Columbus:(Yes, this town is still Columbus, at least for another week): Since the Civil War, has this country ever been as divided as it now?
Here’s Will Rogers on an idea of dividing the country. (This was his last radio broadcast, June 9, 1935.) As you read it, you can insert Biden in place of FDR, and Trump for the Republicans.
“We ought to split this country up, anyhow. Let the Republicans have the East. You see? Let the Republicans have all the East, with Wall Street, and then let ’em run it just like they want to. And then the Democrats take the West.
Take (Franklin)Roosevelt, too. Take him for a while, if he makes good. If he don’t we’ll let him out, see? We’ll just take him on trial. And we call it Roosewest.
He could come out here in these broad spaces where he could try pretty near any plan he wanted. And things are so far apart you couldn’t tell whether it’s working or not. Then the beauty about him, if he was out here and the Democrats were all out here there’d be no Supreme Court to worry anybody, ’cause nobody on that court ever was west of the Mississippi River, anyhow. No New York Herald or Chicago Tribune to make life miserable for him. They’ve got about the same standing out here as the Police Gazette.
If a person wants to be a Republican, why let him go East, and if he wants to be a Democrat, why come West. And if he’s not so hot about either party, why let him go down to Louisiana (with Huey Long). He can go down there with Huey and share the cotton, and share the mule, and share the corn pone, and the pot likker, and chittlins, and everything. And let Huey have the dissatisfied from both sides.
Then take the Army and Navy. Let one have the Army and the other one the Navy. See? Then they never could fight. There wouldn’t be any fight because the Army wouldn’t have a boat and the Navy wouldn’t have a horse or a Ford. That way you’d keep ’em from fightin’.
It’s got some possibilities at that. I know a lot of you will say, “We must preserve the Union.” You’ve heard that. “We must preserve the Union.” Well, the Union is over preserved right now. It’s pretty near pickled.
When Roosevelt comes west to take over the management of the Democrats, he’s got to leave those professors back there. We’re not going to let him bring any professors out here. He’s got to come out on his own. And that Astor yacht, too, it don’t fit in with Jeffersonian principles. A yacht is purely a Republican tool. If he wants to fish, we’ll give him a can of worms and let him go to Hoover Dam. Can you imagine a Democratic president sittin’ in there fishin’ in Hoover Dam?
I don’t know who the Republicans would have to run their country. I guess they’d run it like they do all their business, with a board of directors. A Republican don’t feel good unless he’s on a board of directors.
Course they’d have all the money. The Republicans would have all the money, but the Democrats would have all the fun. We’d have a lot of fun. All the rich Republicans would naturally go back East to be among people of their own standing. Then, if the country split that would naturally do away with the national debt. We’d split up and that would do away with the debt, see? Both sides would start in owing nothing. And the Republicans would perhaps continue the same way. But the Democrats, it wouldn’t take them long to dig up a deficit. And then the Democrats could take whatever they’re using for money, and they could inflate or do anything they wanted to with it. And the Republicans, who say we should never have gone off the gold, well, if they had their own country, they could go back on it, if they want to.
I can’t picture, personally, a more ideal existence all around. The only trouble would be neither one would be happy because they wouldn’t have nobody to lay anything on to.
So I doubt if the plan will ever get very far, because this is not a time for common sense.” Radio, June 9, 1935