Careful What You Wish For: A National Divorce Would Impoverish Red States | Opinion

Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is very good at garnering attention, better known for her antics, trolling, and outlandish statements than for putting forth serious policy proposals. Those antics run dark: Taylor Greene has a history of flirting with neo-Confederate and anti-democratic ideas. She was an early adopter of the dangerous Q-Anon conspiracy theory, appeared on a stage at an event led by white nationalist antisemite Nick Fuentes, and said that if the violent January 6th insurrection at our nation's capitol would have been organized by her, it "would have been armed" and the insurrectionists "would have won."

More recently, Taylor Greene took the occasion of President's Day to propose a "national divorce" between red states and blue states, which she later tried to clean up by calling it "a legal agreement to separate our ideological and political disagreements by states while maintaining our legal union."

"From the sick and disgusting woke culture issues shoved down our throats to the Democrat's traitorous America Last policies, we are done," wrote Rep. Taylor Greene on Twitter.

We cannot pretend that Right wing attacks on "wokeness" haven't been politically effective for some. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has become a popular leader among Republicans by attacking Disney characters rather than addressing the fact that home insurance in his state is three times the national average. His stunts thus far have been a cover for his lack of charisma, so much so that some consider him to be the GOP's best opportunity to regain control of the executive branch. It seems clear that Taylor Greene is also trying to ride the anti-"woke" wagon into the White House, perhaps as a VP pick for former President Trump.

As patently absurd as breaking up the United States is, let's explore what that would look like.

Firstly, Greene herself may have to move. Georgia is now a purple state. It has two Democratic Senators, one of whom won an election and a runoff back to back. The state's Republican Governor won comfortably in 2022 after a relative nailbiter in 2018, but one could argue that is because by modern GOP standards, he's governed as a moderate.

Marjorie Taylor Greene
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) gives a thumbs down during President Joe Biden's State of the Union address. Win McNamee/Getty Images

But in a national divorce, Washington, D.C. and all of its governmental infrastructure would belong to the blue states, given that it is one of the bluest areas in the country. Red states would have to find and establish a new capital.

And they would struggle financially. Red states are far more dependent on the federal government and are being funding by blue states. Seven of the 10 states most dependent on the federal government are red states.

A Rockefeller Institute of Government study found that traditional Democratic states contributed more in federal taxes per person than traditional Republican states. For example, Connecticut citizens pay an average of $15,643 a year, while ruby red West Virginia residents pay just $5,740. And red states get more return on investment. While Kentucky gets $2.89 and West Virginia collects $2.24 for every tax dollar they send to Washington, Connecticut receives just 89 cents.

Without blue states subsidizing red states, the quality of life would go from bad to worse for vulnerable and working class people in those areas. The six worst states for healthcare in the U.S. went for Donald Trump in 2020. Eight of the 10 states with the highest per capita murder rates backed Donald Trump in 2020. Part of the anti-"woke" and general GOP narrative is about protecting children. However, nine of the top 10 states for infant mortality were Trump-voting states.

Red states like Mississippi even struggle to provide their citizens with clean drinking water.

Breaking the nation apart has been tried before by seditious traitors. It failed thanks to the patriotic sacrifice of of hundreds of thousand of Americans.

Most Americans want a path toward unity, where we discuss our disagreements and find healthy compromise when possible. Blue states help red states because together we make up the United States.

Marjorie Taylor Greene doesn't want unity because it's not politically expedient for her and her ambitions. She is willing to hurt red state residents in tangible ways, as long as they don't have "woke" all-gender bathrooms.

It's time for her constituents to see her for what she is: a careerist who will sell out their well-being for the slightest advancement.

Dr. Jason Nichols is an award winning senior lecturer in the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland College Park and was the longtime editor-in-chief of Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.