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What would happen if the red states actually seceded?

Thirty-five percent of Texas Republicans want to secede from the United States. After November's election, eight red states filed petitions on the White House's YouGov Web site calling for a split, and judging from the popularity of Chuck Thompson's Better Off Without 'Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession (which calls for an “amicable divorce” from the former states of the Confederacy) a fair number of progressives would be happy to let them go.

Talk of secession is, of course, pretty silly. But national boundaries have historically been impermanent, and it does lead to an interesting thought experiment: just how would one approach the task of dividing up the world's leading superpower? It's easy to write a screed about how out of touch with Real America those socialist coastal elites are, or how backward the South's cousin-marrying bumpkins can be, but I'm not sure either side of that squabble has paused to consider the details.

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