By Thomas Woods
Shortly after Donald Trump was elected a year ago, I sent out an email to the effect that American society was coming apart.
And it's only gotten worse.
Ideological and cultural differences have reached a point at which huge
pluralities simply loathe each other. What one group considers holy and
praiseworthy the other considers abominable and deplorable.
When people of a particular political persuasion are the victims of
violent assault, the media downplays it and half of social media
suggests they had it coming. Meanwhile, when someone slightly
right-of-center wonders if six-year-olds should really be encouraged to
transition to another gender, the knives come out.
This was not always the case. Check out an episode of the old show
What's My Line? on YouTube. Panelist Bennett Cerf was one of the
founders of Random House publishing. He was a left-liberal by the
standards of his day. But he was gentlemanly, well dressed, charming,
affable, courteous, well mannered -- the very opposite of his
And he still believed in that now discarded idea: the honorable
disagreement. He could call Ayn Rand a "brilliant woman" while still
disagreeing with her "cockamamie philosophy."
Whatever political disagreements there were, Americans shared quite a
bit in common culturally, morally, and in the most basic standards of
That's all gone now.
And the double standards are ridiculous. Left-liberals who had precisely
zero to say about Barack Obama's connivance at the starvation of an
entire country -- Yemen -- become hysterical about immigration
restrictions that are extremely mild by historical and global
standards. I don't know precisely where on the scale of state enormities
those rank, but I'm fairly certain it's somewhere below starvation.
I have to admit: even though I knew the status quo -- the low-intensity
civil war brewing beneath the surface in America -- could not go on
forever, I am surprised at how quickly things are changing.
I see two groups: one, full of ideological imperialists, wants to impose
its vision of the world on everyone, destroying the careers and
reputations of anyone who resists.
The other group, which is plenty divided, prefers not to be lectured to, demonized, or ruined.
Everyone once took for granted that the goal was to seize the federal apparatus and impose their vision on the country.
How about just abandoning this crazy, inhumane task?
Why not admit the differences are irreconcilable, and simply go our separate ways?
Is this not obviously the most humane solution?
Or is there some expectation that somehow, down the road, we'll all be reconciled?
To the contrary, it's only going to get worse.
Forcing these irreconcilable parties to continue along in this way is what normal people would call "extremist."
Radical decentralization and secession, on the other hand, are the obvious and necessary solution.
And you know it's the sensible solution, because no one is allowed to discuss it.
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