CNN travel editor Chuck Thompson drove the dagger in deeper in his recently released book, Better Off without ‘Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Succession.” He summed up his, and purportedly other Yankee feelings, by calling the leadership down here in the deep South “a coalition of bought-and-paid for political swamp scum from the most uneducated, morbidly obese, racist, morally indigent, xenophobic, socially stunted, and generally ass-backwards part of the country.”
So if that is a growing northern attitude towards us poor lost souls in the Bayou state, maybe we should consider seceding and let the U.S. make us a protectorate like Harrop and others above the Mason-Dixon Line suggest. Anyone who does a bit of research will find that, right now, Louisiana is contributing much more to the national economy than the federal dollars the state is getting back. As a general rule, so-called protectorates receive much more in financial aid from their respective overseers than the country or state being protected contributes. Not so in Louisiana. Yes, you will read about all the federal dollars that have been flowing into the Bayou State, particularly post Katrina. But whatever federal sums have been allocated is a drop in the bucket when you add up the massive mineral resources that have been drained from Louisiana.
How about this! Louisiana becomes an independent protectorate of the U.S., with Washington providing all the international protection like they do for Canada and Mexico. Sure the U.S. can continue to use the port of New Orleans (largest port in the nation), as well as Baton Rouge (third largest in tonnage) and Lake Charles (5th largest in tonnage), but of course there would be fees similar to those charged in other international ports. The oil and gas would continue to flow to the rest of the country, but with adequate severance and processing fees for the quite reasonable sum of $7 billion to $10 billion. This is much less than the importation charges that the U.S. is paying OPEC countries now. No more groveling for a small share of offshore oil payouts.
Mississippi might also want to join in the protectorate effort. The two states might even agree to create a “coastal nation of Louisissippi.” The French would be appalled, but who cares.
So who is going to run this new protectorate? The test? Who knows how to get results. Walking the walk rather than talking the talk. There really are only two candidates for the job. One is former Army General Russell Honoré. He’s the “John Wayne dude” who blew into New Orleans post Katrina and took charge of the disastrous recovery efforts. He lives in New roads and seems to be well rested and ready. And right there in contention is New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. Look what he’s done with the Saints so far this year. Now he does know how to get a job done.
The Ambassador to Washington? The “Ragin Cajun,” James Carville is the man to demand fair respect for the Bayou State in the nation’s capital. And it would have been an easy choice before he tried to pick a state treasurer. New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson would have been, hands down, the best guy to go after the foreign aid. He was Louisiana’s greatest robber baron, having talked the Louisiana Legislature out of $500 million dollars. Remember that no other NFL team has received a penny from their respective states. He definitely would have been the man to go after to get the money.
The state flag would be a combination of black, purple and gold. And of course, native-born Randy Newman (Louisiana-They’re Going to Wash Us Away.”) should write the national anthem.
Maybe the columnist is right, and we should give it a try. Let the feds protect Louisiana’s borders and let us keep all our minerals. If you look at the numbers, I have a hunch that any redneck or Cajun would jump at such a deal.
Peace and Justice
Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.