Excerpt 4 of NATIONS

Chapter III

Workings

I met Susan at a coffee bar.  Seated in the corner alone, she was slowly sipping on a drink while keyboarding on her laptop.  The interest level of even beginning a conversation was low.  I didn’t know what to say in any event but she was compelling to me and made me curious.  She may be someone who simply wants to be left alone.  I thought Im the same way.  Meeting and talking in person had become more a nuisance than a likeable thing to so many people.  Her wide eyes drew me to her.  I saw in their blue color an individual who may have a similar life to his. 

I wonder if she’s from here, I thought.  I knew my eyes glanced back and forth quickly and only once in the exchange did I see her look at me straightway.  Her modest smile seemed to suggest to him that she was so preoccupied that she was unavailable for a face to face acknowledgement of another human being’s existence.  I paid for the cup of coffee and slowly walked toward her table. 

“Hello,” I said.  I’m Tim.  Can I join you?”

“Yes.  I’m just relaxing for a while, Tim.  I’m Susan.”

“Nice to meet you, Susan.”

“It’s a nice day.  I pray people will be alright with the changes we’re about to go through.”

“Yes, ma’am.  I hope it’ll work out, but we’ll see soon enough I suppose.  I never thought it would actually happen—at least a split in large measure of our country.”

“There’s many unanswered questions and the media will still be little help,” she said as she glanced back to her laptop screen.  “I think I’ll close this,” she said as she smiled.  Her smile was meant for this casual meeting with a calm appearing stranger who seemed relaxed in his spirit.

“I did see reports of some people moving or planning to move to this coast or that coast, and some moving our way… it must be a difficult thing to give up a home and pick up and move to the unknown,” he said as his face furrowed with every word.  “I’m lucky I guess.”

“Are you from here, Tim?”

“Yes, ma’am… kind of.  Moved here some years back for work and the schools.  It’s been good for my family.  They’re all gone now, pursuing their own careers.  How about you?  Are you a native to Tennessee?”

“No, I came a few years ago when I retired.  I’m happy here and have settled in Nashville—crowded Nashville,” she laughed.  “How’s it going for you and your wife?”

“Fairly well for me, but I lost my wife a few years ago to cancer,” I said as I felt my eyes begin to sweat. 

“I’m so sorry.”

“Yes, ma’am… me too.  But our children are good.  She did a wonderful job as a Mom and teacher.”

“I’m sure, Tim,” she said with a reassuring smile that came naturally to her face.   “I hope and pray they are all safe.”

“Yes, Susan, they are.  It’s hard to believe what’s happened to the once great United States, I stopped and peered out to the sunshine.  “So many killed… so many gone for no good reason.”

“That’s always the way it is, Tim.  I don’t know why and will never understand the evil that lives among us all the time.  I guess that’s what it is but I don’t know.”

“Well, it was nice to meet another fellow traveler in this veil of tears,” I said while extending my hand to shake hers.  My humble smile was slight and I knew I wanted to spend more time with her as a friend.

“We’re some of the lucky ones, Tim,” she said.

“Yes, ma’am, we’re blessed.”

*

I knew where I was and understood the way an economy works for the best outcome of a population.     

Capitalism was the course the red states followed with a dedication to making certain the government was limited in its overseer province.  People had to be free of unnecessary burdens of needless regulations and high taxation rates for businesses and individuals.  There had to be freedom to do, to work, to save, to make manufacturing and enterprises to support product development, production, and marketing in every red state.

American style Socialism being the order of the day in the blue states would be brought in slowly, systematically setting up every detail of production of goods and services, and the pay for those who work in the sectors.  It was thought by the leaders that control was required for the experiment to be the most effective.  Every person was to be provided a basic living allowance and the workers unions would be set up in as many businesses and enterprises as possible.  Union membership and dues were mandatory.  It was necessary to the workers to control their efforts and time and be compensated above the basic living wage provided by printing blue currency in D.C.

The schools began to teach everything he was seeing coming from California and he had done nothing directly to slow its descent into straight up government propaganda, with the overarching theme of hate for the country as it was founded too imperfectly to be worth saving.  The leaders and people lived for this new day of Socialism and equity, and secular—very secular.  I had pushed it aside as something that was handled by parents of good will and knowledge themselves, but those efforts had been too weak to counter the infestation of secular social justice and nonsensical Socialism.  The movement was much larger than most Americans including me had grasped during its growth in every institution of society through the nineties and exploding by the new generation to the present.

 “I’m working my wood,” I said a few months ago to his friends and posted online on several websites to make my business known in the community.  “I’m offering the build of decks and various plant or flower boxes, sheds and ramps—anything you need in treated or stained wood,” I smiled every time the work was the subject.

In my state, modestly demonstrating faith was allowed but not mandated in the school districts.  Morning prayers or moments of silence were as important as the pledge of allegiance to the American flag.  Most of the public schools and all of the private schools began their day with these encouragements.  Children’s behavior was controlled in the classrooms across the land of liberty and it was expected.  The learning atmosphere had to be maintained as productive and disruptions were dealt with swiftly and surely.

In most red state parts, there was heavy industry making many products that ranged from machines to castings, boats to cars.  The headquarters for companies had moved if they had to move from blue areas to the red states in order to provide work and goods in a strict review of regulations from the federal and state governments—making sure that when regulations were in place they actually functioned for the good of the personnel and the environment and not burdensome nonsense that plagued the blue states but provided employment to more bureaucrats.  The corresponding tax rates reflected much of this cost in bother Nation-States at vastly different levels.

In the red states, the exercise of free markets were protected for locally produced products, including goods from blue states that could be sold at a profit.  Imports were treated differently in that there was to be price parity, the gap being made up by tariffs.  Unfair labor practices as defined by the NLRB of foreign sources were verified and make-up of pricing closely compared with domestic products.  As other Nations adjust wages and used less government resources to produce, their tariffs would drop accordingly.  It was called free trade, fair trade.

In the blue states, the government pushed suppliers into more imports without tariffs to have products that were affordable by a majority of their residents.  It was effective for a while, but within three months more people were out of work and drawing a comparably small check from their state that began to cause dissatisfaction with the status quo.  The system began to enrage more of the population trapped on government assistance as their money lost value and barely met the needs of their families.  No one predicted two years was the real life span of Socialism.  The people were taught that their problems were the red states fault and they had every right to take back what was theirs from those states.  And so we began to hear about an organized problem moving toward our states, our homes in some manner or another.    

Within the former United States there came to be a social construct where everyone seemed to have a complaint and charges of unfairness whether racism or sexuality, gender or body shape.  Many of the left were taught it is they who are most important yet most discriminated against and held down by others, an ignorant, hateful, immoral set of others—anyone who didn’t agree with them.   

*

The mass migrations enveloped the land in January and February, called the “reforming months” by much of the media.   It was assumed all would be better for the blue and the red, though the red was held in disdain by most of the media.  They though it but a matter of time when more states would adopt their enlightened view of history and a new, progressive system of governance and behaviors toward one another.  Such a dream of utopia and equity, fairness, and free education along with health care, housing, and transportation—all done in a re-imagined environment where green-house gases are eliminated.  Precepts of marriage, relationships, and gender identities, art, and market forces would assure everyone could hear that which they wanted to hear and do that which they wanted to do.  A lovely life bolstered by state funding across the entire large, thick front of demands from the state. 

The leaders of each blue state were in a powerful perch when it began immediately after the Convention and were more than happy with their new freedom to make changes the people called for.  It was a democracy in its pure form, unencumbered by rules of Republicanism which prevented the changes needed to make their populations happy and secure.  The progressives knew what would work and how everything should be ordered, arranged, and given now had their chance to make it happen, although the sub-Nation was smaller at the present.  

Hundreds of thousands young adults and thousands of mid-life and senior Americans joined others of the same mindset on the trail to nirvana, proudly sporting the badges issued by the receiving state based on their race, gender, and political feelings.  Three months ago there were thousands of overnight campers as the many groups of travelers passed through their geographical challenges as well as foods and fuel locations along the way.  Red state people were also on the move, many sadly picking up and taking what they could in order to start again in a state that would welcome them.  From space for a time, it would have been possible to see dark lines ever so small as a twinkling from the stratosphere, and unperceptively slow moving.  Still there was movement.  Still there was sadness.  Still there was hope.  Still there was peace.

The arch uniting the two Nation-States involved the agreement needed at the Convention that would use the same currency and Federal Reserve.  Negotiations as to federal tax rates would be scheduled to begin right away.  Negotiations that involved Federal allocations of the treasury to each state began first and in earnest.  The Senators and their witnesses were busy every day in unaired sessions to hammer out the most difficult part of the arch that faced them all.  They all knew it would take months if not years to produce a system where each Nation was treated equally. 

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