The idea of a National Divorce is gaining steam. Not only can it work – it must work if we are to avoid the type of politically-motivated violence in cities across this country that will have North America descend into chaos and throw the United States into a de facto civil war.
No, this isn’t the 1800s. Abraham Lincoln’s proverbial house is not divided against itself today along the same lines it was divided against itself in the leadup to the Civil War, but it is divided against itself, nonetheless. The next American civil war, if not avoided through a National Divorce settlement, will not be fought between the states with uniformed soldiers charging the field of battle with bayonets. It will not be fought between those loyal to a particular state and those who owe their allegiance to the preservation of the union of those states.
Conservative commentator Jesse Kelly is right – we should redraw the map because our political differences have indeed become what he calls a powder keg. Both sides of have their respective extremists, often armed. The right has their so-called militias; the left has their so-called revolutionaries. Both have been responsible for violence, property destruction, and other politically motivated crimes. And to an increasing extent.
A recent Washington Post investigation reports that right-wing extremists were involved in 255 plots or attacks between 2015 – 2020, while left-wing extremists were responsible for 62 plots during that same time. In fact, the number of domestic terror attacks committed by extremists on the left and right from 2015 – 2020 is more than twice the number of similar incidents by those same groups that occurred in the ten years prior to that. This is not normal and not sustainable. Powder. Keg.
Something must be done and there seems to be consensus that things are going to continue getting worse in this country for a long time before they get any better. I remember as a young boy my father telling me the country was going down the tubes – and that was thirty years ago. Things have only gotten worse since then and now I’m old enough to see it myself.
Should we stay the course, to borrow an expression from George W. Bush? Well, even he abandoned that phrase just four years after we invaded Iraq. Should we peacefully fight it out by banding together with like minds and bringing about the change we want to see in the world, as Karol Markowicz wrote about a national split up for the New York Post earlier this week?
A sizeable and growing portion of the population, particular among conservatives, believes our elections are rigged. When more states follow California’s lead and shift permanently to voting by mail, election fraud flames are going to be fanned even more. At the same time, there are holdouts from 2016 who still believe the Democratic presidential primary was rigged against Bernie Sanders.
Look, we have one life to live. Do you want to spend it in a permanent state of political activism, community organization, and protest after protest in a country locked in a permanent state of heightened political divisiveness where progress inches two steps forward before falling two steps back? Or should we just agree to disagree, split the assets, share the debts, and peacefully part ways?
No, this isn’t the 1800s. A National Divorce between the states doesn’t have to adhere to our existing arbitrarily drawn state borders. California, for example, shouldn’t drag patriotic conservatives in the northern part of our state out of the Union against their will. Let those counties form the State of Jefferson or join neighboring Oregon or Nevada.
Simply dividing the states along state lines won’t do it. We need to redraw the map. We can analyze political and cultural data at the county level. Or by congressional district. Or with data from the Census. Or we can overlay these data and see where the new lines ought to be drawn in a way that makes sense, gets us out of each other’s hair, and stops the left and the right from imposing their diametrically opposed worldviews onto each other.
We can do this through National Divorce, and it can be done peacefully. The country of Czechoslovakia no longer exists today because of the bloodless revolution in 1989 known as the Velvet Revolution. That peaceful revolution led to the so-called Velvet Divorce in 1993, whereby Czechoslovakia split into the two modern-day countries of Czech Republic and Slovakia. These two neighboring countries maintain good relations to this day and even have a mutual defense agreement.
There is nothing to say that a National Divorce between the states will lead to conflict between them. Quite the opposite. We know that couples in a bad marriage often have more positive, peaceful relationships with their former spouses after divorce. This will be the case with a National Divorce between the states when we are no longer interfering in each other’s domestic affairs, or way of life.
What about those who get left behind enemy lines, so to speak, in a new state or country whose culture and politics doesn’t align with their view of the world? I’m talking about that conservative in Hollywood and that “bleeding heart” up in Shasta County. When the Pilgrims set out for America, setting sail across the Atlantic in search of religious freedom in the 1600s, they left everything behind to start a new life in the New World. They were followed soon thereafter by more Europeans who abandoned their lives in Europe to escape not only religious, but political persecution.
And we see politically motivated migration to this day with Californians moving in droves to places like Texas and Idaho, and Americans in other states relocating to other parts of the country in search of lower taxes, lower housing costs, a lower cost of living, or simply a better climate. Politically motivated migration is as much a part of human history as is the invention of the wheel upon which they migrate, regardless of how impractical Jeff Charles wrote in a piece for RedState this week.
What about the so-called constitutional scholars who will say a National Divorce can’t happen because it is unconstitutional? Contrary to their expert opinion, a National Divorce between the states is not prohibited by the Constitution, and Texas v. White, the only Supreme Court precedent on the matter, simply says states can’t secede unilaterally.
National Divorce is not about unilateral secession. National Divorce, to the contrary, is about agreeing to disagree, splitting up the assets, sharing the debts, and parting ways. Indeed, a new poll out of Larry Sabato’s Center for Politics at the University of Virginia shows the nation is ripe for splitting up. According to the poll, some 75% of Biden voters and 78% of Trump voters at least somewhat agree that the opposite political party has become a clear and present danger to the American way of life, and in even larger numbers are concerned they might personally suffer from the opposing political party’s policies in the future. It’s no surprise then, that over half of Trump voters would favor blue states seceding from the Union to form their own separate country while 41% of Biden voters would favor red state secession.
So, clearly there is growing support for a National Divorce, something I’ve been advocating for years. It may just be the last thing we can all agree on. When we redraw the map, let’s think outside the box and color outside existing state lines.