Continuing yesterday’s post about Putin’s goals, I’ve thought about this country’s greatest weakness and strength.
As much as I’d like to say our greatest strength is our people, I hold people around the world in every nation in high regard. Many of us came from other countries or our parents did.
I think one of America’s greatest strengths is something we can’t take credit for, but we benefit from: our geography. The nation has a variety of climates and ecological zones. We enjoy near-tropics where we grow plentiful fruits and vegetables, a huge and fertile bread basket, and long coasts.
Most of all, we have two huge oceans and two friendly nations that lack our population and resources bordering us.
We don’t have to worry about an invasion, possibly less than any other nation, or tied with Australia.
Producing a lot and not having to defend ourselves creates the opportunity for a lot of surplus, which we can spend how we want.
We would lose most of that strength if we split into multiple countries. Texas sometimes talks of seceding. If it did, it would likely end up the weakest nation among the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Texas. It would become the most vulnerable. Recalling the Cuban Missile Crisis, among other historical precedent, we’d almost have to protect it as part of the U.S.
The coasts and center
Besides Texas, the coasts differ from the center, culturally and politically—not as much as most nations differ from their neighbors, but they differ.
People sometimes joke about the liberal coasts splitting from the conservative midwest. I don’t see it as likely in my lifetime, but not impossible.
I could see that split as a long-term long shot for Putin.
Splitting us in two or three and weakening our relationship with a neighbor would weaken us and force us to spend more to defend ourselves. I don’t see the outcome as likely, but if you’re Putin, why not at least try to raise the odds.
Our best defense
Most valuable strategy against our greatest weakness seems to me to retain unity and keep friendly relations with neighbors.
Donald Trump undermines this strategy. He’s moving in the opposite direction—splitting and polarizing the people and putting a wall in the face of a neighbor.
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