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Category: Colin Woodard

E pluribus unum, people

“If Americans seriously want the United States to continue to exist in something like its current form, they had best respect the fundamental tenets of our unlikely union.  It cannot survive if we end the separation of church and state or institute the Baptist equivalent of Sharia law.  We won’t hold together if presidents appoint political ideologues to the Justice Department or the Supreme Court of the United States, or if party loyalists try to win elections by trying to stop people from voting rather than winning them over with their ideas.  The union can’t function if national coalitions continue to use House and Senate rules to prevent important issues from being debated in the open because members know their positions wouldn’t withstand public scrutiny.  Other sovereign democratic states have central governments more corrupted than our own, but most can fall back on unifying elements we lack: common ethnicity, a shared religion, or near-universal consensus on many fundamental political issues.  The United States needs its central government to function cleanly, openly, and efficiently because it’s one of the few things binding us together.” – Colin Woodard, American Nations

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The binding ties

“If Americans want the U.S. to continue to exist in something like its current form, they will need to respect the fundamental tenets of our unlikely union. It can’t survive if we end the separation of church and state or ban the expression (or criticism) of offensive ideas. We won’t hold together if presidents appoint political ideologues to the Supreme Court, or if party loyalists try to win elections by trying to stop people from voting. The union can’t function if national coalitions continue to use House and Senate rules to prevent decision-making on important issues.  Other sovereign democratic states have central governments more dysfunctional than our own, but most can fall back on unifying elements we lack: common ethnicity, a shared religion or near-universal consensus on many fundamental political issues.  Our constitutional order — an arrangement negotiated among the regional cultures — assumes and requires compromise in order to function at all.  And the U.S. needs its central government to function cleanly, openly and efficiently because it’s one of the few important things that bind us together.” — Colin Woodard, “Real U.S. Map, a Country of Regions”

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