One can be a patriotic American and recognize that sometimes it really is best to separate. This is true of both romantic relationships and friendships. Irreconcilable differences are real, and fighting over them can lead to utter insanity. For the health of Americans and democracy, we must stop forcing the idea of unity.
After all, we know what the Left means by “unity.” Unity means dissenters must remain silent, or they’ll be cancelled. Unity means society will be purged of all unapproved, “dangerous” ideas. If unity looks like an article recently published in the Chicago Maroon, I do not want it. In the article, conservative ideas are not just deemed wrong, but they’re used to “justify” the expulsion of any and all individuals who question the Left’s rhetoric. This vile, illiberal nonsense is not an isolated instance of rage. Members of the media have said essentially the same thing. Some have even gone as far as to suggest that Republicans must be “deprogrammed.” Meanwhile, the left-wing establishment has backed up its rhetoric by weaponizing social media companies, and large corporations more broadly, to purge dissent from society. The blatant censorship has been so shocking that foreign leaders from around the globe have released statements condemning it. We must stop calling for healing one day, Mr. President Biden, while calling the opposition “Nazis” the next. The cycle of regurgitating carefully written platitudes for sound bites, while simultaneously supporting censorship measures that fundamentally drive Americans further apart, must end. The rollercoaster of hate and deceit has overstayed its welcome. We must file for a divorce.
Americans are so thoroughly polarized, in part, because we no longer agree on the basics, and fervently distrust one another as a result. As a consequence of this sad truth, faith in democracy has fallen to its lowest point on record in the United States. Moreover, Americans increasingly hate one another along partisan lines. Rural vs. urban geographic divisions, coupled with clear cultural differences, make the polarization even more salient. American polarization is quite literally destroying democracy in the United States. Have you tried to have a policy debate with a colleague or friend of late? Americans are not even speaking the same language anymore. Why are we pretending otherwise?
However, this was not always the case. A fundamentally unique pillar of America is that we are not united by ethnicity or language. Instead, colonists became Americans and unified through a set of radical ideas. Generally speaking, Americans believed that rights are God given, government should be divided and limited in its power, and citizens should have the ability to overthrow said government should it no longer serve its purposes. America has not always lived up to its founding documents. Nonetheless, those documents have been our sole unifying cause.
Today’s politicians seem as though they have never even read the U.S. Constitution. No need to look any further than the incoming U.S. Senate agenda for where we are as a country. Politicians in the new Democrat-controlled U.S. government plan to: artificially, and permanently, cement their majority by adding states to the union, abolish the filibuster, and expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court. These are not policy differences. This is not about tax rates or environmental policy. This is an indisputable and authoritarian power grab by the Democratic Party. Ultimately, the incoming agenda is intended to make sure that the opposition, the Republican Party, never attains meaningful legislative power again. This is not surprising, because when costs of losing an election are prohibitive, when losing an election becomes “life or death,” politicians will take actions that undermine democracy.
Despite their own divisive actions, Democrats and the Democrat establishment seem to think that polarization will lessen in 2021. Given that Democrats dominate the media, there is a sense of hope that is being loyally regurgitated across the nation. However, I expect the polarization to get much worse because Democrats will undoubtedly force their woke agenda on the country. The House has already started work on a reparations bill that would essentially levy a tax on non-black Americans, who have never owned slaves, and redistribute the funds solely to victims of slavery. Most academic work on reparations is predictably unhinged, with some theorists calling for payment in the trillions of dollars. Think of it as a bonus check for winners of the Victimhood Olympics. There are no medals or fanfare, just money stolen from well-meaning Americans based on race. The constitutionality of such a bill is questionable, but do not fret—Democrats will pack the court if necessary. Unity, my fellow Americans, or else…
Meanwhile, the broader American public pretends everything is fine out of necessity. Secession is a dirty word, after all. It’s obviously reminiscent of the traitorous Confederacy, but it is also illegal. There is no constitutional provision for secession. However, in an 1869 dissent, the Supreme Court did hint that a secession could be possible if there were broad consent from the states. Obviously, that was well over a century ago, but today’s Court might reach a similar conclusion.
Why is there a need to separate now? Well, if Democrats have their way, the Supreme Court will be filled with numerous loyal nominees and the last defense against a radical Marxist agenda will crumble. Without the filibuster, Democrats will push through any legislation they want, unimpeded, with just the tie breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. The Green New Deal, socialized medicine, and mandatory critical race theory content will be a government boot on America’s throat. Needless to say, red states will not stick around for that dystopia if their influence on the federal level is eliminated. Given the violence in the Capitol, typically peaceful mainstream conservatives are clearly furious beyond reckoning. Last year, left-wing riots were commonplace for months. Thousands of businesses were destroyed and dozens of Americans died. It appears that we are running out of time to avoid violence. An amicable divorce is our only civilized option.
Why not speculate as to what an amicable divorce would look like? When big decisions needed to be made during the nation’s founding, Americans held massive conventions. A hypothetical national breakup should receive the same attention. Given recent movements for secession in states like California and Texas, coupled with general distrust of one another along partisan lines, there is evidence that would suggest a referendum could succeed. For example, traditionally red states, plus or minus swing states, could present a referendum via constitutional amendment. The constitutional amendment would require two thirds majority of states for approval and could suffice for secession. The same could be said for traditionally blue states. Details as far as international travel, commerce, the U.S. military, and much more would have to be settled at the hypothetical convention. This would be complicated, but there is precedent for peaceful separations. Czechoslovakia, now the two independent countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, peacefully broke apart in 1993. Moreover, the two countries have maintained cordial relations ever since. Americans could utilize the Czechoslovakian model as a starting point in negotiations.
Ultimately, the goal should be to avoid violence at all costs and to preserve democracy. If political scientists say that American democracy is falling apart because we hate one another, why continue to force it when the Founders gave us the amendment process? If there are irreconcilable differences, it is foolish to force a square peg through a round hole. If Democrats want a Marxist state, it is only right to let them have it—just not on the backs of those who oppose it. In short, it’s time to file for divorce.
*The views expressed in this article solely represent the views of the author, not the views of the Chicago Thinker.