Divorce Won’t Solve The Problem

By: George William

I’ll come out and admit this right away that I’m not a governmental expert so take what I say with a grain of salt.

Recently there has been a growing call for either a “national divorce“, for areas of one state to change to another or to create new states out of pieces from others. However, there are two big issues with this. 1) You are advocating for the failure of the American Experiment. 2) You are going down a slippery slope.

In regards to the first issue, let us first define what the American Experiment is. It is the idea that people of different backgrounds, cultures, needs and wants can peacefully live together and govern themselves. Through a “national divorce” you are admitting through action that isn’t possible.

I would ask you to think about this. We have two holidays dedicated to our troops. We as Americans, typically, have great reverence for our troops. Would you be willing to walk and spit on their graves? Because, this is what those men and women died for. They died for you, me, each other, and for this idea called America. I believe that in saying we can’t make this experiment work, we are saying that those brave few died for nothing.

The second issue I understand and am sympathetic for. These people living in blue states feel like, and aren’t getting their voices heard by their elected officials. Their state government and representation in the federal government is dictated solely by the large population centers in their state.

However, moving your counties to another state won’t solve the problem. At least not completely. The new residence of the now bigger state (let’s use the greater Idaho movement as an example) would now be better represented in the state but not federally. The state would have a larger population which means more Reps in the House but the amount of Senators would remain the same. (As it should.) So it wouldn’t really change much.

I get daily emails from Govtrack.us. Things pass the House all the time. Getting it passed the Senate is a larger hurdle. In that way, not much will change. Especially when taken into account is that most people’s issue with the government isn’t the elected officials but the unelected beauracrats in government agencies that pass most laws and regulations without being signed off by Congress or the President.

How this is a slippery slope is simple. We have norms and standards for a reason. For example, the bar for impeachment for all of American history has been a high one. High crimes or misdemeanors. However, this has become a farce given the recent impeachments. They were not for either of those reasons but because other members of government didn’t like the sitting President. Likewise, if we start redrawing the map everytime the people of a state disagree with their government instead of just moving (the beauty of federalism) or taking a stand and meaningful political action, then the landscape of America will change more often than France changes constitutions.

In relation to this, if you think that one party rule over a state, and gerrymandering is bad, it’ll be so much worse when you start redrawing state lines.

The biggest problem with the third issue is the balance. Throughout American history, when we have added states to the Union, we’ve done so in pairs to prevent one side gaining an unfair advantage over the other. How would we do this going forward? You have more disenfranchised right of center people politically than you do left, meaning you have more of the right wanting their own states than the left.

Let’s take the example linked above. California is broken in two. Northern California leans red so we’d need to add a blue area. The easiest would be Porto Rico. What about after that though? Texas is big enough, it could be split. Same with Alaska. I saw someone comment before on splitting Wyoming.

All of these would add red states to the map but not blue ones. There would be no balance, which goes to show that this side of movement isn’t about getting one voice heard, but squashing the opposition. That, is antithetical to being American.

America is 244 years old, which is pretty young for a country. Though, while young, she has been through much worse than this and lived to see another day. So if you’re willing to throw in the towel on this fantastic experiment just because you can’t get along with your neighbors, then it is not the founding or the neighbors that are weak and flawed but you.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: