Commentary: Breaking Up America

by Roger L. Simon


I never thought I’d be writing about secession or anything close. Not in a million years. “America, the Beautiful” is my favorite national song, bringing tears to my eyes with its “sea to shining sea.” Giving up the magnificence that entails would be heartbreaking on so many levels.

But the times being what they are and the man occupying the presidency being who he is, not to mention those surrounding him being who they are, plus the issues that divide us from national defense to education to immigration to race to public safety to the pandemic to values in general being so intractable, I feel compelled to discuss secession or division as if they were a real possibility worth considering.

Maybe we have reached a point that the most patriotic act for our country, for both sides, is to break up, even if it would be extraordinarily difficult.

Ironically, this calls to mind, of all things, Neil Sedaka’s classic American popular song “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” rerecorded across generations for a reason, because such a division would, in great part, be entirely personal with families, friends, and co-workers interspersed across the land.

Indeed, it would be very hard to do. It could be we would need a “trial separation” with a chance to reconcile before the formal “divorce.”

Whatever the case, I know I’m not alone in thinking about what was once unthinkable. Indeed, from what I’ve heard, even in the halls of Congress there are those so concerned with the inability of the red and blue to speak or reason together, who see a gulf between both sides so wide it will never be bridged, that some of our politicians are beginning to whisper about secession or the like as well.

So here I am writing a very tentative, very early, article about how we might achieve this separation, partial or complete, as the case may be, or at least think about it.

Please understand what I have in mind is not a civil war, anything but. Part of my intention is to diminish the violence that’s escalating throughout the nation, dial down the hatred, and certainly to avoid deaths.

It’s a peaceful, gradual, and negotiated separation I wish to explore based on two societies recognizing they have different goals and approaches and deciding to go their separate ways.

In other words, if a serious majority of blue state residents want to be “woke,” teach their children critical race theory, allow them to choose their sex at age eight and so forth, much as I abhor these things, they should have that ability, just as the majority of red state citizens who wish to preserve our constitutional republic for future generations should be able to do that as well.

This division shouldn’t be all that surprising at this point, considering what Jefferson said about a revolution being necessary every few decades. The United States of America has grown into something so large as to be nearly ungovernable, an unwieldy nation of some 330 million, a number far greater than the Founders could have conceived in the late 18th century.

Nevertheless, if states’ rights were honored to the degree those same Founders intended, it’s doubtful we would even be having this discussion.

But they’re not and we are.

Okay, let’s start with the proverbial elephant in the room. Our principle adversaries, China and Russia, are not about to break up. Quite the contrary—they’re looking to expand geographically and grow their militaries, especially China under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party.

At first glance, this argues for the importance of our sticking together, but the recent botched exit from Afghanistan makes the opposite case. Working entirely under “blue” control—executive branch, State Department, and a bizarrely “woke” military—this was a disaster of historical proportions leaving the Taliban (and therefore China) in control with virtually the same terror masters in positions of authority who enabled 9/11, only this time seemingly with more power, including their own air force, and al-Qaeda, ISIS-K, and similar groups unchecked.

It’s hard to see how two separate military commands, red and blue, could possibly have done worse. More likely they would have done a lot better with the red state leadership able to counter, and ameliorate, the odd, virtually inexplicable, behavior of the blue in this instance.

It’s the old adage of two heads being better than one (a lot better, in this case).

Several NATO nations appear to have also managed the situation better than the Biden administration. Why not make the two new red and blue USAs two separate members of NATO?

But before going any further, I have obviously skipped over the most basic conundrum of all—just how would you, even could you, divide the United States of America when, as is well known, there are so many blue enclaves in red states and vice versa?

I’m not going to suggest any maps in this piece. But let’s be honest, no matter how you do it, people will be unhappy and many will end up moving. Large numbers of facilities and businesses will also have to move. The whole enterprise seems too daunting for words.

But is it? We have seen all kinds of things rebuilt, and rather quickly, after national disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. An ordered restructuring, if there’s the will to do it (big if, I know), would not be much more difficult and might even improve the infrastructure.

Ordered or not, this restructuring has been happening for some time with the migration from blue to red states for reasons of taxes and lifestyle.

This migration may be on the brink of a significant increase, depending on the result of the California Recall election this week. If the Democrats succeed, by whatever means, in blocking the recall and blunting Larry Elder’s candidacy, thus keeping Gavin Newsom in office, we may be looking at the largest outflow from California yet. (Were Elder to succeed, the converse could be true.)

But whatever happens in California, we are left with an American population at odds with each other in very basic ways, far more important than the usual political disputes about moving tax rates up and down 5 percent.

We’re living through a war of values at the deepest levels. Breaking up may be hard to do, but, painful as it is to say, and it certainly is, the time has come to examine it.

But maybe, just maybe, in that examination we may find a route back. Corny as they are, it’s also worth remembering Sedaka’s last lines:

“I beg of you don’t say goodbye.
Can’t we give our love another try?
Come on, baby, let’s start anew.
‘Cause breaking up is hard to do.”

– – –

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His most recent books are “The GOAT” (fiction) and “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already” (nonfiction). He can be found on GETTR and Parler @rogerlsimon.
Photo “American Flag” by paulbr.

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6 Thoughts to “Commentary: Breaking Up America”

  1. Jon Mankowski

    You folks of the “old south” are more than welcome to secede from the U.S.
    We should of never fought a civil war to keep you all in the union back in 1860s. Your states take more money and welfare from the union than you put in. Back then, all you had to offer was cotton born of slave labor. As an old Californian and combat Marine veteran I am tired of financially supporting your failed economic , healthcare, and educational policies. To add insult to injuries your Governors take pride in continuing to spread the covid virus by refusing to mandate masks or take readily available anti covid shots.
    So, yes, please consider seceding from the union. I doubt many of us tax paying patriots would seek to stop you.

    1. David Blackwell RN, BSN, CCM

      The Mankowkis and other Europeans that came to America, have little understanding of individual liberty. As Eastern Europeans came to America, they brought with them the philosophies that gave gave rise to Fascism / Communism / Statism. You are right, you should have never invaded the Southern States, who had every right to succeed from the Union, as did the originally colonies from the British Crown. This “Money” that you speak of; is the fiat currency you pump into the economy actually “Money?” Yes, King Cotton was just that. To boot, there were plenty of Slaves in the Northern States as well, including indentured servants. Yet, the first tractors were soon to be developed, doing way more work than a slave. The cotton was used in textiles that fed the new Europeans in the Textile Mills. The South not need rise again, but simply remain standing while the rest of the Union falls to Communism, like California today. We need to bring back the Mint in New Orleans and return to sound money. Tennessee alone should team up with our musicians and request that when people come to Tennessee to listen to our music, a commodity that no one else has, that they simply bring with them United States silver dollars for admission. The United States Silver Dollar now trades for roughly 30 federal reserve notes. You can’t get any more patriotic than that. We got the idea of a Silver Dollar from the Spanish Dollar. FYI: The mask don’t work, nor do the shots. In fact, most would not be here today if it weren’t for antibiotics. Covid 19 is but one of over 200 common cold viruses that circulate yearly; 15% of which are Coronaviruses. Most have a 99% recovery rate.

  2. Kevin

    Maybe back in 1860 this would have worked, but not today. If the USA split apart, inter-regional wars would pop up just like in Europe throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Then, China and other less than benevolent world actors would be waiting like vultures to consume the leftovers.

    The problem within all of these United States, even the “red” ones, is that We the People have allowed government to get too BIG and intrusive! We’ve become fat, dumb and happy, relatively speaking! Breaking up into 50 individual “States” would be the beginning of the end, for all freedom loving people.

    No, the solution is for each and every one of us to stop the b*tchin’ and get out there, take over and change the political machinery! Is it a daunting task, you betcha. But it’s better than the bloody alternative!

  3. Judy

    Unlikely the blues, dependent for everything they want on numerous progressive political policies, redistributing paychecks earned by working people to blue tax suckers and their political enablers, would peacefully stand aside while their cash cows escape their clutches.

  4. David Blackwell RN, BSN, CCM

    This is not hard. Bring back the Mint in New Orleans and return to sound money. Tennessee alone should team up with our musicians and request that when people come to Tennessee to listen to our music, a commodity that no one else has, that they simply bring with them United States silver dollars for admission. The United States Silver Dollar now trades for roughly 30 federal reserve notes.