Sunday, March 5, 2023

RE: The National Divorce

 I'm a little slow on the uptake but David French is the new right wing commentator on The Time op-ed page. He is of course wrong about almost everything since Republican policies have proven themselves utter disaster since Ike was President. That said, he's not unreasonable, he's just usually wrong. Meh. My unhelpful judgment notwithstanding he makes no case here why secession is a bad idea other than that it would be terrible, dangerous, and undoubtedly violent. That's reason enough.

The problem at this point of partisan inflection is not simply that we disagree but that we neither respect nor much like each other. People divorce for many reasons but irreconcilable differences are cause (certainly that is the legal case). In what world are our differences reconcilable about fundamental issues? On gun safety? Police reform and violence? Climate catastrophe? Education, ummm, Florida? Women's healthcare? Racism? Our fellow citizens traffic in overt, shameless hate and we are supposed to respect these as values, particularly justified by their religion? All the while Red Republicans live off the Feds when it come to Medicare, Social Security, you name it, they take more than they ever give. Sounds like grounds for divorce to me. That said, such a parting is as French says impracticable, surely dangerous and if we can't agree on naming a Post Office or the facts of an effort to overthrow the government, we're going to amicably part? Of course not. There is no solution, no way to around the problems, and nothing good comes of burying our heads in the sand and pretending we don't have to care. If you ignore politics it's because you not only have the right to do so but a sense of privilege that abdicates democracy itself. Such folks might well deserve to live in an even worse authoritarian oligarchy that passively accepts dictatorship. I'll repost my reply to French. My not really public conclusion is that we can't retreat to our Blue refuges and think that immunizing. You may live in happy blue dots but the red infection is certainly going to ruin the fun sooner or later. Blithe indifference and insouciant superiority will not suffice. So what is the solution? To rally politically as far as it is truly possible with the active intention of marginalizing Red power over us. We must use the resources of the law to reduce their effects. Problem is, they are about half the nation so it's also likely we're just screwed.