Officials in Florida recently proclaimed what every Florida resident has known for years: it really should be two states. And while the proposal hasn’t gained much momentum, and likely won’t, there aren’t many people who’d say it was a bad idea.
Florida, however, isn't the only state that operates like a dysfunctional family stuck on an 18-hour road trip. Sure, there are places like New York and Illinois with only one major city and a lot of farmland. But they still seem to get along. These five states, on the other hand, have sections that want nothing to do with each other, and are probably better off getting divorced.
Why it needs to be split: Northern Virginia is a suburb of a cosmopolitan Mid-Atlantic city. The rest of the state? Well, NASCAR is pretty big there.
How we’d split it: Fairfax and Loudon counties, then everything else.
Name of the new state: Nova
Advantages: Nova could devote its tax revenue to expanding the DC Metro and maybe, possibly, not becoming the LA of the East. Virginians could avoid the mockery of their other southern friends for being a blue state, and would only get caught in traffic if they happen to get stuck behind someone transporting a horse.
Disadvantages: Without the preppy kids from Nova, University of Virginia’s academic rating will plummet and it may be forced to join the SEC. It may also find it has a lot more in common with West Virginia than previously thought. Nova’s best school will be James Madison, and it will quickly supplant Massachusetts as “the state with the most people you’d like to punch”.
Why it needs to be split: Philadelphia wants so bad to be like its Northeastern neighbors in New York and Jersey, it won’t even play with the rest of the state. Literally: there's a completely different conference for High School athletics. This attitude doesn’t play well with the more Midwestern-minded Western Pennsylvanians.
How we’d split it: On either side of the Susquehanna River. You don’t wanna play with the rest of the state, Philly? You don’t get Penn State.
Name of the new state: Philadelphia
Advantages: Since they already fight at PSU games anyway, Philadelphians can prop up Temple football instead and create some REAL nastiness when they go to Happy Valley. People will stop using the term “Pennsyltucky” to describe the no-mans land in between cities. You’ll never make the mistake of thinking you had a friend in Philadelphia.
Disadvantages: Penn State basketball recruiting will get a LOT harder. Reruns of "The Office" will confuse people who never watched the show when it first ran. You’ll probably have to pay even higher tolls since you’re taking the turnpike through two states.
Why it needs to be split: The fact that everyone who’s sick of their life in a major city says, “I’m thinking about moving to Austin”, then justifies it with “Austin isn’t really part of Texas”, pretty much sums it up.
How we’d split it: Austin, and the rest of Texas
Name of the new state: East California
Advantages: Texas could cement itself as a legitimate part of the Bible Belt and not have to worry about any “outside influences” corrupting its elections. East California could prove it’s possible to develop an entire economy based on craft whiskey bars and barbecue.
Disadvantages: It's not like Texas is a unified republic. Sure, 170 years ago it was, but tumbleweeds in Odessa don't have a lot to do with J.R. Ewing's mansion in Dallas. So there's that. Also, without Austin, the rest of Texas risks "Texas man" becoming the new "Florida man". Have you seen "Cops"?
Why it needs to be split: When people think of Washington state, they think of green trees, blue water, coffee, technology, vampires, and really kinky book characters. Exactly none of which exists east of the Cascade Mountains, where people don't just want to secede from Washington -- they’d really rather be their own country.
How we’d split it: Right along the Cascade Range.
Name of the new state: The Independent Republic of the Palouse
Advantages: Eastern Washington would finally be one step closer to complete secession from the United States, possibly with their neighbors in the Idaho panhandle. The Pac-12 could finally drop Washington State. Western Washington could officially say it has nothing to do with Spokane, unlike right now, when it just pretends not to.
Disadvantages: People would be really confused about this new brand of “Palouse Apples” in supermarkets. Western Washington might become the first state to outlaw name-calling and dirty looks. Eastern Washington might become the first state to formally legalize militias.
Why it needs to be split: 30 million people, in 163,000sqmi of every natural terrain you can imagine, speaking roughly 19 different languages. In other parts of the world this is called a continent.
Name of the new states: NorCal, SoCal
How we’d split it: California could realistically be split into about 5 different states, but we’ll just put a north-south dividing line right through the middle of Fresno. Because neither state will accept all of Fresno.
Advantages: The Raiders could leverage even MORE tax breaks from LA and Oakland by threatening to move to an entirely different state. SoCal could devote more resources to border protection and immigration reform. NorCal could devote its resources to important things like advances in marijuana cultivation.
Disadvantages: The rest of the country would be subjected to the surfer-douchey “Norcal/SoCal” labels. The lines for agricultural inspection stations in the middle of I-5 would stretch all the way from Sacramento to LA. Eventually a generation of kids would come up who’d ask questions like “Which state is Tupac talking about in that song? Aren’t all those cities in different states?”