Colin Woodard made the case for his vision of the United States as divided into a ”country of regions.” Woodard’s map shows his idea of the ’11 countries” or nations that make up today’s United States.
I’ve expressed my skepticism about Woodard’s classification of the regions of the United States, because, among other things, it’s an oversimplification. I think that the uncritical way in which many people have seized on Woodard’s ideas and his map to press an agenda of their own is not a good thing. It’s helped to popularize this oversimplified, and I think inaccurate, way of seeing the U.S.
Another problem I have with Woodard’s ideas, (and those of his predecessors who pushed similar ideas in earlier decades) is that Woodard is apparently of a liberal bent, and he obviously does not take racial/ethnic realities into account in his ideas about the future of the Dis-United States.
One thing about his ideas which I find absurd is his classifying the regions according to the people who settled there many generations ago. In the past I questioned how it could be argued that ‘Yankees’, or Puritan Anglo-Saxon stock, could still exert influence over the Northeast when in fact there are, percentage-wise, relatively few of them still in the Northeast. In the article I link above, he argues that somehow all succeeding waves of immigrants have assimilated to Yankee norms, just as his Danish ancestors assimilated to ‘Midlands’ culture. But yet after so many waves of immigrants have washed over parts of these once-United States, surely the footprint of the original settlers has been trampled over so as to be effaced and lost. He is arguing for some kind of quasi-mystical influence that lives on after the actual people who shaped the place are dead and their posterity moved thousands of miles Westward.
I find it hard to believe that the Somalis, for example, who are now being shipped en masse to, say, Minnesota, are absorbing the good old Scandinavian Lutheran ways of the early White settlers. But if one believes Woodard or his followers, this must be what is happening.
Some years ago, I wrote a good bit about secession, and in recent years that subject has become a much more discussed — and popular — topic. And finally someone has written a good piece discussing the improbable situation of our current United States of America breaking up along state lines, or even regional lines, per Woodard et al. From Where the Strongest Evidence Leads blog:
“Secession at the state level solves few major problems. Huge divides exist within blue and red states. If California secedes, New Democrats will run it, or at least be the public face of power, until Marxian Hispanics take over, then Muslims take over, including Hispanic and other converts to Islam. If Texas secedes, Rick Perry’s donors will run Texas until the likes of Hugo Chavez take over, then the likes of Ibrahim Hooper replace them, with much violence resulting.
It is more accurate to call the left a coalition of incompatibles than what Steve Sailer calls a coalition of fringes. The same goes for the right.”
Read the whole thing at the blog. The writer takes into account the existence of many factions, including political/ideological as well as ethnic and religious groups who would not, or could not, coexist peaceably should the country break up into separate entities along existing state borders.
The obvious fact is that the powers-that-be have engineered much of the ‘diversity’ which resulted in the presence of so many incompatible and mutually hostile groups. This may indicate that they are hoping to control how a break-up of the United States would play out, should it happen.
It does seem that the more ‘diverse’ our country becomes, with so many competing if not warring groups, the less likely secession would be to change the situation to our advantage, as we would hope.
And maybe those in power are trying, among other things, to insure themselves against secession moves by irreparably breaking the cohesion of the country, sowing seeds of dissension and disunity, so that there can be no threat to the power of those in charge.
Update: I just found this related piece from The Roper Report, called Coloring within the lines. Written from the perspective of racial and ethnic divisions, it also questions the standard view of secession. It would seem that there is no easy solution, and that racial rifts would foil any attempt at a clean separation by region or state.