Nate Jackson / February 28, 2023

How About National Marriage Counseling?

First up in that counseling should be lessons on living in harmony under federalism.

National unity isn’t exactly flourishing under this president. Or the last one. Or the one before that. “National divorce!” say some. Before we go down that awful road, the better course would be something akin to national marriage counseling.

Don’t get us wrong. There are things in our nation that are fundamentally broken. The Declaration of Independence, which was itself a “divorce” letter of sorts, lists many grievances that are happening all over again. The “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” are under direct and nearly constant assault.

As the Left has increasingly radicalized over the last 20 years or so, conservatives are having to fight new battles just to hold the line. Back in the ‘90s, who even thought there were more than two genders, much less silenced anyone who said there were two? Science has become a political bludgeon to whack anyone who doesn’t believe we ought to centrally plan the economy to reduce emissions or that we should mandate lockdowns, masks, and vaccines to fight the Wuhan flu.

We could go on, but the Overton window has changed dramatically.

Fortunately, our Constitution allows for a wide range of political views and practices. It’s called federalism, and it’s core to the very structure of our nation.

The main articles of the Constitution explain what the three branches of the federal government can and can’t do. Just to pick a couple of ideas off the top of our heads, the president can (and should) enforce border laws. He can’t and shouldn’t legislate to “forgive” student loans. Congress should take care to provide for the national defense. Nowhere is it given authority to take over your healthcare.

Then, the Tenth Amendment delegates power and authority not granted to the federal government “to the States respectively, or to the people.” That’s federalism.

California can tax and regulate its citizens into the ground and serve as a model of what not to do. Florida can do the opposite and become a destination for political refugees from other states. Each state from Massachusetts to Mississippi to Oregon and back to Wisconsin can tackle the issues of the day with solutions geared to its own population. If citizens don’t like it, they’re more free than ever to move about the country. Millions have done so, departing places like New York and Illinois for the greener pastures of Tennessee and Texas.

Speaking of Oregon, we wrote nearly two years ago about the effort of several counties to secede and join Idaho. As we noted then, the more conservative eastern portion of the state — 63% of the land but just 9% of the population — is clearly not being represented by the more populous, powerful, and very leftist western side.

The idea of secession seems to be gaining a little steam, too, cropping up in the news. There have been rumblings in California and Virginia about splitting or counties joining neighboring states.

The prospects of this really happening are slim, of course, but that’s also quite revealing. Unlike their actually liberal forebears, today’s leftists don’t actually believe that “coexist” nonsense. They crave power, plain and simple, and to let conservatives take their land to another state would diminish that power. Interestingly, the power brokers think differently than the run-of-the-mill Joe Biden supporter, 40% of whom thought in 2021 that national divorce would be best.

American urbanites with their culinary desires and electric cars couldn’t survive without the rural folks who provide those things for them. Yet leftist city dwellers — a.k.a. Biden voters — continually express contempt for the supposedly backwards bigots in flyover country.

It’s no wonder the call for divorce resonates with many on both sides. What hope is there for this marriage? We left things last week wondering what the solution could be.

To answer our own question, it’s federalism. We aren’t under any illusion that suddenly millions of Americans are going to learn civics and take such advice, but that doesn’t mean we’re wrong about the answer. It does mean we’re also right about “counseling.” We must educate more people, especially the young ones in indoctrination centers called public schools, about American government and federalism.

As political analyst David Harsanyi put it, “Federalism is not only a more desirable solution than breaking the country into two, but also far more feasible.”

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