and there would be a stable common currency with no possibility of individual states having their own language or standing armies.
While pondering this thought, I came across a news item about a series of recent polls conducted by Public Policy Polling. The questions asked were simple: “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of [….] state? The press release about the poll is headlined “Americans love Hawaii, dislike California” and can be read here.
It’s worth reading not just the results, but the comments posted below it. In a thread about Hawai’i, one person points out that it is not so much a state as a Kingdom that was usurped by a coalition of corporate and political ratbags. Texans complain that their state is being overrun by fleeing Californians, who they expect will turn the Lone Star State into a dysfunctional nightmare of government regulation and immigrant freeloaders.
Another writer opines that all the pro-California comments mention the weather and the landscape, neither of which are attributable to the people who live there. Which brings me to another ponder—is the REAL reason California came in as the least popular state the Weather Channel? After all, every time you see terrible weather in the country’s mid-section and the East, there’s a big fat high sitting over California. This week’s tornado terror is a perfect example—here in Cali, the sun is shining in a clear blue sky and the days are warm with a light breeze.
I’ll leave it to the meteorologists among you to decide if it’s scientific fact or Stateside fiction, but a high over California forces the Arctic jetstream to go up around it. That cold air then plows down the eastern side of the high, and at some point—usually Tornado Alley—clashes with the warm air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico. Obviously, California is a net exporter of disaster, despite its vulnerability to earthquakes and wildfires. Hawai’i, on the other hand, seems not to exert a deadly price for its nice climate, and can therefore be looked upon favorably.
To get back to my original musing about the United Commonwealth of States, in that scheme of things California would be the equivalent of India on account of the size of its population and economy, and the driving force it has been in the fields of entertainment and technology. The modern Commonwealth was born when India became a republic instead of a colony or dominion of Great Britain. The London Declaration of 1949 allowed republics to retain membership while acknowledging King George VI as Head of the Commonwealth but not as their head of state. Although Elizabeth II became Head of Commonwealth when she ascended to the throne 60 years ago, it will be up to the Commonwealth heads of government to decide what they want to do about this symbolic role when she dies or abdicates.
Oh, please don’t decide to have Head of Commonwealth elections every four years!