By Jeffrey Page
There is talk in Arizona about secession from the United States, but little information about why.
It is a state that gets $1.19 in return for every $1 the 6 million Arizonans shell out to the federal government. This leads to another question: Why would anyone give up a sweet deal like a 19 percent return on investment? Why would a state wish to give up all that money Washington sends for education aid, highway projects, farm programs, and more.
Also, what recent events would cause a state to betray the nation? The failure of the Republican Party to impose a Tea Party agenda on the country? The reelection of President Obama?
In their naïveté, Arizonans clamoring to leave the union believe that this one-sentence demand will do the trick: “We petition the Obama Administration to peacefully grant the State of Arizona to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government.”
No. You don’t engineer a breakup of a nation and then ask the president to go easy on you. It doesn’t work that way. Last time some states seceded, 650,000 men and women were killed in the war to sew the nation back together. Still, as of this week, secession petitions have been signed by about 15,000 Arizonans. There are similar campaigns in some other states as well.
Another reason why secession is not easy becomes apparent when you do the math. Arizona’s share of the national debt, based on population, comes to $335 billion. Fairness dictates that they pay their share as they walk out on America.
The secession petitions are just one example of why Arizona’s view of the relationship between government and the governed is at odds with the rest of the country.
As you know, Arizona enacted a law giving the police the power to pull a driver over if a cop has reasonable cause to believe the driver is in the United States illegally. Probable cause includes whether the driver looks a little out of place.
You know exactly what this means and exactly who it refers to, and it is noteworthy that authorities in Phoenix have yet to report how many motorists who look Polish, look Japanese, look French or look Congolese have been stopped and asked for some kind of proof that they’re in the United States legally.
There’s another example of Arizona and the people.
In a move that puts the lie to Arizona’s reputation as a libertarian bastion, the state has made it legal for physicians to lie to their patients without fear of consequence. True libertarians do not stand between women and their doctors.
The statute declares that a patient (read: a woman) can’t take action against her physician (read: her OBGYN) for malpractice if the doctor discovers, for example, that her fetus is deformed but says nothing about it. Sensible people understand that this is a lie of omission. In Arizona, it’s OK.
Three’s a crowd, so why would a state wish to enter the patient-doctor relationship? Because, if the woman is informed that the fetus is badly damaged or deformed, she might choose to undergo a certain legal procedure (read: an abortion) as a matter of personal choice and privacy (see: Roe v. Wade).
If Arizona lawmakers can give a doctor the right to look into a patient’s eye and lie about the condition of her fetus, what’s to prevent physicians from downplaying serious medical conditions of poor, undocumented Mexican men, women and children? Some Latinos would grow sicker and sicker and possibly go back home to be cared for by family. And then Arizona could brand itself the champion of the ever-complaining Anglo population.