Increasingly, the United States is not a unified country, a moral country, or a country that continues to do the things that made us successful in the first place. Many Americans who love this country are deeply concerned about the direction we’re going in – and they should be. This is why you are starting to hear more and more talk about a potential Civil War, widespread secession, or some other sort of split into red and blue areas. If something like that happens, it could potentially be peaceful, but it could also be very messy and violent. During the last American Civil War, 620,000 Americans died. When you consider that the population then was less than 1/10 of what it is currently, that would measure out to more than 6 million Americans dying in a similar war.
If you believe, as many of us do, that the United States has been one of the greatest forces for progress and good in the history of the world, you shouldn’t want to see the country fall apart. Also, no one should romanticize that idea. Having different parts of the country go their separate ways, whether it is violent or peaceful, would undoubtedly lead to a lot of pain, misery, and misfortune. But anyone who can look at the state of the country today and tell you that he doesn’t believe it could happen is kidding himself. We are a nation tearing itself apart and holding it all together long term is going to require some changes in the way we do business. For example, we need to…
1) Get Back to a Shared Culture: For a people to be united, they need to share values and a culture. What happens when one of the two major parties in the country decides it no longer supports Christianity, capitalism, the flag, patriotism, the rule of law, or the Founding Fathers? What happens when it decides that the Constitution is essentially meaningless because it’s a “living” document that people can rewrite any which way they choose? What happens when they decide that the greatest country in the history of the world is fundamentally evil? What happens when they want to tear down statues and rename buildings for the heroes of yesteryear because they don’t live up to the hypersensitive standards of today? At a certain point, people have to ask the natural question, which is, “Why do we want to remain united as a people when we don’t agree on anything that matters?” Sure, a lot of us may like the same TV shows or sports, but that’s not enough to hold a country together long term. If you are cheering on people tearing down a statue of Ulysses S. Grant, think America is fundamentally racist, spit on the flag, and want to turn America socialist, you have more in common with Osama Bin Laden or Stalin than you do with the other half of the country. If people on the fringes think that way, it’s survivable, but as it increasingly becomes what half the country believes in, something has to give.
2) Embrace Federalism Again: In a world where you can listen to 50 million different songs on Spotify, choose from 120,000 different items in the average Wal-Mart, and then top it all off by looking at any of 31 million YouTube channels, we are increasingly moving towards a centralized government. We’re becoming a nation of smothering, one-size-fits-all government policies dictated by politicians, bureaucrats, and Supreme Court officials who often know little about the policies they force on different parts of the country. San Francisco is not Salt Lake City is not Miami is not Nashville isn’t Boise, Idaho isn’t tiny little Stoneville, NC and thinking they all need to have the exact same approach to the Coronavirus, policing, gay marriage, abortion, the homeless, the minimum wage, guns, and a thousand other things is a recipe for disaster. Giving a lot of latitude to people to live as they wish not only allows us to experiment and see what works and what doesn’t, it’s a safety valve for national tensions. Letting people vote for the values and government policies they believe in with their feet helps hold the country together.
3) Maintain Rough Political Parity: Liberals’ dream for America goes something like this: Bring in enough immigrants to permanently capture the White House, lock Republicans out of power, and do whatever they want. There are numerous problems with this idea, but if it somehow worked and say 45-48% of Americans were paying taxes, obeying laws and yet lost hope of ever seeing public officials put the things they believe in into power, it begs the question – why would those people continue to be cogs in a hostile wheel long-term? In the past, the Republican and Democrat parties were close enough together ideologically and the government was small enough that it didn’t really matter very much. Today, neither of those things are true and long-term dominance by either political party would be intolerable to half of the country.
4) Have Tolerance and Equality Under the Law: The country cannot hold together long term if the Left hates and despises people in the other political party so much that liberals will harass people that disagree with them in restaurants, censor them at every opportunity, and try to get them fired for holding mainstream conservative views. Similarly, with the scandalous performance of the FBI in dealing with Hillary Clinton and Trump, there is a legitimate question of whether members of both political parties are being treated equally under the law. You also can’t just let #blacklivesmatter and Antifa burn, loot, and break the law at will while holding people with different political beliefs to the letter of the law. We live in a world where liberals can take over part of Seattle or get a pass for sexual assault allegations while conservatives can lose their jobs for being against gay marriage or denied a job for supporting Donald Trump. Why would anyone put up with that if he gets an opportunity to do something different?
5) Get Spending Under Control: People have been warning about the dangers of our national debt for so long that Americans have started tuning it out. The sad truth that the issue has proven to be electoral poison doesn’t encourage any politicians to step up and do the right thing either. However, the threat has always been real and the fact that we’re going to run the largest deficit in the history of humankind this year because of the Coronavirus and our reaction to it is bringing that day of reckoning much closer. Eventually, when people start to conclude we’re no longer the safest place to put their money, the government will have to start paying a higher interest rate to get loans. That will cause our deficit to balloon dramatically. Meanwhile, we’ll be printing a lot more money, which will lead to surging inflation. At that point, we’ll either be unable to pay for things like Social Security, Medicare, and Welfare, or the dollar will become so devalued that what we’re paying out will only be worth a fraction of what it is today. Once we get to that point, expect unrest and a lot of violence in the streets. It will also take away a key reason for the United States to stay united. People are going to be reluctant to bail on the country and leave their grandparents without a way to make ends meet in their old age, but if that’s taken away? A significant chunk of the population may wonder why it’s still hanging in there and whether splitting the country in two might actually make economic sense.