It’s certainly true that a white guy like me can pretty seamlessly integrate into these different worlds, while for others the division is palpable and getting worse. It can be hard at times to see just how much change is happening in its seeping, inexorable way. The year before Donald Trump was elected, my parents received a swastika in their mailbox on Christmas Day. Until then, in the two decades since they’d left California, nothing like that had happened. I’ve heard many examples of the growing population of brown and Black people being profiled by local cops. There are plenty of Confederate flags around Kansas towns, and there continue to be at least a couple of dots in the state on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual hate-group map.

Still, I argue that Mr. Kobach and his ilk see — and fear — how real the change is.

I know several farmers in the immediate vicinity of my parents’ place who vote Democrat, support abortion rights, support queer and trans rights, and are as adept with computerized combines as they are castrating cattle. Some have gone organic. Others are phasing out the plow entirely. Scientists at the Land Institute, co-founded by my friend Wes Jackson, are developing perennial grains that can produce food while leaving the soil undisturbed. This reduces the amount of soil carbon released into the air, in addition to greatly reducing erosion and the need for industrial chemicals.

Wes once told me his definitions of urban and rural: Rural places turn raw resources into goods, and urban places consume those goods. It’s a crude definition, but I like how it lays bare the symbiosis between city and country, revealing them to be two parts of one whole. The common assumption is that the line between red states and blue states is a wall. But maybe relentlessly repeating this binary assumption puts too much emphasis on the differences and not enough on a shared humanity. As Pete Seeger used to sing in the old labor song, “Here’s the city and country together — we shall not be moved.”

The problems this nation faces — revanchist racism, misogyny, antisemitism, homophobia, climate change, economic injustice, the destruction of small-scale farm culture, too many assault rifles — are enormous, and the gap between worldviews out there is mind-boggling. But the truth is not, as Gertrude Stein wrote, only that “the difference is spreading,” but also that difference is spreading. While our enclaves seem more polarized than ever online, in these United States we may actually be more and more intermixed, more and more differently human together, than we’ve been led to believe. Put another way, we may feel more polarized than we actually are.

Jesse Nathan’s first book, “Eggtooth,” a poetry collection, will be published in September.

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