by Shelt Garner
All things being equal, the United States is on the cusp of a hot civil war after a decade of a cold civil war. And, yet, to date, while it definitely feels like a civil war is about to happen, it has not, in fact happened. How come?
For a civil war to happen, Trump would have to finally bump up against in stark terms how Americans perceive themselves. To date, he’s simply been too much of a lazy opportunist to do something so brazen as to cause the country to implode.
And, yet, he is such a ding-dong that it’s easy to imagine a situation where as he grows more desperate to stay in office, he sort of stumbles to an act that people who voted for Biden simply can’t brook. But remember, we’re entering the Upside Down of American politics right now — if Trump doesn’t act pretty quick, he simply won’t be able to have any thin veneer of legality to lean on when he wants to use the Insurrection Act on people who oppose him.
Or, put another way, it’s growing close enough to January 20th that the U.S. Military might simply slow-walk any effort on Trump’s to take “total control.” In fact, he Trump doesn’t act by Monday when the Electors vote, the window of opportunity for him to do anything too brazen may, in fact, be closed. The American Military could easily simply ignore Trump if he went nuts on the grounds that now that the Electors have voted, they are even MORE reluctant to follow an order that might be seen, in hindsight as illegal, or at least bending the rules.
So, one could argue that if we’re going to have a Second American Civil War NOW, rather than, say, at some point in the next four years, it will happen because something really random and extraordinary happens. And, what’s more, Trump will be in the position of leading a rebellion. The moment Trump takes up arms against the Republic, then, well, that’s a pretty easy moral situation for the U.S. Military. MAGA Rebels –> BAD.
One thing that might happen is Trump and Pompeo finally manage to box Iran into a war with Israel, then they use THAT as an excuse for Trump to take “total control” while we’re all distracted. But even that is fraught with problems — the American Military, unlike the American public, can walk and chew gum and if Trump simply ignored the Constitution because we were fighting a major regional war against Iran (and maybe the DPRK, too?) they would simply depose him while it was going on.
Another reason why we haven’t had a hot civil war yet is while there has been plenty of hot air on the part of MAGA, they haven’t — to date — been willing to back it up. They would have to start blowing shit up pretty quick for it to make a difference. Though I could see, maybe, Biden’s first 100 days having significant political violence. And, yet, thankfully, MAGA-Qanon-Proud Boys have proven themselves to be just loud mouth punks.
That may change, it may not. Who knows.
It’s very possible that we’ll just drift in the Biden Administration peacefully with a sizable chunk of the Republican Party having a wait-and-see approach to if they want to destroy the United States or not.