As an North Carolina native, I was saddened to see the massive flooding that our weird cousins in South Carolina had to face recently. Although it was a self-inflicted disaster caused by South of the Border’s many weather-altering billboards, I sympathize with the challenges of recovery, having once mistakenly gone to Myrtle Beach and realizing that people actually live there. In fact, I think it’s high time that the denizens of North and South Carolina put aside their mutual animosity and come together to be more like North Carolina. Specifically, we should form a much larger seaboard wedge.
Now, I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye with my southern neighbors, owing to North Carolina’s higher ground. For example, I disagreed with their decision to start the Civil War, and I was annoyed that they kept talking about it for years afterwards. Likewise, I’m sure South Carolinians have their complaints about North Carolina, particularly the fact that our geographic zones are similar but far more impressive, and that we have a penchant for educating our children about numbers.
Yet there is much to admire in both “the Old North State” and “the Armpit of the South.” South Carolina has the much more popular tourist destination in Charleston, the center of a thriving industry of slavery nostalgia. The quaint neighborhoods and historic homes evoke a bygone era when it was popular to have African-Americans wait on you and to build houses with Nazi-colored bricks. Likewise, North Carolina possesses an interesting history of inventing human flight and fighting for the dismantlement of Jim Crow.
Now that South Carolina has taken 150 years to pull down its Confederate battle flag, a new era of cross-Carolina relations is upon us. Having realized that it is no longer 1863, South Carolina has a wonderful chance to join North Carolina’s march back to the pre-Voting Rights Act era and establish a land firmly set somewhere around 1913.
Think what we could accomplish if we put aside our differences and merged into a Carolinian superstate. We would be an extremely large cudgel in the face of munitions-shaped Tennessee and carefree, reclining Georgia. Our economies could work together to dominate applewood-smoked bacon tourism and BMW-made NASCAR truck museums. Our combined educational system would vault from 16th in the country to 32nd, mostly because of the baleful influence of South Carolina. Most importantly, we would form a huge chisel ready to split off the lower South from the rest of enlightened America.
Of course, there is the small matter of Georgia’s northeastern notch, which would uncomfortably irritate our newly combined western border, but that can be remedied with a simple trade of Rabun County, GA for Jasper County, SC, since the new state would benefit from having less of South Carolina in it.
The only difficulty is what we would call it. “Carolina” is the obvious choice—there’s a James Taylor song ready-made for reminding people that it was originally written about the larger and more prosperous North Carolina—but I’m afraid it would lead to a struggle over whose flagship university gets to stitch the state name on sports uniforms. Instead, I propose simply calling it “North Carolina,” for all the obvious reasons. If folks in South Carolina don’t like it, they can join the Confederados in Brazil. Regardless, the motto would be “Esse dum quam spiro videri spero:” “While I breathe, I seem to eat.”
So let’s not waste this opportunity to seize the future by living in the past. Let’s act now, before the rest of South Carolina experiences Ragnarök. Let’s move quickly, before the Dakotas and Virginias beat us to the punch. Because if there’s one thing that both North and South Carolinians know, it’s that Virginia totally sucks.