It has become popular in conservative circles to highlight, if not outright endorse, population sorting along political lines within the United States. Numerous articles in conservative media highlight the on-going trend of moving to areas where the local political situation mirrors families or individual’s conservative politics. Left-wing media also occasionally mention this phenomenon.
There are a number of problems however, with this “neo-sectionalist” approach. Namely, neo-sectionalism will not deter the left’s ongoing cultural revolution from reaching perceived conservative refuge areas; there is a moral obligation of all citizens to reach the truth and spread it to their peers, wherever their geographic location; and finally, neo-sectionalism failed in the past during the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and there is no historical precedence of its success.
In the age of 24-7 news availability and constant social media bombardment, where one physically locates in the USA is not beyond the threat of constant incoming media fire of the Information Age. As much work and social contact now occurs online, one’s physical proximity hardly matters as much as the actual ideas. The intense winner-takes-all approach that the left’s revolutionary cultural march through our institutions demonstrates will hardly be subdued by geography.
A left-leaning federal government, which has not shown reticence in dominating what was once a more balanced Federal Republican system, will most certainly force red states into conforming to the diktats of the left’s ongoing kulturkampf (cultural war). As the federal government increasingly controls the states’ budgetary resources and also maintains federal police and military power, there is little a state demurring from these diktats can realistically do to resist.
If the Department of Justice can issue an arrest warrant for the former President of the USA in a red state, and execute the warrant, no citizen is safe from federal overreach and outright tyranny. As millennials and younger generations increasingly identify as leftists, and strategically placed illegal migrants reach all areas of the country, even red states are not immune to change from within, as we have recently witnessed in a now blue New Mexico and Colorado, and purple Arizona and Georgia, among others. Nowhere in the USA is safe from the kulturkampf.
As the USA was once a nation of consistent and just laws—and indeed John Adams and other founding fathers predicted that an immoral Republic would fail to endure—a just law for one citizen must be just for all citizens. A key element of the left’s cultural revolution is exempting certain groups from laws in order to right perceived historical wrongs, thus reducing individuality to the mass-law of groups.
Marxists throughout history have employed these very methods often with violence in areas across the globe, and in the cases of Antifa and Black Lives Matter rampaging through US neighborhoods, this happened here during the 2020 race riots. We see this when left-wing prosecutors, or even in the recent case of Attorney General Eric Holder exempting Black Panthers from justice for intimidating local Philadelphian white voters in 2008, fail to prosecute criminal offenders for perceived minor crimes.
The right-leaning Supreme Court with its recent overturn of Roe did the same when it delegated the power to determine the origin of life to the states. It thus exempted from protection children in areas where leftists control the state political system; thus the fundamental and first right of the USA, the right to life, is unevenly executed because neo-sectionalism has practically determined what laws will be enforced where and by whom, instead of having federal conformity for rights that effect all citizens, and indeed all people everywhere.
Objectively, a just law for one person must be likewise a just law for all people, at all times. As the opposite assertion must be equally true, the eminent theologian and philosopher Saint Thomas Aquinas related, “unjust law is no law at all.” Rather than abandoning our fellow citizens to the diktats of the kulturkampf, those of us who seek to apply laws fairly must see to it that they are equally embraced and enforced by all citizens wherever they reside.
Finally, the historical precedence for neo-sectionalism to succeed is unlikely. The American Revolutionary War, which was in part a civil war, left unresolved sectional differences, particularly over slavery that led to the Civil War less than a century later. In the Ante-Bellum Era, the dominant argument was that there would be compromise between free and slave states and that new states to the Union would be equally admitted to maintain the free-slave equilibrium in Congress and federal government generally.
This system failed to keep the peace as the issue of slavery spilled over the artificial geographic boundaries separating the two American sections. America then experienced its most bloody and turbulent war. The same would inevitably happen today if Americans retreated into their opposite corners and pretended that they inhabit different countries in reality.
Although the country seems torn between two competing ideologies in a way that has not occurred here in many generations, neo-sectionalism is not a conservative answer to the left’s kulturkampf. It is simultaneously impractical, immoral, and unjust. It is much better to engage the left where there is overlapping interest, compromise where possible, and stick to just principles where and whenever it is appropriate—for all citizens.
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