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Mon, Jul 4, 2022  | 
By John Schroeder

A Future Divided?

As I read the host’s excellent analysis of the WV v EPA SCOTUS decision, reigning in the bureaucrats, yesterday my vision of America changed.

I am no legal expert, so I have no idea how this decision will ripple through state governments, if it even does.  But I do know California.  California has already defiantly claimed itself an abortion sanctuary in the wake of Dobbs and already does the EPA one better on virtually any regulation the federal agency has dreamed up.  California already travels the world and does climate change deals apart from the federal government.  While the grip of federal bureaucrats recedes based on this decision certainly California, and likely other very blue places, will double-down.  At some point it seems like the policy differences between states will become too large to claim a national unity.

The host is correct, this has been a momentous year for the courts and the nation.  But I lack his optimism about the future of the nation based upon it.  Oh, it’ll be fine news for me, I’m moving to Tennessee.  But I worry about my countless friends that are staying behind in California – or the ones I have in New York, or Illinois.  In very blue places defiance seems to be the order of the day – not live and let live – defiance.  Like the southern slaveholders in the build-up to the Civil War, the deep blue places are just refusing to accept the inevitable.

Will a civil war erupt?  Much depends on our national leadership which currently makes matters worse, not better.  I know conservatives don’t want to fight over this, they just want to be free to be conservative.  But liberals do not seem to be content with such so I do not think a civil war can be ruled out.

But I do wonder about whether the nation as a whole will be able to do the things it needs to come together to do.  Our nation was built to accommodate some pretty amazing diversity in viewpoint.  But the questions that divide us now, as opposed to at the founding, or even in the Civil War, are quite different.  The questions are now far more fundamental to our national unity.  We may have disagreed on slaveholding and federalism, but we were also united on issues fundamental.  Now those fundamental issues are at play.

The oft-noted tragedy of the Civil War is the brother-against-brother aspect of it.  I wonder if the same could be said in a new civil war?  I once had a person say to my face that they did not want to know I was a conservative because they liked me and did not want to have to hate me.  In other words, my political view destroyed the bond of human brotherhood.  I, as pretty much any Christian in some parts of the country, have neighbors that do not merely disagree with my faith, but revile me because of it.  That is the kind of factionalism that divides third world nations into tribal wars.

As we celebrate the founding of our nation today I both hope and pray that I am crepe-hanging in this post.  I pray for leadership to emerge that will forestall my unpleasant visons.  I am thankful for a nation that has withstood the worst history can throw at it and come out stronger every time.



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