Only because of a specific set of circumstances are we not in Trump’s second term. The combination of COVID, Biden and Trump being astonishingly lazy and stupid combined to tip the hand of fate. And, yet, the next year could likely be the last few months of the traditional America that we’ve come to assume we’d always live in.
It’s easy to imagine that Steve Bannon’s plot at an “administrative coup” is successful in 2022 and when we lulz it, he only grows more powerful and more brazen in the years leading up to 2024. I don’t think people really appricate how dire things are becoming.
The center-Left just is not prepared for what is going to happen between now and January 2025. Trump’s “Big Lie” is now the heart and soul of the Republican Party on a systemic basis and, honestly, the only thing stopped us from peacefully becoming a Russia clone is the momentum within the MAGA New Right to turn to violence simply out of bloodthirsty arrogance.
Here are some reasons why we will have a civil war.
- Republicans have come to glorify political violence
Something you see a lot these days within the bullshit echo chamber of the MAGA New Right is the belief that because “liberals won’t leave us alone” that they are being “driven” to extremism. There’s a lot of leading not-so-vague talk as to what all this would ultimately mean. But it’s clear that for a number of “thought leaders” within the MAGA New Right that they have accepted that at some point in the future, they’re going to have to resort to violence to get what they want.
- Republicans no longer believe in democracy
It is now clear that like any good fascists, Republicans no longer believe in democracy unless it’s for the specific purpose of gaining and keeping power. This view of the system they’re supposed to a part of leads them do extremely distablizing things that help push the country to the brink.
- Trump 2024
Just Trump being the 2024 nominee would, in itself, be enough to cause a civil war at some point in late 2024 – early 2025. He just has a special knack for “owning the libs” in such a way that if he stole in 2024 election and said the “quiet part outloud” that Blue States would grow so enraged that it would be they, not Red States, that left the Union and caused a Second Civil War. But Ron DeSantis is polling exceptionally well at the moment, so either Trump politically shivs him at some point, or he co-ops him, making him his VP, opening the door to DeSantis becoming America’s Putin at some point down the road a little bit.
- Steve K Bannon.
Bannon and his toadies are actively working to destroy the framework that we use to administer free and fair elections. So, it’s very easy to imagine a situation where this gambit works in ways that Trump himself is too idiotic to pull off personally and it will be so egregious that, again, Blue States leave the Union and we have a Second American Civil War.
- Extreme negative polarization
We’re in for a bump four or so years, no matter what, because negative polarization, on a systemic level, has reached a critical mass. When one of your political parties is fascist and would rather crash the global economy instead of even appear to work for the good of the nation — you got a problem.
- A lack of shared values
As the big blow up on Twitter in the last 24 hours about a Stephen Colbert song and dance gag about getting vaccinated proves — we can’t even agree on what’s funny. A combination of this and negative polarization is leading to the United States being two nations, one Red, one Blue and when we get around to attempting to elect the next president, the system simply won’t be prepared for the passions it will stir up.
- A potentially historic miscalculation on the part of Republicans
It’s possible that, much like European powers in the lead up to WW1, when the time comes and Republicans have a choice between peacefully transitioning us into autocracy or fucking with us all so we want to take up arms, they will choose the latter not because they have to, but because they want to. It’s possible that by the 2024 — 2025 period, Republicans will see a civil war as their only choice to consolidate power, even if it’s clear that they could get everything they ever wanted within the system they so obviously loath.
It’s also easy to imagine at some point in the 2024 – 2025 timeframe that everything is in place for us to slip peacefully into autocracy and Trump just by being himself causes a civil war. One thing we have to begin to think about is Trump could be, in his own way a “reverse Yeltsin” in the sense that both men specialized in destroying things but with the exact opposite objectives.
Yeltsin wanted to bring freedom to Russia, Trump wants to bring autocracy to the United States. So, it’s possible that for all my handwringing about the possibility of a civil war in the United States, in the end, we simply slip peacefully into autocracy, just as the Soviet Union peacefully ceased to exist.
Here are some reasons why we won’t have a civil war:
- It’s not in our nature to have a civil war.
For all the hateful rhetoric on the part of the MAGA New Right, it’s possible that in the end, they manage to pull off a peaceful transition to autocracy. In fact, at first, at least, the chance from democracy to autocracy could be so subtle that only a few hysterical people like me even notice. For the average person, it will just be a replay of 2000, only worse: it will simply be accepted that the only way a Democrat can become POTUS is if that party also control Congress. People will say “the system worked” and move on.
- Republicans have gamed the system.
It could be that by 2024 – 2025 the actual administration of elections will be so corrupt that it will be a fact of life that people shrug and take for granted. It will be the first step towards Americans becoming Russians in that they will no longer feel as though the government expresses the will of the people. And that will be that.
- Not Trump 2024
Another reason why we could slip peacefully into autocracy is it’s not Trump who is the Republican nominee, but someone other than Trump. If this is the case, when I honestly don’t see why we would have a civil war. Autocracy is so popular within the United States –and the opposition to it is so weak — that our transition to an actual autocracy will in the end be so easy to pull off that there will be no need to resort to violence. Blue States will get angry, but, lulz, they always get angry, right Mr. Eastman?
- Autocracy is very popular in the United States
A sizable portion of the United States’ electorate wants an autocracy. They want one so bad that they seem like a cult to people who aren’t all that thrilled at the prospect of one. So, it’s possible that they will wrap up the transition into autocracy without any violence at all. By the time people realize what they’ve lost, it will be way, way too late. The United States will be nothing more than a Russia clone with an identical political dynamic. There will be a MAGA-themed Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment” and we’ll still have President DeSantis (or whomever) 30 years from now.
- Anti-MAGA forces are just too weak willed.
Again, it could be that when push comes to shove, the whole thing will be over before it even starts. There will be a lot of angry tweets on Twitter, but in the end, because Twitter liberals aren’t willing to risk anything in the real world, we slip peacefully into autocracy and that, as they say, will be that.
But there is one thing I can not stress enough: stop laughing at the MAGA New Right. They just aren’t funny anymore. We’re dealing with a lingering existential crisis that is going to come to a head one way or another. We’re still too far out for me to figure out if it’s going to be autocracy, civil war or military junta.
Yet, what I do know is the current status quo is so unstable that something pretty dramatic is going to happen. Again — all the conditions exist for us to slip peacefully into autocracy and that will be that. The average American is so complacent that if Bannon gets what he wants, the liberal media will tell everyone that “the system worked” and it’s just a fact of life now that one, the administration of elections is corrupt and two, even if Democrats get past that obstacle, the only way they can gain the presidency is if they also control Congress.
Then comes the MAGA-themed Constitutional Convention. In about 20 years, we’ll wake up and realize an entire generation of Americans has only known DeSantis (or whomever) as president. We’ll also learn that the Trump family is now one of the wealthiest in the world, rivaling Putin. We’ll hear isolated reports of well known anti-MAGA people mysteriously dying, but strangely nothing will ever come of it.
All of our media will avoid talking about politics and News Corp will own The New York Times AND CNN. Who knows, MSNBC might be sold off and merged with OANN or NewsMax at some cut rate price. We’ll also here the occasional story from the BBC about the burgeoning ICE camps with political prisoners, but most people who are Good Americans won’t really care or notice.
That is, of course, until they get drunk in a bar one night and rant about how much President Flynn sucks. They vanish within a few days.
The reason why this agitates me so much is this dystopian scenario of an American future under autocracy is not an abstract to me. I’ve enjoyed the luxury of being a loud mouth kook in a free nation my entire life. I’m just not someone who could even exist in a country like Russia.
So, I feel, in a very concrete way, that if we do slip peacefully into autocracy that my life is in danger.
The main reason why I don’t think the United States will have a Second Civil War is how weak anti-MAGA forces are in real terms. Or, put another way, if there is some sort of civil war in the United States around the time I predict it may happen, a lot of heroes are going to burst onto the scene in ways none of us — least of all me — can predict.
And, remember, if we did have a second civil war, it would not happen in a vacuum. The entire world would go up in flames at the same time. Any number of regional wars would flare up — some of them resulting in limited nuclear exchanges — and the world we woke up to on the other end of the conflict would be greatly reshaped.
But again, I just don’t know which choice we’re going to make. At the moment, you can make the case for either autocracy or civil war. You can even make the case for some sort of military junta.
In a sense, this option makes a lot more sense than either autocracy or civil war because it could be just the temporary fix to our problems. The scenario I’m thinking of is rather than what the Reds want, which is autocracy or what the Blues might want out of desperation, which is civil war, we would simply turn the reigns of power over to the military.
Once we did that, it’s easy to imagine the whole point of the exercise would be a convening of a Constitutional Convention that would address the concerns of both sides. This would be a way to take the existential issues of 2025 out of the hands of our undead politics and turn it over to a hopefully objective existential body that would help us become a more perfect Union.
There, unfortunately, so many problems with this on-paper ideal solution that it’s highly unlikely it would happen. What’s more likely to happen is either we slip peacefully into a MAGA New Right autocracy or Blue States grow so enraged that they leave the Union and all hell breaks loose.
The biggest problem is, of course, the U.S. Military on a systemic basis will do everything in its power to avoid this very solution, even to the point that the whole country collapses into anarchy. This would happen when the military simply refuses to pick a side when Trump fucks everything up like he always does and we just don’t know who the “real” POTUS is and Blue and Red States go for each others throats.
Another problem might be, that the not even the military will be able to withstand the forces tearing the country apart and the largely MAGA enlisted men pick the opposite side as the brass. So, instead of a unified military being able to step in for a few crucial months, everything collapses in on itself and we bomb ourselves into oblivion using illicitly seized caches of WMD.
Yet, all I can tell you is something’s gotta give.
The moment Congress flips and Republicans are in control of Congress again, things are going to get very dark and even more unstable. You really need to enjoy these last few months of peace and quiet, of traditional America, while you can.
Macro trends are not on America’s side. As I keep saying, 2024 is going to be it. It’s the year when either the United States turns into a Russian-style “managed democracy” or there’s a civil war. Now, this isn’t going to be a complete list of the 50 states, but I am going to highlight some of the states that may be more problematic should a Second American Civil War erupt.
The state is really two states and, as such, is probably going to be a major flashpoint in any Second Civil War. What’s likely to happen is Portland will buck any attempt at a putsch on the part of bonkers Right wing nutjobs in the rest of the state and, as such, either there’s a really blood struggle in the state or there are a massive amount of political refugees from the Portland area as the rest of the state sides with MAGA.
Again, this is really two states. There’s the NOVA-Richmond-Hampton Roads urban corridor and everything else. It’s very easy to imagine a situation — especially with Virginia’s historic ties to the first Civil War — where the state implodes as we grow closer and closer to a Second Civil War. Too many good old boys in the rural areas of Virginia might get wrapped up in the “Lost Cause” mythos and decide to seize places like Danville (the last capitol of the Confederacy) or Richmond (another Confederate capitol.) If nothing else, simply because of the larger population of the “Blue” parts of the state, there will be significant violence and political refugees as the Blues consolidate power.
I don’t know as much about this state, but it definitely seems as though once the pre-war process of coups and political consolation begins that there will be at least a coup attempt on the part of the Far Right. Again, don’t underestimate how once you actually start murdering people that the dynamics of things change significantly. It’s very possible that there would be a coup in the state, it would fail, and there would be significant political violence as the state’s Blue population fought back and put the state firmly on the Blue side.
Yet again, we have a situation where once politics fails us that the otherwise banal regional differences in a state tears it apart. New York City is far more progressive than the rest of New York State and, depending on how things work out, it’s possible that New York City could become a revolutionary hotbed to the point that is tears itself away from the rest of the state and proclaims itself a Free City. This almost happen during the first Civil War. If nothing else, there will be a serious jiggling of the relationship between NYC and the rest of the state to the point where it aligns itself in any Second Civil War with New Jersey and Connecticut in a way that update New York does not. Or, again, there could be significant political consolidation as Blues from all over the northeast flee to New York and the MAGA-friendly natives of the state flee elsewhere.
I really don’t know that much about this state other than a vague belief that the northern part of the state is far different than the southern part. It’s very easy to imagine significant consolation in the state one way or another as people flee to it as the rest of the country buckles. The state is big — if sparsely populated — and it’s strategic location near the Canadian border might be enough for it to be the home to large refugee camps.
Texas would be in an odd situation as the country fell into civil war because its long-term political trend is shifting Blue, but it’s part of the South and a lot of people consider themselves Southern and MAGA. So either it simply buckles into its own intra-civil war or the MAGA cocksucker fucktards push out all the Blues who flee to Blue States nearby. The end result would be a lot of pissed off former Texans who would be of great benefit to the Blue cause.
In a sense, the whole fate of the United States rests on what California does. If it simply bolts from the Union, then that significantly hobbles the Blue cause on the ground. California sitting on its hands and become its own nation in the event of a Second Civil War makes it far more likely that either Red states win or there is some sort of half-ass balkanization of the United States. But if California stays and fights, then they could provide not only the necessary economy and population for a Blue state victory — after many, many dead — but also something of a vision for what America would look like after we’re finished bombing ourselves into oblivion.
The Deep South
It’s very easy to imagine at the onset of a Second American Civil War most of the old Confederacy on a political level getting extremely excited and having a massive amount of momentum to either leave the Union outright or support the Republican controlled Congress’ attempt to brazenly steal the election. Then reality would sink in — all of the Southern states have significant African American populations and once politics is no longer a viable method of solving problems then the far more brutal dynamics of realpolitik would kick in. I just can’t imagine millions of African Americans lulzing a return to the Confederacy, no matter how badly the white political establishment of those states may want it. So, even though the South has a lot of people and a big economy, it would be, on a regional basis, too busy fighting a race war to really help the Red cause all that much. If things really grew as radical as I fear they will — probably because WMD are stolen and cities start to get vaporized — it’s the Deep South where you’re most likely to see some WW2 level atrocities as radicalized whites begin to murder blacks en mass.
As for the rest of the states, their ability to pick one side or the other is probably far easier and their biggest problem would be dealing with political refugees.