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On National Divorce

Breaking up goes the old song, is hard to do.

No one likes losing someone they love or, in this case, something. Specifically, the greatest country the world has ever known.

Yet the term “national divorce” is now a staple of American political discourse as social issues expand the chasm between America’s two major political ideologies and once-trusted institutions increasingly undermine the will of the people.

It’s a difficult pill to swallow for those of us on the right who have hailed the genius of the American experiment and believe in its founding ideals almost as deeply as we believe in God’s. Yet nothing lasts forever, and it’s becoming clearer every day that America may be on the downhill side of her epic run.

And that means many are pondering some sort of separation from a federal Leviathan that seeks vengeance for the most menial ideological transgressions; from the Godless secularism that haunts the coasts and the Beltway; and from a ruling class whose values bear zero resemblance to those set forth by the Founders of this country.

Yet the details of how such a separation might unfold are murky at best.

The federal government will not go gently into that good night, and secession by individual states has proven to be next to impossible since the Civil War (of the people I know who believe a national divorce to be inevitable, none seek a violent solution—think more of a “conscious uncoupling” a la Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay’s Chris Martin).

Let’s face it: despite our growing differences, there seems to be very little in the way of a formal process to free those of us who feel imprisoned by our Constitutional contract.

But such details are of little import, as a combination of federalism and the free market is dividing America geographically along ideological lines, ensuring our eventual “conscious uncoupling” whether the orcs in Washington like it or not.

In fact, it’s already begun.

The century-and-a-half-long migration from rural America to its largest cities may officially be in rewind as people flee our once-iconic urban centers for more wholesome locales. They are still flocking to cities for jobs, but remote work and the emergence of red states as affordable and economically up-and-coming is rapidly changing which cities they are flocking to.

Bed Stuy and Lincoln Park may still boast the trendiest coffee shops and cocktail bars, but such things seem less important amidst astronomical taxes, surging crime rates, woke schools, and unaffordable housing. Besides, these days you can get a top-tier steak in Nashville, Tennessee, and there’s some damn good coffee in Raleigh, North Carolina too.

Hence why the most recent annual PODS survey found that “. . . Americans are continuing to move to cities in Florida, Texas, Tennessee, and the Carolinas in droves — over 80% of the most moved-to cities on our top 20 list came from these popular southern states.”

US Postal Service data back it up, with eight of the top 10 states people are leaving leaning blue while eight of their top 10 destination states lean solid red.

And as go people, so goes commerce.

Starbucks, Target, REI, Walgreens, Nordstrom, Whole Foods, CVS, and others are rapidly shuttering stores across America’s most left-leaning metropolitan areas.

And who can blame them? They are powerless to arrest shoplifters and must keep the most rudimentary goods under lock and key, angering customers and making their employees’ jobs impossible. All of which damage the reputations these companies have worked years, even decades, to build.

Thunderdome, it seems, makes for a poor economic opportunity zone.

Like clockwork, the Democrat politicians who signed off on these economic death warrants are blaming the businesses themselves. Chicago, for instance, sued Kia and Hyundai for its recent rash of car thefts, claiming the manufacturers are to blame for not equipping their most affordable models with Fort Knox-style security.

Such a lack of self-reflection will only make matters worse, and soon finding goods and services in certain urban enclaves may be next to impossible. (There’s a joke about reaping and sowing there somewhere, but we’ve hardly time for laughter in a republic fracturing before our very eyes).

But the biggest driver of our political polarization isn’t legal or commercial, but rather moral.

Federalism is a helluva drug and one I can’t get enough of. But it has massive repercussions in today’s culture war, as states, some of whom border one another, have enacted wildly different laws governing the most sensitive issues of our day.

Missouri, for instance, has all but outlawed abortion while its neighbor Illinois, in keeping with its downfall, allows the termination of a fetus up to viability, or the point at which said fetus can “survive outside the uterus with medical help.” And whereas Minnesota proudly hosts gender reassignment clinics for children, North Dakota has banned such nonsense for anyone under 18.

These drastically opposing worldviews will only accelerate our differences; in my own experience, my employer is finding it next to impossible to attract talent from blue states due to my home state’s restrictions on abortion.

Silver linings I suppose, but so much for the “United States.” I mean, united by what, exactly?

Certainly not by a shared belief in God, or the freedom to pursue our dreams unencumbered by an overreaching government. Or even the belief that the American experiment is unique and good.

If we are united in anything, it’s that we no longer have much in common, and we are perhaps better off going our separate ways. And given current trends, that’s precisely what will continue to happen.

The federal government may well remain, but states will become so polarized that driving across the country may soon feel more like driving across Europe. It may not be a national divorce on paper, but it will be one in practice, a republic divided by laws due to social and economic chasms that have simply become too deep to chance crossing.

No one knows for sure what will happen. After all, it’s hard to read the tea leaves in a tornado.

But an uncoupling is coming, officially or not.

1 Comment

Feb 23

The sooner the better, blue values aren't American.

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