The conditions are right for second American Civil War. I am thinking it’s going to happen between now and 2025. I say this because to me it seems pretty obvious that Donald Trump as president may be the firebreak between us and this event. What I mean by this is not that Trump is some sort of great leader holding the country together — I think he’s a shit leader — no, it’s that the insane, surreal Right is itching for a fight and only because they have one of their own as president that they don’t act.
So, once Trump is replaced by a center-Left president, it seems obvious to me that the call for secession will grow unbearable. But unlikely 1860-1861, it is more likely to be states in the West that bolt first, not the South. I say this in large part because of race. It just can’t see African Americans voting en masse for secession in South Carolina or Alabama. I can, however, see the residents of, say, Texas or Montana do it.
Of course, there is the opposite possible scenario. It is possible that center-Left states may be the ones, in fact, to leave the Union simply because they don’t feel they’re being listened to. In a way this makes a lot more sense given historical trends, but we’ll just have to see.
One issue is how messy a secessionist movement would be. Would the central government even care, or would it pull a “wayward sisters, part in peace” move and the country would split peacefully a la the USSR in 1991. It pretty much depends on leadership. If there is leadership that demands the nation stay together, then things could get bloody and messy pretty quickly. But if there isn’t the leadership, then the nation is so divided that it’s very possible that the split will pretty much be peaceful.
One interesting issue is what would the respective nations look like post-split. There is the very real possibility that because the center-Left states wouldn’t be contiguous that they would form sort of union with Canada in an effort to fix that problem. Meanwhile, the center-Right states would likely go completely bonkers and push through every insane policy that they’ve wanted to initiate the last 30 odd years. But like I said, only in states like Montana would the split be clean. In the Deep South, any attempt for the state to hold a Secessionist Convention would cause blood to run in the streets.
Should there be a real movement to impeach and convict Trump, should such a move get traction, then that might be the tipping point that causes states to begin to leave the union. So it might not be 2020-2021 or 2024-2025 when all of this happens but 2018-2019. It’s possible. Not probable, but possible.
I think we risk a second American Civil War in part because the views of the insane, surreal Right drift down to the “normal” Right gradually over a few years and so it makes sense that by no later than 2025 what seems insane will be taken as normal by the Right.
All of this doesn’t even take into account a very troubling thing that I don’t really know enough about — Donald Trump is cramming the judiciary with young, insanely conservative judges. So, that’s another thing that might placate the Right and postpone or eliminate the need for them to press secession from their point of view, but make the center-Left feel emboldened to do just that. We may look back on this present era much like the late 1850s, where in hindsight it is obvious that the country is tearing itself apart, it’s just matter of how exactly it’s going to happen.
Adding more fuel to these flames are titanic shifts in our economy. The process of AI, automation and other aspects of the drifting march towards the technological Singularity that we’re now experiencing will bring enormous changes to our society in ways that probably will only hasten or division. Throw in the growing sophistication of AR and VR into the mix and things grow really interesting really quick.
This is the point when I’m supposed to offer up some solutions. Alas, I honestly can’t think of any. That’s why it seems pretty inevitable — at least at this point — that there will be again be Civil War bloodshed shed in the United States within, say, 10 years. I could propose, maybe a “Twitter killer” that might force us to interact with each other in longer than 140 characters, but no one listens to me and I don’t have the skill to design such a service myself, so that’s kind of pointless.
It’s all very sad. I wish there was an easy answer to it all, but there isn’t. We need to engage each other more, need to talk to people we disagree with. But that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. So, as of right now, it seems as though all trends point towards us being doomed.
Shelton Bumgarner is the editor and publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.