Divorce in most states, including Arizona, is based on a finding of irreconcilable differences. Ordinarily, the issue is not contested. The spouse who files divorce claims the differences are irreconcilable, and the responding spouse agrees.
Typically, it follows years of bickering, culminating in the inability to agree on just about anything. Quite often, one or both spouses find other potential partners more attractive.
Viewed through that lens, isn’t it high time for the American left and the American right to divorce?
After all, no matter the issue, the differences are beyond irreconcilable. Economic Justice? Check. Gun Sanity? Check. Mass Incarceration? Check. The Right to Healthcare? Check. Police Brutality? Check. Inhumane Deportation? Check. Burning the Planet? Check. Poisoning the Air and Water for Corporate Profit? Check.
But shouldn’t we try marriage counseling first? No, we’ve tried that already. The Left has read Hillbilly Elegy, Strangers in Their Own Land, and White Working Class. The Right has followed their progressive friends on Facebook. The Left has tuned in to Fox News, the Right to MSNBC, each for as long as they could stomach it. Even here at BfAZ, we’ve tried to reach the other side — Thucky, Steve, Senator Kavanagh — but have failed miserably. Heck, we can’t even get Senator Kavanagh to understand our concerns about a foreign power interfering in our election.
If the bickering becomes violent, counseling no longer is an option. Especially when there are guns in the house and a risk that one spouse will use them on the other or, worse yet, on the kids. Oh wait, we’re past that point.
The details, of course, would be messy, but they could be worked out eventually. At some point, all divorcing couples manage to split up the stuff, and the friends. The friends should be relatively easy here. Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, The Philippines, and Israel would choose the Right. Others — Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Britain — would choose the Left.
The Right would of course get the Deep South. The Left would get California and the Northeast. We might need some horse trading on this front — Ohio North Carolina and Florida, for example — but even that could be worked out.
The Right would get the fossil fuel industry. The Left would get the technology sector. Both sides should easily agree on that.
And we know who would get the gun collection. To balance it out, the Left would take the artwork.
But what about our children, those ten amendments known as the Bill of Rights? Well, we can start out with joint custody. Eventually, the Second Amendment may find it fits in better with the Right. The First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth may thrive more with the Left. And children are resilient. They’ll get through it all okay.
Arizona likely would go to the Right, which means I and others would have to relocate. That sort of sucks, I know. But many on the Right would need to flee California and Oregon.
Yes, the details would be messy, really messy. And that’s the thing. There’s a reason the lead up to a divorce — the fighting, the cheating, the silent evenings, the depression, and the anger — lasts so long. The prospect of the divorce is so daunting to contemplate that couples avoid it for years before saying “enough.” Some couples even live out their lives in misery to avoid it. There’s a line from an old Hall and Oates song that describes this: “The strong give up and move on; the weak give up and stay.”
America, in my mind, has reached the “enough” threshold. I’m beyond trying to understand those on the Right, or trying to find mutually agreeable solutions.
Of course, divorce doesn’t happen easily with nations. Far more typically, the end game is civil war.
Which is too frightening to contemplate.
Happy President’s Day.