SHIELDS: A National Divorce Is in No One’s Interest Pt. I


Friday, November 19, 2021

For years, the chasm between liberals and conservatives has grown. With the pandemic making the split wider and more obvious, talks of a national divorce abound. Sarah Silverman suggested that perhaps America should break up while a recent Ben Shapiro podcast was titled “Is a New Civil War Coming?”

Separation is a legitimate proposal. When there was strife between Abraham and Lot’s herdsmen, separation eliminated the conflict. And had the Founders been blessed with a benevolent king, it still seems likely that as the colonies became more distant and alien to Britain, separation would have proved necessary. 

Nonetheless, a national divorce is in no one’s interest. There are numerous reasons for this, but the first reason worth focusing on is the error in the chief justification of separation: that we don’t like or agree with one another. 

These points are true, but they fail to justify the dissolution of the Union. I recently rewatched The Kingdom of Heaven, which proves this rather well. In the movie, there is a debate over Jerusalem going to war, during which, Jeremy Irons’s character asserted, “I would rather live with men than kill them.” That maxim defeats the argument for separation. 

One does not form a society with others because we always agree. Rather, we form societies because agreement is often scarce.

Strife is not born out of our union, it is born out of sin and present in every man. In the state of nature, strife was prominent, but there was no common arbitrator. The strong terrorized the weak, and the state of nature was a state of war. 

That’s why I want to live in a country with Democrats. Not because I agree with them, but because I disagree. Abortion is an abomination. Socialism is a murderous and lustful ideology. Our gun rights and religious freedom must be protected. Understanding we can’t spend money endlessly is important, as are countless other issues. I consider many of the Democrats’ policies immoral and un-American, but I’d rather solve disagreements through ballots and speeches than through battles and assassinations. 

Those are our only two options: persuasion or violence. The fact is separation will not end our disagreements. We are not in the same situation as those herdsmen thousands of years ago who could simply move away from one another. Dissolution of the Union will not break the familial, cultural, and economic ties between red and blue states. And as the two new countries are forced to deal with one another as two sovereign powers sharing borders, resources, allies, and enemies, the same conflicts we have now will continue. The difference will be that we won’t have a common arbitrator to whom we can appeal. 

Though the nations would protect society within their borders, the nations themselves remain in nature. The strong rule, and though we may hope they would be virtuous, historical evidence suggests otherwise. We shall find ourselves as Europe found itself before the peace our republic’s efforts gave them; constant strife with few common modes of persuasion available, leaving the world with violence. 

That we are to disagree with our neighbors is a certainty. Our Union provides us the means by which to disagree peacefully. Dissolution of such in the name of achieving personal and societal comfort will serve only to worsen both. It will compel us to kill men rather than live with them, and that is in no one’s interest. 

Jack Shields is a student at Texas A&M University. He is a history major and huge Dallas Cowboys fan, with interests in politics, religion, and philosophy.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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About Jack Shields

Jack Shields is a student at Texas A&M University. He is a history major and huge Dallas Cowboys fan, with interests in politics, religion, and philosophy.

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