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


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Though it has been established that disunion will not eliminate the strife between conservatives and liberals and that it is impossible to separate Red America and Blue America into two sovereign nations, some will justify divorce nonetheless. 

For example, when separation was discussed on Daily Wire Backstage, one justification given for separation was the millions of babies murdered by our permittance of abortion. I would concur that abortion is a violation of natural law severe enough to dissolve the Social Contract.

However, whether there is an offense that permits the dissolution of the Social Contract is but one part of the calculus for contemplating an act as extreme as a national divorce. Whether it be regarding slavery, abortion, or any other issue that justifies breaking the Social Contract, the costs of separation and the consequences that will follow may be so great as to nullify any justification and compel us to uphold it altogether. 

This is the circumstance we find ourselves in. The devastating consequences of a national divorce will be discussed later, but what first must be understood is the great price of separation. Separation will not be peaceful. Wish for it all you may, there is no such thing as an amicable divorce. 

Prudent as it could have been, the Framers neglected to install a mechanism by which to separate peacefully. The nature of a nation is one conceived out of a social contract formed amongst men. When there are no peaceful means to divide a nation, any ad hoc attempt to do so is a strike against the Social Contract. To strike at that contract is to endanger the very existence of the sovereign state. It is as natural for it to attack the threats to its existence as it is for men to defend themselves from threats against their own lives. 

When the Whiskey Rebellion threatened the sovereignty of our republic, President Washington himself led the troops to put it down. When South Carolina’s nullification crisis again endangered the Union’s sovereignty, President Jackson declared, “I will hang the first man of them I can get my hands on to the first tree I can find.” President Lincoln saved the Union through four years of brutal warfare. And if there should be another attempt at secession, that resolution will still be present amongst many Americans today. 

The price of separation must be paid in blood. Is that a price we are ready to pay? Are we prepared to fight our neighbor? To set fire to his house? To bomb his cities? To kill our countrymen by the millions?

It was General Sherman who said, “War is cruelty and you cannot refine it.” When our civil war comes to an end, regardless if a single Union or numerous nations emerge, we shall find ourselves surrounded by destruction. Entire states will be decimated; millions will be made refugees. The North and the South plunged humanity into a new era of warfare during the Civil War. There is no limit to the desolation we can unleash this time. 

The present calls for separation show the arrogance with which both sides view the risk of conflict. I have heard voices on the Right assert that Red America could defeat Blue America with ease, for our enemy would not even know how to use a gun. I have also heard voices on the Left mock conservatives for believing they stand a chance against the federal government’s tanks and nukes. Truly we are as foolish as those who picnicked at Bull Run to watch a battle that was sure to be easily won. 

Though war is terrible, those who yearn for National Divorce pine for the very spark to ignite it. If the day should come where duty to God, family, or the American Creed compels separation, we will do what we must. Until that day, we would be wise to heed the Psalmist’s warning that God scatters the peoples who delight in war.

Peace is not desirable because it is free of strife. Very often its preservation is the most difficult duty of them all. Its desirability comes in large part from its alternative. There is no conflict that alternative cannot solve, but most often the price is too much to bear. It is a price we ought not pay at present. Our interest remains still in the preservation of our Union. 

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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