//The Gander-ites vs. the Goose-ites

The Gander-ites vs. the Goose-ites

Image result for goose and gander

Have we balkanized ourselves out of any meaningful notion of nationhood (‘from sea to shining sea’)? Is what is good for the gander-ites in New York State today likely to be what is good for the goose-ites in Wyoming? Is a young man packing heat in the first-mentioned venue, for instance, of the same concern as a young man toting a shotgun in the second? My sense is that passing universal gun laws to apply equally in all instances would be pure folly. In the short term, it would spawn intense animosity and resistance; in the longer term, open rebellion.

Might we invoke here, in way of example, the Stamp Act of 1765?

The same is true, I suspect, of abortion, school prayer, creationism, global warming, same-sex marriage, and a hundred other such issues. The only realistic way to settle these issues to the satisfaction of all (most) concerned, in each instance, would seem to be through some kind of localization, whereby every state, region, or community (the latter of a certain size and sensibility) would decide for itself what was best for itself. In a highly diverse (fragmented) society, one size cannot fit all.

2019-03-12T15:51:20+00:00March 12th, 2019|Uncategorized|4 Comments


  1. Barry Cook March 12, 2019 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    We would definitely need an app for that. Every time you cross a state line, different laws are in effect. Can I smoke weed here or will I get arrested just because I didn’t check my app to see if it is currently illegal at this latitude and longitude? When I get shot in a particular state, will it be by someone who has the right to own the firearm, or will the injury be compounded by the insult of being the act of someone who shouldn’t be in possession?
    We are frequent interstate travellers, and even now, it is confusing – and we are generally not notified of the nuances in legally permissible behavior. Should I use my cellphone hands free while driving and appear to passing police cars as if I’m babbling to myself? Have they repealed the Blue Laws in this state or are they still on the books?
    In many places, quirky local laws are used to generate revenues from unsuspecting out of towners. Is this really better than being one Nation with a justice system that treats people equally, no matter where they roam? Doesn’t the localization of the legal code exacerbate the divisions rather than bring us together?

    • TomF March 18, 2019 at 3:15 pm - Reply

      It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, does it? Look to the EU. Some things are uniform across all nation-states, while other things are not, depending on the logic of the situation. A good example of this in the States is the Uniform Commercial Code. It apples to all states because the logic of the situation requires that it apply. Regarding other issues, I have no doubt that commonality would soon sort things into the proper buckets. Default (natural) commonality is a powerful force. It will one day break the U.S. asunder (a process that has already begun).

  2. Michael Holmes March 12, 2019 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    We’ve never really come to grips with the balance between federalism v states’ rights any more than we have of the balance between orthodoxy and moral relativism. Nor will we. Surely the boundary can ebb one way and flow the other over time but ultimately, all of either and none of the other can never be a satisfactory solution.

    • TomF March 18, 2019 at 3:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Mike! Always nice to get your thoughts!

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