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How to avoid America’s coming secession crisis


The craziness of our politics makes one wonder what’s round the bend. After the “resistance,” the pussy hats, the nonstop crises and the permanent impeachment, what might be the next shoe to drop? The answer: a breakup of the country, as I argue in my new book, “American Secession.”

Americans have never been more divided, and we’re ripe for secession. The bitterness, the gridlock, the growing tolerance of violence invite us to think that we’d be happier were we two different countries. In all the ways that matter, save for the naked force of law, we are already two nations.

And if that’s where we are today, where might we be in an easily imaginable future, where impeachment fizzles and Trump wins reelection and gets a couple more appointments to the Supreme Court? If secession were to happen, it would be the left-wing states that want out, places like California and Oregon. If they think the rest of the country is populated by deplorables, why would they want to be in the same country as the rest of us?

There’s a second reason why secession beckons. We’re overly big, one of the biggest countries in the world. Smaller countries are happier and less corrupt. They’re less inclined to throw their weight around militarily, and they’re freer. If there are advantages to bigness, the costs exceed the benefits. Bigness is badness.