Is national divorce a viable option?
For several years now, even before the Trump era, I’ve wondered whether we’d all be better off in the long run it the United States were geographically divided in some reasonably equitable way that would allow the reality-based and social justice minded among us to be free of the extremist right wingers. Two married people who disagreed with each other this much would never stay together. Doesn’t it make sense for blue America to amicably divorce itself from red America?
There are fundamental issues on which red America refuses to negotiate in good faith. How can we ever advance under such insane conditions? Mustn’t we take some common sense steps toward our own sanity by separating ourselves from those who see us as enemies?
I realize such a split would be difficult and complex, to say the least. But I believe deeply that if the right really had to make a go of it on their own, it wouldn’t take long for them to want to reunify, given how much their states depend on support from left-leaning cities. We would then be in a position of strength to dictate terms of readmittance. Welcome them back if and only if they check their bullshit at the door.
Those of us on the left don’t claim to have all the answers. But many issues have been more or less settled, requiring no further entertainment of right-wing lies.
Let’s take a closer look at some logistical details.
First of all, who gets the District of Columbia? It seems to me that since the District votes more than 90% Democratic, it should go in the blue column. But I’d be surprised if Republicans would be willing to give it up. And what about northern Virginia, where the Pentagon sits right across the Potomac from D.C.? No way red staters give that up without a fight, despite that part of the state’s blue tinge.
However we ended up redrawing borders, it would obviously leave blue and red-minded people on the wrong side geographically speaking. So the governments of the new territories would need to assist people in relocating to regions aligned with their political ideologies. And it wouldn’t just be individuals, it would be businesses too.
But what about people who live in certain places for health reasons? Even if it cost them nothing to relocate for political purposes, it could negatively affect their quality of life.
And what about LGBT youth? They will continue to come into this world with no choice as to which America, red or blue, they are born into. I’m horrified by what it would be like to be born into red America. It would be a death sentence for many.
The more we get into the minutiae the more impossible the whole idea of a national divorce sounds. And the more frustrating it becomes, because the idea wouldn’t be worth considering if conservative folks would just be open to leaving the lying and manipulation behind and embrace reality. People who refuse to accept scientific evidence have no business calling the shots for the rest of us.
But to allow this to continue is insane. At the very least it’s just plain stupid.
Jeff Taylor is an artist with Street Sense Media.