How seriously should we take talk of US state secession?

(Serious as a heart attack! – DD)

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(Source) – One troubling sign of our deteriorating civic mood is the shocking breadth of support for secession in the United States. At a time of widespread polarization—where people are arguing over a supposedly stolen election, vaccine mandates, mask-wearing, and the reality of climate change—a September 2020 Hofstra University poll found that “nearly 40 percent of likely voters would support state secession if their candidate loses.” This was followed by a YouGov and Bright Line Watch survey last June that revealed that 37% of Americans supported a “willingness to secede” when asked: “Would you support or oppose [your state] seceding from the United States to join a new union with [list of states in new union]?” Support for doing this was highest in the South and among Republicans.

But liberals are interested, too. In a July 2021 University of Virginia poll, 41% of Biden supporters (as well as 52% of Trump voters) were at least somewhat in agreement with the idea “that it’s time to split the country, favoring blue/red states seceding from the union.”

In that survey, two very different groups were open to such an action: those living in conservative Southern states, who wanted to avoid liberal dictates from the national government, and people on the West Coast and Northeast, who favored enacting legislation favored by liberal voters.

If the inconceivable scenario of secession somehow came to fruition, it is an open question whether the United States would end up with two or many countries. Since political polarization plays out unevenly across the nation, one could imagine a situation similar to Europe where a number of separate entities would emerge, including a contingent of Southern states…

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