The American confederacy was an agrarian economy trying to survive during the industrial revolution. The only way for it to compete with the north and raise living standards was to enhance productivity by the use of free labor. Agrarian economies tend to be more traditional culturally since their lifestyle is the same as it was generations ago. Cows are cows and wheat is wheat. Eventually that culture gets out off sync with industrial competitors and neighbors. A rift grows and such rifts are not easily repaired.
To some extent the animus produced by cultural difference is exacerbated by inferior economic performance. A hundred and fifty years after the war the rift still exists for the same reasons it did in 1858. The animosity tends to expand into other spheres such as science and religiosity.
This national bifurcation has been around a long time and the party of the south (and the rural west) has always had to strike a balance or a tolerance between its two factions. FDR had to look the other way in the face of the KKK and southern lynching because he needed southern Democrats to vote for his new deal programs. Truman and Kennedy made similar compromises. Johnson blew up the party and handed the south to the the Republicans when he pushed through new civil rights laws. Now the balancing act must be done in that party.
The Repubs used to have a hard core group of free market driven Northeastern intellectuals led by William F. Buckley who had nothing in common with southern racist (James Birk Society) southerners. Each side served to offset the other so they delivered compromise candidates who could still win a national plurality.
Coastal intellectuals have uniformly rejected Trump’s malevolent narcissism so he must now cow to the southern racist wing of the party. A narcissist must find adoration. Of course he/they favor no estate taxes just like English land barons of the 19th century). Social services for the poor (healthcare) are absurd if you rule over a plantation. Don’t tread on Jesus and Robert E. Lee.
Congress is now ruled by southern Senators with southern Confederate agendas. There is no balance of northeastern or Californian senators who believe in evolution, climate change or balanced budgets. In fact there is little populism in their policies since the south has always been ruled by plutocrats just as it was in medieval times in Europe. Tax cuts for corporate donors – of course!
The structure of the US Senate and the Electoral College were supposed to ensure regional balance and fairness. All they do now is sustain the Confederacy’s malevolent influence. We are condemned to a life or death struggle against the likes of Roy Moore and Mike Pence – living anachronisms, ascendant in the era of Elon Musk.
Today we can celebrate our win and next week Congress will pass a new tax plan that will destroy the federal budget.