Two Americas, Literally

By Bill Maher

A 70-year-old Colorado resident is suing police in Idaho after he was pulled over during a road trip and arrested simply because his license plates are from a state where marijuana is legal. They're calling it "license plate profiling." It's kind of like pulling over a bus that says "Willie Nelson Band" on the side, except with even less probable cause.

We've talked about "two Americas" in an economic sense, but this arrest points out how we're becoming two Americans in a literal sense. Two Americas that have widely divergent laws, cultures, and attitudes. One America where pot and gay marriage are legal, where the poor have insurance, where evolution is taught in schools. And a second America where none of that applies. We've always had slight differences from state to state, like you can't buy booze on Sunday in Arkansas or whatever, but the differences are getting more and more stark. You can be married in one state, but not in another? That shit's crazy.

What's further dividing the country is that more and more of us are living in cities. The Census Bureau just came out with some new stats, and they show that nearly 1 in 3 Americans are now living in one of the ten largest cities. One in 7 live in just three cities: NY, Los Angeles, or Chicago. And the more people move to cities, the more regressive rural areas become.