08 June 2017

Drifting Toward a Blue-Red Divorce?


David French of National Review wrote an insightful piece today and raised some interesting points about the future of our republic. It's worth reading. For example:
A civil war results when the desire for unification and domination overrides the desire for separation and self-determination. The American civil war is a classic example. There were grounds for separation — North and South were culturally different on a scale that dwarfs modern divides between red and blue — but the North did not consent. It sought to first unify and then transform the southern states.
He concludes that federalism (a kinder, gentler way of saying "states' rights") will save us from Civil War and from one political faction totally dominating the other:
I don’t believe a civil-war mentality will save America. There are simply too many differences and too many profound disagreements for one side or the other to exercise true political dominance. Red won’t beat blue in the same way that blue beat gray. Adopt the civil-war mentality and you’ll only hasten a potential divorce. No, absent a presently unforeseen unifying ideology, event, or person, the idea that will save America is one of the oldest ideas of the Republic: federalism.
And adds:
So long as we protect the “privileges and immunities” of American citizenship, including all of the liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights, let California be California and Texas be Texas. De-escalate national politics. Ideas that work in Massachusetts shouldn’t be crammed down the throats of culturally different Tennesseans. Indeed, as our sorting continues, our ability to persuade diminishes. (After all, how can we understand communities we don’t encounter?)
Does that not sound like an argument for states' rights? Of course it does. But French doesn't deny the possibility of separation:
We can either rediscover this federalism, or we may ultimately take a third path — we may choose to separate.
More here.

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