2020: A Retrospective From 2025

Donald Trump and the Altogether True and Amazing Origin of the United American Counties.

2020 marked an epoch in American history, standing alongside 1865, 1787, and 1776. First there was the COVID-19 pandemic, then there were the racial protests and riots throughout the summer, and then there was the disputed presidential election. Finally and most cataclysmically, though, 2020 witnessed the initial formation of the United American Counties (UACo) within the former United States of America. Five years later, it is only now becoming possible to assess the most important causes and consequences of this momentous development for American political society.

As with most politically revolutionary events, the Declaration of UACo Independence was almost entirely unforeseen before it occurred, but almost inevitable in hindsight. By the early 2010s two things were clear: (1) Americans had become increasingly polarized in their worldviews and political beliefs; and (2) These polarized halves of the U.S. were increasingly sorting themselves into either urban or suburban/rural areas. Trump’s election in 2016 put a spotlight on these political realities; as Trump frequently boasted, the 2016 electoral map looked like a sea of red surrounding islands of blue. In 2020, that situation was essentially unchanged.

97% of land area in the U.S. constituted rural counties. Trump’s support within these counties was high and enthusiastic both in 2016 and 2020. Within the remaining 3% of the geographical U.S.—the big cities—anti-Trump sentiment was equally high and enthusiastic.

The 2020 election was the perfect storm for a confrontation between these two factions. It looked like Trump was winning on election day, and then the mail-in ballots handed an apparent victory to Biden. Although widespread electoral fraud wasn’t uncovered by the protracted legal investigation that followed, the die had been cast. Trump and his supporters thought the election had been stolen, and that Trump was the legitimate president of the U.S.

If it had only been the election dispute, tensions may have dissipated over time. Trump supporters may have learned to live with a Biden presidency, especially given GOP victories at the state level and in Congress. The problem was that the election dispute coincided with a deep polarization of worldviews and American historical narratives that had been building for decades. This polarization had proceeded to the extent of annihilating any possible common ground, rendering attempts at compromise or a “live and let live” approach impossible. We had become two Americas; and, as Lincoln had said, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

In 1861, the outcome of this intractable situation was state secession. The division at this time was between slave states and free states. In 2020, the division was not so much between states as between rural and urban counties within states. In 1861, Lincoln was able to marshal the political will, the moral justification, and the economic and military resources necessary to maintain the original constitutional union by force. In 2020, none of these factors was present: Biden proved to be no Lincoln, and the country was too exhausted from the events of 2020 to muster an extended effort to compel union through force.

An America Altogether New

The rapid dissemination of the Declaration of UACo Independence in December 2020 provided the motivation and justification for the formation of a new political society within the former U.S….[   ]

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