The State of the Union



The election of Donald Trump to the highest post in the land leaves me wondering whether the states can remain united.  There is so little to unite Alabama and Oregon for example. Or Mississippi and Massachusetts.

The United States has grown so large that democracy apparently doesn’t work any longer.

Each state is a country unto itself with different demographics and different values.

Dividing North America laterally was the first error. Geographically, California, Oregon and Washington state, for example, have so much more in common with British Colombia than with Montana or Wyoming. And Montana and Wyoming have so much more in common with Alberta and Manitoba than with California.

But what’s done is done. There is no chance that Canadian provinces will join American states (or vice versa).

But there’s a real possibility that the American states have outgrown the union. California surely could stand as a separate country. And Texas has been straining at the bit for years to get out of the union.

While I doubt that the states will withdraw from the federation, I wonder whether the federal government will become much weaker and states rights will grow much stronger.

I expect the Tenth Amendment to be invoked far more than it has been in the past.

The implications are ominous. Decades of civil rights progress could be undone, for example. But with a white supremacist as Trump’s chief adviser, that’s frighteningly likely, anyway.

In the recent elections, America’s rustic tail wagged its urban dog. I don’t see powerhouses like California putting up with that kind of thing forever.

More on states’ rights