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Political op-ed: Sectionalism in the United States and political polarization

Every country has a separation between north and south. In Sweden, northerners are seen as mechanics. In Britain, English people think of people from Scotland as alcoholics, swear happy, and cranky. In the U.S. people from the south hate, people from the north, and people from the north think of southerners as uneducated racists. We (the United States) have a serious problem with sectionalism and political factions. Throughout the history of the United States, we have had the north and the south, free states or slave states, nowadays to an extent red states and blue states. When America was first founded we had the south, “king cotton” or an agricultural powerhouse built on the backs of slaves, and we had the north, the industrial powerhouse full of factories. Many compromises were reached between these factions such as the ⅗ compromise, however as time went on the states grew further apart with one reliant on slavery and one morally opposed to it, yet still reliant on it. This all came to a head in 1865 when Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter. The states had too much tension and a civil war was inevitable.

After the civil war, political parties changed and we entered reconstruction. Nowadays we have a similar problem and our map looks like this.

The map about the support of succession from the union above you was done in 2021. In southern states, 66 percent of Republicans support leaving the union, and in the northeast and west, that number is around 43% for democrats. These numbers are high, and what is more alarming is that the numbers here pair up exactly with the other maps. The south is a conservative stronghold, 66 percent favor leaving the union. The north and west are liberal strongholds, with 43% in favor of leaving the union. The midwest, which is usually up for grabs in elections, has a tiny support level from both democrats and republicans but surprisingly a strong support level from independents which might seem like a lot until you realize that Brook Pierce, the 2020 presidential nominee for the independent party, got .03% of the vote. According to the multiple graphs above areas that vote more red/blue have higher support levels for succession from the union. If we look at the county map of the midwest it has a mix of red and blue, and, if we compare it to other states, we see that support for succession from the union is relativity low. If we look at the Pacific on the other hand we have a higher support level for succession among democrats but lower support from republicans. If we look at the south, which voted completely for the republican nominee in 2016, we see that support for succession is at 66 percent. One reason for this is that if you live in an area where you are a political minority you are forced to hear opposing points of view, and therefore become less polarized. If Americans want to do their country a service they should listen to opposing views and different points of view.


Study on support for leaving union:

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