I’ve been skeptical about warnings of a new Civil War. I remain firmly convinced that while many Republicans may talk tough about how it’s time take up guns and defend their imaginary version of America, they’d prefer someone else do the actual heavy lifting (although certainly plenty of individuals will become violent).
Nevertheless, as Paul Campos says, we may be approaching some kind of breakup. As I said Monday, it’s quite possible Republicans supporting the bullshit Texas lawsuit knew it was bullshit, but it’s not like they’d have protested if the Supreme Court had miraculously overturned the will of the voters. As Campos says, ” in a diverse, pluralistic modern society, patriarchy, white supremacy, plutocracy, and theocracy are all radically inconsistent with anything even vaguely resembling liberal democracy. We can see clearly now that the solution to this otherwise insuperable dilemma is to get rid of liberal democracy.”
I think that’s right. I’ve no idea how we go forward when a large part of this country doesn’t want me or people like me to have a say in who gets elected. And favor employers’s power to legally discriminate against gays, Jews, Muslims, women and PoC. Who think Real Americans are White Americans.
Rush Limbaugh’s solution is simple: secession! Why should his listeners have to share a country with all those New Yorkers they have nothing in common with? As soon as Limbaugh took flak for this he walked it back, saying no, of course he wasn’t advocating secession, it’s just, you know, some people somewhere are talking about it. He’s just transmitting the message. Texas chair Allen West has the same message. Ditto court evangelical Tony Perkins and Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase. If Trump had won and California or New York officials talked this way, Limbaugh would be screaming about how raising the subject shows liberals hate America (ditto West, Perkins and Chase).
Lord know, I find myself thinking at times how nice it would be to carve off a chunk of America and run it without Republican input. It sure as hell wouldn’t be utopia, but it’s still looking better than the failed state Republicans are turning the U.S. into.
Except, of course, Durham is a liberal island in a largely red state. It’s not like I’d benefit in a secession, unless it’s county by county.
Which is the big problem: we talk of red and blue states but we’re intricately bound up together. California’s dominated by big, liberal cities but there are lots of conservatives in farm country (Erik Loomis has some thoughts on the problem of Democrats winning rural voters). New York state has plenty of Republicans outside NYC. And even within big cities, there’s no shortage of right-wingers. Someone commented online a while back (I forget where I read it) that conservatives find it easier to move to a decadent big city than liberals moving to rural areas because the diversity that right-wingers whine about includes right-wingers. Whatever your politics you can find people who share it, which is much harder to do when moving to a small town.
So how would we divide things up? And what happens to women, gays, blacks, etc. stuck in Redstateistan? Will gay kids be able to escape homophobic parents by escaping to Bluestateia or will they be stuck? The book Invisible Countries points out this is a common problem with secession around the world: ethnic enclaves that want to declare independence from the government are rarely without residents from other parts of the country. Heck, even in our Civil War, we had slaveowning states in the Union and Southerners who opposed the war.
Splitting up has its appeal. But I suspect we’ll just be locked together, whether we somehow pull out of this crisis or spiral downward together into a failed first-world state.