Split the US into 3

American progressives seem allergic to celebrating the Affordable Care Act.

While we aren’t there yet on universal health care outside Massachusetts, the biggest rural health care problem isn’t refusal to sign up for Obamacare, but that good health care providers don’t want to practice there.

As for the split into 3, my first thought is generally India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Ordinarily, I resist making this kind of argument, since all lives are equally precious, but Black people would suffer disproportionately. (Mississippi is 38% Black.)

I think the choice now is between managed dissolution and collapse. Because America never does the mature thing, it will be collapse. That means there will be decent people stuck inside red state America and fascists in blue state America. Ideally, people will be free to relocate, but we saw how the Taliban prevented decent people from getting out when Afghanistan collapsed and I suspect the Trumpists will yet again take a page out of their book.

And there’s a lot of serious people outside the US who are thinking about this. It’s not just internet “What-if-ing”

This a non-paywalled version of an opinion piece that was originally published in The Globe and Mail, a newspaper not usually noted for Chicken Little impersonations, or general anti-Americanism.

One of my colleague’s spouse is the ambassador for their country to the US. This country has had historically close ties with America and they are planning for life after the US, in fact, they have already developed direct relations with countries that in the past, they always worked through the US.

I’m afraid I don’t follow.

Yeah, not exactly a model of peaceful separation, what with one of the largest forced migrations in history, the slaughter of millions, and well past half a century of armed hostilities. Plus one of those resulting states having been one of the biggest facilitators to ongoing global insecurity and mayhem.

Say this country is Freedonia and in the past Freedonia always worked through the United States when it dealt with Brazil. Any Freedonia/Brazil trade deals or treaties required US to serve as an interlocutor. This meant that the US had a say in the deals and could influence them so that they took into account US interests. Freedonia and Brazil both relied on the stability that the US brought to the deals and a US guarantee meant that both Brazil and Freedonia would commit to the deal.

Now, Freedonia and Brazil work directly with each other because the US is seen as an unreliable actor and their presence is no longer a stabilizing force. Now Freedonia and Brazil work directly on deals and the US has lost influence and a chance to push American interests. This is happening all over the world as nations begin to realize that they will have to figure out a system of relations without the US as a stabilizing force, because we are collapsing.


Any country as large and powerful as America that could manage a dissolution wouldn’t need to dissolve.

Like I said, we won’t manage the process it will (actually is currently undergoing) collapse.

The number of people in British India was 15-20 percent more than that of the U.S. today – so on the same order. The estimated number of people who transferred (Wikipedia says 14,5 million) seems on the low side of what could happen in our case. So how would deaths compare? I suppose semi-modern medical care would help, but people fleeing their homes (and those pushing them) can be extremely angry, and a lot more would have guns than in the India case.

I’m afraid to ask proponents how many population transfer deaths they would consider a success.

Before the U.S. Civil War, many abolitionists – especially white abolitionists – favored a split. That mistaken idea at least had the merit that it would have stopped slavecatchers from coming into the North. I don’t see any comparable benefit to splitting the U.S. today.

Honestly I think the only way the nation survives is for social issue laws (abortion, guns, gay rights) apply differently in rural and urban America. Love your guns- move to the country. Want a gay marriage, move to the city. Not a perfect solution. I’d like gay marriage legal everywhere forever, but some would want abortion illegal everywhere forever. Our cultural divide is simply too great.

You may get the imperfect abortion solution you seem OK with later this year, if Roe is overturned.

You won’t get a regional gay marriage contrast because the GOP is on track to becoming the AandTERF (Anti-Abortion and Trans-Exclusionist Radical Feminist) party:

For the First Time, a Small Majority of Republicans Support Gay Marriage

I can easily see Bari Weiss as a red state Senator.

However, I fear your thinking about guns is correct. The Supreme Court may well strike down the local gun control laws that help keep New York City and Boston among our safer cities.

One of the problems here is that there aren’t really any “proponents” of splitting up the US. It’s not that I want the US to split, it’s that I expect the US to split. The divisions between the political parties and their supporters are just too wide, and show no inclination towards improving. At some point, something has to break. There’s a real possibility that what will break is the country.

So ask yourself this: What, of your deeply held beliefs, are you willing to do away with in order to maintain the Union? Because if you lose the coming civil war, that’s what’s going to happen. Sure, you might win, but are you willing to bet the entire future of your political faction on that roll of the dice? And if you manage to avoid a civil war, how did you do that? Well, at some point, one side decided to let the other side have enough of what they want to ease tensions. And that side might be your side.

Sometimes, when you realize you’re about to slip on the ice, it’s better to choose to fall on you ass, to avoid the possibility of falling on your head. Because you’re going to fall, no matter what you do.

And that’s a de facto split, even if de jure, you pretend you’re all still living together. What would “Federalism” look like if the Federal government couldn’t enforce its will in the (countryside/city), because of such attitudes? Hell, forget the Federal government, this would also require the State governments to tacitly acknowledge that they can’t enforce a uniform law across their own State. You’d end up like Afghanistan, where the central government controlled a few cities, and local warlords effectively ruled everywhere else, unless you sent a large armed force to temporarily seize control of a small area.

I think you need to start thinking about what you want from a split, what you’re willing to live with from a split, and what you’re willing to kill and/or die over to avoid from a split, because there’s a good chance it’s going to happen. You can plan ahead, or be caught by “surprise”. But just carrying on as you have been seems untenable.

My plan is non-violent resistance.

I’m not willing to kill or die over anything plausible I can think of. If they try to murder an entire ethic group, or every trans person, sure, but I don’t think that is plausible.

If the GOP unambiguously steals the 2024 election, that will be very bad, but there will be peaceful opportunities, we can’t see from this side, to reverse it.

Dictatorships sometimes are brief (Indira Gandhi’s emergency was one). Neither despair nor mass death would be a proper reaction to a Trump dictatorship.

Belgium is effectively two different countries, split on linguistic lines. The two halves have very little to do with each other.