This Joel Kotkin piece sees the country divided on economic grounds, with a liberal coastal economy revolving around finance, media and computer software versus fly-over country that actual makes tangible things. The intangible economy is more globalized and doesn't need a lot of the dreaded fossil fuels to move their products around.
Kotkin misses another dynamic. His coastal “Ephemeral Zone” is also a secular zone that errs on the side of moral liberalism and utilitarianism and wants religious expression to conform to those values. Moral conservatives and folks who see value in all life from beginning to end are going to run afoul of that attitude.
Given the rhetoric I've seen in the last week supporting Trump as the last, best hope of staving off a dystopic Clinton administration, the "New War Between the States" that Kotkin posits could well become more than figurative. If a Clinton team stacks the Supreme Court with justices that will force the faithful to kowtow to liberal attitudes on sexuality, abortion and euthanasia, adds carbon taxes that will slow down the tangible economy and helps create additional disorder by maintaining lax immigration policy and handcuffing police to keep their Black Lives Matter fans content and voting Democratic, there may well be a number of states that could well look to bolt from that "one nation, indivisible" that we pledged to back in our school days.
If the Trumpeters are as vehement as their rhetoric suggests, they could well go beyond the mild terrorism of the Tea Party to Lexington and Concord. There are over 10 billion bullets sold in the US each year. Most of them are in private hands. If the cries from the conservative side are real, the Tea Party of 2010 could morph into actual civil war by 2020. If we're lucky, it could be a Czechoslovakian Velvet Divorce, but if we're not, it could be a Yugoslavian bloodbath.
One could see places like Texas and Alabama head out on their own. Rick Perry made noises about succession back in the day and Gov Abbott might actually pull the trigger if things deteriorate inside the Beltway. Alabama has theocon favorite Roy Moore as their chief justice, giving the federal judiciary the middle-digit sal-oot on SSM after getting his first fifteen minutes of fame doing so over a Ten Commandments display in his lower court.
It might not even be the states that act first. If we have enough gridlock in Washington, with conservative and Clinton at loggerheads, we could be looking at enough gridlock where the government ceases to function. In that scenario, states would wind up picking up the slack left after Washington packs it in and forming new, more homogeneous regions better suited to be under one common roof.