Recently there has been an uptick in discussions of secession. Last week on his #1 radio show, Rush Limbaugh pondered what secession would look like, with California and New York (and some satellite states) leaving the Union. His reasoning was that the liberal states and the so-called “red” states are so drastically at odds with each other that before long they will have to divide. Francis Buckley made this very point earlier this year in his book American Secession.
My first reaction to Buckley’s book was to reject the premise. After all, no matter how crazy California is, there are still five million registered Republicans there compared to eight million Democrats. It’s a tall order to flip one and a half million people, but given Governor Gavin Newsome’s lunatic policies, it might be easier than I think. Likewise, most of New York state, outside of the Soviet Socialist Republic of New York City, is conservative-leaning. In fact, New York (unlike many “red” states) has an actual Conservative Party as well as a Republican Party.
However, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (affectionately known here as Beetle juice) has blamed the state of Indiana for all the murders in Chicago. That’s right, Chicagoan’s are killing each other because of truckloads of guns brought in by Hoosiers. Previously, she said, “we had a law enforcement first [policy] and it wasn’t working.” Dubious, either that that was her policy, or that it wasn’t working—because it wasn’t being allowed to work. But now? “The fact that you can cross the border,” she said, “go into Indiana and purchase military-grade weapons at any number with no background check is a terrible thing, not only for a city but look at the devastation that gun violence is wreaking every single day in our community.”
She’s not alone in blaming outsiders for her own city’s problems. New York state, for example, using the China Virus as an excuse, has a list of “restricted” states based on positive Coronavirus tests exceeding 10 per 100,000 residents.
Except for California and Minnesota, virtually all of these states are “red” states or western states that have voted Republican in the past: Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas, Idaho, North Carolina and so on. Anyone flying in from those states is to be quarantined for 14 days. Although for now, the state admits it is on the “honor system,” given the level to which governors and mayors are drunk on power these days, no one knows how long that will last.
See the pattern?
Now, imagine we just ahead a few years and actually engage in secession. Violence is inevitable when societies begin to exercise inordinate and unsupported control over their populations. People will leave. Think about the Berlin Wall. It was built to stop the exodus of Germans (and other East Europeans) to the West because the West offered so much more than communism. No one could just leave the Soviet Union. If anyone could, most would have. The same story unfolded in Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. Under the first wave of legislation, Jews were prohibited from attending German schools and universities, removed Jews from government, and minimized Jewish participation in public life. But in 1935, under the Nuremberg Laws, the regulations took a turn toward describing Jews as the “other,” that is, outsiders who were not—nor could they ever be— “real” Germans. For example, Jewish soldiers were not to be named among the dead in memorials to World War I dead. Under the Reich Citizenship Law, Jews were stripped of German citizenship. They were to be removed from German society, but there were high emigration taxes and Jews were limited as to how much money they could take with them when they left.
Fast forward to the present. Illinois is losing residents in droves. The state’s population dropped by almost 160,000 since 2014. Chicago and other cities have contemplated an “exit tax” for wealthy residences. Evanston, for example, charges a “transfer tax” for property sold over $1.5 million. Under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago aldermen tried to do the same, but he rejected the proposal. What would the new mayor, Lori Lightfoot think? Although Governor J. B. Pritzker denied such a policy existed in Illinois, Beetlejuice in fact asked state legislators to let her impose progressively higher real estate taxes. She did not receive that permission . . . yet. But it’s coming.
The first objective is to keep people from leaving the failing system. The second step, as Lightfoot demonstrated, was to blame others for the city’s (or state’s) problems. New York’s high China Virus rates aren’t due to the murderous policies of Governor Andrew Cuomo in moving infected people to vulnerable nursing homes or to allowing mass rioting demonstrations in the city. Of course not. They are due to visitors from Florida, Utah, and Kansas!
While the notion is foreign (no pun intended) to most Americans, these policies are the exact embodiment of what liberal academics have called “the other.” The term gained cache in the early 2000s when new attempts were made to give amnesty to illegal immigrants. Liberal scholars rushed to invoke the concept of “other” as a racist theme against conservatives. “See, they don’t want all those brown people here,” went the argument. No amount of explaining the whole notion of legal vs. illegal immigration seemed to matter. No, this was all racism and hatred of the “other,” of people who “don’t look like you.”
Now, again no pun intended, the shoe is on the other foot. Now it is conservative states and their residents being branded as the “other.” They are the ones carrying diseases (just as the Jews were accused of being “vermin” and carrying diseases). They are the ones who are causing all “our” problems in Chicago/New York/Portland. Branding of the “other” involves the Black Lives Matter racism approach, where anyone who doesn’t side with BLM’s radical communist agenda for America is de facto a racist (i.e., the “other”).
Secession will not solve the problem of the “other.” It will intensify it. Within years of a CA/NY/OR/IL secession (pick your secede-ees) their economies would deteriorate. This would be inevitable, despite the fantastic geographic and capital advantages of the coasts: they possess the best ports in the world, good interior trade lines (thanks to Dwight Eisenhower’s national highway system and Juan Trippe’s revolution in jet air travel), and large, educated and skilled populations. A collapse would take a while. But it would happen, nonetheless. Meanwhile, as inventors and entrepreneurs fled to more welcoming Texas, Florida, Arizona, then, before long, to Idaho, Utah, the Dakotas, and the Midwest, those economies would begin to boom. Before long, the economic disparities would be noticeable. And not long after that, they would be shocking.
When that moment comes, the blue states would react against the “other.” It would be violent. After all, it would be reasoned, “The people of ____ (fill in the blank with the blue state) cannot be safe as long as ____ (red states, or the “other”) pollute them. The very existence of red states would by itself become a threat to the very life of the blue states. Violence will follow.
This may be a-ways off. But don’t be myopic: the language being used now by the mayors and governors of these failed states mirrors that of Adolf Hitler on the Jews. The continued labeling of red-state citizens as the origin of blue-state problems was the essence of Hitler’s anti-Jewish policies. In short, the leaders of these lunatic, racist states must be removed by their citizens before they raze everything in their attempt to institute utopia.
Larry Schweikart is the co-author with Michael Allen of the New York Times #1 bestseller, A Patriot’s History of the United States, the author of Reagan: The American President, and the founder of the Wild World of History (www.wildworldofhistory.com) which has a full US History and World History curriculum for educators and homeschoolers.