Barton Gellman’s remarkable essay in The Atlantic magazine dated 6 December 2021, “Trump’s Next Coup has already begun,” concludes: “Against Biden or another Democratic nominee, Donald Trump may be capable of winning a fair election in 2024. He does not intend to take that chance.” Considering what Trump himself and his minions tried to do over the course of three months after the November 2021 election, this is a fair expectation. More to the point, we ought to say: We know what’s coming just three years down the line.
NOTE: Updated version of the PDF, as of Jan 6 2022.
In the fifty years stretching from 1970 to 2020, the conviction that the people of the United States of America were divided into two bitterly-opposed political camps had become more and more widely and deeply entrenched. The fundamental issues underlying this division are race, immigration, economic inequality, and the politicization of morality. For both sides it seemed that this division had grown sharper and more fundamental with each passing year. Even worse, each side had become convinced that the other represented, not merely an honest difference of opinion, but rather a betrayal of the founding principles of the republic, something that was characteristic of the decade of the 1850s. Now it is time for the citizens of the United States to begin considering whether a peaceful breakup of their own far larger and richer nation would be much more preferable in comparison with the possible alternatives. This essay tries to imagine what kinds of political negotiations and constitutional revisions might take place in the second half of the decade of the 2020s in order to bring about a peaceful dissolution of the United States and the creation of four new independent sovereign countries on its territory.