Rural America is in rapid decline, but has the ability to prevent change, due to gerrymandering, and the fact that the declining white population can cause grief in Congress and in many state legislatures.
60 million people live in rural areas, which contain 97 percent of the land area of the nation.
So 23 percent of the population have an impact, and are against progressive reform, and the advancement of the interests of urban America, and of people of color, and people of superior educational accomplishments.
Rural America is a drag on the progress of the nation in the 21st century, but they are able to wield great power politically, and they present a threat to the future stability of America, as many people in rural America seem willing to consider the concept of secession.
So one has to wonder if a future breakup of the nation is conceivable!