Critics of a National Divorce between the American states have no arguments in favor of the Union itself. I have yet to hear a critic of National Divorce lay out a case of how great our federalist system works, how great the federal government functions, how our system of checks and balances keeps one branch of government from usurping power from the other, or in general how great our representative democracy works either in terms of providing adequate representation or ensuring that the will of the people be done. These critics cannot point to in defense of preserving the Union the cohesion of our diverse population, of the purity of our political leaders, public trust in any of the branches of government, faith in our elections, or the overall direction of the country. And none of these critics can put forth a compelling argument as to why, hypothetically speaking, an independent country today would give up its sovereignty to join the Union as the next state if given the opportunity.
Although all politics is local, critics of a National Divorce instead turn their attention outward. They argue that America’s two primary geopolitical adversaries – Russia and China – would benefit if the United States were to break up. These critics claim Russia and China would like to see the collapse of the United States as if its population of 330 million people would suddenly vanish from the Earth leaving the Russians and the Chinese in a prime position to fill the resulting void.
What these critics fail to realize is that National Divorce or the advocacy thereof is not the source of political divisiveness and instability in North America – it is the Solution to that. If Russia and China want political instability and divisiveness in North America in hopes that it provides them the opening that they need to conquer the world, they should advocate the preservation of the Union. If it is political divisiveness and instability they need, that is exactly what exists now in the United States as a united country, and it is what we will continue giving them so long as we remain under the same roof of a house divided against itself.
Like many couples in bad relationships often form positive, cooperative, and more cordial relationships after divorce, the American states will also have better relationships amongst themselves after a National Divorce because they will no longer be interfering with each other’s domestic affairs. In America’s former blue states, the right will no longer pose a threat to women’s reproductive rights, transgender rights, and efforts to combat climate change while the left will no longer pose a threat the right to bear arms, traditional classroom instruction, and funding for police departments in the former red states. The left can have a field day implementing progressive tax and spend policies they believe will lift minorities and marginalized communities out of poverty. The right can set out on a grand experiment to prove how trickle-down economics works.
Liberals and conservatives will have a government that represents their values and live in more ideologically homogeneous populations which will produce governments that work better as a result. Political divisiveness and animosity in society will subside as the populations of these new separate countries will have little to disagree about aside from healthy differences of opinion on the particulars of policy. Civil discourse will return as the populations of these new separate countries will largely agree in principle on the most important issues of the day and be able to reach compromise without comprising their values, for what divides us now in a so-called united country are hot-button cultural and social issues about which we hold diametrically opposed worldviews.
Without gridlock standing in the way of what each side considers progress and without the political divisiveness and animosity in society that makes civility and compromise nearly impossible, the American states after National Divorce, now independent of each other and free to set their own domestic policies, will have a better relationship with one another, resulting in more stability and less division and a greater willingness to cooperate on global issues where the American states still share common ground. In this context, if we were to for the sake of the argument accept the idea that Russia and China want only instability and divisiveness in North America in hopes of creating a void for them to fill in the absence of the United States, we can argue then that Russia and China would want the United States to remain together in a perpetual cold civil war.
Obviously, an honest assessment of the situation leads us to understand that a National Divorce between the American states is not in Russia or China’s interest. To underscore that conclusion, one must consider what Russia and China want in terms of foreign relations. Ideally, when dealing with an adversary such as the United States, Russia and China want to understand that adversary, its capabilities, its strengths, its weaknesses, and its general worldview. Russia and China currently understand the United States, for American foreign policy generally doesn’t change from administration to administration. Democrat and Republican presidents are merely opposite legs of the same behemoth marching along a set course.
This means the United States is a generally predictable adversary. Russia and China basically understand what the United States is, what the United States stands for, and what it is prepared to stand against. It understands what its priorities are and where its loyalties lie. Upon this information Russia and China develop their global strategies and formulate their foreign policies. Another reason Russia and China would prefer the United States to remain together is because a National Divorce between the American states will require these two countries to reassess their entire foreign policy approach towards North America and the rest of the world since a National Divorce will produce new countries whose foreign policies towards Russia and China will inevitably differ from the established and predictable foreign policy of the United States.
This issue can also be examined from an economic point of view. Critics say China would benefit from a National Divorce between the American states, but they do not provide specifics as to why that would be the case. There are reasons, however, to reject that premise. First, the American people are one of world’s largest, if not the largest, consumers of products made in China. A National Divorce will not send 330 million Americans to Mars. They will still be living in North America and purchasing products made in China, but a National Divorce will require the Chinese to negotiate new trade deals with the newly independent American states, some of which inevitably will adopt a more hardline approach on environmental and human rights issues in China, whereas Washington does not. Not good for China.
Second, and this issue is tied to the first. The United States is one of China’s major sources of jobs for Chinese people through the outsourcing of American jobs to China. Jobs for Chinese workers to provide for their families is crucial to the Chinese government for maintaining order in a country with a population over one billion souls. National Divorce would threaten this lifeline of employment, considering that some of the newly independent American states, particularly the conservative ones, would inevitably adopt a more mercantilist economic approach and offer companies incentives to return home from China, or not outsource jobs in the first place, whereas Washington does not. Not good for China.
If we accept the power of money, the influence of globalism and the principles of interdependence between China and the United States, then we must also accept that a National Divorce between the American states would only threaten Chinese coffers with a loss of tax revenues, complicate trade relations with its most important foreign market, and risk jobs for millions of Chinese workers, thereby potentially fomenting unrest and dissatisfaction with the regime.
How would that be in China’s interest? It obviously wouldn’t be, and as far as Russia goes, if we listen to the critics of National Divorce, the last thing they want is the product of National Divorce: positive, cooperative, and more cordial relations between Americans.