“I actually think that we are trending toward secession. I know that there is a sizable and growing sentiment for people who believe that is where we’re headed whether we want to or not…I still haven’t given up the idea that we are the majority and that all we have to do is unite….”
Recently, Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio show host, told his audience that he’s witnessed numerous warning signs from around the U.S. regarding how and where we go from here. As he began to hear people’s thoughts regarding the aftermath of the Election, Limbaugh noticed a worrying trend of prominent voices giving up on the idea that has held the country together for so long: Unionism. At first glance, the idea of secession comes across as entirely unrealistic, but, if you think about it, many of the conditions present before the Civil War are taking shape in modern America. Although I am not advocating for secession in any way (the opposite, in fact), I believe some of these concerns are worth shining light on.
The build up to the Civil War can be characterized by several key events. Some were considered attempts to resolve the ever-growing divide in the U.S. but ended up being nothing more than band-aids that lost their adhesive as the ideological gashes grew wider throughout the nation. The Missouri Compromise attempted to set guidelines for how newly added states should be allocated into free and slave-owning states but only fueled the fire. Thirty years later, the Compromise of 1850 and Kansas-Nebraska Act led to “Bleeding Kansas,” as debate amongst residents about popular sovereignty and the Fugitive Slave Act escalated into anarchy. Eventually, the 1860 Election resulted in the final straw: the election of Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln’s support of the North combined with his party’s anti-slavery policies meant the southern states felt like they had no choice but to seceed from the United States. Only one month after the election, South Carolina seceded, quickly followed by six more states that eventually joined the Confederacy.
No matter what happens in the future, the chances of a domestic bloodbath ensuing are slim—to say the least. However, many of the events above were the result of a rapidly polarizing country, with citizens that had entirely opposing beliefs regarding what the U.S. stood for, what our Constitution entailed, and how we go about achieving a common vision. Despite our policy differences dating back to the Founding, Americans have always been able to hold many of these ideas as a commonality, rather than another avenue towards divisiveness. We are one nation that works together, despite our differences in policy and background, to achieve the same goals. We believe in a culture of rights kept in check by virtuous institutions, the notion of liberty granted to all, and a shared history that we strive to improve upon. We believe in principles like Free Speech and Freedom of Religion playing a key role in individuals partaking in rational decision-making.
But now, can we truly say we all share those commonalities?
This question predates 2020’s election season, as we’ve seen increasing levels of rapid polarization for at least fifteen years with no end in sight. Today’s America can be defined by a massive culture-gap between the political left and right. No longer do we live in the world where John. F Kennedy is making bipartisan statements that inspire a sense of patriotism. Instead, we see two completely opposite visions for America’s past, present, and future.
I would argue that the vision many members of the modern left have for the country is mutually exclusive to that of the traditional ideals the U.S. was founded on. We have varying definitions on the most fundamental of ideals, ideals related to justice, rights, the role and size of government, and morality. We witness the presence of cancel culture, radical institutions like high academia, and a one-sided, establishment media that claims to be unbiased constantly nagging at us to “find unity in a common philosophy.”
But to voice the quiet part out loud…Their version of unity is only available if you bend the knee to everything they say.
We cannot go on like this. We cannot find common ground when facts and Constitutional principles are cast aside in order for the government to fix all your problems via a top-down approach that ignores the fundamental rights of man. We cannot go on believing America was founded and still rooted in underlying rampant racism when it isn’t. These are two of many issues the nation is heavily divided on. If we continue to gloss over them and only call for unity when our side wins and “democracy prevails,” the country will continue to trend towards feelings of animosity and secession.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.