Opinion: Can the ‘Divided States’ ever unite again?

Clark County Today Administrator Heidi Wetzler offers a radical solution for a broken America.

Clark County Today Administrator Heidi Wetzler offers a radical solution for a broken America

In early 2020, I was part of my 30-year high school reunion planning committee. We were in the middle of planning our festivities when COVID-19 hit and eventually the restrictions caused us to postpone the event. There has been some talk as of late as to when we should reschedule, but not surprisingly, the response has been a little lackluster. I fear that the political climate and intense ideological divisions that have happened over the past year and half, will have a lasting effect on my classmates’ interest in gathering as a group. 

Heidi Wetzler, administrator, ClarkCountyToday.com
Heidi Wetzler, administrator, ClarkCountyToday.com

Personally, I have privately reached out to several classmates recently who happen to be of the opposite political persuasion to me. The reasons for my communications have been apolitical and benign, just simple and friendly. But many have chosen not to respond to me. Maybe they are just busy, as we all are. But maybe our friendships are forever damaged, and they simply aren’t interested in remaining friends if we don’t agree on everything.  

I have written in this space before about how I have prided myself on enjoying friendships with people all over the political spectrum. I never wanted to feel so strongly about my personal opinions that it affected my valued friendships. Growing up, this possibility wasn’t a thought that ever entered my mind, and I would guess it barely entered the minds of my classmates and friends either. Today, however, we are encouraging the youngest members of society to fight for complicated causes. Unhappy adults are creating unhappy children. The division in this country is affecting the mental health of our youth in a devastating way. Our psychiatric system is completely overwhelmed, and many of our youth are paying the ultimate price for that. Children’s minds are meant to be innocent and carefree. The tension surrounding every single topic is costly, in the mental health of our youth – and ourselves. Our leaders thrive on sewing division in order to acquire power, and our fractured citizenry is falling for the ruse. 

I believe our country is no longer able to function effectively with our current political system. The constant tug-of-war between the political parties is producing a two-steps-forward, three-steps-back outcome. We might as well be treading water and bashing each other over the head at the same time. The reasoning behind many causes is illogical and dishonest. Many representatives are unable to lead by example in compromise and humility. We are in an irreconcilable state full of pride and oppositional decision making. One’s thoughts and speech are no longer free and media and big tech censorship and corruption are rampant. I do not have words strong enough to describe the role the mainstream media has played in creating the situation we are in today. It is not an exaggeration to say that they are public enemy number one. In short, America is a mess and I believe it’s time to look very seriously at our options.  

While this may seem absolutely crazy to some, am I the only one who has thought about the possibility of dividing America in two? The United States has the population and landmass to make this possible. One America could continue on with the original constitution and intent of this land. This America could uphold the traditional values and ideas that America was founded upon. The new America could be free to run with the progressive ideologies it holds dear and build what it believes to be a better America for its citizens. Both sides could be unshackled from the incessant and toxic infighting that is so obviously and irreversibly damaging our young and older citizens alike. I have only recently begun to believe that the rift is too large to recover from and the fight for power for power’s sake is causing irreversible damage to our people. This has been a depressing realization for my normally optimistic self. The fact that we have a dementia patient as our president right now and that this piece of information is completely ignored by both the party he belongs to as well as the mainstream media is yet another nail in the coffin of this failed country.  

In my mind, this idea is brilliant. At this point, who would be against it? Who in the world is happy in the current state of this country? Of course, it would take years to implement once the details are worked out. We could either break it up state by state according to the leading political party in each state, or there could be a more contiguous approach. Each country would need adequate access to waterways and resources. All federal systems would need to be divided. To me, the idea of finding a way to somehow move forward from this currently dysfunctional country sounds appealing – even glorious. You can not underestimate the feeling of helplessness so very many of us are experiencing. 

The progressive America could have universal health care, strict gun control, a liberal education system, free college and open borders.  The original America could subscribe to the opposite ideals. And if you don’t already live in the America of your choice, you could make plans to get there in the future. 

I am curious if this idea would receive bipartisan support?   I’d love to hear your opinions on this thought experiment.  

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Christine J
Christine J
1 year ago

I agree with you that this a wonderful idea. Sadly however, I just don’t ever see this happening. The current administration is drunk with power, and I see them stopping at nothing to continue doing everything possible to destroy this land that I love. As long as they continue to control the main stream media, and their sheep continue to follow, there will be no peace, or any bipartisan agendas. Our own president has openly threatened us with the use of nuclear weapons and F-15s. This was not some Freudian slip. He absolutely meant it, and the Democratic party and their die hard followers have turned into a group of people like I’ve never seen before. They thrive on hatred and violence, and in all honestly, there is nothing that will pacify them, just short of absolute and complete control over our lives and every movement we make. It makes me both sad and angry that more people do not see this. I never, ever, thought that our nation would look or act like what it has become in an incredibly short amount of time. But if there is ever a time where we could split, I would gladly join the side that I agreed with.

Sheila
Sheila
1 year ago

We are clearly already divided. A separation of land mass and government is not too far fetched. But there is more than just a division of politics involved here, there is the globalist agenda and a separation of land mass would make no difference in the long run. This is a matter of good vs evil, and that requires each of us as individuals to stand and be counted.

Bud Harris
Bud Harris
1 year ago

There are two Americans divided by thought. If you only read, listen and watch the same political media, and associate with like minded people, you will be a victim of confirmation bias. We have to listen to understand each other and realize people of differing opinions can still be good Americans. Most Americans are good Americans no matter what. .

Frank Pecarich
Frank Pecarich
1 year ago
Reply to  Bud Harris

You need to realize that there are times where compromise is not possible. We know from the study of group dynamics and communication that the basic moral, value and political differences in the current divided US population are simply too great. Our current society’s multiethnic and diverse admixture has taken away what we once had in the way of commonality of purpose. Absent the commonality of purpose, political compromise is impossible. Compromise in American politics requires unity of purpose, and as such is a virtue that is distinctly American. Compromise is only possible among competing interests when they can agree on an overarching goal. That has been, and will continue to be, impossible in the USA.

Drake Peters
Drake Peters
1 year ago

This is absolutely what needs to happen and I have been telling my friends the exact same thing for months. Great article and I can only hope and pray we can separate peacefully.

Jack Burton
Jack Burton
1 year ago

“One America could continue on with the original constitution and intent of this land. This America could uphold the traditional values and ideas that America was founded upon.”

The original Constitution allowed only property owning, white males to vote. Black people were property and only counted as 3/5 of a person for reasons of government representation.

“The new America could be free to run with the progressive ideologies it holds dear and build what it believes to be a better America for its citizens.”

Like equal rights for women and minorities? Social security, unemployment insurance, public education, and Medicare/Medicaid? Child labor laws? Food and Drug Administration protections?

You’ll never get bipartisan support because often we don’t fit neatly into one side or the other. Many older Americans would claim to want to be in the “Conservative America”, but would reconsider once you explained Social Security is “socialist” and therefore cannot exist on the “original Constitution and intent” side. Many women and people of color would avoid the “original Constitution” America, but where do they go if they value their 2nd Amendment rights?

There were people that thought the crazy Progressives had gone too far and tried to create two Americas before. I think it is still in many history curriculums, but angry people at school board meetings may demand it be removed as un-American any time now. It occurred in the early 1860s and there are some important lessons to be learned.

If you need a country full of people that look, think, and act exactly as you do America is probably not for you. America is messy, but there is a beauty to that messiness uniquely American. Living among people of differing appearances, ideologies, and religions can be difficult. However, these differences have contributed to America’s greatness for over 200 years. Wanting to divide America for the second time to simply surround oneself with people agree with them is one of the least American, and least patriotic, things I can think of.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jack Burton
Michele A Scott
Michele A Scott
1 year ago

Let’s set aside for the moment how divisively written this opinion is (while somehow bashing the divisiveness of the country? Do you even hear yourself?), and take a second to point out how impractical this “solution” is. I have the same argument for the people who say ‘America, Love It or Leave It.’ Most Americans do not that the FUNDS to pack up and move to another country, let alone across the country. Have you not considered the financial impact of this? People “having” to move to their agreeable side not only have to have the money to move (finding a new home, *affording* a new home, etc.), but what’s to say they’ll be able to find a job when they get there? This is way too simplistic of an idea, not to mention extremely anti-American ideals. This is exactly why we’ve become so divisive…because people like you only want to be around people like you.

John Laird
John Laird
1 year ago

On one hand you decry “sewing (sic) division” but on the other hand you call the president of the United States a “dementia patient.” Pot, meet kettle.

John Laird
John Laird
1 year ago
Reply to  Heidi Wetzler

“whose” not who’s

John Laird
John Laird
1 year ago
Reply to  Heidi Wetzler

Speaking of holding the media accountable, tell us how you know that the president is a “dementia patient.” Cite your sources. Or is that just something you WANT to be true?

Drake Peters
Drake Peters
1 year ago
Reply to  John Laird

I have one source you should be relying on more than any other….your brain. If your eyes and ears don’t communicate the Biden’s slip into dementia then you may be either not that perceptive or willfully ignorant to what you see. He is almost 80 years old and you thin that it’s ok for him to occupy the office of the president? Wow is all one can say to that.

Frank Pecarich
Frank Pecarich
1 year ago

Your commentary and thoughts are spot on. The research and literature support your analysis but because it has violated the beliefs of too many Americans it has been largely overlooked until recently. Harvard professor of political science Robert D. Putnam conducted a nearly decade long study how multiculturalism affects social trust. [ Putnam, Robert D., “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century — The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize,” Scandinavian Political Studies 30 (2), June 2007.]
He surveyed 26,200 people in 40 American communities, finding that when the data were adjusted for class, income and other factors, the more racially diverse a community is, the greater the loss of trust. People in diverse communities “don’t trust the local mayor, they don’t trust the local paper, they don’t trust other people and they don’t trust institutions,” writes Putnam. In the presence of such ethnic diversity, Putnam maintains that “We hunker down. We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t trust people who don’t look like us.”

Dr. Byron Roth in his 2010 (revised in 2021) book “The Perils of Diversity: Immigration and Human Nature” states that the debate over immigration policy in the Western world is critically uninformed by the sciences of evolutionary biology and psychology. In his work he examines the intersection between culture, genetics, IQ and society. He states, “Prominent among the fundamental features of human nature is a natural bias toward one’s own kind, making harmony in multi-ethnic societies problematic at best. All historical evidence indicates that “diversity” is not a strength, and that blood is thicker than water. Ignoring such biological realities leads to failed social experiments that may cause great human suffering.”

A look at the historical record shows that conflict between different groups has been common throughout human history. Tribalism is the default mode of human political organization. The world’s largest land empire, that of the Mongols, was a tribal organization. But tribalism is hard, if not impossible, to abandon, again suggesting that an evolutionary change may be required. Cooperative defense by tribal peoples is universal and ancient and it is bound to have boosted the genetic fitness of those who acted to further the interests of their group. Under such circumstances it would be odd indeed if Darwin’s natural selection did not mold the human mind to be predisposed to ethnocentrism. People organize politically around some aspects of shared identity. Humans are designed to be tribal. We are wired to organize ourselves socially into in-groups (our own group) and out-groups (others’ groups), and to organize ourselves cognitively so that our reasoning processes and even our sensory perceptions support in-group solidarity. 

From 1925 – 1965, the children and grandchildren of European immigrants were assimilated, Americanized. In strong public schools, they were taught our language, literature, and history, and celebrated our holidays and heroes. We endured together through the Depression and sacrificed together in World War II and the Cold War. Since 1965 and the change in the immigration laws, the USA has changed the immigration patterns to the point that we are now a multiracial, multilingual, multicultural society in a world where countless countries are being torn apart over race, religion, and roots.

The main “problem” for the USA is permanently “intractable” and not available to solution in the usual way of political compromise. Pundits and others need to get themselves aligned with that fact and quit with the “Kumbaya” talk. You’re going to need to make a paradigm shift to really understand what’s going on in the US. We have a major schism in the US based on a different set of values and beliefs than we had 50+ years ago. The division in the country is deeper and more fundamental than any time in my 7+ decades of existence. It seems pretty clear that establishing agreements about what is “best for the country” will not be easy, if even possible, as it might have been 4-5 decades ago.

This is all convincing evidence that it’s unlikely that anybody is going to “unify” the country. The basic moral, value and political differences in the current divided US population are simply too great. It was always quite predictable that the election winner would face a crisis of legitimacy, as the losers would regard the government not just as opponents, but as enemies and occupiers. This is bad and likely to get worse in terms of conflict in the USA. For reference, study the USA history post 1860… It may be intellectually rejected by some for now, but we have all the makings of another US Civil War….

What we really require is someone or some system that will allow the US to “Balkanize” in an effective and organized manner and try to avoid a second US Civil War.  

Paige
Paige
1 year ago

This was the most PROFOUND editorial I have ever come across. So very well articulated, I feel the passion and concern, I understood and AGREE…I have long time asked “why can’t we pick a few states and let people that want a new, hatefree, uncompromised government live in those states and the rest can stay where they are…WE NEED TO SEPARATE…I don’t think I have ever agreed with anything like I agree with this post. THANK YOU FOR SHOWING UP TO THESE HARD TOPICS WITG EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.

Paige
Paige
1 year ago

Yessss!!!!

Paige
Paige
1 year ago

This was the most PROFOUND editorial I have ever come across. So very well articulated, I feel the passion and concern, I understood and AGREE…I have long time asked “why can’t we pick a few states and let people that want a new, hatefree, uncompromised government live in those states and the rest can stay where they are…WE NEED TO SEPARATE…I don’t think I have ever agreed with anything like I agree with this post. THANK YOU FOR SHOWING UP TO THESE HARD TOPICS WITG EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.

Jessica
6 months ago

The idea of breaking apart from my sister who thinks, feels and acts much differently breaks my heart. I want to find a way to unite us, not divide us.

I believe in a goodness that lives is most every human being. We need a leader who will encourage us to unify for love and goodness. Not divide us even more.

We spent a a week in Kentucky with family. We live in California. I know we all thought differently but love was what I felt during that family gathering. We have to find a way to work together.

I know my sister is 1. Loving 2. Smart 3. Kind
She also happens to believe the exact opposite of my politically. But really I think if we get together and discuss what is most important, that their isn’t as much of a division as we think there is.

The division on abortion is the only thing I think that seems impossible to agree on. So maybe we find a way to eliminate the issue. One make the day after pill available to everyone. Leave rights up to the individual. You don’t want to do it fine, but don’t try to control someone else’s body.

There has to be a way we can all make peace. I refuse to believe it’s not possible.

Ralph
Ralph
2 months ago

I think you are a Trump drivenidiot.

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