Apparently the Civil War solved nothing. That’s what happens when the side that loses the war ends up winning the peace that follows. Usually, it’s the winners who get to write a war’s history. In America’s case, the Civil War’s losers managed a very neat trick. They turned a war about slavery into a war about “states’ rights” – a thing it never was. Want to know what’s missing from literally every secession document from every Confederate state? The words “states’ rights”. That’s because the treasonous states weren’t seceding because of anyone’s rights. They were seceding to keep slavery alive. Not quite the same thing.
The irony is though Progressives and Democrats and liberals may wishfully think about seceding from America should Trump “win” again in 2024, it’s always been Republicans and conservatives who’ve done the actual seceding. This time, it’s our turn to walk away and we’d do ourselves – and Red America – a giant favor by doing it.
The instant SCOTUS tosses Roe v Wade, a thousand things will begin to happen, none of them good. In half of America, women will lose rights they’ve had for 50 years. And then conservatives will set their sights on every other privacy right Americans “think” they have. Most importantly, conservatives will do all of this from a minority position. At best they are one third of Americans.
Okay… what if there were two Americas – a red one and a blue one. Where would the dividing line be?
Most of the south would go red. Virginia may have just feinted back toward red but Glenn Youngkin’s win was more anomalous than representative. While running away from Trump, he used “critical race theory” to stir the pot. What worked back in 2020 won’t work in 2022 when a lot of the suburban moms whose racism Youngkin stoked stand together as women against men reaching into their ovaries.
Picking a fight with America’s women – when it wasn’t necessary – will go down as one of the Republican Party’s stupidest moves (and we’ll learn soon enough that they are the masters of stupidity – and corruption and treason). But, how America treats women has become the dividing line.
In addition to the South, lots of the Midwest would go red, too. The Bible Belt. But there might be surprises, too. States like Kansas may “bleed” again as they did before the first Civil War. Wisconsin and Michigan will be interesting to see. Without gerrymandering, both would be a lot more blue but then, isn’t misrepresentation the whole point of gerrymandering?
The Dakotas, of course would both go red which reminds me – why are there two Dakotas in the first place? What, there were too many Dakotans for one? Fact: the population of North Dakota as of 2021 was 774,948. For South Dakota, it was 895,376. Puerto Rico had 2,828,255 people in it in 2021. Yet those Americans cannot vote for president. Not American enough? Or would Puerto Rico’s Senators and Electoral College votes be too reliably Democratic? Same goes for Washington, DC whose population of 718,355 citizens is larger than Wyoming’s 578,803 citizens. How is it people in DC don’t have two Senators representing them while people in Wyoming do?
There already are two America’s in many, many ways. All we’d really be doing is making it official. Demarking borders.
Red America – operating on fear, racism, misogyny, bigotry and religious ignorance – would put up walls and guard the borders with manic determination. They’ll say they don’t want any bad ideas getting in, but what they’ll really be doing is trying to keep the few remaining skillful people from fleeing. The first thing that Red America will experience is the biggest brain drain of all time as everyone with a brain and the means heads for the exits.
Unfortunately, the poor, the sick, the helpless won’t be able to run for cover. They will be Red America’s saddest story. They will have to take the brunt of Red America’s impotent rage.
Blue America will thrive. It will become a study in unbridled progressive policymaking because Republicans won’t be there to bridle it. Both universal single-payer healthcare and universal reproductive rights will become the law of the land. UBI will be a fact of life – and the thing that gives countless American families the chance to step onto a genuinely level playing field.
That will be the biggest difference between Red and Blue America – fairness. Red America won’t have any while Blue America revels in it.
My betting is that Red America will begin its life by patting itself on the back just for existing. Then they’ll paint themselves into a corner. Because everyone with a brain fled eons ago, Red America will always struggle to fix and renew itself. Beaten down by social rules, Red Americans will become even more socially awkward than they are now. And then, as physical systems begin to fail – and being unable to just go out and buy new – Republicans will find themselves going deeper and deeper into the abyss.
I give Red America’s power grid six months. Gerryrigged fixes will work for a little while but when the patches and fixes fail to adequately patch and fix, they’ll end up rationing electricity just like one of the banana republics Republicans dream of turning America into. If the supply chain sucks now, it will suck worse then in Red America. Food will be scarce except for those atop the food chain.
Health care? You jest! Education beyond learning how to read your Bible? Not happening. Why do worker bees need to know anything? A social safety net? Does the term “work house” mean anything to ya? Hell, work will be the foundation of Red America. Getting paid for one’s work however won’t be.
That will be Red America’s crowning achievement: a return to literal slavery. Except this time, Red America will cast a wider net than Confederate America did. The Confederacy enslaved only Black people. Red America will be more, um, “democratic” about that. They’ll enslave everyone.
In the same way that the Russian army sucks because it’s all unmotivated, undisciplined conscripts, Red America’s workforce will be treated like cannon fodder. They’ll be over-worked, under-paid and entirely dispensable. And then, because this is how feudal systems work, while the rich benefit from the work of those beneath, those beneath will bear the brunt of the financial burden.
What of value will Red America make? Nothing. In part because no one with an idea worth money will still live in Red America. Innovators want to go places where innovative thinking is encouraged and seed-funded. A foundational thing about conservatives is that they can’t abide innovation. That would mean solving old problems with new solutions instead of the old solutions conservatives want to stand by simply because they’re the old solutions. If one puts one’s mind toward thinking of new solutions, one will naturally innovate and think outside the box. For a conservative, this is disastrous.
Red America will celebrate originalism even as that way of thinking leaves them shivering and hungry in the cold and dark. As disease and squalor overcome them, they’ll chuckle nonetheless because, they’ll tell themselves, at least they’re sticking it to the libs.
Meanwhile, across the border, the “libs” will live their lives oblivious of the poor former Americans living next door. Blue Americans – educated, healthy, happy and civic-minded to a fault – will be startled by a faint knock at one of old doors that was built into the high walls Red America insisted be built all along all the borders between the two Americas. The Blue Americans will see that it’s a Red American – hungry, cold and desperate for a little TLC.
Blue Americans have long memories but we don’t hold grudges – though maybe should. We’ll help this poor, Red American. We’ll let him call Blue America home. Hopefully, he’ll do what the converted often do – out-sing the choir. But, maybe he won’t convert. Maybe this Red American will be no less a bore and a boob than when we all parted company.
I sure hope it doesn’t shock us there in Blue America. There’s something we need to learn about Red America and get it stuck in our heads: they’ve never been that in to democracy. In fact, white supremacist America loathes the idea of democracy if we’re talking about Diverse America. That’s why Republicans have now made it official that they will do everything in their power to destroy American democracy forever. They’d do that before ever sharing power with the rest of us.
They couldn’t spell “E Pluribus Unum” if their lives depended on it.
The joke will always be on them in the long run anyway. For starters, they all think they can take their money with them when they die. Then there’s climate change. Yes, the poorest will suffer the most. But the poor, having always been poor, understand what having nothing feels like. Having nothing is a shock to a rich man’s system. Feeling powerless is utterly foreign and therefore terrifying. The rich will always offer to buy their way out of this awfulness. What do you do when money’s your magic power and you’ve run out of money?
The best punishment every conservative Republican deserves is to live in the America of their dreams. They might think they’ll live in that world with the rest of us at their service but they’ll be wrong. This time, they’ll have to do it without all the non-white people they fear, despise, loathe and cannibalize.
The irony of ironies will be how Red America – brimming with superior white culture – so quickly became the shittiest of shithole countries. In whatever corner of hell he’s in, Donald Trump will look up and smile.