Taking the United out of United States

What if I told you that the United States, as currently defined, would cease to exist in the year 2025?

Do I have your attention? Good.

Citizens in the state of Oklahoma are ramping up efforts to create a privately-funded and trained militia in cooperation with the state government.

This comes hot on the heels of a Christian Militia attempting a mass law enforcement official demolition, in the hopes of sparking an anti-government revolution, and roughly a year after the Governor of Texas first (half-jokingly, we think) floating the notion that Texas could secede from the union, if it wanted to.

Welcome, friends, to the Altered States of America.

I don’t pretend to preach politics here (and, trust me, I don’t want to, as I find talk of politics and religion to be two guaranteed ways to be one of the least-liked people in the room), but I capital-L Love to preach trends and forecasts and scenarios that could arise if we follow any sort of exponential progression into the unknown.

(You can read that link first, if you’re curious. It might help you understand better, and I will be here when you get back.)

Let’s play the paranoia game for a quick minute.

Suppose, hypothetically, there was a rapidly-growing political movement emphasizing states’ rights over federal law. Suppose this movement incited and inspired a series of behaviors ranging from political incivility to anti-government protests to civilian violence. Suppose this movement was somewhat geographically defined. Let’s call it the Tea Party.

The growing rift between the left and right began to fracture leading up to the 2004 Election. It started to hum in 2006. The election of 2008 seemed to temporarily unite the country, with certain “red” states turning “blue”, but that was more a result of the expansion of the electorate (a significant number of young people came of age) and Barack Obama carrying the African-American vote by a 30-to-1 margin.

Immediately afterward, the trees of discontent began to grow and flower. Overarching health care reform and widespread government ‘bail-outs’ were enacted. Cries of “Socialism” echoed. Civility and compromise are no longer options 1 and 2. That’s when things get scary.

If you assume all conditions increase at an increasing rate until a paradigm shift or phase change occurs, then the unrest should continue to grow, exponentially. Unchecked, should the bubble not burst soon, disagreements could become less civil and more forceful. Violence could soon take hold.

Rallies by states, acquiescing to localized popular demand, against the federal government could become reality. Especially if enough states banded together to do so. They need those numbers to be able to be self-sufficient economically, which – more than any ideological doctrine – will be the real impetus for secession. The bottom line is still the bottom line.

But assuming the right number of states with the right amount of capital and resources band together, could we soon see a new separatist movement take shape? Should this worry you? Perhaps, because it’s sorta happened before.

It took the old union took 40 years to dissolve between the Missouri Compromise (the official legislative root of the North vs. South ideological rift) and the Election of 1860. How long could it take this union in the age of mass communication and the Internet? 30? 20? 10?

Will the regions that secede be allowed to go peacefully? Will there be lasting economic ramifications? Is the impossible a possibility?

These are hypotheticals for which no one has adequately prepared. In the presence of a rapidly-growing chasm between what our union is, and what some feel it should be, perhaps we should start preparing.

It’s not probable, but it is now possible within the realm of mathematical outcomes. And that’s why our union’s fragile balance deserves our attention – before it necessitates it. Now.

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