Marjorie Taylor Greene Outlines Parameters of Potential 'National Divorce'

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene on Tuesday laid out the parameters of her proposed "national divorce" to separate Democratic and Republican states.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers have long wrestled with finding common ground in governing, and in recent years they have sparred over a variety of cultural and political issues, including LGBTQ rights, education and how elections should be run, as well as foreign policy. As Congress suffers from low approval ratings, millions of Americans of both parties have expressed their frustrations with the federal government and partisanship.

On Monday, Greene, a Georgia Republican, proposed her solution to the lack of cooperation between the political parties—a national divorce. In a tweet, she called for the United States "to separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government." Her proposal quickly drew a backlash from critics, including some fellow Republicans, who slammed Greene for appearing to voice support for secession.

Marjorie Taylor Greene explains national divorce parameters
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, speaks to reporters outside the U.S. Capitol on February 2. Greene on Tuesday detailed her call for a "national divorce" separating red and blue states. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Greene offered more details about what this separation would look like.

She said that rather than supporting the complete dissolution of the federal government, her plan for a national divorce would instead see its scope significantly reduced. This separation would allow states to control education, commerce and communications, thus reducing the federal debt, Greene said

"Tragically, I think we, the left and right, have reached irreconcilable differences," Greene tweeted. "I'll speak for the right and say we are absolutely disgusted and fed up with the left cramming and forcing their ways on us and our children with no respect for our religion/faith, traditional values, and economic & government policy beliefs."

She went on to list a variety of right-wing policies that conservative states would embrace under such a scenario.

Regarding education, Greene wrote that "red states" would embrace "varying degrees" of traditional education and ban a variety of measures aimed at increasing LGBTQ inclusivity in schools, including what she described as "LGBTQ indoctrinating teachers."

Furthermore, she wrote that conservative states would allow prayer in schools, while their Democratic counterparts would replace the Flag with "pledges to identity ideologies like the Trans flag and BLM," although this is not supported by national Democrats.

Democratic and Republican states would also embrace sharply different policies on energy, Greene wrote. Republican states would be free to use fossil fuels, which scientists say have created the climate crisis, but Greene noted that "obviously all states would still have to comply with certain environmental protective requirements."

While the federal government would maintain control over a narrowed-down Department of Defense, states would be allowed to implement their own policies on how elections would be run, Greene wrote.

Joe Lowndes, a professor of political science at the University of Oregon, told Newsweek that Greene's call for separatism may help build her personal brand but described her proposal as a "defeatist" position.

"She's essentially saying that right-wing politics have limited appeal in the United States and that people can't be won over by her version of conservative politics," he said. "And in the face of that, the only thing to do is separate."

Lowndes also said that while Greene's tweets are not a coherent political proposal, her remarks are "not inconsequential" because of her position on the House's Homeland Security Committee. He also warned that embracing separatist rhetoric carries dangers, including misleading people about the realities of political identities, as many Democrats live in so-called red states and many Republicans are in so-called blue states.

He also said the idea that the two major parties shouldn't have to debate their ideas with facts is "destructive" to democracy.

"This kind of political demagoguery works against the possibilities of healthy political conflict, healthy political argument, healthy political disagreement and vigorous debates," he said.

"The message here is: 'There should be no argument or disagreement or debate or things to fight over. People should just pick up their toys and go home.' That itself is a dangerous message for a country that aspires to be democratic," Lowndes said.

Other critics have condemned Greene's ideas about how a separation would play out.

"You're asking for families to break up and divorce each other because of political differences, this is a free country and if you can't accept the fact that people can think for themselves? Consider moving to communist China," tweeted pundit David Weissman.

Tom Smith, the assistant attorney general for Texas, tweeted: "You do not speak for me and I am a conservative. How disgraceful to Pres. Lincoln & the 1000's buried all across America who fought to preserve our nation to throw up our hands, 'welp, can't make it work anymore.' So weak. Loser mentality, typical of many in GOP to run away & hope people leave us alone. Yeah that's not happening. Hope we enjoy speaking Mandarin."

Newsweek reached out to Greene's office for comment.

Update, 2/21/2023, 3:20 p.m. ET: This story was updated with comments from political science professor Joe Lowndes.