Irreconcilable Differences is an attempt to peer into the future in the light of recent and ongoing events. Author David Cole proposes that Americans may be living through the beginning of the devolution of the United States of America – a development that may unfold after our lifetimes, although it could happen sooner. Cole surveys examples of devolutionary political developments around the world in recent decades. He offers a running commentary on recent polemics, as commentators in the press consider the evidence of American political decline and decay. He speculates as to exactly what form a devolved United States might take. The conjecture is that a point could be reached at which Americans conclude that an amicable breakup is to be preferred on the whole to an attempt to continue to live under the same tent. Is contemporary America an example of the Aristotelian phenomenon of “coming into being and passing away”?
David R. Cole is an independent scholar.
Chapter 1: Things Have Changed, and Not for the Better
Chapter 2: Devolution Around the World
Chapter 3: The Small-Republic Argument
Chapter 4: Texas v. White (1869): An Indestructible Union?
Chapter 5: Chuck Thompson’s Irreverent Perspective
Chapter 6: Pundits Ponder the Possibilities
Chapter 7: Balkanized America – Who’s to Blame and What’s Next?
Chapter 8: A “Centrist” Way Out?
Chapter 9: Concluding Remarks – Coming into Being and Passing Away
In this timely and valuable work, David R. Cole carefully and prudently assesses the existing tensions in the American polity, and provides an enlightened approach to understanding our challenges, as well as how our political system can undergo change and reform. Cole offers insights from all major perspectives in pursuit of the defense of popular rule. Amidst our political confusion, this book is a source of hope.”
“For the first time in recent memory, some scholars and political observers are speculating about whether the high level of polarization being experienced in the United States is compatible with the long-term stability of the country. In this provocative book, David C. Cole explores social scientific, historical, constitutional, and philosophical perspectives relating to current polarization in the United States and possible outcomes associated with addressing political division, including enhanced federalism, political ‘divorce,’ and even state or regional succession. Addressing intense political conflict is a serious topic relating to the future of the United States, and Cole has written an interesting and important book that addresses the debates surrounding how the country will deal with its serious political divisions.”