“I see more and more people asking, what in the world do we have in common with the people who live in, say, New York? There cannot be a peaceful coexistence of two completely different theories of life, theories of government, theories of how we manage our affairs. We can’t be in this dire a conflict without something giving somewhere along the way. And I know that there’s a sizable and growing sentiment for people who believe that that is where we’re headed, whether we want to or not — whether we want to go there or not. I myself haven’t made up my mind. I still haven’t given up the idea that we are the majority and that all we have to do is find a way to unite and win.” — Rush Limbaugh
When Rush Limbaugh correctly noted that America was “trending toward secession,” it created a stir. Many liberals suggested that he was encouraging secession, even though this obviously isn’t true. What we did not see liberals doing was asking why one of the most intelligent and influential conservatives of the last few decades would publicly be suggesting such a thing. After all, those of us that are not fools recognize that things like secession, revolutions, or civil war are terrible things. For example, ultimately the Civil War was worth it, but we should not forget that 620,000 Americans died during the Civil War, which would be the equivalent of roughly 6.2 million Americans dying today. Everything didn’t immediately go back to normal after that 4-year-long war either. The reconstruction of the South lasted more than a decade and even today, more than 150 years later, we’re still arguing about Civil War statues and whether black Americans deserve reparations because of what their ancestors went through. Anyone who romanticizes that kind of conflict is a fool.
So, knowing that, why is Rush Limbaugh saying essentially the same thing that I wrote here on Bongino.com back in July?
For a people to be united, they need to share values and a culture. What happens when one of the two major parties in the country decides it no longer supports Christianity, capitalism, the flag, patriotism, the rule of law, or the Founding Fathers? What happens when it decides that the Constitution is essentially meaningless because it’s a “living” document that people can rewrite any which way they choose? What happens when they decide that the greatest country in the history of the world is fundamentally evil? What happens when they want to tear down statues and rename buildings for the heroes of yesteryear because they don’t live up to the hypersensitive standards of today? At a certain point, people have to ask the natural question, which is, “Why do we want to remain united as a people when we don’t agree on anything that matters?” Sure, a lot of us may like the same TV shows or sports, but that’s not enough to hold a country together long term. If you are cheering on people tearing down a statue of Ulysses S. Grant, think America is fundamentally racist, spit on the flag, and want to turn America socialist, you have more in common with Osama Bin Laden or Stalin than you do with the other half of the country. If people on the fringes think that way, it’s survivable, but as it increasingly becomes what half the country believes in, something has to give.
Why are Americans buying so many guns? Why is prepping becoming more popular? Why do I personally know more than one smart person who has gone “off the grid” or bought rural farmland in recent years because they think the country is about to fall to pieces? Some people might write this off as sour grapes about the election, however, this was going on long before Joe Biden and Donald Trump started campaigning against each other.
It’s ultimately about the fact that for a country to hold together there need to be a lot of shared values. If half the country believes in the values that made America successful in the first place while the other half of the country is demanding to live in some sort of atheistic socialist utopia that hates everything those other people believe in and stand for, we have what is known in a marriage as irreconcilable differences. Once our value systems are that far apart, there is no such thing as a win/win situation. This is why the standard political strategy for both sides is now to refuse to work with the other side as much as possible in hopes that the public will blame the people in charge for the inaction. Cooperation between both sides collapses because anything one side favors is considered to be taking the country in the wrong direction by the other side.
Quite frankly, if the country were more easily geographically divided up as it was in the Civil War, the nation may have already broken apart. That doesn’t mean that’s a good thing or that it has to go that way, but it does mean people should be much more concerned about this possibility than they seem to be today. The success we enjoy today is largely the result of the work, culture, and foresight of previous generations of Americans. There are absolutely no guarantees that we will continue to live in a country that is strong, prosperous, free, or even together as a nation in the next few years or decades to come. That depends on all of us across the ideological spectrum, which given the state of the country over the last few years, should scare the hell out of everyone.