The following was originally posted to the United States Pirate Party website. Read that here.
The United States Pirate Party is a unique entity. Besides the obvious unique quality being our name, we also operate in a manner that is unique to other political parties operating within the United States: we are a party of state parties. We recognize the needs and causes of a Massachusetts Pirate will not be the same as a California Pirate. We recognize the uniqueness of the individual states within these United States and we try to grant autonomy to the operations of the states, so long as they are upholding Pirate Party ideals. We recognize work has to get done locally, and local narratives are more meaningful and resonate better. However, we recognize the benefits of working together as one.
Yesterday, via Twitter, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green called for a “national divorce”; i.e. a separation of red and blue states. Citing “woke culture issues” as the rationale, she is not the first in the US political scene to bring up the prospect in recent memory. The new-look Libertarian Party also has tweeted about a national divorce as almost a year. It has become a talking point to the far-right as the “America First” crowd seems to have become the “The United States shouldn’t exist anymore” crowd.
So let’s talk about it.
It should be said that we, the United States Pirate Party, support the right to free association and self-determination. Our platform plainly states “People living in a political entity should have the right to maintain, alter or conclude their relationship to larger entities, or join in union, if it is the will of the people.” However, it has to be made clear that right-wing calls for national divorce, much like their “anti-war” movement, has been perverted. This is not a case of Texans or Arkansans yearning for their freedom from an oppressive federal government. This is not Chicagoans going up in arms because Lake Michigan water is being taken and moved to Nevada. These are “America First” nationalists who have now deemed the current United States unsalvageable, and they should instead segregate themselves from “the wokes”.
It should be made perfectly clear that those advocating for a “national divorce” are not advocating for one on the basis of liberty, but of hate. Intolerance has been on the rise in recent years, with anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric enjoying mainstream attention. If a good faith conversation were to be had about the prospect of a “national divorce”, it shouldn’t be immediately rejected with statements of “Neo-Confederate” or “You’re trying to start a Civil War”. Unfortunately, the individuals pushing this narrative are instead emblematic of “neo-confederacy” ideals. While you might not hear “The South will rise again”, you will hear perversions of narratives that can be tainted by their messaging.
The United States is a massive country; in fact the continental United States is larger than continental Europe. It is a quicker drive to get from Lisbon, Portugal to Moscow, Russia than it is to get from Los Angeles, CA to Portland, ME. No one would ever suggest that Spain and Poland should be in one country, so why should Maine and California? On the surface, it doesn’t make a terrible amount of sense. Then you take into consideration the political divides of this country. I don’t think it’s outrageous to suggest a conservative and a progressive from New England will agree on what’s best for New England before a conservative from New England and a progressive from Cascadia can agree on what’s best for the United States.
The conversation of a “national divorce” is being framed in such a way that it is only guaranteed to lead to further problems and divisiveness. There’s no calls to follow the model of peaceful dissolution similar to the Soviet Union from 1989-1991 (and even then, that comparison cannot be mentioned without bringing up the face that life expectancy drop for all former Soviet residence by double digits). There is, in fact, a humanist conversation to be had in the name of peaceful dissolution, one that prevents a bloody conflict and human suffering. Instead, the rhetoric surrounding these calls for a “national divorce” will lead to an end more akin to Yugoslavia’s collapse or, God forbid, the warlord era of China. The narrative being spun of “a national divorce will prevent a civil war” is what is exactly bring us closer to it.
I simply ask everyone who might presently want a “national divorce”: what happens to the people with the 200 mile radius of East Palestine if we divorced? What happens to Texans if their power grid goes down again? What happens to black voters in the south who faced voter suppression with federal oversight, once they’re without it?
This conversation of a “national divorce” isn’t an inherently one with malintent. However, the current framed of this conversation can be disastrous for those presently living in the United States. It is okay, and even just, to critique the power and size of the federal government. It is okay to acknowledge that you, a southerner, don’t share a terrible lot in common with a New Englander, other than the fact that you vote for the same President every four years. The conversation can be had, and it can be had without the divisiveness currently attached to the topic, but it cannot be discussed the way it presently is.
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