What is Holding the United States Together?

Imran Khaliq
2 min readAug 3, 2020

In turbulent political times, a country beset by a pandemic, and with cultural animosity at an all time high, one should rightfully wonder what holds the United States together.

After all, one can hardly have faith that the two political parties, the Democrats and Republicans would work together to solve any common problem these days.

A loss of trust in federal institutions is leaving American to fend for themselves. Even State governors and local mayors can no longer agree on basic things like business closures or public health issues.

And while riots, looting and pandemic closures make American cities seem like they are under constant siege, one can’t help wonder if the United States is capable of keeping it together

When it comes to “big issues” such as climate, transportation, health care, and space exploration — areas where Americans expect the federal government to advance, it seems like our institutions are failing us.

Well, one might point to Social Security, Medicare and a host of other federal programs. But is this the best tax payer funded government can do? Keep large swaths of people alive at the federal poverty line while the rest die in Covid infested nursing homes or prisons?

With blue-state and red-state polarization increasing, Americans will look for belonging and acceptance either online or in local communities.

As Big Tech continues to fuel the political divide by monetizing individualism, identity politics, and cancel culture, Americans will isolate further from each other and began to question what connection they really have to shared democratic institutions like Congress, the President or the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, as the United States grows even further apart as Americans become more disconnected from each other and national politics, it is inevitable that they start focusing on their local institutions.

As the Covid-19 pandemic has shown, the federal government was incapable of creating national policies that could be uniformly adopted.

As a result, most of our daily existence, including work, consumption and recreation is now dictated by States and local governments.

Americans are learning to live in patchwork societies where County, municipal and town “Orders” govern day-to-day life, including decisions like where one can buy groceries, cut their hair or have a beer at a local pub.

Perhaps the United States will return back to its pre-Hamiltonian days where a Republic held power through military alliances and the banking and capital systems.

Thus, for better or for worse, Americans may return to provincialism and we may see a rise of a very different looking Republic that is less dependent on the institutions of federal government.



Imran Khaliq

Imran Khaliq is a Managing Director of Quantum Counsel IP Group, having worked as a lawyer and general counsel in previous roles.