by Shelt Garner
I love scenarios. In fact, that’s pretty much how I spend all my mental free time — thinking up elaborate scenarios and then playing them through in my mind. So, let’s think about what a secession crisis in modern America would look like. Hopefully, we’ll never have to find out how close I get.
The reason why this scenario is so difficult to game out right now is I can’t figure out if it will be Blue States leaving or Red States leaving. It really depends on Trump at this point.
He pretty much has the fate of not just the United States, but all of humanity in his tiny, tiny hands — without even really realizing it. The moment he decides to take “total control” or he takes up the cause of Red States leaving the Union as we grow closer to January 20th, the closer we grow to a secession crisis that would cause the country to implode.
If the United States imploded at this point — 2020 would be up there with 1453, 1789 and 1940 as seminal turning points in human history. But, let’s run the scenario with the assumption that it’s Red states, not Blue states that decide to leave the Union.
First, there would have to be some sort of catalyst. It could be anything. From Trump “joking” on Twitter that Red states should leave the Union to a major Red (or Blue) state figure being murdered or even just some sort of abrupt, sudden and unexpected event that causes Red States to decide they can’t abide by liberal-progressive cancel culture anymore. (Ugh.)
If there was a secession crisis, it would happen really fast. Like, all at once. at least 17 Red States would likely leave the Union in one fell swoop in snap Conventions. That would create a lot of momentum for other Red states to pick a side.
Now, here’s where things get tricky for would be Neo-Confederates. While it’s pretty easy for the lily white central Red states to bounce, when, say South Carolina, or Alabama, or Tennessee — or, even, for that matter Texas — get it in their head to leave the Union the African American community in these states will flip the fuck out.
So, it would likely go something like this — a huge swath of states in the sparsely populated central part of the lower 48 would leave cleanly. This would prompt the good old boys in the South to get REALLY EXCITED and see visions of the South “rising again.” And then…they hit a political brick wall: black people.
As such, the South would be the first place where the passions of a modern day secession crisis would explode into massive violence — maybe even a race war. Some states, like Florida and Virginia (and maybe even Texas) wouldn’t survive. (At least in my opinion.) They would implode. Virginia into Red rural counties and Blue urban areas, Florida into the panhandle, the middle peninsula and the south and Texas would probably just have its own internal civil war as communities with mixed Red and Blue exploded into violence.
Around this same time, the domestic political refugees would begin to bounce around the imploding Union at an alarming rate. There’s even a possibility that the U.S. Military itself would implode into Red and Blue at this point. And passions would get so whipped up that some pretty astonishing things would happen, like New York City declare itself a free state or something.
This would all happen really, really fast. No more than two weeks total. Here’s another point where I just can’t figure out things — would all of this happen in, say, early January when Trump finally snaps at the prospect of going to prison in New York State, or does it happen closer to January 20th?
Or does it not happen at all?
As I’ve written before, while all the conditions for all of this exist, Trump, to date, has proven himself all talk. It’s gotten to the point where it’s somewhat eerie. I hate the idea of any type of violence at all, and even I am astonished Trump hasn’t taken the final steps necessary to destroy the country.
There are some pretty huge wildcards. One, is suddenly strike by Iran either against Israel or somewhere domestically in the United States (or both.) Or the DPRK might rattle its saber just enough to give Trump an excuse to start a major regional war so he can simply use that as a distraction to stay in power. (Though I doubt that gambit would work.)
But remember, if the United States implodes, the entire post-WW2 liberal order implodes, too, and well, World War 3 starts as a number of regional wars break out. If you throw in a series of limited nuclear exchanges, as many as 1 billion people might die because white working class men in Red States can’t afford to get married and have kids.
I’m wrong all the time. I hope I’m wrong this time, too.