I notice numerous individual voices on the Internet saying we need to divide the country, and not a lot is happening with any of them. The voices wax and wane, depending on who reigns in the White House and the Congress. When Republicans reign, the Democrats' voicing a division plan becomes louder. When a Democrat reigns, the Republicans raise their voices. You never hear their voices at the same time.
What do we need? The answer is a gatherer of energies. We need someone to gather the voices that are alone in the wilderness, so that the whole nation can hear them at one time. In cinematic terms, the gatherer of energies directs the movie. His direction results in a cinematic statement that gives the voices a flowing thematic current. That's what we need, now.
Rich Lowry, the editor of the conservative magazine National Review, opposes dividing the United States for, what I think, are sensible reasons: "Divorce is never a good idea." He says that "National Divorce would prescribe a strong dose of arsenic as a cure." It would "burn down America to save America." But Lowry expresses an ideological viewpoint, not the viewpoint of a pavement-level eyewitness. He must live in an ivory-tower, no children to connect him to America's pavement-level life, no hostages to fortune to motivate him to think harder.
Unfortunately Lowry does not say anything about the risk of staying together—the threat of violent disunity, the impairment of administrative functions, and the zigzagging chaos of policy initiatives. It adds up to a significant risk, especially if America's empowered and ambitious enemies sense a weakness of character or a lack of a national will.
Americans need relief from the disunity, anyway, for their own sake. We cannot let disunity define the national flow-chart. For America's spiritual health, as well as for its security and functionality, we need the surge of synergy—millions of people pulling together—to realize the utility of a unified people.
To make this happen, feuding Americans—especially Republicans—need a laundry list that states their positions and differentiates them from the other side. They need the naked truth, that their stance allows almost no agreement with the other side. Faced with prospect of subjugation to the other side, many Republicans want the warm fog of lofty rhetoric to obfuscate the issues, in order to avoid doing anything pro-active. So take a moment to blow away the fog. Deal with just the facts.
So what do we put on the Republican laundry list, that gives us a phlisophical template to undergird hands-on policy-making? What can we offer to lure the refugees of the divided nation, that the Democrats can't or won't offer? Let us take a page from the Left-wing radicals of the '60s and offer them as "non-negotiable demands":
-1. Republicans like secure borders and safe streets. With secure borders and safe streets, we don't need to cringe with terror and intimidation, worrying that an undocumented alien will murder our loved ones, bring in dangerous drugs, or commit a terrorist act. We and our neighbors can live without paranoia; and most important, we have no reason to consort with extremist politicians to give us protection. We include the protections unequivocally in the ethos of the nation and its legal culture.
Republicans like empowered law enforcement to safeguard our streets and neighborhoods. We don't like the Democrat ambivalence toward law enforcement. They say they don't like trigger-happy police; we don't like the trigger-happy stance of the Left-wing legal culture going after law enforcement every time a police officer uses deadly force.
For the same reason, Republicans like a strong military that will safeguard our interests, as well as the interests of important allies, that will deter piracy on the open ocean, and protect us from enemies, organized and unorganized. The feeling of security will lead us away from extremist solutions and from the politicians who offer them.
-2. Republicans like private wealth. We like a business culture and a legal system to support it, that provides start-up capital to individuals with promising commercial ideas. We recognize that private capital provides feed for the entrepreneurial workhorse. The fruits of the entrepreneurism, allowing the employment of skilled laborers, provides fiscal energy for a stable government that finances an up-to-date infrastructure.
-3. Republicans like private institutions. A few individuals create each one from a personal template and endow them with personality, variety, personally-engaged leaders, and a hatchery of new ideas and foci. Competition with other institutions makes them better. The centrality and uniformity of government institutions does not function as well—whether schools or colleges, private recreational clubs, dining clubs, or boating clubs. The members of private clubs relish their exclusivity and autonomous functioning, and the knowledge that they control whatever goes on in it.
-4. Republicans don't like socialism. Like the laundry-list itself, socialism needs defining. No one in his right mind wants to be known as a socialist, even though most people have only a vague notion of what "socialism" means. They just know intuitively that socialism is a bad deal for all. The New Columbia Encyclopedia describes socialism as the "general term for the political and economic theory that advocates a system of collective or government ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods."
I will add my own definition. Socialism means that all functions of a society are controlled by the voters. It is the fullest realization of democracy. The voters design the functions of the society and on the policies that define it. Another term for socialism is "people's democracy;" but not even socialists want the stigma of a "people's democracy." History links both with state-sponsored confiscations and atrocities. They behave anti-socially, you could say.
Effectively, socialism leads to control, management and administration from a central control-panel. When the Nazis (also known as National Socialists) controlled the German government, they named their program "Gleichschaltung." "Gleich" means "the same," and "Schaltbrett" means "control panel." The Nazi stigma aside, most Democrats do not distance themselves enough from socialism to suit Republicans.
Republicans don't like the centrality of socialism—letting all that power rest in the hands of a few hundred lawmakers. Republicans prefer a body of laws that remain immutable, that frames the bulk of governing, that will keep the politicians—and granted, the voters who elect them—from having too much power to wield against anyone who disagrees with them.
-5. Republicans don't like the left-wing version of tolerance and diversity. They feel uncomfortable with anything that smacks of an "anything goes" kind of self-absorption and the kind of solipsism that characterizes left-wing cultural norms. We believe that the efficacy of a policy should grow out of empirical evidence, expressed by numbers and quantities of results. We do not believe policies should grow out of resentment and envy, out of a moral imperative, or extortive intentions. We do not feel that the Left should dictate tolerance and diversity as the means to undermine our comfort zone, or force us to accept paranoia and browbeating as the normal state of things.
-6. Republicans love America. We are the party of patriotism and do not feel ashamed of this fact. We believe that America has been a positive force in the world, and also believe that the American colossus has grown out of a culture of personal initiative, hard work, and individual freedom. We believe that America's economic, diplomatic, and military power and influence are positive forces that safeguard our freedoms and maintain a balance of power in an unfriendly world. We reject the cynicism, negativism, and emasculation of the Left.
-7. Republicans like a stable, accepted self-definition. Most Republicans feel that the ethos of the nation has changed, and makes them the new Outsiders—outside the mainstream of the culture of the nation. The loss of an accepted self-definition affects mostly the young, who have to experience the stress of unacceptability and incompatibility within the prevailing culture in their schools. They hit an institutional brick wall trying to explain themselves.
Left-wing voters may complain about every point in this Republican laundry-list, but why should they care what the Republicans want? If Americans agree to divide the nation, they won't have to stick around to see what the Republicans do with the laundry-list.
Intelligent, well-informed people have recommended that the U.S. divide itself. No one wants to do it, so nothing gets done. But I am saying, we have to do it. Why wait until we have no choice, when we have to flee our enemies with the clothes on our backs, in hostile, chaotic circumstances. If we agree to do it now, we can plan the division to help manage the logistics and any dsiplacement that goes along with it. If we do it now, we can avoid the disorder of nations like India, Rwanda, and the Soviet Union, who created generations of refugees.