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Irreconcilable Differences

Is the country simply too divided to remain one nation?

In any healthy relationship, there are going to be differences of opinion. Even the closest of friends aren’t going to agree on everything, and on occasion people who feel great affection for one another will fall into heated arguments over deeply personal issues. It’s the nature of give and take between human beings—and even though it would be easier in some ways to walk a lonely path and never be challenged, the love, camaraderie and strength we derive from our unions with others ultimately give our lives greater meaning, and allow us to accomplish together what we could never accomplish on our own.

There may come a time, however, when those differences become insurmountable, and the ties that once bound us together—perhaps over the course of many years—have broken under the strain of what divides us. What happens to the relationship when you discover that the most basic elements needed to sustain it—trust, respect, a baseline of shared values—are in short supply, or no longer exist at all? What happens when you discover that what the two of you want are completely different things, and there’s no middle ground between them?

Is it time to call it quits?

A number of events going on over the last few months—years, even—have got me thinking about the subject as it pertains to the United States of America. Something that newly-elected Representative Dan Crenshaw posted on Twitter, though, brought this issue into sharp focus, because it so perfectly illustrates the very real problem we face as a union.

A brief primer on the video Crenshaw referenced: The Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees was considering a resolution that would restore the Pledge of Allegiance to the agenda for each of their meetings. The Pledge had been removed on the order of the board president, who cited concerns that its origins were steeped in white nationalism—a decision that had generated a lot of controversy when conservative media outlets picked up on it. A former City College professor, Celeste Barber, introduced the resolution to bring back the Pledge, and as part of her presentation began to recite the words.

The video shows what happened as Barber spoke.

The jeers and heckling that brought Barber to tears as she tried to express devotion to her country came from members of the audience who were there to address some other issues. Apparently they took it as an opportunity to show their utter contempt for the Pledge and everything it stood for, having taken to heart the more “woke” view as expressed by the board president. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all? Not if they have anything to say about it.

And here is where I find myself asking: Can there be any common ground between those of us who love America—even with all of her flaws and the stains of past injustice—and those who see her for nothing but those injustices? Do we share any values with those who deride patriotism as a bigoted relic of a country that was never great in the first place, and instead elevate grievance and victimhood to sainted status? What could possibly be left for us to agree upon?

It isn’t just this episode, either. The Jussie Smollett story, now revealed to be a hoax, offers a peek into the mindset that hardcore leftists have about America—that it is a racist place, brimming with hate, even when that hatred is in so hard to find that they have to manufacture it themselves for public consumption. Prior to that, we were treated to the spectacle of a fifteen year old high school student pilloried by a leftist media as a symbol of white male privilege for the crime of smiling in public. The left may envision a country in which lies illustrate a wider truth and the rights of due process depend upon the color of your skin, but that’s not the America we all know.

More insidiously, the left is not content to merely rule its own enclaves in the way they see fit—they also want to see to it that the rest of us are forced to live under their rules. Colorado, for example, recently passed a bill that would award all of its electoral votes in a presidential election to the winner of the popular vote. Even more frightening, they would be joining 11 other states who have already pledged to do the same. If these liberal states reach a critical mass of 270 votes, California and New York would effectively pick the President of the United States every four years, regardless of what middle America chooses.

How long would Red States tolerate a federal government in which they had next to no say?

Culturally, we also have less and less in common with our blue neighbors. New York basically legalized infanticide, to the cheers of its state assembly. Virginia came close to doing the same, at least until their governor accidentally revealed how extremist the proposed law really was in an interview—shortly before he self-immolated over an old yearbook photo. With such profound differences when it comes to something as recognizing a newborn baby as a human being deserving of protection, what could possibly bridge the divide?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong about all this—and a part of me really, really hopes that I am. But with the chasm between the left and the right growing ever wider by the day—and with the left unwilling to let conservative states govern themselves in the way their citizens want, without an intrusive federal government controlling every aspect of their lives—I do wonder if there will come a day when a split is not only inevitable, but necessary.

For all of our sakes.

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