No Minister

The Mutual American Repulsion deepens

with one comment

I only just finished writing a post on the subject of America’s growing gap between the Progressive and Conservative populations (A Civil Break, not a Civil War) when this article pops up from the Brookings Institute.

How seriously should we take talk of US state secession?

Since we’re still talking of this theoretically they’ve put it as a question. But the article sure as hell makes it sound not like a question:

One troubling sign of our deteriorating civic mood is the shocking breadth of support for secession in the United States. At a time of widespread polarization—where people are arguing over a supposedly stolen election, vaccine mandates, mask-wearing, and the reality of climate change—a September 2020 Hofstra University poll found that “nearly 40 percent of likely voters would support state secession if their candidate loses.” This was followed by a YouGov and Bright Line Watch survey last June that revealed that 37% of Americans supported a “willingness to secede” when asked: “Would you support or oppose [your state] seceding from the United States to join a new union with [list of states in new union]?” Support for doing this was highest in the South and among Republicans.

But liberals are interested, too. In a July 2021 University of Virginia poll, 41% of Biden supporters (as well as 52% of Trump voters) were at least somewhat in agreement with the idea “that it’s time to split the country, favoring blue/red states seceding from the union.”

Those are big numbers that won’t take much more to push over 50%, and the Trump voters are already there.

But obviously this is about far more than Trump or Biden. They’re just symbols.

The thing is that the USA has survived an actual civil war. But back then the main differences between the two sides were on the issues of slavery and the argument that states amounted to something almost equal to the entire nation (states’ rights). The Confederate Constitution differed from the US one in having a six year Presidential term and an executive line-item Budget veto. That was a good example of the fact that in almost all other matters there were only minor differences between the people fighting against each other. There were many things that they had in common with each other that could be called upon to unify the nation after that dreadful conflict, and they were. Probably the most vivid were in Lincoln’s two inaugural speeches, in 1861:

Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

… and in 1865:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

I’m not hearing anything close to that right now from any American leader. Worse, I’m hearing, reading and seeing – in many cases from American friends of mine – passions delivered with malice that are intended to break the bonds of affection with their fellow citizens. Those are not fleeting things either, but built upon an increasing lack of common belief in almost every aspect of America: culture, history, the direction of the future.

See also:

A second American Civil War
Secessionitis and Greater Idaho

Written by Tom Hunter

December 15, 2021 at 6:54 pm

Posted in US Politics, USA

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. In Western Australia, during the seventies, there was a strong and credible secessionist movement. It was based on anger at the profligacy of all those bloody wise men from the East, at a time when eighty percent of federal revenue was generated by WA’s ten percent of federal population producing all those lovely exports of iron ore, bauxite, gas, wheat and wood chips.

    It fizzled out when proponents found most people couldn’t be bothered.


    December 15, 2021 at 7:59 pm

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