How will the zombie apocalypse affect American political life? (And don’t let’s get nasty and accuse ‘the other party’ of already being zombies. That’s just unkind.) I believe that the two major political parties here in the US will be affected differently by the zombie apocalypse— partly on a geographical basis, and partly because of differing policies preferred by the parties which would have survival consequences when the zombie apocalypse comes.
First, let’s deal with the geographical. Did you ever see one of those US maps showing the votes in a recent Presidential election in the different states and regions? The reds of the Democrat party, represented by the color blue, are thin little strips on the east and west coasts, while the true-blue Republicans, represented by the color red, dominate the rest of the country.
What the map means is that blue-staters are powerful in major urban areas, while red-staters are powerful in rural and small-town America. In the zombie apocalypse, this has survival consequences in two ways.
The first is that population density means death. The more people, the more zombies, and the less space there is to get away from them. Major urban centers will be death traps. If public transportation goes down as it almost certainly will, if the roads get blocked with fleeing urbanites, most city dwellers will be trapped in the zombie-dominated city.
In rural areas, there will be fewer zombies because there are fewer people, and these smaller number of zombies will be more easily killed or placed in quarantine. A much more survivable environment will result.
The second factor is the fact that food supplies come from the rural areas. When transportation systems to the urban areas break down, the food will stop coming. And the fact is that grocery stores don’t carry months worth of food. That’s why when a hurricane is coming the store shelves are stripped in a couple of hours of panic buying. Stores carry what they think they can sell in the time before the next resupply truck comes. People in urban areas who survive the zombies will face starvation.
In the rural areas, many people who are not farmers grow some of their own food in gardens, keep chickens or a milk goat. Or they have neighbors that do. There are feed mills that can be raided for corn and other grains which can be used for human consumption. The big farming operations may not be able to continue as they were because of lack of fuel delivery, lack of electricity for dairying equipment— but they still are in the farming and people-feeding business. Dairy farmers can start to graze their herds on nearby lands, can butcher those cows that are lower-level producers and share out or barter away the meat. If the milk trucks stop coming to pick up fluid milk, they can start an on-farm cheese making operation to preserve some of the milk for later use. So in the rural areas, people will continue to be able to eat.
In addition to the urban/rural divide, there are policy differences that make a difference. The number one difference is that of weapons bans— not just gun bans (‘gun control’) since laws against large knives and machetes are also in effect. Blue staters are more likely to live in weapons-ban zones, red staters are more likely to live somewhere that supports the right to bear arms and are ALSO more likely to be hunters and gun owners themselves. The more accessible survival weaponry is, the higher your chance of surviving the zombie apocalypse.
The other major policy difference with survival consequences is the big government/small government divide. People on the one side tend to look to the federal government to solve their problems. They expect things to be more centralized. And when Washington DC and other big urban areas come to a crashing end, many people may die waiting for the feds to rescue them, or to tell them how to rescue themselves. People on the small government/self-sufficiency side of things are more likely to do for themselves and their neighbors right from the start, and worry about what the federal government, if any, wants later on.
Now, in this area the difference between parties is not so sharp in actuality. Blue staters may talk of centralized solutions a lot but may still act locally, while red staters may talk small government but want a federal government solution to their really big problems. So this factor alone would not have shifted the balance of power without the aid of those factors previously mentioned.
SO— once the shock of the zombie apocalypse has waned and we start trying to put together a national government again, we will find a radical political shift has occurred mainly because of the differing survival rates of urban/blue state areas versus rural/red state areas. Even with the best will in the world, this will cause some unrest. Surviving blue-stater politicians might get blamed for the low survival rate in their areas, while red-stater politicians who were equally ineffectual will crow about the higher survival rates in red-state areas.
But the saving grace is that the trauma of the zombie apocalypse will have turned politics into a far more local affair. Elections of village presidents and other highly local leaders will quite rightly be seen as having more impact than electing some far-away person to the White House— if the White House is still in shape to be used.
Illustration is the cover of Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator by Karina Fabian. I’ve read that book and its sequel and highly recommend both.