Not a Civil War, a Civil Divorce

We hear a lot of talk of national turmoil. They’ve got Obama, Soros, Antifa, and more—and we hate their guts. We’ve got Trump, citizen militias, the three percenters, the NRA, and most of the federal government (right now anyway)—and they return our sentiment in spades. At least rhetorically, we’re at civil war—rhetoric can lead to actual warfare. But, there is an alternative to violence. While Antifa escalates their violence on the streets, there is just a small window of opportunity that we can work with to achieve an ideological division of territory. In effect, a divorce.

It’s like a couple who have been married over two hundred years, who had their first major tiff with the election of 1828, and who have progressively grown more and more tired of one another with each passing decade.

They don’t share the same values, don’t have the same friends, hate being with each other, and generally don’t agree on much. Their life together is becoming worse with little chance for improvement. By staying together, things could get so bad they could get physically contentious.

A National Divorce. Basically, they get the West Coast—we keep our military bases there—and we get the rest of the country. Here’s the plan.

Modeled after the Indian partition of 1947, without the initial bloodshed and decades of cold and hot war, the Bolshie states of Washington, Oregon, and California peacefully divorce from the Union, or we throw them out after a constitutional convention. Their Americans and our Bolshies are encouraged, even with government travel vouchers, to emigrate across the new border. We get back a clear limited government majority and maybe even a sane Democratic Party. They get the multiculty socialist regime they claim they want so much. We retain all our military bases like Ord, San Diego, Lewis, Bremerton, March AFB, etc. Defense-wise it’s kind of like our relationship with the Canadians. If Canada wants in on the action of joining with the new country or us, maybe we can consider it.

The United States of North America? Not a bad ring to it.

We lose Hollywood, a plus, and Silicon Valley. That is if, after a bit of Venezuela-upon-Pacific, the tech nerds don’t cross the border for better economic pastures. But then, you see, we’ll have rather stringent immigration laws in place—crossing the Nevada border may not be easy at all. The leftist urban hubs left in the U.S. will have a choice: With a potentially reduced Bolshie voter base and no chance of national power, they can reform or be isolated to wither and rot on the vine. It would be nice to divorce Manhattan and make it an independent free city state, but too much possible financial upheaval to approve that. The Big Commie Apple will just have to turn a lighter shade of classic red.

Oh, and maybe move the national capital to Tulsa.

The new nation of Pacifica gets a divorce from an American populace they already look down upon and a federal government that protects them, but whose laws they disobey at will. Both sides get a national government they desire and deserve. We in America can wait with popcorn to see how their little socialist experiment works out in the medium term.

Now you’re saying, Omigod! How could you? This is the U.S. from sea to shining sea! That can’t change! Oh really? What, are we immune from the laws of history because we’re the United States? Hardly. For Ireland was once part of Great Britain, Algeria part of France, Alsace was in Germany, Poland belonged to Russia, and on and on.

These all happened not only because of geopolitical strife but because the parts no longer conformed to the whole. When people who violently disagree with each other over a long period are included in one polity they aren’t a country. They are just sharing real estate. This happened to us in the 1960s with the cultural victory of the Left over many of our elite institutions. This divorce has been festering since our fathers were young men.

As the coasts became culturally and intellectually separated from the hinterlands they refer to as “flyover country,” the heartland itself resented the condescension. This culminated in the election of the 45th president, which was in itself a massive middle finger to the West Coast and the pseudo-elites in the major urban centers. That’s why the classic Reds are so crazy on the subject. That’s why, in reverse, the rest of us loathed the 44th president so much.

Before the leftist takeover in the 60s, as Charles Murray points out in his brilliant Coming Apart, we shared many of the same concepts of life and government. TV Superman could refer to something like “The American Way” because there was a shared cultural consensus. Can we really talk of an American Way today that encompasses the nation as a whole? Do San Francisco and Charleston believe in the same things even at the most basic level? In the event of a national emergency, would they serve together to protect each other? Not too deep inside, we know the answer. Now to make the reality correspond with the divorce on the ground.

Colin Woodward goes even farther and can give us some insight into the issue of practical division of the spoils in his work American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America. Woodward identifies many different cultures that could form nations possibly led by a continent-wide Articles of Confederation-type system. He helpfully gives us a map of these areas. I live in Tidewater and am very happy to be here. Some may not be so lucky in their present state of residence.

Am I taking a leaf from Swift’s A Modest Proposal in this piece? Perhaps a bit, but not much.

As the Bible and then Lincoln said, “A nation divided against itself cannot stand.”

That virulent division has gotten worse over the last half-century. Perhaps before somebody fires on a modern-day Fort Sumter, we should do something to head off the tragedy at the pass. For divorce is better than war.

Ergo, John Brown, don’t call your office. Not yet anyway.

Please note this article was first published in April 2019.