If you want to lead a secession movement and form your own country, the first thing you need to do is buy a billboard.
That's what somebody has done on a stretch of Interstate 44 between Lebanon and Springfield. The billboard, which sports a hippy, tye-dye-like background, asks readers to "consider a contiguous 5-state secession" and lists Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi as the lucky secessionist states.
Up until a week ago, the billboard had "MI" in place of "MS," which was a problem because Michigan is not contiguous with the other four states (check out a photo here). But Progress Missouri director Sean Soendker Nicholson tells Daily RFT it's now fixed, and the current incarnation is what you see here.
The billboard also asks: "What are the pros? What are the cons?" Good question.
Daily RFT reached out to DDI Media, the outdoor advertising company that owns the billboard. But an executive who was available for comment did not know who rented the space, and we're still waiting back to hear from somebody at DDI.
While we're waiting for answers, we decided to do what the billboard told us to. Here are all of the pros and cons of secession that we could dream up:
Pro: St. Louis will be known for having the best weather in the country.
Con: The country will have to be known as "TornadoHurricane-stan," and 75 percent of the country's GDP will have to go toward tornado and hurricane recovery.
Pro: Tea Party Republicans would become moderates.
Con: Because an even further, more extreme party would develop and advocate for mandatory guns and Bibles on every person (except for non-white people -- they'd only be allowed to have Bibles).
Pro: Cardinals will win a championship every year.
Con: Beating the Rangers and Astros every year will get old and cause Texans to want to secede. (Or is this a pro?)
Pro: Presidential elections won't last two years, cost billions of dollars or overtake the media with constant, mindless punditry.
Con: That would be mostly because Rick Perry will just use Texas oil money to win every election, always forget about which departments he will abolish even though they probably won't exist in HurricaneTornado-stan, and give the whole world the impression that Missourians are Texans.
Pro: New Orleans.
Con: The rest of Louisiana.
Pro: Beef would pretty much be free.
Con: Seafood caught in non-polluted waters will cost thousands of dollars a pound, omega-3 will be absent from our diets, our brains won't be as sharp, and frat boys in St. Louis will always forget that they need a passport to go to strip clubs in East St. Louis.
Pro: Making fun of Mississippi.
Con: Figuring out what to do with Mississippi.
Pro: With nearly equal numbers of blacks, whites and Hispanics, TornadoHurricane-stan would be one of the most racially diverse countries in the world.
Con: TornadoHurricane-stan would have the highest concentration of Ku Klux Klan members in the world.
Pro: There would no longer be a "gun debate."
Con: Everyone would be dead within eight years from gun shots.
Pro: It would be interesting to see what Arkansas does, as it would be surrounded by TornadoHurricane-stan.
Con: The Walton family will turn Arkansas into Walmart-stan and develop the world's largest military, invade TornadoHurricane-stan, conquer us and enslave us to work at Walmart.
Got some pros and cons of your own? Leave 'em in the comments.