Froma Harrop: A MAGA secession could possibly work
Suppose we skip the war part and imagine an amicable divorce.
With one out of five "strong Republicans" saying a civil war is very likely — and part of the Trump base casually throwing around the word "secession" — one suspects that many residents of MAGAland don't want to live under their elected national government. They want their own country.
No, I don't want the United States to break up. I'm a left-leaning moderate living in a Democratic stronghold who truly likes other parts of the country: the rural South, Appalachia, the Great Plains, Texas. Lots of wonderful people there, including many who don't generally subscribe to my political views. And I'll go so far as to agree with them on certain items, for example, the ridiculousness of the woke fringe. Keep the United States united, I say.
On the other hand, let's consider the possibilities. Suppose we skip the war part and imagine an amicable divorce.
Trump country's obeisance to the real estate developer from Manhattan remains a mystery, especially to other people from Manhattan. Before 2016, Donald Trump was locally regarded as a sometimes-entertaining clown. As a businessman, he was a serial bankrupt who stiffed the little people. (Banks that had loaned him money and got burned had it coming.)
As for the split of assets, there would be many a dry eye in Biden country if MAGAland went its own way.
The counties that voted for Joe Biden in 2020 accounted for 71% of the national economy. Trump voting counties represented only 29%. Biden country is subsidizing Trump country. Imagine what the Blue States could do with the federal taxes they now send to Washington.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, an exemplary conservative in a previous life, continues to probe the bottom of his intellectual decline with talk of violence should Trump be subjected to the indignities of due process for, among other things, apparently stealing (and lying about hiding) top-secret documents tied to national security. They were kept in his private club through which who-knows-who could wander.
Some were so sensitive that FBI agents and Justice Department lawyers needed additional security clearances to review them. And several of them contained the names of U.S. intelligence workers — some American, some foreign -- the release of which could put them in danger.
Let's call Graham's warning of "riots in the streets" for what they are. They are threats along the lines of Trump's "terrible things are going to happen" if his people are made angry. Another word for this is "extortion." Trump and his band of headcases are threatening the lives of FBI agents and other law enforcement officers.
Well, you know where they can put those threats. Furthermore, anyone who acts out violently can be thrown behind bars, including those misfits for whom Trump declares his love.
I don't want a national breakup. It is my hope that come the November midterms, patriotic voters across the political rainbow will band together to disempower a national party bent on destroying the democracy. Liz Cheney is leading the way.
But there's the Plan B: Divide the country into two parts, one a sane democracy, the other the People's Republic of MAGAland. Some fancy boundary drawings would be required. Austin, for example, is Biden country surrounded by Texas. And Arizona is a real mix.
I don't know what MAGAland would do without the great research centers, the commerce and tax base of what's now called Biden country. It would learn to manage, one supposes.
Again, I don't want it, but if we must divide the nation, let's do it without violence. We can get along despite the differences. To quote the Motley Crue song title, "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)."
Froma Harrop is a nationally syndicated columnist whose work regularly appears in the Grand Forks Herald.