What Would Jefferson Do? A historian makes the case for a #NationalDivorce

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(WVTF) In his role as senior editor of Governing.com, Clay Jenkinson wrote about the state of American politics, arguing that the nation had irreconcilable differences.

“The divide is so great now between the red and the blue, the rural and the urban, the coasts and the heartland that it does seem like we’re now two nations,” he explains.

And frankly, he adds, breaking up wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen. In that view, he has a powerful ally from history – a man he sometimes portrays on stage –Thomas Jefferson.

“When he bought the Louisiana Territory he was concerned about what this meant. Would this be too large a nation? So he wrote a letter to John Breckenridge, Senator from Kentucky, and he said this: If it should become the interest of those nations — the west — Kentucky and Alabama, Louisiana – to separate from this, why should the Atlantic states dread it? We should say ‘Farewell! We hope you do well!” We’ll still be English-speaking. We’ll still have republican forms of government. We’ll probably have a common currency. Why does it all have to pivot on one national capitol?”

Jenkinson does worry about poor people finding themselves at odds with their new country – unable to pay for a move, and he fears environmental consequences.

“If Alaska were left to itself it would…

What Would Jefferson Do? A historian makes the case for a national divorce | WVTF