by Shelt Garner
I really, really don’t want a civil war. I will note that while this blog gets about 100 views a day, I’m getting a minor uptick from Red States of people obviously stroking to the idea of a civil war.
This is surreal to me.
The reason is, if you look at the state of play in the country on opening day of any prospective civil war, Blue States are in a lot better strategic situation than you might think. A lot depends on what the goals of any such civil war might be. Remember, Trump is likely to have the military and first mover advantage, so he could very well serve Blue States a knock out blow before they could figure out what they wanted.
But let’s suppose the war aims of Blue States were not to leave the Union, but to unite the country under their banner a la the First American Civil War. While there might be a lot of talk about Blue States leaving the Union, I find that as a war aim is dubious.
The first thing I see when I see a realpolitik map of the United States is how weak the Red States are. That’s why it’s so dumb that Red State people are so eager to start killing people in the name of the Dear Leader. They are playing a really weak hand well because American politics is broken and the moment we’re not talking about politics but war, then the dynamic is totally different.
It’s easy to see how much of the country is Red and simply assume Red States could easily overwhelm the smaller (in geographic terms) the Blue States. The problem with this thinking is Red State people are conflating their political edge with an edge on the battlefield.
In real terms, it’s easy to imagine Blue forces from the West blitzkrieging across, say, Montana and linking up with other Blue forces in the Mid-West. While states like Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are “Purple” state politically, I seriously doubt if things became life-or-death that they would go Red. There would likely be a lot of political violence in the process of throwing their lot with the Blue states, but it would happen.
Anyway, I could imagine through sheer brute force Blue forces taking the entire Great Plains and Rocky Mountain areas pretty quick.
Now, this when you might say — but what about the South?
That’s a very curious situation. On one hand, the old CSA has a regional memory of rebellion, and, yet, there are two factors that make that not as clear cut as you might think.
One, is race. During the First American Civil War, if you weren’t a freed slave fighting for the Union, you were pretty docile on a macro level. But I seriously doubt a replay of that. The moment Southern Whites using the current political dominance to begin implementing their MAGAQ agenda, something akin to a race war might break out. That, in itself, would greatly weaken the ability of what is otherwise a pretty densely populated part of the country from being easily defended.
Another issue for the old CSA states — especially Texas and portions of Florida — is once things grew existential, there are a lot of moderate people there that would be aghast at the prospect of essentially American Nazis taking over their states. This is a dynamic that would lead a number of old CSA states to implode.
Speaking of imploding states, I suspect within days of any Second American Civil War erupting, Virginia would implode rather dramatically. Virginia is two states — one Red, one Blue — and they hate each other. So, it’s easy to imagine the state becoming completely ungovernable on a political level because the rural parts of the state would rebel against the urban, progressive portions of the state. Things would grow more murky, as well, because of the historical connection Virginia has to the CSA. I could see a lot of Red militants wanting to control cultural touchstones like Richmond and Danville so they could have a link to the past.
One area where Red States (MAGAQ) would have a serious advantage at the beginning of any such civil war is leadership. Add to this MAGAQ being a personality death cult and they would, at first, likely appear to consolidate their power quite quickly. But it’s human nature that even your fey latte swilling hipsters would rise to the occasion if they were staring death in the face. Some basic aspects of human behavior have not changed, no matter how much MAGAQ think they have a monopoly on such things.
But I doubt things would be this clear cut, especially in the beginning. As I said, Trump would have control of the military and a rabid, bloodthirsty 38% of the electorate to turn to. So, it’s possible there would be a knockout blow and there would just be simmering political resentment as Trump turned America into Russia on a political level.
And, yet, Trump is such a fucking moron, that it’s equally easy to see him somehow bungling a sure thing to dramatically that the necessary political and military moves needed for Blue States to engage in a pitched battle with Red States could take place.
But the above is really the absolute worst case scenario.
More likely, everything will be wrapped up on Election Night and we’ll just gradually, in fits and starts, turn ourselves into Russia. Or, put another way, the harder it is for Trump to win, the more radical he will become and the chances of an actual civil war breaking out increase.
Autocrats never lose.