A proposal to divide the United States into two countries

(Note: here is Jeffersonian’s greatly expanded version of his proposal.)

I post this article with a sense of ambivalence, since, notwithstanding the author’s boldness and originality of thought, his proposal presents grave practical difficulties which in my view he deals with only superficially. However, as I myself have said, with the passage of the health care bill America has now become in effect two mutually irreconcilable peoples (they want to impose unlimited state power on us, which we don’t want to be imposed), and the only two logical resolutions to the conflict are that one side crush and dominate the other, or that the two sides go their separate ways. There is no escape from thinking our way through the current crisis, and we have to start somewhere. Jeffersonian’s article is a useful contribution to that effort. (Readers’ comments on the article begin here.)


By Jeffersonian

In the aftermath of the presidential election of 2000, a newspaper published a map of the United States in which the counties that had voted for George W. Bush were colored red, and those that had voted for Al Gore were colored blue. The result was striking: The blue counties made up only a small fraction of the area of the United States, but included roughly half of the total population. Outside the Northeast, the map consisted mostly of a large expanse of red, interrupted by geographically small, but densely populated, urban areas. (Note that even though the original map showed the country divided into counties, it has given rise to the terms “red states” and “blue states.” Note also, that the term “Red” in this context has no implication of Communist sympathies. )

In recent weeks there has been a furor over the health care bill. This is partly because its opponents feel that it is an extremely bad bill: one which will not improve their health care, but instead add enormously to the public debt. Even more disturbing than the contents of the bill, however, is the fact that it was passed despite the clear opposition of the American public. Every national poll for months had shown that a significant majority of the public did not like this bill; and in the weeks preceding the vote, Congress had been besieged by letters, emails, faxes, and telephone calls from constituents, with the great majority opposing the bill. Those who urged congressmen to vote for the bill did not pretend that the majority of the public was on their side; rather, they urged congressmen to be “courageous” and ignore public opinion.

They claimed (correctly) that doing so did not violate the Constitution. However, it did violate our traditions on the relation of the government to the governed. This is the first time in American history that a major bill has been forced through over the clear opposition of the public. Even if the law itself is beneficial, the manner of its passage was semi-tyrannical, and the social fabric has been badly torn.

Many people believe that the passage of the health care bill will result in the Democrats losing many seats in the Congressional elections this fall. That may happen, but even if opponents of the bill gain a clear majority in the House of Representatives, they will still not be able to repeal it. To do that would require large gains in the Senate (both this year and in 2012) as well as winning the presidential election in 2012.

However, even if all that occurs, it will not be enough. Repeal of the health care bill is desirable; but it will not avert the deeper dangers facing us. The Blues will continue their attempts to force their leftist programs—including socialized medicine—on us; and given the demographic factors (immigration and natural growth of liberal-leaning, non-European populations), they will eventually succeed and they will transform the country totally. The ideological gulf between the Blues and the Reds is simply too great, and the Blues are too intolerant and unwilling to compromise, to allow for the survival of the type of society that we have historically had and still desire.

What sort of society are the Blues aiming for? Obviously, not all Blues hold identical political beliefs. By and large, however, most of them want the United States to become more like the “socialist” countries of Western Europe, such as Norway, Denmark, and Holland.


* The majority of the Blues strongly favor significant redistribution of wealth, partly by a steeply progressive income tax, and partly by other means.

* The majority of them are internationalists and multiculturalists.

* Despite paying lip-service to the idea of constitutional government, the Blues never let the Constitution get in the way of policies they favor, but constantly interpret it to mean whatever they wish. Among numerous examples of this are:

o The decision by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade (1973), a decision that overturned all existing states laws on abortion. (While one might believe that such laws were ill-advised, there is certainly nothing in the Constitution that prohibits them.)

o Perhaps even more extreme was Wickard v. Filburn (1942), which largely eliminated the restrictions placed on the federal government by Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution.

o Most Blues seemed quite ready to push the health care bill through by a vote “deeming” the Senate bill passed, without the House of Representatives ever taking a direct vote on that bill. (Faced with public outrage, the House leaders eventually backed down on this procedure, but not because of any constitutional scruples concerning it.)

o The majority of Blues approve of the federal and state governments mandating racial preferences and quotas, even though such laws clearly violate the equal protection clause of the constitution.

* Despite their claims of being opposed to racism (often expressed very sanctimoniously), the majority of the Blues are, by our standards, racists. That is, they strongly favor laws and policies—such as racial preferences and quotas—that deprive some persons of jobs, promotions, college admissions, and scholarships just because of their race. These preferences and quotas were first instituted about forty years ago and have gradually become more and more pervasive.

* Despite paying lip service to the notion of freedom of speech, in practice many of the Blues often favor censorship laws of various sorts, such as repressive “speech codes” on college campuses and laws banning “hate speech.” College speech codes, usually adopted by a vote of the faculty, typically a very liberal group, provide a clear indication of the way most Blues view the right of free speech.

Where does this leave us? Very simply, we do not want to live in a country dominated by such people, and we do not want to bequeath such a government to our children. For that matter, the Blues don’t like us much either. Many of them consider us to be racists, religious fanatics, stupid, heartless, and corrupt. It is, therefore, time for a divorce. Just as a husband and wife with “irreconcilable differences” are often better off living apart, so the Reds and the Blues would be far better off if we split into two separate countries.

How might such a two-country system operate?

1. Each country will have its own constitution. The Blue country could simply continue operating under the present constitution of the United States, but the red country would need to hold a constitutional convention shortly after gaining independence. It should, of course, form a constitutional republic (probably a federal republic), with adequate safeguards for civil liberties.

2. Each country will have its own courts and adopt its own laws. In particular, this means that the Blue country will be able to make its own laws regarding immigration and citizenship.

3. Each country will have its own military forces. Existing military hardware will be divided equitably between the two countries.

4. No person will be forced to move. However, some persons who are ideologically red but are residents of a blue county may choose to move to a red state or county during the transition period. (Similarly, ideological blues who reside in a red county might choose to relocate.) Provisions might also be made to permit an ideological Red residing in a blue county to become a citizen of the red country while continuing to reside in the blue country. In that case, he would have the status of a resident alien (and, of course, would have to obey the laws of the blue country). Similar provisions could be made for ideological Blues residing in red counties.

5. Each country would have its own currency. The existing national debt at the time of the breakup would be divided equally between the two countries. Of course, it is possible that one or both countries might afterwards choose to renounce its debt, or inflate it away (as might happen even if there is not a divorce).

6. Provisions would be made for free movement of persons or goods from one of the countries through (or over) the other without tariffs or extra port charges being imposed.

Let us be clear about this: We have NO desire to harm the Blues; we merely want to be left alone by them so that we can go our own way in peace. Nor do we want the two countries to be hostile to each other afterward, but rather to be friendly neighbors.

How can such a two-state solution be reached? Obviously, it cannot be achieved immediately. We must first build up support for the idea, a process which will certainly take several years. After due preparation, we might then assemble a Continental Congress (which is what our Founding Fathers did in 1774 and again in 1775).

Eventually, we might issue a Declaration of Independence, signed by representatives of several states. Such a declaration might adopt the format of the 1776 Declaration, and even much of the same wording. The new red republic could then invite other American states to join it, and also invite adjacent counties of other states to join our federation (while permitting dissident counties in our states to remain with the blue republic).

It has been suggested that such a partition of the United States, even if implemented peaceably, would inevitably lead to certain serious problems. For example, would not each of the two separate countries be economically weak? The blue country, although it would possess the majority of the factories, and almost all of the ports, might not be self-sufficient in food, and would have little in the way of mineral resources. The red country would have abundant mineral and agricultural resources but would have relatively little industry and almost no ports. All that shows, however, is that the two countries would be better off trading extensively with each other (as they do now) and avoiding any trade wars.

The Blues may well feel that they will be the more prosperous of the two countries, since—as they see it—their country includes the former America’s intellectual leaders, such as the faculties of most of the leading universities; the leading lawyers; the experienced civil servants and governmental leaders; the editorial staffs of the leading journals and book publishers; and the financial experts of Wall Street). They will also have all the advantages of diversity. On the other hand, they will also inherit the high crime areas and the majority of the welfare recipients. (On balance, however, I think that the Blues come out ahead on this.)

What about transportation problems? Many of the blue urban areas are not contiguous with other parts of the blue country, and the red country includes almost no ports. Such problems can easily be handled if there is a modicum of good will. Trains, trucks, airplanes, or other vehicles originating somewhere in the blue country will be permitted to move through (or over) the territory of the red country duty free. In return, overseas trade between the red country and foreign countries will be permitted to use ports in the blue country without paying any import or export taxes, but only the normal port charges.

Would not the two separate countries be militarily weaker than the present United States? Well, yes, but each of them would still be far stronger than any other country in the world.

The most serious objection to this entire proposal is that the federal government will never permit the red states (or counties) to secede. After all, when the Southern states seceded in 1860-61, the result was a bloody civil war in which the rebels were crushed. But there are major differences between that situation and this one.

1. Since the Blues feel that we consist largely of racists, religious fanatics and greedy capitalists who exploit the honest working people, they may be happy to be rid of us so that they may set up a more progressive polity without our interference.

2. The North was fighting not only to preserve the Union, but also (after the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863) effectively to end slavery, which many in the North considered an intolerable evil. Forcing the Blues’ version of nationalized health care on the seceding Reds would hardly have the same moral appeal.

3. The North had three times the population of the South, and therefore felt assured of eventual victory if they persevered. By contrast, the red and Blue countries are approximately equal in population, and the outcome of a war would be uncertain.

4. The Blues are largely pacifistic, and are generally unwilling to fight long bloody wars. Consider their opposition to the Vietnam War and to each of the two Gulf Wars. Consider also their anti-war slogans, such as “Arms are for hugging,” “Make love, not war,” “There never was a bad peace, nor a just war,” etc.

5. The willingness of the Blues to fight and to keep fighting will be low, since the Reds will not be threatening to deprive the Blues of their lives, their liberties, or their laws. The Blues will be able to make whatever laws concerning health care that they think is best, and whatever laws concerning gay rights, abortion, racial preferences, tax policies, or unemployment benefits that they think is fairest, without any interference from the Reds. The Blues need only leave the Blues alone.

6. Finally, if the blue country tries to invade the red, many of the former’s soldiers may defect. Many of their soldiers will be reluctant to kill people who look like themselves and who mean them no harm. Do you think a blue general will order a battalion to start shelling a city in the red territory? And if he does so, will the unit commanders follow those orders, and will the troops under them obey?

A bit of history might be instructive. In December 1989, there were large demonstrations in Romania against the Communist leader, Nicolae Ceaucescu, and he tried to suppress the uprising by force. For the most part, the Romanian soldiers refused to fire on the unarmed demonstrators, and the rebellion succeeded. The total loss of life was probably less than a thousand. Our goal CAN be achieved!

What should we do NOW to further this program?

1. Gain support for it by talking with friends, family, and others in conservative circles.

2. Do NOT engage in violence or threats of violence.

3. Form one or more organizations to further our goals.

4. Hold conferences to discuss possible problems and tentative solutions, and also to improve our plans.

As we do this, we will discover how to proceed next, and leaders will emerge.

- end -


Laura Wood writes:

The idea of allowing dissident counties to remain within one of the two countries at least for a time is the most interesting and exciting aspect of this excellent proposal. It solves the logistical nightmare of relocating many millions of people at once.

Jeffersonian presents an inspiring and brilliant plan. All the essential components are there. This will avert violence, not encourage it.

John Hagan writes:

I don’t see anything like the scenario Jeffersonian sees for the United States playing out. At worst we will fade away like Rhodesia or South Africa, at best we will become a North American version of Brazil with whites continuing to migrate to places like Montana, the Dakotas, and northern New England.

There’s just no modern history showing whites defending themselves in any real way from their demographic dispossession anywhere in the world.

David P. writes:

The author Jeffersonian, makes an analogy of a husband and wife with irreconcilable differences. But what if I choose to use the analogy of America as a human body. That is, the left hand is Blue and the right is Red. The head is Right, while the heart is Blue. How then a separation?

Jeffersonian writes: Let us be clear about this: We have NO desire to harm the Blues; we merely want to be left alone by them so that we can go our own way in peace.

But that idea is not reciprocated at all by the Blue side. They want to rule over the Reds. Why should they give up on their historic duty to claim sovereignty, and rule over those who they regard as the right?

If the Blue and Red States are interdependent, as one has all the industry, and the other the food resources, how can they be independent? Even if such a separation could take place, a movement will soon gather strength to unite the states.

It will take more then a health care crisis to rend the USA. Such an event would be very damaging for the world. The USA would no longer be a super-power, with all that entails for the rest of the West.

Richard P. writes:

We do need to consider seriously some sort of separation in the U.S. because of the two irreconcilable world views held by the people. But it need not go as far as the full secession suggested by Jeffersonian. Instead of looking back to 1861, a better model might be to look back to 1781—the Articles of Confederation.

We could retain the union while devolving most power to the state governments. The federal government would primarily be charged with ensuring free trade amongst the states, foreign diplomacy, and with organizing a common defense. The federal government would not be able to impose monstrous policies on either reds or blues, because it would lack both the authority and the money with which to do so.

Such an arrangement would also bring an end to much radical activism. Reds would be less likely to be exercised over, say, abortion law in California. Blues would be less likely to be up in arms over school prayers in Oklahoma. State sovereignty would mean that local majorities rule over themselves.

It’s a system that worked well for us in the past, and it has worked pretty well for Switzerland.

Tim W. writes:

The article is interesting, but the author overlooks a few things.

First, he forgets that modern liberalism is a totalitarian and universalist ideology. It isn’t a “live and let live” concept. The ultimate goal of its adherents is a world government from which no one can escape. The idea that separation could occur, and that the blue nation would tolerate a conservative nation on its border, is highly questionable. More likely is that the blue nation would work with the EU and China to economically isolate and destroy the red nation.

Second, leftists need conservatives but conservatives don’t need leftists. To be blunt, they can’t let us go. We’d be happy to be rid of them, because to us they’re nothing but parasites and/or oppressors. But they can’t get rid of us because we do most of the work, pay most of the taxes, provide the stability and morality that allow their depravity to thrive with less damaging results.

Furthermore, the white conservative population is the buffer protecting white liberals from the minorities. Imagine if all the Obama voters were placed in a separate country all to themselves. That country would be only fifty percent white, if that. Meaning that the political clout of blacks and Latinos would be greater than ever, and their demands for quotas, handouts, leniency for their criminals, and open borders would be more powerful than ever. Meanwhile, the whites who would have to suffer to accommodate these demands wouldn’t be middle class conservative church goers, as they are now. Those whites wouldn’t be around anymore. They’d be across the border in another nation. Instead, the white left would have to sacrifice themselves to meet those demands. I, for one, would be interested to see how these whites deal with a demand for racial quotas when the only whites available for exclusion are liberals.

Despite all its difficulties, it’s interesting to discuss the possibility of separation. It may come to it someday, and I can’t say I’m opposed to the idea.

LA replies:

To expand on Tim’s idea, let me bring in my tri-partite theory of liberal society. Liberal society requires three parties, three “characters” in the script, in order to function: (1) the white liberals who run things and who embody the system’s ideals of tolerance and inclusion of minorities; (2) the minorities upon whom the white liberal exercise the liberal virtues of tolerance and inclusion, thus confirming the meaning and purpose of liberal society; and (3) the white non-liberals (or at least those whites seen by the white liberals as non-liberals), who are the liberals’ necessary foil, the evil force against which the liberals assert and demonstrate liberal virtue.

If there were a separation between liberal and non-liberal America, if liberal America were left without white non-liberals, it’s questionable whether the liberal America could survive. Without the non-liberals upon whom to blame the minorities’s dysfunction and misbehavior (e.g., “blacks lag in accomplishment because of racial discrimination,” “Moslems resort to terrorism because whites stereotpye them as terrorists”), the negative characteristics of minorities could no longer be evaded by being blamed on non-liberal whites, the truth about racial and cultural differences would begin to be spoken honestly, and thus the liberal system would break down.

Alan M. (a Canadian by birth who is about to become a U.S. Citizen, see prevoius entry) writes:

What’s sad about this is that the founders already gave us this with most of these powers retained by the states and/or the individual … and we (or a portion of “we”) have thrown it away. Now we have to fight for it all over again.

Rick Darby writes:

It is hard to doubt that there is no longer a “United” States. The country now consists of two basically separate cultures. Nor is this division one that will blow over as certain policy issues are settled or lose their charge. At issue are fundamental ideas about the role of government, as well as some social values in opposition. After 40 years of increasingly bitter civil conflict, it’s time to consider a fundamental change; not a perfect solution, because there is none, but the least damaging way of acknowledging the facts and reducing the odds of disorder, including violent disorder.

Easier said than done? Sure. A certain amount of crossover exists between the two cultures, and they are somewhat mixed geographically, which complicates any political remediation. And the question of national defense inevitably comes up, although that seems to me the least of the problems: agreements for mutual defense are not uncommon. For that matter, if one side doesn’t treat national defense seriously (which is the case now), they can carry on blowing kisses to the world’s villains. The other side can take care of itself.

The best opening would be a Constitutional amendment setting forth the requirements for individual states to secede. It shouldn’t be easy. No step so serious should be taken unless it is clearly the will of a significant majority of that state’s population. But the amendment should contain language that specifically prohibits Congress and, more important, the federal courts (including the High Priests of the Supreme Court) from overturning the decision if it meets the procedure stated in the amendment.

Many will protest that this idea is unrealistic, isn’t “politically feasible,” can’t happen, won’t happen, etc. But as you have said on many occasions (in different contexts), if we limit our proposals to what seems realistic at the moment, the game will never change. By putting new and different ideas on the table, there is at least a chance that what is realistic will change.

Robert Bove writes:

Walter Williams has a short piece at Townhall.com today in which he makes this statement:

I believe we are nearing a point where there are enough irreconcilable differences between those Americans who want to control other Americans and those Americans who want to be left alone that separation is the only peaceable alternative. Just as in a marriage, where vows are broken, our human rights protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution have been grossly violated by a government instituted to protect them. The Democrat-controlled Washington is simply an escalation of a process that has been in full stride for at least two decades. There is no evidence that Americans who are responsible for and support constitutional abrogation have any intention of mending their ways.

You say, “Williams, what do you mean by constitutional abrogation?” Let’s look at just some of the magnitude of the violations. Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution lists the activities for which Congress is authorized to tax and spend. Nowhere on that list is authority for Congress to tax and spend for: prescription drugs, Social Security, public education, farm subsidies, bank and business bailouts, food stamps and other activities that represent roughly two-thirds of the federal budget. Neither is there authority for congressional mandates to the states and people about how they may use their land, the speed at which they can drive, whether a library has wheelchair ramps and the gallons of water used per toilet flush. The list of congressional violations of both the letter and spirit of the Constitution is virtually without end. Our derelict Supreme Court has given Congress sanction to do anything upon which they can muster a majority vote.

While he doesn’t explicitly provide a solution to our “bad marriage,” Williams implies secession is coming.

I think it is already here. People who can afford to do so are already moving out of the failed Democrat cities and states like Los Angeles and California and seeking small-state/low-tax places like Texas. This, of course, is accelerating the fiscal collapse of the former. New Jersey and, perhaps, Massachusetts are attempting to reverse their fiscal collapse. Certainly, the voters in those states want their state governments to shrink.

Everything, it seems, hinges on the results of this November’s mid-term elections.

Ron L. writes:

Putting aside the questionable goals of splitting the Union apart, it is completely not feasable logistically. The problem is that the divisions are not just between states, but primarily in states. Get a county map. Essentially, the left is comprised of urban areas, some inner-ring suburbs, and Black and Latino rural counties. How exactly would we then seperate?

2000 election map by county

2008 election map by county

Richard W. writes:

The idea that the USA could be split along county lines is completely unworkable. The American tradition Already gives us the historical basis for separation, it is the states. The states must be the vehicle of reasserting our traditional political rights and our society.

This can happen without secession or violence as states begin to aggressively rejecting Federal policy. This movement is already afoot, the “Tenthers” who focus on the rights retained by the states as called out in the 10th Amendment, the final section of the Bill of Rights.

Already I believe four states have written laws essentially nullifying federal gun control laws within their states. Wyoming’s law even has fines specified for federal officials who attempt to enforce federal laws inside the state of Wyoming.

As D.C. becomes more and more overbearing the obvious strongest point of resistance is the state. The same people who have voted to end the jurisdiction of federal agents for the purpose of gun laws in their state could also go after many other pet parts of the federal monstrosity.

Indeed, they already have! Look at the state by state rejection of affirmative action and gay marriage that has taken place in the last decade. View these movements as a small start in reasserting the rights of states to decide most of their own laws and regulations (the FedGov being limited to a narrowly interpreted set of enumerated powers as the Constitution requires) and you can sense the dormant power that we still hold via our State governments.

Because states, not counties, already have many historical and legal manifestations of sovereignty, they are the appropriate political subdivision for our efforts to be focused on.

Richard P. writes:

I think Richard W. is right to point to the nascent Tenth Amendment movements. As Federal intrusiveness expands we are likely to see that movement grow, and maybe even have teeth. I would also suggest one other proposal that could empower states and undo a great deal of the damage liberalism has caused. We should also pass a constitutional amendment that clearly and specifically defines what is and isn’t “interstate commerce.” For instance, it could specify that any commercial activity between and individual and businesses/individuals within the same state cannot be considered interstate commerce. Further, any activity that does not involve a commercial exchange is not interstate commerce.

Such an amendment would empower state governments while removing authority for much of what the federal government does now. A centuries worth of bad court precedent would be instantly rolled back. It would be as if Wickard vs. Filburn and its many progeny never happened. No longer could courts and the Congress use creative interpretations of the interstate commerce clause to grant themselves new powers, because the Constitution itself would have a clear and limited definition of interstate commerce.

Jonathan W. writes:

To answer Ron L.’s question, I think the only way to reconcile that problem is to realize that the conservative rural areas control the essential means for human survival. The liberal city areas may control finance, education, and politics, but the rural areas provide all of the necessities, like agriculture and energy generation. If middle America could muster the moral courage, it could choke off the urban areas, leaving them lying in their own garbage without electricity, clean water or food.

Gintas writes:

Jeffersonian’s plan ends with:

As we do this, we will discover how to proceed next, and leaders will emerge.

This is the MAR dream all over again. I’ve attached a classic S. Harris cartoon that addresses this.


Mel R. writes:

Thanks for the post regarding a proposal to divide the former United States. I say former with all due respect as I no longer view us as a “united” country. How does one with views like yourself feel anyway united with a person that could vote for Obama. The gulf between yourself and an Obama supporter is akin to the Grand Canyon, you can not possibly shake hands with a person on the other side of that divide.

My only hope for my children’s future is we Conservatives be allowed to go our own way. Unfortunately, several of you have made good points that the Liberals need us on numerous levels. 1) White liberals need us to protect them physically from the NAMs. 2) White liberals need us for their religion, we are like their animal sacrifices. 3) All Liberals need us to provide for them the basic necessities of life. The “Elites” Jeffersonian listed in the plus column for the Blues are all parasites, no matter what their IQs, Lawyers, Goldman Sachs bankers, college professors in Ethnic Studies, journalists, government employees? You have to be kidding me that those people are a net positive to society. They are all leeches.

Conservatives do not need Liberals.

Therefore, the Liberals would never willingly let us go. But, he did bring up a good point—Liberals would not actually want to get their hands bloody, so unless they could get China, Mexican narcos, Muslims, etc. to do the bloody work for them we might have a chance to separate peacefully from them.

My prayer for the future is separation, I see no alternative, but I think it will have to get much worse before a significant number of white people wake up.

God Bless,

April 8

Rick Darby writes:

Good suggestions from Richards W. and P. Selective state “nullification” and a sane, official definition of interstate commerce are promising strategies. But a parallel drive for a constitutional amendment to allow individual state secession under prescribed rules would keep the heat on Washington and encourage the states’ own efforts.

I hope Jonathan W. is not serious. Starving urban dwellers and leaving them “lying in their own garbage” is an act of war, the thing we want to avoid while effecting the desired changes. We shouldn’t antagonize every city resident; some are or could be allies.

Mark Jaws writes:

I am glad to see even our esteemed host and moderator, Mr. Lawrence Auster, entertain the Mark Jaws Idea of an amicable divorce between two hopelessly irreconcilable factions.

I think it is worthwhile to cite a few examples of how far apart we have drifted in the past 50 years. Blue America has no problem with 50 million human beings massacred in the womb, but goes meshugah when we pour water on a wash cloth covering the face of a terrorist mass murderer. Blue America conjures up images of racism in a movement (the TEA Party) where there isn’t any, but sees no problem with their Obamessiah’s having spent most of his adult life in a church which bestowed a lifetime achievement award on Louis Farakkhan. Blue America sees nothing wrong in having students in public schools don Islamic garb and cite verses from the Koran, but break out into hives when the word Christmas is mentioned.

I agree with those who maintain that Blue America is not likely to let us go without a struggle, but given the disposition and demographics of Blue America, I don’t think they can put up much of a fight. Most of the manly military mass lies in Red State America, and there will likely be no Blue State Grants, Sheridans or Shermans to march through our territory, but rather Attorneys General Dershowitzes and Admiral Snoop Doggie Dogs. Furthermore, the mere concentration of Blue State voters in cities in which the infrastructure is already at breaking point, makes Blue America vulnerable to a variety of peaceful—but delightfully mischievious—ways to endlessly aggravate the urban white liberal. Red State folks, on the other hand, are more dispersed and more self-reliant. We already have the social network of churches, fraternities, soccer leagues, swim teams, and shared military experience to bind us more readily into a common cause, as compared to isolated white liberals living in urban enclaves surrounded by—and alienated from—their black and Hispanic “allies” in name only.

Now is the time to push this agenda. It is our only hope of keeping Western Civilization alive.

Paul K. writes:

It seems unlikely that we’ll see secession in the Civil War sense, with official declarations, cannon fire on federal bases, and troops mustering to fight.

However, what seems distinctly possible is that we will see a sort of dissolution as people in some states become more fed-up with the high-handedness of the federal government. Right now, we have states saying that they won’t enforce certain aspects of federal gun control laws, and other states initiating lawsuits against Obamacare. Perhaps certain states will simply stop enforcing the most onerous federal laws and see what the federal government can do about it. After all, there is precedent: we have “sanctuary” cities all over the country that choose not to enforce immigration laws, and that’s apparently fine with the feds, so why not states that stop enforcing other federal laws?

So far, the federal government has kept the states in line by threatening to withhold funding. However, the government’s fiscal irresponsibility may make this threat increasingly weak. For one thing, the tax revenues come from the states in the first place, and if the states just collected and spent the income within its borders, the feds would be cut out. Furthermore, the federal government is depending on a fiat currency whose credibility is increasingly strained. Why could not states establish a parallel currency?

Right now there are several states that are effectively bankrupt. What if they appeal to the Treasury for emergency bailouts? Isn’t California too big to fail? And if the government starts shoveling funds to the most irresponsible states, how will the states that have kept their affairs in order react? This could be an issue that makes some states want to disentangle themselves from the mess.

People with whom I’ve discussed this scenario suggest that the military could quickly quell such a passive secession, but I question that. I’m not sure the federal government could do much without the cooperation of authorities at the state level. Could the federal government even enforce tax laws without local law enforcement?

Things could get interesting.

Steve R. writes:

Tim sees the big problem with the plan but here’s a scenario that gives it a half chance:

It’s January 21 of 2013 and Ryan, Palin or any hated conservative begins the inaugural address praising God for the repeal of Obamacare the year earlier and then firmly commits to leave the U.N., send another conservative to the Supreme Court, repeal the income tax, reaffirm America to be a society founded on Christian principles, and any every other idea designed to make the left absolutely sick with fear. Finally, the new President says: “Since half of us find this agenda intolerable and because I believe in ‘live and let live’ (words that liberals find hard to disagree with), I hereby propose a national referendum on state rights (or the proposal of Jeffersonian)”.

The hope, of course, is that the left would be shocked and reluctantly accept the proposal that would in short order spell its doom.

LA replies:

I don’t get your scenario. If conservatives had already won control of the government, why would they want to secede?

Steve R. replies:

I’m sure you don’t believe that Palin or Ryan as president would portend the overturning of the Wickard decision or any of the other policies I listed. Obviously the the 47-49 percent who still approve of Obama would make those sorts of changes practically impossible to achieve.

The best we can hope for is to win the presidency and split on Congress and the opportunity to elect an actual conservative as opposed to a RINO, given the way demographics are headed, may never occur again.

But even with a win in 2012 do you imagine that it would constitute sufficient control of the government to allow anything as meaningful as the overturning of the Wickard decision or anything else conservatives really want? Based on the example of the Reagan presidency and what has been discussed at VFR many times, a conservative as president would only slow the train down a bit. That’s why there is a desperate need to take advantage of the Obama catastrophe and once and for all effect the type of meaningful change that the Jeffersonian proposal is trying to achieve.

BTW, I try this scenario out with liberals regularly. Unfortunately, in the end their decision mostly depends on whether or not they believe the conservative president could make good on his threats. They are seldom sympathetic to allowing me to get to live my life as a conservative. In other words live and let live be damned if its not living the way that they do.

Vivek G. writes from India:

I may appear to be playing the devil’s advocate, but the reds have to be clear on a few things.

For those who may not be aware of the partition of British colonial India into India and Pakistan, let me give a brief summary.

1. It was realized that Hindus and Muslims were two nations and could not stay together. This was the so-called two-nation theory.

2. So a peaceful partition was proposed as the solution.

One must note that a genuine peace exists only when one respects the freedoms and beliefs/opinions of another.

3. But of course Islam does not respect non-Islam and hence non-Muslims.

4. The result: Bloody partition, perpetual war of attrition using means flouting all norms (Jihad = terror) waged against India.

The rest is history and well-known.

Now, why I am writing this? Jeffersonian assumes that the blues are fair people and respect the opinions and beliefs of the reds. In my opinion, this is a flawed assumption. If they, the blues, indeed respected the rights of the other, the reds, most of the things that are indicative of the irreconcilable differences would not have happened (including the passage of the health-care bill despite significant public opposition).

Muslims believe that Islam is the best religion, rather the only true religion, and all must be brought into its fold, so that all will eventually go to Jannat (the Heaven).

The blues believe that liberalism is the best ideology, rather the only true ideology, and the whole world must be brought within its gamut, so that all will eventually live in an ideal multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-multi- … society.

Now, a simple extrapolation will tell us what the result of partition will be.

I may have oversimplified the situation, but I believe that it is not far from the fact of the matter. Geert Wilders has made a pertinent comment: “I believe we have been too tolerant of the intolerant. We should learn to become intolerant of the intolerant.” I am tempted to ask an analogous question: Have we been too fair towards the unfair. Should we be obliged to be fair to the unfair?

There may be a peaceful solution to the Reds vs. the Blues problem, like Separationism is for U.S. vs. Islam. But I feel partition of the U.S. will not be one. It will neither be a solution, nor will it be peaceful.

Stephen T. writes:

In a red-blue divorce, who gets the illegal aliens? Surprisingly, my guess is: the reds. When I imagine what ilk will rise to the top of red state policy-making, I think of people like fundamentalist Christian Mike Huckabee—still a very popular figure mid-country. As governor of Arkansas, he instituted a state office which interfaced with the Mexican gov’t to connect U.S. employers with Mexican nationals entering the country illegally, directly taking jobs away from tens of thousands of Americans and depressing wages. He said it was part of his religious faith. Many red state business owners in the middle of the country with little American flags in their lapels hold the Bush-Rovian “jobs Americans won’t do” concept as gospel. Once liberated from constraints of any federal immigration enforcement or border control, a continual influx of Mexican immigrants would be a high priority. Also, I’ve found that the romanticizing of Mexicans in particular—over and above other immigrant nationalities—is more entrenched in the red state mentality than elsewhere: “family values don’t stop at the border” “their children are cuter than ours” etc. I really don’t hear many Anglos saying things like that in Southern California, but it is common in Kansas, Nebraska, etc. among those who’ve never actually lived among mestizo Mexicans. Of the two, I think the red states will be the more preferred destination for illegal immigrants.

Carl Simpson writes:

Interesting and insightful comments from everyone. One idea I’ve seen that has not been mentioned is similar to Rick Darby’s idea of a constitutional amendment. What would happen if a number of the red states’ legislatures were to de-ratify the 16th amendment (the one which established the income tax and the IRS)? Nullification of the 16th amendment would effectively de-fund the monster which is being used by our treasonous and genocidal ruling elite as a Death-Star type of weapon to destroy us.

As others have pointed out, there are already substantial 10th amendment movements in several states. As you mentioned above, the left is basically a parasite—both the white liberal elites who are presently enriched by rigged markets / bailouts and their clients, the multiculti recipients of racial preferences and much else. Shutting off the spigot of endless jizya to leviathan would be a way to allow states whose majorities presently serve as tax-serfs to take control of their own revenue.

April 9

Ferg writes:

Mel R. writes:

the Liberals need us on numerous levels.


Conservatives do not need Liberals.

While Jonathan W. writes:

realize that the conservative rural areas control the essential means for human survival. The liberal city areas may control finance, education, and politics, but the rural areas provide all of the necessities, like agriculture and energy generation. If middle America could muster the moral courage, it could choke off the urban areas, leaving them lying in their own garbage without electricity, clean water or food.

I do not find this scenario so horrifying, it is simple truth. It reminds me of during the great (phony) energy crises of the 1970s /early ’80s. I was flying for a mid size corporation that had plants and customers all over North America. We were en route from Winnipeg Manitoba, to Edmonton Alberta. As we flew west I became aware of why the landscape below was unchanging. We were flying over one vast, nearly endless area of grain production. From left to right across the entire horizon for hours, from twenty thousand feet, all we saw was food. My thoughts were that we had nothing to fear from OPEC. We could burn our grain if we had to, but they could not eat their oil. He who controls the food, ultimately controls all life. This may seem harsh, but it is simple truth. And if push comes to shove, I want to be on the side of the food. Fight to protect it? Sure, people have since the beginning of time, and always will. The mere threat of cutting off the bacon is probably all that is necessary. No one will risk that. Can they come and take the food? Probably, on a pilferage level, but impossible for them to come and harvest it. Not only must you have the equipment and know what you are doing, but you must be free from attack as you try to conduct the harvest. Red wins, blue loses. Blue comes to terms with red. Kind of like Reagan and communism.

Paul Nachman writes

This is pertinent to your ongoing entry about deconstructing the U.S.. While I find the idea attractive, at least in principle, I think the participants in the conversation are assuming that the blue states are parasites on the red states.. However, here is evidence that this isn’t true.

I went looking for something like that because I recall a local Republican officeholder here in Montana saying that a substantial chunk of the state’s budget comes from the federal government. Now I don’t think that’s identical with what’s in the document I linked, but the point and the document’s contents go together. The document says, for example, that the federal government spends $1.43 in Montana for every $1.00 in federal taxes remitted from the state.

And the returns are greater than 1 for most of the “rural” states, as you can see, whereas the states with the big urban centers are predominantly net contributors to the federal treasury.

The states that make out the best are New Mexico and Mississippi. Mississippi is news to me, but I’ve known for a long time that’s the case for New Mexico. Why? here’s the list:

1. Los Alamos National Laboratory 2. Sandia National Laboratory 3. White Sands Missile Range 4. Kirtland Air Force Base 5. Holleman Air Force Base

Now I presume that federal tax flows aren’t the whole story. It’s certainly true that New Yorkers can’t all survive on the food grown in New York, and the same statement is probably true about the blue states in aggregate.

But I don’t know that “starving ‘em out” would be a workable policy, morality aside. For example, the oft-bruited idea of “a barrel of oil for a bushel of wheat” when dealing with OPEC probably wouldn’t hold up economically—there would be so much cheating that it would be uncontrollable, given that current market prices are about $80 and $5, respectively. Similarly, it might not work out for the red states to use denial of food as leverage on the blue states.

David B. writes:

I have been following the thread about dividing the United States into two countries. Some years ago, Samuel Francis alluded to this in one of his essays, which I don’t have in front of me, but remember. Francis wrote that the ruling class would do everything in its power to prevent it from happening.

Francis never did advocate secession. He opposed the League of The South members (including many of his colleagues at Chronicles) who were calling for it around a dozen years ago. The divisions are not always strictly regional.

LA replies:

I have often referred to the fascinating debate in American Renaissance in the mid 1990s between Rabbi Mayer Schiller, who advocated the break-up of the U.S., and Sam Francis, who advocated the “reconquest of America,” and I’ve always agreed with Sam’s position, e.g., here (where I see the late Undercover Black Man was commenting) and here. Now for the first time things have reached such a point that in my view we have no choice but to think about secession. However, the Francis-Schiller debate concerned race. The immediate impetus for the present discussion is not race, but tyrannical government.

Van Wijk writes:

Fascinating comments. I do think that Jeffersonian is more than a little naive in thinking that the two “divorced” states will be civil and cooperate with each other. I think the federal apparatus will at the very least make a ham-fisted attempt at preserving the country through mass arrests, coercion, and possibly lethal force when it feels itself losing control. (Think of the actions of the National Guard and paramilitary police forces in New Orleans after Katrina.) I don’t think a totally bloodless revolution is possible.

I see liberty-minded individuals gravitating toward the heartland, to those states which are already talking about secession. Liberals living in those areas will soon see the writing on the wall and make no mistake as to the political nature of the new country; at that point they can either emigrate back to the Blue lands or stay put and accept living as a permanent minority with civil liberties intact but no political power. Naturally, the first order of business for the new country would be to write up a constitution that would render leftist and liberal forces powerless through restriction of the franchise, or else the whole nightmare begins anew.

Rick Darby wrote: “Starving urban dwellers and leaving them “lying in their own garbage” is an act of war, the thing we want to avoid while effecting the desired changes.”

Depending on the Fed’s course of action, we may find ourselves at war through no aggression of our own. Big cities cut off from their food supply might quickly find their positions untenable and become very willing to cooperate. A Blue country cut off from the heartland’s farms will have to import it at astronomical cost and with a large part of its tax-base gone.

Stephen T. wrote: “In a red-blue divorce, who gets the illegal aliens? Surprisingly, my guess is: the reds. When I imagine what ilk will rise to the top of red state policy-making, I think of people like fundamentalist Christian Mike Huckabee—still a very popular figure mid-country.”

But in the Red state, there will be no hard-liberal candidate to contrast Huckabee with; they’ll have been (hopefully) left behind in the Blue state. Huckabee and his ilk will be the new Democrats, the most liberal candidates in a country founded upon freedom from liberalism.

Gintas writes:

David B. says,

I have been following the thread about dividing the United States into two countries. Some years ago, Samuel Francis alluded to this in one of his essays, which I don’t have in front of me, but remember. Francis wrote that the ruling class would do everything in its power to prevent it from happening.

Francis never did advocate secession. He opposed the League of The South members (including many of his colleagues at Chronicles) who were calling for it around a dozen years ago. The divisions are not always strictly regional.

One essay Francis wrote about secessionism is “An Infantile Disorder.”

I was going to send it to you, but it’s too heavy on Southern secessionism for it to make my point, even though it makes good points. Here is the section discussing the ruling elite:

To find out how practical secessionism is in the South today, visit any large Southern city—Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Richmond, Dallas, Fort Worth, let alone New Orleans and Miami—and ask yourself if the residents (even those who are still recognizably American) are ready for another Pickett’s Charge. It’s all conservative Southerners can do to keep the Battle Flag flying and Confederate monuments from being obliterated, and the most vociferous enemies of the flag and the monuments are not the “Yankees” of yore or even the federal government but Southerners themselves, either the manipulated blacks of the NAACP or white Southerners of Confederate antecedents like South Carolina’s Republican Governor David Beasley. The South today and the Southerners who inhabit it are simply too well connected to Washington and the rest of the nation to contemplate any serious movement for the national independence of their region.

Some state-level government ruling elites today seem willing to start distancing themselves from Leviathan, D.C., and it’s interesting to ponder how many might be “flippable” in a crisis. Texas certainly has been making loud noises (granted, that could just be Texas being Texas, God bless ‘em). The question is how all the other elites would line up. I can’t imagine the SPLC in Montgomery, AL, or any of the media and academic lapdogs signing on to an Alabama secession, though I sure would!

Paul M. writes:

I’ve been reading the discussion about Jeffersonian’s proposal to divide the US into two countries.

Unfortunately, I must agree with Tim W. that the world would not allow a “Red US” to exist. Just as South Africa and Rhodesia were not allowed to exist. A Red US would be ostracized politically and discriminated against economically.

I must also agree with Vivek G. that Jeffersonian’s idea of intermixed Red & Blue territories goes against human nature. Even before reading Vivek’s comments, I was already thinking of the humanitarian disaster that was the partition of India. For a more modern analogy, think of the breakup of Yugoslavia.

My belief is that if you want an historical model for what could happen to the US, look at the 5 years leading up to the Spanish Civil War.

In my scenario, Obamacare and overall liberal arrogance & oppression unites and inspires a conservative backlash. This translates into election victories in 2010 and a true conservative president and Congress in 2012.

So, in January of 2013, the Left sees everything it has worked for these past 50 years about to be overturned. So it is the Left—especially the urban poor—who resort to violence. Not the Right. Think of the 1960’s riots, but with orders of magnitude more firepower and ruthlessness. The US military (which is rapidly evolving from a public institution to a hereditary social caste) can be expected as a whole to defend the new, duly-elected, conservative government. But there will be many defections.

So, as in the Spanish Civil War, I expect the Right to win, but the struggle will be chaotic and brutal. Hopefully, America’s Franco will be as intelligent and wise as the original.

Jonathan W. writes:

Paul Nachman cites data often cited by liberals in order to demonstrate how red states are being subsidized by the blue. This doesn’t tell the whole picture, however. First, Social Security and Medicare are considered federal spending as to recipients, and federal taxes as to working people. But often people move from blue states to red states in large part for a lower cost of living often found in red states. So if someone retires from California to Arizona, the money he paid in while working counts as California taxes while the money he collects counts as Arizona spending. Second, Defense is a large percentage of the federal budget. Since the bases are more likely to be in more rural, conservative areas, that spending will necessarily be there. I don’t think it’s fair though to count Fort Benning’s expenses “against” Georgia. Third, much of the federal spending, like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, is mandated by liberal policies. It’s unfair for liberals to force nanny state expenses on to the red states and then complain that they’re subsidizing them. In the scenario being discussed here, the red areas would not have these expenses at all, or if they did, they would exist in a much more limited form. Lastly, the fact that money is spent on red states doesn’t mean that they can’t live without it. The huge federal monster coupled with smaller states’ power in the Senate leads to more pork spending per capita on the red states. Without the federal government collecting so much money, this wouldn’t be an issue.

Gintas writes:
Subject: Republic of Cascadia

I’m ready. Raise the Sasquatch Militia!

Now is the time for the citizens of Cascadia to demand their freedom from the oppressive governments of Canada and the United States. For too long have our people put up with indifference and condescendence from distant seats of power. We have been subject to francophonic imperialism and wasteful spending of our tax money. Our entrepreneurs have been attacked by the so-called justice system for merely doing their jobs and growing our economy. When will we say enough is enough?

The former American states of Oregon and Washington and the former Canadian province of British Columbia must join together as a sovereign nation. Only then can we have self-determination and take our rightful place in the Global Community.

But to be serious, this would be a liberal state. The trick in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia is to draw a line down them that follows the Cascade Mountains. Everything between the mountains and the sea is The People’s Republic of Liberalism, these are the heavy urban areas that dominate the landscape: Vancouver, Seattle, Portland. Everything to the right is rural and agricultural and very conservative, and they’re tired of being dominated by the dense packs of urban liberals.

Joseph C. writes:

Paul Nachman’s point about the rural states being net recipients of federal largesse is interesting but incomplete. Voters do not choose their representatives based on how their state makes out; they choose their representatives based on how they make out.

True, rural states are net takers and urban areas net givers, but the benefit in the rural areas is shared equally, where much of the state benefits from research centers, infrastructure, etc. Conversely, the burden in the urban areas falls disproportionately on the few, since many residents of urban areas pay little (if any) taxes and many that do pay taxes work for the government and are thus net tax takers. If Mr. Nachman’s analysis were accurate, cities would be the most anti-government areas in America since “they” pay more in taxes than they get in benefits.

This is all the more reason for a division. Let the rural areas go it alone and tell the federal government to buzz off. I am interested to see how the urban liberals feel about paying crippling local taxes to support the local underclass. How many of them would choose to keep that arrangement, with nothing more than the knowledge that they are not net payors to the feds?

By the way, if the Reds get the illegals, what makes Stephen T. think they will keep them? I would think that given the likely political attitudes in the Red areas mass deportation would be enthusiastically welcomed.

Mark Jaws writes:

I agree with Van Wijk—there will be no room in Red America for any illegal alien. There is no point in sacrificing so much (e.g., loss of federal pensions, turmoil in being uprooted, family arguments, etc) just to repeat the same mistake with respect to diversity again. We have seen the Leftist playbook. It is based on the following equation, DEBT + DIVERSITY + DEPENDENCY = DICTATORSHIP. And that means no welfare, particularly for immigrants. In fact, I would not expect many immigrants at all, except the indigenous Europeans fleeing Islamic dispossession.

Dave P. writes:

As many have noted, it is not in the interest of the Blues to leave the Reds alone. The Blues need the Reds not just for economic reasons, but also for intellectual and spiritual satisfaction.

This is akin to Muslim need for some non-Muslims to be present in the world, or their superiority over the Infidel would not be apparent.

Let us consider an apparent separation of the Blues and Reds. As there is to be no compulsion, the Reds, uncomfortable with living in a Blue atmosphere, will soon migrate to a Red area. The same does not hold for Blues. They are far more comfortable in a Red state, where things work. They also have the opportunity to exercise their missionary zeal.

The upshot is that Blue states are predominantly Blue, while the Red states are Red and Blue, with all that entails for the further partition along Red/Blue lines.

Vivek G. gives a near perfect illustration of what happened in India. The Hindus just wanted to be left alone, while the Muslims, need Hindus to satisfy their missionary zeal. The result: after partition, the Hindu population in East and West Pakistan shrank to virtually nothing, while the Muslim population in India has gone up by leaps and bounds.

The same will happen in America. The Red state may have a majority at inception, but the Blues will have a higher birth rate, and will soon force the Reds to opt for another partition. Back to square one. The whole Red idea of a secession, is defeatist from the very start, as they require to be “left alone”—it’s given the “enemy” the initiative.

No. I’m afraid you have to tale the war to the “enemy,” rather then try and isolate yourself in your own state. It may work if there was compulsion, but not otherwise, and even then for a little while only

A similar conclusion for separation from Islam/Muslims, though the separation is much easier to handle with this demographic. It will be long term, unless a future political elite decided yet again, what fun it would be to have a significant Muslim demographic in the West.

LA writes:

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Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 07, 2010 12:55 PM | Send

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