It has been said many times in many ways that nothing lasts forever. Has the time finally come for the U.S. to split along ideological lines? According to a new survey from Bright Line Watch and YouGov, it just might be.
The Great Split
The questioners asked 2750 Americans if they would support or oppose their states seceding from the United States to join one of five lists of states, based on five regions created by Bright Line Watch. In the 13 Southern states polled, 66% of Republicans favored secession. About half of all independents agreed, but only 20% of Democrats were on board. Interestingly, even under a left-wing trifecta government, it was Democrats in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii who most wanted to call it quits. Only 27% of West Coast Republicans and a third of independents were open to leaving the Union, but nearly half the Democrats – 47% – still want out, even with Trump gone. The leading groups in other regions are the independents of the Midwest at 43%, the Democrats of the Northeast at 39%, and the Republicans in states closer to the Rocky Mountains at 43%.
Though the left rules the nation now, Democrat support for the Republic of California still doesn’t come as much of a shock. As for the South, most of those states are in the Union only because brute force was used to stop them from leaving. What is unusual, however, is that support for secession has increased across the board in almost every group in every area. Also, it’s far more common for people to dream wistfully of secession when their political enemies are in power.
Does this mean that we’ve finally passed the point of no return, where ideological opponents simply can’t reconcile? Perhaps, but then again, 2,750 is a mere 0.0016% of the 168 million or so registered voters in the country, and no margin of error was provided. But what if it’s accurate? In the 19th century, 11 states split from the Union and formed the Confederacy. It didn’t go so well – but that might only be because the federal government was willing to wage a war to force them back in. Then there was the slavery issue; thanks to that, anyone who dared utter the word secession since has been labeled a racist – until recently, of course. Now that the idea of independence from Big Brother is popular all along the political spectrum, secession isn’t just for “racist rednecks” anymore.
What If …
Could a Balkanized America work? The idea has been explored before. Whether we end up with two smaller nations or five, it is likely possible to set up trade and travel agreements while still letting each region rule in its own way – and wouldn’t people be happier then? For that matter, folks could be allowed to come and go freely from one America to the next, so long as they agreed to behave themselves while visiting or traveling through. Of course, instead of one U.S. military machine, there would now be multiple smaller ones. While that wouldn’t be nearly as great a deterrent to foreign threats, there could also be an agreement put in place that we help defend each other. Is this starting to sound familiar yet? It should. It’s essentially the Articles of Confederation – what the United States was when the name was coined, an actual confederation of sovereign states united in “perpetual friendship.”
Ah, but perhaps the solution isn’t so drastic as splitting the nation into separate countries or even reverting to the Articles of Confederation. Maybe the answer to the ideological gulf dividing us is, after all, as simple as following the Constitution as written. Limit the federal government to foreign affairs and disputes between states and leave the day-to-day governance of the people to the otherwise sovereign states.
Read more from James Fite.