Shortly after Donald Trump was elected, I sent out an email to the effect that American society was coming apart.
And it’s only gotten much worse.
When people of a particular political persuasion are the victims of violent assault, the media downplay it and half of social media suggests they had it coming.
Absurd smears are leveled at dissident voices. (Even some libertarians, to their shame, have jumped on this bandwagon.)
Ideological and cultural differences have reached a point at which huge pluralities simply loathe each other. What one group considers holy and praiseworthy the other considers abominable and deplorable.
This was not always the case. Check out an episode of the old show What’s My Line? on YouTube. Panelist Bennett Cerf was one of the founders of Random House publishing. He was a left-liberal by the standards of his day. But he was gentlemanly, well dressed, charming, affable, courteous, well mannered — the very opposite of his counterparts today.
And he still believed in that now discarded idea: the honorable disagreement. He could call Ayn Rand a “brilliant woman” while still disagreeing with her “cockamamie philosophy.”
Whatever political disagreements there were, Americans shared quite a bit in common culturally, morally, and in the most basic standards of civilized behavior.
That’s all gone now.
And COVID has dramatically exacerbated the problem.
The ruling elite and the millions of ordinary Americans who follow them uncritically view their opponents as incorrigible morons for not cheerfully carrying out the orders of their betters. The vaccine passport programs have nothing to do with health — vaccinated people can also transmit the virus, after all — and everything to do with revenge.
The point is to punish heretics and unbelievers. It is punitive only. The “expert” class and their lackeys despise people unlike themselves.
I have to admit: even though I knew the status quo — the low-intensity civil war brewing beneath the surface in America — could not go on forever, I am surprised at how quickly things are changing.
I see two groups: one, full of ideological imperialists, wants to impose its vision of the world on everyone, destroying the careers and reputations of anyone who resists.
The other group, which is plenty divided and certainly not without its own problems, prefers not to be lectured to, demonized, or ruined.
Everyone once took for granted that the goal was to seize the federal apparatus and impose their vision on the country.
How about just abandoning this crazy, inhumane task?
Why not admit the differences are irreconcilable, and simply go our separate ways?
Is this not obviously the most humane solution?
Or is there some expectation that somehow, down the road, we’ll all be reconciled?
I’m serious about that question: how would this ever happen?
To the contrary, it’s only going to get worse.
Pointlessly forcing these irreconcilable parties to continue along in this way is what normal people would call “extremist.”
Radical decentralization and secession, on the other hand, is what our betters call “extremist.” Yet these are the obvious and humane solution.
I realize that the idea of secession is not to be found on the 3×5 card of allowable opinion — but then nothing sensible ever is.
It’s the kind of idea that I’ll bet would have horrified even many people who subscribe to this very newsletter.
But now: who can deny that it’s the only answer?
You think you’re going to convert tens of millions of evidence-resistant COVID crazies?
They’re no more reasonable on any other issue, I’m sorry to report.
If you’re the kind of person who evaluates causes on their merits, and might even sometimes support ideas even when they’re not approved by the New York Times, then you’ll enjoy what goes on inside the Tom Woods Show Elite, my indispensable private group:
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