Several prominent right-wing media figures have rallied behind Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene’s (R-GA) proposal for a “national divorce” between red and blue states, suggesting it’s an inevitable outcome of political and cultural differences in the U.S., while others used the idea as a springboard for violent rhetoric, accusing the left of being like a “metastatic cancer” that wants to “destroy our story, to destroy our power as an individual and our power as a country.”
Right-wing figures have a history of suggesting that the differences in American culture have become irreconcilable, advocating for a so-called national divorce or outright secession. In fact, Greene herself previously called for a “national divorce” in 2021. Greene, who is now a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and a close ally of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), tweeted on February 20: “We need to separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government.”
We need a national divorce.
We need to separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government.
Everyone I talk to says this.
From the sick and disgusting woke culture issues shoved down our throats to the Democrat’s traitorous America Last policies, we are… https://t.co/Azn8YF1UUy
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) February 20, 2023
Greene then took to right-wing media to promote her plan, including suggesting that “red states could temporarily strip Americans who move from blue states of the right to vote and could implement laws to openly discriminate against LGBTQ people,” according to HuffPost. She received an open ear from Fox News host Sean Hannity, who pitched her plan to his audience. During the interview, Greene also alluded to the possibility of political violence, saying, “The last thing I ever want to see in America is a civil war ... but it's going that direction.”
Several pundits on the right defended and even endorsed Greene’s position — suggesting it may not happen peacefully, and even when dismissing the plan as impractical, agreeing with her sentiment that the U.S. faces irreconcilable political differences.
Right-wing figures agreed with Greene’s sentiment that political differences between the left and right have made a national divorce inevitable
- During the February 21 edition of Hannity, Fox host Sean Hannity hosted Greene to discuss her “national divorce” tweet and agreed with her proposal to ban people “who move from blue states to red states from voting for five years.” “I actually favor that idea,” Hannity said, later asking, “So what is the other answer if it's not a divorce?”
- During a radio interview with Greene the next day, Hannity suggested that she broker national divorce legislation as part of debt ceiling negotiations. “You're not talking about a full divorce,” Hannity claimed. “You're talking about a transfer of power. That's a very different thing.”
- On his radio show, Glenn Beck offered a sanitized version of Greene’s extreme proposal, claiming that “she is not saying, ‘Destroy America,’ she’s saying, ‘We probably should not do business with one another because we’re killing each other,’ and shrink the federal government.” Later in the segment, Beck accused the American left of successfully executing a “plan to destroy the community, destroy our history, our standards, to destroy our story, to destroy our power as an individual and our power as a country.”
- On her Daily Wire podcast, Candace Owens said that she’s “good with a divorce” and noted that she had advocated the idea in the past: “We’re not arguing about things that are normal, right? When we start arguing about whether or not men should have a right to enter a women’s bathroom because they feel like a woman today and people are trying to make sense then telling you your kids have to be exposed to that. … Let’s all be in Tennessee, and the people that are defending pedophilia can all be in New York.”
- Discussing Greene’s plan on his show, Tim Pool said, “We probably are headed toward a national divorce.” His guest, BlazeTV’s Steve Deace, agreed that “we absolutely need a national divorce,” but doubted such an outcome could ever be reached peacefully: “The only reason the tanks aren’t rolling yet is because you all own about 400 million guns. ... She’s right when she says that, but any society that really needs that would not be able to accomplish it either because the divisions that exist — both sides are not going to agree to peaceably walk away.”
- Right-wing radio host Jesse Kelly suggested that a formal split between red and blue states is “inevitable” and “only a matter of dates at this point.” In a reply to another Twitter user, Kelly conceded that such a fracture would “probably not” happen peacefully. (Notably, Kelly has previously proposed a national divorce and fantasized about political violence.)
Others responded with violent rhetoric, comparing the left to “metastatic cancer” and promising not to “give them an inch, let alone 2 million square miles”
- On Twitter, TheBlaze’s Allie Beth Stuckey argued that “a national divorce isn’t probable because leftism can’t ‘live and let live,’ in the same way the metastatic cancer doesn’t infect one part of the body without conquering another.”
A national divorce isn’t probable because leftism can’t “live and let live,” in the same way the metastatic cancer doesn’t infect one part of the body without conquering another. It’s imperialistic & totalitarian by nature. It will never allow a diplomatic divorce - ever
— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) February 20, 2023
- The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh agreed with Greene’s sentiment that the left and right “have no shared values whatsoever” and argued that the U.S. is culturally and politically “deeper and wider and more unbridgeable than it’s ever been in American history, and that includes the Civil War.”
- Walsh later clarified his position in a Facebook post, saying, “I understand the national divorce idea but it can't happen and besides I'm not surrendering half of my country to these people. I'd rather spend the rest of my life fighting with them than do that. I won't give them an inch, let alone 2 million square miles.”
- On her podcast, former One America News Network host Liz Wheeler criticized Greene’s proposal because it would mean conceding ground to the left, saying, “I reject the idea of a national divorce entirely and the most important reason why is because this is a losing mentality. If you resort to a national divorce, then you are admitting defeat. You are retreating and separating because you don't believe that you can emerge victorious.” In lieu of divorce, Wheeler advocated for Republicans to “build up your own apparatus of ballot harvesting to match with Democrats, to compete with them in order to defeat them.”