Ed. Note: Another debate has broken out at SJ! Fault Lines alumni Mario Machado and Christopher Seaton are ready to slug it out to the following question: “Resolved: It is in the best interests of the American public to pursue a “national divorce.” Chris will take the affirmative while Mario argues the negative. Chris’ argument follows, and you can read Mario’s here.
Abraham Lincoln warned us back in 1858, “A house divided cannot stand.” One hundred and sixty-three years later and we still haven’t wised up to what he really meant.
Our national division’s brewed for some time. If one wanted to put a pin at the precise moment in history where the country fractured, an argument can be made for the moment Hillary Clinton declared half of us “a basket of deplorables.”
Since then our national divide has only grown. Americans generally agree their neighbors are either intolerant bigots or oppressive wokescolds. In the last year, our isolation only polarized us further as lockdowns left us more time to leave hot takes on social media.
The American Experiment has failed. It’s time for a national “conscious uncoupling.”
How would such a divide work? I pose we’re seeing it happen in real time thanks to COVID. Every day I see more license plates from states like Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan in my state. Americans are voting with their feet, and the evidence points to a clear divide between the “liberated” and “lockdown” states.
So let’s make this America Red and America Blue. I’m not necessarily saying this divorce should be along political party lines. This is hypothetical. Before anyone starts in, this is a DEBATE. We’re allowed thought experiments.
Theoretically, once legislation passed, I propose Americans have three months to decide in which country they want to live. That should give everyone enough time to make arrangements and sort their situations out.
Plus this is America. If we pull a Brexit, we can do so efficiently.
Once the split ends our union, you’ll be a citizen of America Red or Blue, and live your lives to the laws of that country. Travel between Red and Blue states theoretically would require passports or some form of similar document.
Yes, this is a drastic measure. It’s time to try something different.
I don’t just view this as another logical exercise. I think this is best for the people of this once great nation.
If you really believe you’re surrounded by fascists or racists of any sort, then you should want to move to a place where there aren’t any. If the laws of a nation aren’t ones you’re willing to follow, you should go someplace that suits your view of liberty.
Once we’re split, it’s going to be as amicable as everyone wants to be. I suspect we can conduct trade and play with everyone nicely.
As long as we conduct ourselves like adults, there’s no reason at all this could go wrong.
Once the split ends, people would feel free to speak, act and behave as they chose. No one would worry about judgmental behavior from an “out group” since we’d theoretically lack them in our new nation-states.
We’d also have arguably less crime because voluntarily agreeing to live under the laws of a new nation means one would be more inclined to follow the law.
One argument often made against such split is that what we currently refer to as “red” and “blue” states receive a disproportionate amount of federal aid. The idea is that if we split, the “blue” states would supposedly get a better deal.
It’s absurd because we haven’t even started the discussions of who’s going to get what. We’re splitting a country here. No one said it would be easy. We can get the lawyers and mediators to figure it out. I hear quite a few are good.
But if I’m uncomfortable with your stance on a bathroom bill and my opposition is “literally violence,” then we’re done. I have no common ground with you. I’d rather spend my time with people who don’t want to rob me of my ability to put food on my children’s plates. You and I literally have no reason for us to be citizens anymore.
Look, ladies and gentlemen, I know I’ve become a bit of a humorist around here these days but no one can deny how ridiculous our lives became until we take a closer look.
Some places jailed ministers for holding church services. Your personal feelings on how much a virus spreads means nothing to me if you think it’s okay to jail a man of faith tending to his flock. Especially in a time of crisis.
So long, my former fellow Americans. I’ll see you once the judge signs the papers.
And let’s not think about getting into trouble once we split. I don’t think you’ll try.
I’ll be on the side with the guns.