Some people simply can’t get along with other people – especially people who aren’t like them. Rather than bend in order to accommodate the greater good – democracy is all about compromise – these toads head for the exit. They’re done. They’re splitters and they’re gonna take their damned ball and go find a new game somewhere. They’ll claim principle but, the truth is, they can’t even spell the word. America’s splitters are splitters through and through. They’re splitters politically because theirs is a splitter’s religion.
True fact: Catholicism aside, there are more than 45,000 Christian denominations worldwide. That’s 45,000 differences of opinion. 45,001 if we include Catholicism. And that was the difference of opinion that started it all.
But, even a cursory glance at Christianity’s history shows that there’s never been a unified Christian view. It took three hundred years to formally lay down what the faith was – and wasn’t. At the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, a group of Christian bishops found consensus about things like Jesus’s divinity (about which they’d disagreed for centuries!).
Once formalized – with canonical texts – the faith got very good at stifling dissent or disagreement. Want the “defeat death” cookie? You gotta follow the dogma to the letter. But, he who controls the dogma controls the cookie. And the cookie is everything.
Martin Luthor broke the church’s delusion of infallibility. He pointed to 95 failures. Suddenly individuals could assert themselves with their differing ways of seeing things. Faith being almost entirely of the mind, it’s hard to say who’s got it wrong and who’s got it right. It’s pretty subjective. Hell, Protestantism is nothing if not subjective. That’s why there are so many Protestant sects.
“It’s my way or the highway”. Literally.
This way of thinking goes far, far beyond the religious realm. America faces an existential crisis precisely because one group of Americans cannot bear NOT having it their way. What was the Confederacy? Splitters who split because they had to have their way (even if “their way” was slavery). White supremacists think they can live outside our laws. They split from democracy at the jump.
So, what are the majority of Americans to do?
We here in California do occasionally dream of splitting from America. If California was a separate country, it would have the world’s 5th or 6th largest economy. We do pretty much everything here. But California leaving the union isn’t even remotely practical. We’re one of those states that puts in far more than we get from the federal government. We’ve been looking after other states and the union for a long time.
We’re used to it. Hell, we’re good at it!
And there are good, decent people in all those “red’ states who don’t want to split from America but can’t afford to split from their state. America remains a great idea not yet fully realized. We can still achieve a lot of that dream – and America’s true potential.
It’s going to be a struggle but worth it. Worth staying the course. Staying.