Conclusions are drawn:Then the results came in. You can see them for yourself here, and you can filter them any way you want—by age, region, income, party affiliation, etc. Any way you slice it, the data are startlingly clear: Almost a quarter (23.9 percent) of those surveyed said they were strongly or provisionally inclined to leave the United States, and take their states with them. Given the polling sample —& about 9,000 people so far—the online survey’s credibility interval (which is digital for “margin of error”) was only 1.2 percentage points, so there is no question that that is what they said.
A cursory survey of history suggests a demagogue will show long before anyone gets serious about anything.By the evidence of the poll data as well as these anecdotal conversations, the sense of aggrievement is comprehensive, bipartisan, somewhat incoherent, but deeply felt.
This should be more than disconcerting; it’s a situation that could get dangerous. As the Princeton political scientist Mark Beissinger has shown, separatist movements can take hold around contempt for incumbents and the status quo even when protesters have no ideology in common.
The United States hardly seems to be on the verge of fracture, and the small secession movements in a handful of American states today represent a tiny percentage of those polled by Reuters. But any country where 60 million people declare themselves to be sincerely aggrieved — especially one that is fractious by nature — is a country inviting either the sophistry of a demagogue or a serious movement for reform.