Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Why is the country so divided?

Jerry Stratton, December 28, 2016

County-by-County results, 2016

Title this map “Why an over-powerful central government causes divisiveness.”

The country is divided because the federal government has so much power. Disagreements are necessarily national disagreements, because the federal government’s decision in one town by default applies to every town in the country. Get the federal government back down to size and people won't have to be so divided. There is no alternative. As long as the federal government controls so much of individual life, politics will continue to be divisive.

Presidential elections are divisive because the president has so much more power. Executive decisions reach down to individual businesses and jobs, down to local communities and families. Put that power back into the hands of congress and local representatives, and people won't have to care so much about who is and is not president. That’s what divisiveness means. It means people care deeply about the decisions being made. There is no alternative. As long as the White House has so much power over individual lives, the presidency will continue to be a divisive position.

People will always care, deeply, about who has control over their lives.

Donald Trump is no more divisive than Barack “I won. Deal with it.” Obama. What you’re really complaining about is that Trump doesn’t back your pet causes but rather backs someone else’s. That’s the point. As long as Obama or Trump or any other single person has such power, they will occupy a divisive position.

Passing a law that took every private health insurance plan away, with no attempt at compromise with the other side—in fact, using parliamentary tricks to avoid legislative compromise—that was divisive. You just agreed with the outcome. Announcing that local high schools would have to let men into girls’ bathrooms, without any national discussion or local experimentation, that was divisive. You just agreed with the outcome.

Reducing the divisiveness in the United States is easy, but you have to be willing to do it: you have to be willing to put legislation under control of congress, where each locality’s and state’s representatives can vote on it, rather than under the executive, where only one person controls everything.

To further reduce divisiveness, move decisions back to local decision-makers. Get the federal government back to dealing with national issues, and let local governments deal with local issues.

If your problem is divisiveness and not just that someone else won the election.

Obama’s counties in 2016

Counties won by President Obama in 2012.

Because it appears to me that the sudden focus on divisiveness is not that the country is divided. It’s been divided. It’s that someone finally stood up to the left. The left and the media was fine with divisiveness as long as one side of our divided country seemed powerless to them. They only care about it now that they’ve seen some real pushback.

Democrats were happy with divisiveness when it meant forcing shared bathrooms on high schools across the country. They were happy with divisiveness when it meant federal control over local schools went unopposed. If there is one leftist policy that most accounts for the divisiveness in this country, it is our monolithic government-run school system that the left refuses to reform.

They’re happy with divisiveness when it means killing the entry-level jobs for teenagers across the country. When it means forcing people to give up their religious beliefs.

They’re happy with divisiveness when it means riots and dead police officers. In fact, they’re very happy with divisiveness whenever there’s a high-profile murder.

Even blaming lack of gun control for a knife-and-car killing.

Or when it means not only not deporting violent criminals who don’t belong here, but shielding them from deportation or even prison time.

The filibuster is possibly the supreme example of their love/hate relationship with divisiveness. Part of the point of the filibuster was to reduce divisiveness: if 40% of the Senate found an action divisive, they could move to stop it. Democrats got rid of the filibuster specifically so that they could be more divisive, rather than taking into account the concerns of the most left-wing 2% of the country’s Republicans.

Now, of course, they’ll find it divisive.

They didn’t even bother to get the Maine sisters on board with Obamacare.

The left doesn’t define divisiveness by how many disagreements there are; the left defines divisiveness by how often the left loses those disagreements.

In response to Election 2016: Another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.

  1. <- Careful wishing
  2. Trump bluffing establishment? ->