Could the United States disunite?

 | 2 min

What do you think are the odds of the United States disuniting in our lifetimes?

You only have to look at the concentrations of Republican (red) vs Democrat (blue) voters in the last presidential election to see clear divides. Not that it proves anything, its a favourite recurring theme of Clive Cussler that lower California, New Mexico, Arizona and southwestern Texas are more hispanic than "american", and might want to form their own little hispanic state.

Just from what I observe through the web and blogs, the polarisation within America seems to be getting stronger. The bible belt people are getting louder and more strident, bolstered by the fact that they have their boy in the white house at the moment, and he's stacking the courts and other governmental agencies with conservative fundamentalists. Liberal is used as an epithet, and liberals with their so-called 'gay agenda' anti-family policies and foetus killing tendencies are frequently charged with being the cause of everything wrong in America today.

Of course, the left wing are equally horrified by the country waging unjust wars, sacrificing citizens for what looks like a religious war masked by a flimsy cover story. Likewise, the steady eroding of the freedom on which the country prides itself and a government in which church seems to have a strong grip on the state.

And in line with my theory that extremism just breeds more extremism, how long will it be until the two sides no longer want to try and run a country together?

The fact that the US is currently waging wars in the middle east postpones the scenario for a while. Like the September 11, being at war tends to make people feel united against a common enemy, and their own internal differences are drowned out by the massive difference between 'us' and 'them'.

However, what happens when the war stops? Whatever way (and even whether) the US tries to extricate itself from the war in Iraq, it is likely to stir up supporters and opponents. Without the convenient bogeyman of Islamic terrorism to absorb people's wrath, I think internal tensions could just boil over.

Instead of the 'red, white and the blue', we'll end up with Red America (the bible belt) and Blue America. I wonder if Red America will call itself the Confederacy again? Unfortunately, Blue america is geographically divided - both the the westernmost states and the north eastern states are democrat.

And who knows, maybe the Mormons will take the the opportunity to create the independent Mormon nation of Utah at the same time? Maybe California, New Mexico, Arizona and and SW Texas will end up a hispanic nation allied with Mexcio. Maybe Alaska, Washington (state) and Oregon will join up with Canada?

I wonder if it could happen bloodlessly? After all, the two sides can't nuke each other. Can they?