American Decline

Facing America’s Second Civil War

LA Progressive

The Supreme Court’s upcoming decision to reverse Roe v. Wade (an early draft of which was leaked Monday) doesn’t ban abortions; it leaves the issue to the states. As a result, it will put another large brick in the growing wall separating Blue and Red America.

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Some say we’re on the verge of a civil war, but that’s not right. It won’t be a formal secession (we tried that once) but a kind of benign separation analogous to unhappily married people who don’t want to go through the trauma of a formal divorce. We are already quietly splitting into two America’s – one largely urban, racially and ethnically diverse, and young; the other largely rural or exurban, white, and older – each running according to different laws and with different sources of revenue.

The split is accelerating. Red ZIP codes are getting redder and blue ZIP codes, bluer. Of the nation’s total 3,143 counties, the number of super landslide counties — where a presidential candidate won at least 80 percent of the vote — jumped from 6 percent in 2004 to 22 percent in 2020.

Surveys show Americans find it increasingly important to live around people who share their political values. Animosity toward those in the opposing party is higher than at any time in living memory. 42 percent of registered voters believe Americans in the other party are “downright evil.” Almost 40 percent would be upset at the prospect of their child marrying someone from the opposite party. Even before the 2020 election, when asked if violence would be justified if the other party won the election, 18.3 percent of Democrats and 13.8 percent of Republicans responded in the affirmative.


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