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Kvaran: Might be time to break up the U.S.

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As the divide between Americans widens into what appears to be an almost unbridgeable chasm, isn’t it about time to begin looking at what the Balkanization of America needs to look like?

I think so and here is how I’m approaching it. First of all, I am looking at dividing the country into two countries, which I will call Red America and Blue America. Dividing by states seems to me to be a bad idea, so I am looking at counties instead. Using the presidential county election maps from 2016 and 2020, which are very similar, was a starting point. What I discovered, many others have too, is that the vast area of the U.S. is red, but a majority of the people are blue.

So while it is possible to create a contiguous Red America it is problematic to envision the Blue America. Missouri is a good example of what I’m talking about. A red-blue map shows three blue dots in a sea of red. Those dots are St Louis and Kansas City, fairly obvious as blue counties and Columbia, which is a college town. All three are separated from other blues except outlying counties in other states, Kansas and Illinois.

Oklahoma is another interesting case, one blue dot, Oklahoma City, in a sea of red extending to all its borders and well beyond that.

So what to do about those cases? The answer, I believe, lies in the U.S. Interstate highway system. That is what connects virtually all the isolated blue counties.

It might be pointed out that something similar had been tried before, that is the U.S. Civil War, but let’s look at that. Unfortunately, from my point of view, the states attempting to withdraw from the Union did not exhaust their legal options before beginning shooting.

I happen to be one of those who believes that the states that became the Confederate States of America should have been allowed to go their own way because the Constitution does not forbid it and the 10th Amendment “states that the federal government possesses only those powers delegated, or enumerated, to it through the Constitution, and that all other powers are reserved to the States, or to the people.” Seems pretty clear to me, but then in America those who resort to violence before exhausting their legal recourses are going to end up on the losing side. It’s also not a good idea to resort of violence after using up your legal options, but that is a moot question here.

So what do you think? Start breaking America up or can we somehow pull it together again? And if so, how? I don’t see Biden or Trump as being the solution.

Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.