Watching the results of Scotland’s secession gambit was quite a ride, if not a little disappointing in the end. It would have been fantastic to see that proud nation independent once again. I suppose it’s not to be, at least for now. While Downing Street breathes a sigh of relief, perhaps they should reexamine the demographics of the voting results. They certainly don’t bode well for the future of the United Kingdom.
For starters, the growth of the independence movement was quite impressive. From 2011 until the day of the vote, there were quite a few polls taken on the matter. While there were many swings from month to month, support for independence probably averaged around 30 percent until 2013. From 2014 on, it slowly but consistently climbed into the mid 40′s. So who was responsible for this growing popularity?
Mainly the young and the poor, who are increasingly finding themselves in the same category as time goes on. 73 percent of those over 65 voted against secession, after fearing for the state of their pensions should Scotland break away. It’s very likely that the oldest generation is the only thing keeping the “U” in the U.K.
The writing is on the wall, as it is in most countries. It seems that younger people don’t like being ruled from far away elites who don’t represent them, culturally or politically. As the previous generation dies off, they will slowly become the majority. This burgeoning urge to break nations down can be seen across the globe, and is a natural course of history. Of course, the United States is no exception.
Back in 2008, the Middlebury Institute conducted a poll, asking Americans how they felt about secession. It’s a tough question for Americans to answer, because “secession” has become such a politically charged term since the Civil War. Despite this, 22 percent of Americans agreed to the statement “any state or region has the right to peaceably secede from the United States and become an independent republic.” As in Scotland, this belief was far more prevalent among the younger generation as well as the poor. 40 percent of those ages 18-24 said they accepted the right to secession.
Since secession is more popular with the younger crowd, how has it advanced over the course of six years? A recent poll taken between August and September found that 23.9 percent of Americans would support their state seceding from the United States. While this is only a slight increase, there are several more interesting trends that can be seen if you compare the 2008 poll to the 2014 poll.
For instance, the 2008 poll not only asked the public’s support for secession, but how they felt about their own state seceding. While 22 percent supported the idea of secession, only 18 percent supported their home state seceding. Fast forward to the recent poll, which asked the same exact thing, and now 23 percent would support a secession movement in their home state. A somewhat significant increase over a few short years.
Also, the 2008 poll found more support among Hispanics, a growing demographic. The 2014 poll saw more support among Tea Party voters. Liberals were more open to it during 2008, because they were living under a conservative administration. Under a liberal president, the support has flipped to conservatives.
So to recap, secession is becoming more popular among Hispanics, the young, and the poor, all growing groups in the United States. And every time the presidency switches from conservative to liberal, the people in the opposite ideology open themselves up to the ideas of secession. Essentially all segments of society are being exposed to these ideas; something that should alarm the bureaucrats in D.C.
Adding to this fire, is the increased mobility recent generations have experienced. It was originally thought that building freeways, trains, and airports would break down cultural barriers. It has in fact done the opposite. It has made it easier for people to move to like minded communities, based on race, culture, income, and political affiliation. For instance, during the Carter election of 1976, 26.8 percent of Americans lived in landslide counties. During the 2004 election, that number had more than doubled to 48.3 percent. I can’t imagine where it’s at now.
Americans are self segregating themselves and lines are being drawn, even if it’s somewhat subconscious. While we’re an incredibly diverse nation filled with many races and cultures, those sorts of nations only last as long as the arrangement is prosperous for all (think Switzerland).
Even during the 19th and 20th century, when many ethnic and political groups found themselves marginalized by mainstream society, at least their children were growing more prosperous than their parents. But we’re not that nation anymore. Without at least some prosperity for all, diverse nations don’t hold together. In fact, once the money train makes its last stop, most multi-cultural and multi-racial nations end violently (now think Yugoslavia).
It’s really not that surprising that separatist sentiments would be growing here. As the government becomes more centralized, it’s forcing many of America’s cultures together, marginalizing everybody. Washington is pushing their culture on us. They don’t want the second amendment, they don’t want legal marijuana, they don’t want to end the war on terror, they don’t want to end abortion etc etc.
You’ll notice those are all pretty diverse opinions, but they’re all largely the opinions of the elite in Washington. No matter what they choose on any given issue, they’ll always piss off tens of millions of Americans. Sometimes it happens to be red states and sometimes it happens to be blue states (or insert any other dichotomy you can think of). But no matter who is elected president, or who takes the house, or who gets placed on the supreme court, somebody is going to get the shaft. That somebody is almost always 49 percent of the population.
And ultimately, 50/50 countries don’t last long.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.