by Frank Jacobs
would be half as
but twice as
political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and
'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable
best way to stop the infighting is to go for a
divorce and give the two nations a country each
Based on the
UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this
proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea
access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
If more proof were needed
that the U.S. is two nations in one, it was offered by the recent
Democrats swept the
House, but Republicans managed to increase their Senate majority.
There is less middle ground, and less appetite for compromise, than
To oversimplify America's electoral divide:
votes in urban, coastal areas
seats in the rural middle of the country
Those opposing blocs have
consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' states decades ago.
Occasionally, and often after tight-run presidential elections, that
divide is translated into a cartographic meme that reflects the
state of the nation.
the U.S. of Canada
Image: Strange Maps
Canada annexes the entire West Coast and borders Mexico.
this cartoon saw the states that
had voted for Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry
join America's northern neighbor to form the United States of
The states re-electing
George W. Bush were dubbed
Image: The New York Times.
Trumpistan is a perforated continent, Clintonesia is a
In 2016, these two maps disassembled the U.S. into,
a vast, largely empty and severely punctuated land mass.
a much smaller but more densely populated archipelago whose
biggest bits of dry land were at the edges, with a huge,
empty sea in the middle.
Soyland vs. the FSA
Image: Jesse Kelly
Following state borders, a line separates 'red' America (in the
south) from the 'blue' half of the country.
The Federalist, Jesse Kelly
in April this year likened America to a couple that can't stop
fighting and should get a divorce. Literally.
His proposal was to split
the country into two new ones:
a 'red' state
a 'blue' state
On a map accompanying the
article, he proposed a division of the U.S. into the People's
Republic of Soyland and the Federalist States of America
(no prizes for guessing Mr Kelly's politics).
It's a fairly crude map. For example, it includes Republican-leaning
states such as Montana and the Dakotas in the 'blue' state for
seemingly no other reason than to provide a corridor between the
blue zones in the west and east of the country.
Mr Kelly admitted that his demarcational talents left some room for
"We can and will draw
the map and argue over it a million different ways for a million
different reasons but draw it we must," he wrote.
"I suspect the final
draft would look similar (to mine)."
Image: Dicken Schrader.
A county-level division between red and blue, with contiguous
territories for both.
"No, this map won't
do," comments reader Dicken Schrader. "It's too crude and would
leave too many members of the 'blue' tribe in the 'red' nation,
and too much 'red' in the 'blue' state."
Agreeing with the basic
premise behind Mr. Kelly's map but not with its crude execution,
Dicken Schrader took it upon himself to propose a better border
between red and blue.
Analyzing election maps from the past 12 years, he devised his own
map of America's two nations,
"inspired by the
original UN partition map for Israel and Palestine from 1947."
Some notes on the map:
To avoid the
distortions of gerrymandering, it is based on electoral
majorities in counties, rather than electoral districts.
As with the UN
partition plan for Israel/Palestine, all territories of both
states are contiguous. There are no enclaves. Citizens of
either state can travel around their nation without having
to cross a border.
between both nations are placed at actual interstate
overpasses, so both states have frictionless access to their
In order to avoid
enclaves, some 'blue' islands had to be transferred to
'red', and some 'red' zones were granted to the 'blue'
exchange is fair to both sides, in terms of area and
Red vs. blue
Washington DC would remain part of
'blue' America, and its capital.
Some interesting stats on these two new nations:
million sq. mi (3.74 million km2), 38% of the total U.S.
million, 64.5% of the total U.S.
Pop. Density: 146
inhabitants/sq mi (56/km2), similar to Mexico
Cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix,
Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, San Jose, Jacksonville
Conservative America (red)
million sq. mi (6.08 million km2), 62% of the total
million, 35.5% of the total
Pop. Density: 49
inhabitants/sq mi (19/km2), similar to Sudan
Cities: Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Charlotte, Nashville,
Oklahoma City, Louisville, Kansas City, Omaha, Colorado
What about the
Image: Dicken Schrader
The partition would not create enclaves, but allow citizens of
either nation frictionless access to the entire territory of their
'Blue' America would be roughly half the size of 'red' America but
have almost double the population.
In terms of area,
would be the 13th-largest country in the world,
larger than Mexico but smaller than Saudi Arabia.
would be the 6th-largest country in the world,
larger than India but smaller than Australia.
In terms of population,
would now be the 5th-most populous county in the
world, with more population than Brazil but less than
would be the 12th, with more population than
Ethiopia but less than Japan.
For those who think this
divorce would end the argument between both tribes, consider that
both countries would still have to live next to each other.
And then there's the
question of the kids. Or, in Mr Schrader's translation to
"Who gets the nukes?"