by Shelt Garner
I’m pretty good at scenarios. I spend a lot of my time daydreaming about different historical scenarios. That’s my thing. That’s my jam. When it comes to the prospect of a Second American Civil War, things grow difficult even for me. There are just so many different variables that I can’t pace out. So many things that haven’t been decided yet.
And, really, the thing to keep in mind is what may simply be unprecedented political violence that is simply marketed as a “civil war,” when, in fact, it’s more like the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland. Another important thing to contemplate is a sign of how our political system has collapsed that Republicans are increasingly turning to violence, even though they could probably get everything they wanted if they continued to stay within the conventions of liberal democracy.
Anyway, just for simplicity, let’s assume the “civil war” starts because there are dueling presidents. On Jan. 20th, both sides absolutely believe they have an absolutely legitimate claim to the throne, to the point that CNN has a split screen of rival swearing in ceremonies.
The thing we have to keep in mind is Trump (and Barr) would rather destroy the United States than leave office. As such, if there was significant political violence in January (or before) it’s easy to see Trump working with the U.S. Military to abolish Blue State governments because they are in a “state of rebellion.”
Or, there’s the other option where the U.S. Military absolutely refuses to get involved in domestic political affairs and bloodthirsty MAGA-Qanon mobs bgin to murder liberals at every opportunity.
Another thing to remember is Americans are so absolute in some basic assumptions that we’re simply not prepared. It’s easy to imagine Trump nationalizing the National Guard and using them to purge the national media. This would be recorded and there might be significant violence as the residents of NYC swarm the area to defend freedom of speech. That, in turn, would give Trump the pretext to declare martial law in the city.
Or, put another way, it’s likely that no matter how the “civil war” starts, one of the first things to go will be the press in major urban areas. I don’t think we really appreciate how taunt America is right now — and how bloodthirsty MAGA-Qanon has become — so a “soft target” like the HQ of CNN or MSNBC (or The New York Times) might be simply too inciting. But, again, the heart of the US media is in Deep Blue NYC, so there could be significant death surrounding this inevitability.
Once the final bolts pop off civil society in the United States, the country will implode. One really big unknown is the African American community, especially in the South. It is logical to assume MAGA-Qanon will, essentially, try to stoke a race war of some sort and that would unleash a dynamic that no one — especially MAGA-Qanon — would be prepared for.
But the thing we really need to mull is out totally out of control all of this will be. Trump will have the entire power of the U.S. Government at his disposal, but after the initial shock wears off, it’s at least possible that a lot of conservative-but-not-MAGA people might sit up and take notice and break in a rather unexpected fashion. Or not. I may be deluding myself on that one.
Another issue is land density.
This is why MAGA-Qanon refusing to work within the norms of politics is so dumb. If the initial sucker punch isn’t a knock-out blow, it’s easy to imagine a situation where the Blue States organize and go on a counter-offense of some sort. Given that Trump is completely bonkers now and it’s all a lulz, that really opens up some pretty astonishing possibilities.
And, it really makes you wonder if the goal of the civil union would be Union or what. Would Blue States simply want the opportunity to leave the Union, or would the whole thing turn into “who gets control of the USA brand?”
There’s just so much I can’t determine right now.
And, really, this could all be rather moot. We’re already a fascist state and it could be that we’ll simply continue to lurch into an autocratic managed democracy in fits and starts as suits Trump’s vanity.