Yes, I agree.
The exacerbation of polarization that the Dobbs decision is going to cause will likely be more important than the issue of abortion itself. In this sense, it reminds me of reopening the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and ending the Missouri Compromise. In the antebellum era, some Southern radicals pushed these issues as wedge issues to sow discord – essentially, to “red pill” their more moderate Unionist neighbors on the fanaticism of the other side – to advance their real goal which was to dissolve the Union.
“Now, with the issue returned to state and federal legislatures, elections will actually loom larger than ever. “When it seems like the stakes can’t get any bigger, the end of Roe raises them,” says Lilliana Mason, a political scientist at Johns Hopkins University who studies polarization.
Blue states and red states will soon be battling over out-of-state abortions and the national distribution of abortion pills; control over Congress and the presidency could lead to a federal law either legalizing or prohibiting abortion nationwide. The same logic that led Republicans to back an obviously undemocratic demagogue — the consequences are simply too grave for us to let the other side win — now applies on steroids to elections across the country.
American democracy is already teetering on a cliff. The coming abortion wars will make it even harder for the country to step away from the brink. …
Anti-abortion activists often compare abortion to slavery on a moral level, a comparison I fundamentally reject. But on a political level, it’s a more apt analogy: The issue is so charged, and crosses state lines so thoroughly, that political conflict over it is guaranteed to be bitter and zero-sum.
One of the most important political science findings for our understanding our current era is that polarization threatens democracy by raising the stakes of elections. When voters and political leaders view their rivals as enemies, maybe even evil, and elections as existential events, the mutual toleration and forbearance at the heart of democracy wither away. Violating norms becomes imaginable; the boundaries of our politics get tested. …”
Obviously, the GOP isn’t clever enough to do this.
The pro-life movement sincerely believes that life begins at conception and that abortion is a modern day Holocaust. They have a point about ending human sacrifice in this country.
As Roe unwinds at the state level, we are going to see the gradual emergence of a strong geographic divide between the coasts and the Heartland states. Progressive activists will demand that corporations weigh in on the issue. This will further aggravate tensions between Corporate America and Red States. The Supreme Court could weigh in other divisive social issues and return more power to the states which could conceivably compound the geographic divide by layering on additional issues.
Elections at both the state and federal level will become even more zero sum struggles between rival blocs of voters divided by social liberalism which are sorting along geographic lines. As the stakes get higher and higher, secession could gain enough traction – perhaps in California or Texas – that one or two states might decide that things are so bad it is worth it to secede from the Union.
Please note where public opinion on secession stood before the Dobbs decision. See also the overlap between White evangelicals, pro-life sentiment and alarm about the Great Replacement.
Note: If the Supreme Court is an illegitimate institution and the Dobbs decision can be defied by Blue States, why should Texas v. White be respected by Red States?