The United States faces a serious problem: it lacks the shared moral and cultural foundation necessary for effective political functioning. It's not necessary for everyone to think in exactly the same way, but a common moral and cultural framework is essential for a nation to work for the collective good. A population has to have the same frame to be able to work out issues. This is especially true when there is conflict over state's expanding power, getting involved in things like parental custody, medical treatment, and education. These are duties that once belonged to families, local communities, or church. The expansion of state power has further amplified the need for such a foundation.
The breakdown of the federalist system of states holding power to oppose the federal has lead to centralization of power in the national government and the breakdown of local communities have made it difficult for regional unity and opposition to Washington's dictates to form. The original intention of federalism was to allow for regional differences and expressions of culture through localized laws. Through the process of power drift over the past several decades, a vast amount of power has shifted to the national government, eroding the autonomy of individual states and weakening regional unity. This makes it difficult for regional power based on shared beliefs to organize in order to resist and challenge decisions made by Washington DC.
Economic opportunities lead to the fracturing of communities as young people pursue wealth and status in larger cities, leaving behind their hometowns and shared values. The pursuit of economic success often involves moving to university towns or metropolitan areas where high-status employment opportunities are more abundant. The modern ease of communication and travel allows people to maintain loose connections with their families, but it hinders the formation of deep roots and connections to specific communities. Especially when those folks also bounce around from one job to another while climbing the corporate ladder. This phenomenon contributes to the adoption of a homogeneous metropolitan progressivism and abandonment of the values of one's hometown culture.
America is divided by ZIP code, with cities serving as economic and cultural centers that have a progressive influence, even in conservative-leaning states (red states have thoroughly blue cities). This skews the overall cultural and political landscape and prevents any state from being "solid red" while it also creates a cultural divide between urban and rural areas.
During the biomedical tyranny and lockdowns of the pandemic it was made clear to many that local and state governments can significantly impact their lives. Some local and state governments did much better standing up for their citizens than others. In those blue states, it can be difficult for someone with conservative values to start a business or have success. This has led some individuals to seek out regions where their values align and where there is resistance to progressive ideology, resulting in a trend of people relocating to states like Florida, which have taken stands against certain progressive policies.
The Great Sorting is the way forward: There is no national cultural consensus in the United States. Each faction is diametrically opposed to the other with moral frameworks that cannot coexist. Further, the dysfunction in our federal government makes it impossible to be repaired. With this being obvious to everyone, a national divorce might be preferable, though unlikely. People are sorting themselves by moving. The rise of remote work facilitates this process, providing opportunities to live in areas that share their values while still having access to the best available jobs.
Conclusion: The Great Sorting is a peaceful process that helps speed the separation between red and blue America. The longer that this can go on peacefully, the better it will be for us all.