by Shelt Garner
First, let me be very clear — I just don’t see the United States having a Second Civil War. All the talk about one says more about how on edge the nation is as we transition into an autocracy. Talk of civil war is part of the transition into an autocracy. It happened with Germany when the Nazis took over and it’s happening today as the fascist MAGA are ascendant.
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 destabilizing 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.
And, yet, since there is a greater-than-zero chance that there might be a Second American Civil War, let me give you my reasoning why it will be Blues, not Reds who start it should it happen.
First and foremost, MAGA is politically ascendant. As part of that, they are doing everything in their power to sabotage American democracy in sort of a slow moving coup that, if successful, would cause the United States to turn into an autocracy through the corruption of the administration of elections. And, what’s more, if SCOTUS approves the dubious legal concept of “independent legislatures” the coup will be complete. MAGA state legislatures will be given free reign to completely ignore the will of the people if necessary to make sure a MAGA presidential candidate wins.
So, the theory of the case by civil war expert Barbara F. Walter is this: MAGA no longer believes in American democracy and they see themselves as “real” America to the point that they will become something like Colombia’s FARC and start to blow shit up around the country on a regular basis because they hold Blues in such distain.
Now, there is some merit to this idea — she is the expert, after all. But it also misses the point. Political tradition in the United States would suggest that if we’re going to do something as dramatic as a “National Divorce” it will be at the state level and it will have a thin veneer of legalism to it. While, yes, it’s very possible that between now and January 2025 there will be a significant increase in political violence across the country. That’s a real possibility and I can see how that might be marketed as a “civil war.”
It seems me that no matter which side demands a “National Divorce,” Blue or Red, it will be initiated at the state level. Doing so would give any effort to have a National Divorce the basic building blocks of a nation. Government. Military. Leadership. Taxation. It just doesn’t make any sense to me that we would collapse into anarchy — even though it definitely feels as though we’re doing just that at times.
There is a real possibility that if Trump feels he is going to get indicted and potentially go to prison, that he will demand Red states leave the Union to put pressure on the Federal government to lay off. He’s so bonkers at this point that anything is possible. But as I keep saying, from what I’m reading of Hitler and his ascent there’s a huge different between he and Trump — Hitler was willing to use violence, to go transactional to get his aims.
Trump, meanwhile, is so lazy and such a wussy that he’s only gone transactional once and that was January 6th. Otherwise, Trump has been all talk and violent dog whistles. This comes from how Trump is not a historical “Great Man” but rather just an avatar, a vessel for white Christian autocratic rage. And, in a strange way, this part of Trump’s personality has given us a little bit a breathing room that we would not have otherwise if Trump was more like Hitler.
So, barring Trump going transactional and demanding Red states leave the Union to save his own ass, I think if we have a civil war it’s going to happen in late 2024, early 2025.
If what happened in 2020 is any indication, the first sign that we would have that something was amiss would be on the local level. Instead of people who simply do their job as Americans and do the rather perfunctory duty of certifying the win of A Democrat, this doesn’t happen. In crucial voting districts all across swing states, Bannon’s “spiritual shock troops” either refuse to certify the win of A Democrat, or they go so far as to YOLO things and switch the win to Trump.
As this happens, the tension in United States escalates day by day. The very rallying cry of MAGA in 2020 — “Stop The Steal” will be adopted by the center-Left when it becomes clear that the MAGA New Right is hell bent on brazenly stealing the 2024 election in broad daylight.
But remember, the center-Left has a very different personality than the MAGA New Right. The center-Left, for all it’s problems with “cancel culture” and being “woke” is still actually connected to reality. So, there would be a struggle between the natural inclination of centrist Liberals to let the “process work” and Leftists who would want to burn everything to the ground given how corrupted everything had become.
All of this turmoil on the local level would find elections in crucial states thrown into the political realm where MAGA state legislatures and Secretary’s of State would begin to actively ensure that A Democrat is prevented from winning. Every day between Election Day 2024 and Certification Day 2025 things would grow more and more unstable in the United States as it became clear that Bannon’s long-planned “administrative coup” was actually going to work.
There would be mass confusion. Lots of lawsuits
And, remember, if Trump is involved, as all of this is going on, he would do everything in his personal power to rile up both sides. If his ongoing, progressive cognitive decline has gotten bad enough, he might even go transactional.
It would be around this point that I could see Blue governors begin to make serious plans to leave the Union. A lot would depend on what California was willing to do. But it would definitely make sense that California would be the first state to call a Secessionist Convention in preparation of leaving the Union if the 2024 election is, in fact, stolen.
But by some point between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you could see some sort of summit of Blue Governors where they debate their plans to leave the Union if the very thing that the MAGA New Right wants — to turn the United States into an autocracy — actually happens.
And as we approached Certification Day in January 2025, the last step in the crisis would happen. If you thought Certification Day 2021 was bad, just wait until Republicans are actively going over and above what they did then when it rolls around in 2025. So, the system will have been corrupted at both the local and state level. And then if that doesn’t work, Republicans will again try to throw the election into the House and Senate to buy time, if nothing else.
So, let me be clear — anyone who thinks we’re going to have some sort of MAGA New Right revolution a la The Turner Diaries — is a fool. Any Second American Civil War we have is probably going to be started by Blue States leaving the Union out of disgust that the fix is in.
Therefore, by the time Certification Day 2025 rolls around, it could very well be a foregone conclusion that we’re going to have a pretty organized civil war. Republicans have no shame and don’t apparently care about the consequences of their actions, so, lulz, we could find ourselves in the absolute worst of worlds because not only are states actively thinking about leaving the Union around this time, but the whole process of figuring out who is POTUS will be languishing in Congress. Republicans, because they are politically blood thirsty and will cheat, will win the power struggle, but there’s a chance states will begin leaving the Union.
It won’t be deranged, individual MAGA New Right blowing stuff up in some sort of rearguard action. It’s going to be a Blue Nation verses a Red Nation. A lot of the same things that happened in the First American Civil War will happen in the second. The U.S. Military will implode as people from Blue States leave it to establish a new Blue State military.
But one thing we have to expect in late 2024 to early 2025 is a mass migration of people across the country as people no longer feel safe living in an area of the country that doesn’t fit their politics. It could be rather frightening.
If it were, God forbid, to happen, I would guess that a Second American Civil War will begin between Certification Day 2025 and Inauguration Day 2025. In other words, as Trump is being sworn in, mass chaos will have erupted across the United States.
Once the hollowed out American military turns it attention to the Blue rebellion at the behest of Trump, it won’t be too long before WMD are sized and used by both sides. Not only would America bomb itself into oblivion with its eyes wide open, but it will be done in the context of WW3 definitely breaking out across the globe because the US will be too busy imploding to ensure the continuation of the post WW2 global order.
How’s that for a New World Order.
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.
Or, put another way, we’re fucked. We’re totally, completely fucked one way or another. Either we turn into an autocracy or Red and Blue begin to murder each other in cold political blood. The usual outcome of all this bullshit that we have come to expect — simply muddling along until we come to some solution one way or another — is not longer a valid option.