In our Liberty Update commentary last week, we noted the many failures of Barack Obama as president…
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Stat of the Day: Terrible Deterioration of Race Relations Under Obama

In our Liberty Update commentary last week, we noted the many failures of Barack Obama as president over the past eight years.  Today, as the nation celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a Washington Post-ABC News survey shows just how disastrously race relations have declined under his watch:

In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 63 percent of Americans think race relations are 'generally bad.' Shortly after Obama took office, that number was 22 percent. In the same time period, those who think race relations are 'generally good' plummeted from 66 percent to 32 percent." Of his failures and disastrous legacy, this may be the most depressing.…[more]

January 16, 2017 • 02:13 pm

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The Ominous “S-Word” – Secession Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, March 25 2010
Just one year into his [President Obama's] tenure, however, America has become more resentfully divided than any time in generations.

After 230 years, are the American people coursing toward eventual divorce? 

Our polarized society increasingly ponders what would happen if American conservatives and liberals simply agreed that their differences had become irreconcilable, and redivided the nation to go their separate ways.  Which side would prosper and experience an influx of migration from the other?  Conversely, which side would likely become a fiscal and socio-political basket case? 

Any reasonable person already knows the likely answer.  One need only compare the smoldering wreckage wrought by liberal governance in such states as California or Michigan with the comparative prosperity created by conservative governance in such states as Texas or Utah.  We can also examine the past 400 years, during which immigrants abandoned Europe for an America founded upon the fundamental principles of limited government and individual freedom. 

Regardless, the above hypothetical has become increasingly frequent among both conservatives and liberals in recent years. 

Following the 2004 election that they confidently expected would vindicate their 2000 rage and send President Bush back to Texas, liberals only half-jestfully proposed that “blue” states secede and join a new “United States of Canada.”  Conservatives replied with a collective, “don’t let the screen door hit you in the [posterior] on your way out.” 

Now, with this week’s passage of ObamaCare despite ferocious and widespread public opposition, the faint reverberations from that restive elephant in the room became even more pronounced.  Consider the words of Dennis Prager, an intellectual whom no serious observer would label a bomb-thrower: 

We are in a non-violent civil war.  I write the words ‘civil war’ with an ache in my heart.  But we are in one.  Thank God this civil war is non-violent.  But the fact is that the left and the rest of the country share almost no values.  The American value system and the leftist value system are irreconcilable.  If the left wins, America’s values lose.  If American values prevail, the left loses.  After Sunday’s vote, for the first time in American history, one could no longer confidently believe that the American system will prevail.  And if we don’t fight for it, we don’t deserve it. 

Or consider the commentary of Reason’s Tim Cavanaugh, who references the “s-word” in his article “The Rise of Decline:” 

The recession has not just hustled the U.S. economy back to a late-20th-century state of nature that resists all efforts at reinflation, stimulus, and outcome management.  It has created a conviction that American society itself, rather than just its institutions of government and public/private rent-seeking, is in collapse…  We tend to miss something obvious:  The problem isn’t that things are collapsing.  It’s that not enough things are collapsing.   

Even the mainstream Wall Street Journal ran a June 2009 weekend commentary on secessionist backlash entitled “Divided We Stand.” 

For her part, Shikha Dalmia writes in her forbes.com commentary “Resisting ObamaCare, Gandhi Style” that Obama “might have set the stage for the largest civil disobedience movement since the civil rights era.”  She notes that, “even if a few million Americans simultaneously refuse to abide by it or pay the fine, they could easily overwhelm the system.” 

Whatever one’s views toward such sentiment, it is becoming increasingly difficult to deny the irreconcilable ideals of “red” and “blue” Americans despite efforts to reestablish unity.  After all, George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000 on a record of bipartisanship following eight years of extreme acrimony during the Clinton era.  Eight years later, the acrimony had only increased and Barack Obama disingenuously campaigned as a moderate promising a “post-partisan” administration. 

Just one year into his tenure, however, America has become more resentfully divided than any time in generations.  Conservative “Scoop Jackson” Democrats have become nearly non-existent, as have liberal “Rockefeller” Republicans. 

How will this resolve?  Will we collectively weather this protracted turbulence, or will the centrifugal forces only accelerate?  Dissolution obviously remains highly unlikely, but Yale University’s Bruce Judson notes in his book It Could Happen Here: America on the Brink that: 

The United States is not the Soviet Union.  Our economy is not as terrible.  Our government is not as despised.  But nobody thought the U.S.S.R. could collapse.  Could everyone be wrong again?

Thomas Jefferson wrote in our Declaration of Independence that irreconcilable values sometimes make it “necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another.”  Jefferson further recognized the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, stating that “whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles.” 

Those on the left, ephemerally content because they possess temporary political control, mock such wisdom as anachronistic.  They would be prudent to recall, however, that they said the same thing about CNBC’s Rick Santelli just one year ago when he launched the Tea Party movement that now threatens to hurl their political control into the sea. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was simultaneously a member of the House of Representatives, a U.S. Senator-elect and U.S. President-elect?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"The controversy over the nomination of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education has been, if nothing else, clarifying. We now know that working to give poor kids more educational opportunities is considered a disqualifying offense for the Left. For decades, DeVos has devoted herself to creating alternatives to a public-school establishment that fails its most vulnerable students, and she earned the…[more]
 
 
—Rich Lowry, National Review
— Rich Lowry, National Review
 
Liberty Poll   

If ObamaCare repeal and replacement begin immediately, but take 2 to 3 years to fully implement, will you consider the promises of President Trump and the Republican Congress to be met?