Filing for a Divorce from Reality
posted at 8:00 am on November 29, 2010 by Jazz Shaw
Marc Pascal is an old colleague of mine from The Moderate Voice, and a fine fellow, even though he is a self described, “Progressive, Democrat, Liberal.” (PDL) I’m well aware that a lot of folks on his side of the aisle took the results of the 2010 mid-term elections pretty hard, but I fear that Marc took it worse than most. His response, penned this week, frames a suggestion for his fellow PDL types as to the next logical step for the movement.
Progressives, Democrats and Liberals (aka PDLs for short) must simply accept they are a minority in a right of center to extreme right nation in which any sane discussions of facts and reality are irrelevant. More than half of Americans generally live in fantasy bubbles of their own beliefs, fears, prejudices and selected “facts” constituting a worldview that is wholly separate from reality. Unless PDLs can argue principally on emotions, faith, and the perpetual delution of American exceptionalism, most of the electorate will turn away.
I’m actually going to dispute part of that in a moment, but let’s skip ahead in this rather long treatise Marc has provided and see what his proposed solution is for the Port Side of the U.S.A.
The laws of every State entitle most married couples to a divorce based upon irreconcilable differences. The same approach may be necessary for America as a whole. This is not an effort to revisit or re-argue the Civil War and the premise that states cannot leave the union and cause a bloody war over slavery or other issues. Instead, it is an attempt to find a sensible and peaceful mechanism to dissolve a hopelessly dysfunctional and irreconcilable relationship that would free the angry and warring parties to find new and more productive and satisfying separate lives…
PDLs have to instead gather together in various domestic sanctuaries they can create within the U.S. It might be best that all PDLs – even those living in very “Blue” urban enclaves across this overwhelming Red nation – should seriously consider moving to the Atlantic and Pacific Coastal states…
This re-settlement proposal would be just the first part of a peaceful national civil divorce proceeding. It will eventually permit the laws and policies in our separate realms to fully reflect what the overwhelming majorities want in their separate legal and geographic areas. This arrangement would be far more preferable than perpetuating our current system of one side forcing its views over the other side all across this closely divided nation.
Marc, while I believe (or at least fervently hope) that you wrote this with your tongue mostly tucked in your cheek, it’s still a rather disturbing sentiment. First of all, it seems a bit abrupt to suddenly take your ball and go home at this point. I would remind you that it was only two short years ago that the the nation was reading the obituary of the Republican Party, which had been beaten into irrelevance and was now largely a “regional party” stuck in a few Southern and Western mountain states, bitterly clinging to their guns and their God.
Things change. And even if I don’t agree with you on many issues of the day, you’ve got to hang in there and keep fighting. I may not want you to win on the majority of points, but the game gets pretty boring if the other team simply heads to the locker room at half time.
Also your characterization of the nation as being closely divided in some sort of 52-48 split is really not an accurate reflection of reality. The truth of the matter is that there is a sliver of the country’s population, probably less than 15% if the truth be told, who fully agree with you and are mostly in the PDL category. There is another, similar sliver on the other end who think you and your friends are total moonbats.
There are another pair of groups, perhaps a bit larger, who either somewhat agree or primarily disagree with you, but aren’t ready to hurl stones or call you names. And member of these groups tend to swing a bit back and forth depending on the condition of the nation. That’s what happened in 2008 and 2010.
And then there’s another huge group – I’m sorry to say making up nearly half the country – who just don’t care. They don’t watch Fox or MSNBC. They don’t read political blogs. They barely watch the news at all. And they don’t vote. Ever. They’re watching Sports Center on ESPN, trying to keep their jobs and hoping to make enough to go on vacation next year. They’re not part of the war you’re engaged in and they don’t want to be.
And what of the politically active who don’t fit into a neat category for your divorce settlement? (Such as yours truly, just for one example.) Where will I be shipped off to? If you send me to Omaha I may wind up in some trouble when my new neighbors discover my decidedly libertarian views on things like foreign policy and abortion. But if you send me to San Francisco I suspect I’ll get a rather icy reception as well. The community won’t be happy knowing I want to cut taxes, shrink the size of government, reduce spending and – just by the way – I have an arsenal of guns that could arm a small South American nation.
Where do I fit in to this grand plan? Will there be a special place for people like me outside of the main enclaves? If so, I’d like to suggest Virginia for us. The weather is generally fantastic and I understand you can hunt boar down there.
Be calm and be of good cheer, Marc. We don’t need a national divorce and the sky has not entirely fallen on you and your PDL friends. All we really need is a rational national discourse and solid ideas on addressing the challenges we all face together.
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