It is no secret that our country is splintering when it comes to a vision of what the United States should be.
The last two presidential elections have been obvious examples of that. New England, the Upper Midwest, and the West Coast voted solidly Democratic while almost everything else went to the Republicans.
So, it should come as no surprise that there are groups who want to take that splintering one step further. Their dissatisfaction with our nation's current path is so upsetting that they want to take the permanent step of seceding from the United States.
Recently in Chattanooga, groups favoring this idea met at a two-day secessionist convention. Though the groups agree on secession, the reasons they want to break away from the country vary greatly, according to an Associated Press story on the meeting.
For example, in the very liberal state of Vermont, a group called the Second Vermont Republic is fed up because of issues like the Iraq War and high oil prices, according to the AP story.
On the other hand, there is the League of the South that emphasizes issues like stopping illegal immigration as well as promoting what it feels are traditional Southern values.
Even though their approach to specific issues may vary, the one point they agree on is the federal government has overstepped its role in how it impacts the everyday lives of Americans.
They feel the federal government has gone too far, and it is time for a big change.
I believe we can all understand where these groups are coming from to a certain degree. All of us can pick out federal government policies and programs that we feel are wrong and are a burden on citizens.
The tax burden we all feel is probably the number one way the federal government impacts our lives, and it would not be an understatement to say federal taxes are way too high.
Couple that with how bloated and inefficient the government seems to be and the temptation to blow everything up and start over can be a very appealing one. And what better way to start over than to just secede from the United States and start a brand new country.
Though this is tempting, the chances of it happening are zero. It simply is not in our country's best interests, and if any of these groups ever got the power to make it happen, they should be stopped in their tracks.
Think about it. What would life be like if the United States were to splinter into several different countries?
While some would argue that there is little to fear from a small republic where Vermont currently is or a small country made up of Southern states, the geo-political challenges of such a landscape would make life much more difficult.
I hate to even make the comparison, but if the United States fractured into several countries, we would be much like Europe.
In Europe, within just a few hundred miles, there are vastly different cultures, and as history has shown us, they have often disagreed in ways that have turned the world upside down.
Would this happen if America splintered?
Of course, it would. If a person doubts this, all one has to do is study the Civil War. Among the most important results of that conflict was that it preserved the United States as one country.
If the South had won, the splintering of the nation would have continued as we expanded westward because once something is broken, it becomes easier to tear it into smaller pieces.
I guarantee that all of our personal histories would have dramatically changed if that had happened.
The people promoting secession likely believe doing this would solve a lot of the problems they face where they live. However, it wouldn't.
Any country where freedom is cherished will always have serious issues with which it must grapple. The way 'freedom' is defined varies sharply among a culture as diverse as the United States.
Because of that, there will always be a certain amount of tension and conflict when it comes to managing our country.
Seceding would change things, but it would create a whole new set of problems.
Utopias don't exist.