A nation divided . . .

A bill has been introduced in Congress to make Chicago the 51st state. Illinois is one of many states where one or more very large cities, like Chicago, dominate state politics. Mariner lives near the Illinois line and he knows downstate Illinois is no Chicago! It is classic conservative versus liberal, rural versus urban, agriculture versus manufacturing, republican versus democrat. The situation in Illinois is how Donald can brag he won Illinois because he won 90 counties out of 102. Donald does not mention that he lost Illinois to Hillary 5 to 3 in the popular vote.

By party affiliation Illinois is the third most democratic state in the Union behind New York and California. Converting the state from counties to districts which directly affects representation to the Electoral College, there are 18 congressional districts plus two at large for a total of 20. As it turned out, Hillary took all 20 because Illinois is one of those states that require all Electoral College representatives to represent the popular vote. However, seven of those districts were won by Donald. Many states do not follow Illinois’ interpretation and allow each district to represent its own vote. This is how Donald won the Electoral College in 2016.

So much for statistics. The real issue is a split society. These circumstances remind mariner of Ancient Greece during the era of city-states; it reminds him of the south versus the north in 1860; it reminds him of the generational dichotomy during the 1960’s. Now, it is conflict between thinly populated, monolithic agricultural regions versus crowded, high tech, internet-linked, culturally diverse cities.

The latest news demonstrates the defensiveness between rural and city in that nine states refuse to participate in Covid-19 recommendations. Defiance in either culture is a dangerous sign.

The US, among many nations around the world, is confronted by the Big Four: Economy, Global Warming, Artificial Intelligence and Role of Government. But now for the US, there is a fifth: cultural bifurcation.

This situation literally forces the Republic’s governments and its citizens to take control of dysfunctional relationships between the cultures. Specifically, the relationships in disarray are:

Taxes, Senate representation of population, gerrymandering, term limits, Electoral College and plutocracy (money runs the government).

Coronavirus certainly picked a terrible time to join the battle.

Ancient Mariner

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