by Shelt Garner
As I have said before, the biggest screw ups in history occur when one side makes a strategic miscalculation. Be it the American South in 1860 or the Germans in 1914, time and again history has shown that major historical events occur when one side believes that after a cost-benefit-analysis that the cost of achieving their goals is worth it.
With the American Civil war in particular, the South was probably — in the beginning — safe in their assumption that the North would say “wayward sisters, part in peace” and that would be that. It was only because of the leadership of Lincoln and his decision in late 1862 to make freeing the slaves a war aim that the tide turned.
So, if you look at America 2020, at the moment, MAGA-Qanon is reasonably safe in assuming that they can stage something akin to a coup in the courts and, lulz, nothing of note will happen. In fact, even I, at this point, believe they are right. I just don’t see “Blue America” being willing to risk “their lives and scared honor” in the real world in the manner necessary to save the Union as currently conceived. If all else fails, TrumpBarr will used the Insurrection Act and that, as they say, will be that.
And, yet, that hasn’t happened yet. It’s at least possible that while MAGA-Qanon will initially succeed in their efforts to steal the 2020 election via some sort of Very American Coup, that the conditions are such that the country implodes in a rather unexpected fashion. But let me be very clear — only in hindsight would we give The Big Ugly value or a narrative. While any putative “Second American Civil War” or “Second American Revolution” was taking place it would suck on a day-to-day basis and be a huge fucking tragedy that we will ultimately all regret we had to go through, no matter the ultimate endgame.
Such is the nature of such events.
I too often fall into the trap of giving The Big Ugly some sort of narrative. The reason why events like the Civil War, or WW1 or WW2 have such potency for millions of people is they’re scary as hell and pose an existential threat to how people view themselves and their nation.
So, in the end MAGA-Qanon could win and we devolve into something rather dystopian. There would be no assurances as events unfolded that the good guys will win. If you asked a person in 1942 what the outcome of the war was going to be, they probably would say the Axis Powers were going to win.
No person under the age of, say, 80 or so, has lived during through a prolonged crisis where there are battles that are won or lost that don’t really give you any immediate indication of how the war itself is going to endup. Put that same dynamic not in Europe or Asia but in the United States itself and we’re all in for a situation we definitely don’t want to go through.
All I’m saying is — the conditions are there for something not seen in the United States since the Civil War. Good luck.