Debate: It’s Time for a National Divorce

Are political breakups really as American as apple pie?


A National Divorce Is an Opportunity for Peaceful Coexistence

Affirmative: Angela McArdle

Joanna Andreasson

The largest, most obvious divorce-worthy incidents in this country were the COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccine mandates. Those of us who opposed these measures were dehumanized and effectively shut out of society. The proverbial line was finally drawn in the sand, but setting those grievances aside, we are still too culturally far apart to peacefully coexist. Our country has become an ideological war zone, with battles being fought over Black Lives Matter, abortion, school curriculums, and child gender reassignments. Everything has been politicized, from entertainment to diet to the FBI. While a large group of libertarians refuse to fit perfectly into the left or right paradigm, there are two culturally and politically dominant factions in this country, and they are not living peacefully together.

We are in an abusive relationship. I want a divorce.

Instead of letting one party twist in the wind as their rights are further eroded until nothing is left, we should call it quits before worse rights violations and violence erupts. One of the most infuriating experiences over the last three years has been watching emotional reactions supersede basic constitutional rights and civil liberties.

Much like a traditional divorce, a national divorce is an emotional topic. People long for the good ol’ days, remembering when things weren’t so bad. But those days are gone and we just don’t get along anymore.

We’ve gone through a terrible national trauma and most of us are not willing to let bygones be bygones. Emily Oster infamously called for “pandemic amnesty.” Those of us who suffered at the hands of mandates angrily shot back, “No amnesty!” We would not discuss divorce if we were trying to work out a minor disagreement. This fight is existential: We want the right to live our lives peacefully, without the threat of everything we hold dear being arbitrarily stripped away at the whim of nanny state bureaucrats.

For libertarians, this should be a simple issue: Do human beings have the right to self-determination? Yes, we should have the absolute right to choose how we live our lives, so long as we do not aggress upon others. But a large chunk of the population does not believe in this concept. How can we coexist in a country with people who seek to subjugate us?

Even faced with these obvious arguments, some libertarians feel squeamish. National divorce? That’s unpopular. It could make us look bad. It could remind people of the Civil War.


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