by Shelt Garner
I have given this a lot of thought and the central issue when weighing the possibility of a Second American Civil War is how serious we should take all this talk of political violence that we now seem surrounded by. There is a lot of abstract fear about a civil war that is generated more from the absolute partisan divide in the country as opposed to any real risk of a war between Blue and Red actually breaking out.
How much of the chatter about having a 2ACW is simply MAGA Republicans have murdering liberals on the brain and how much is something we should be worried about? Is there a real risk that the most stable democracy in the world could actually implode into civil war?
That is a question I just can’t game out for a number of reasons. One reason is I believe that if there is a real risk of a civil war it’s going to be because Blue States refuse to “bend a knee” fascist MAGA Republicans when they either steal the 2024 election or come in with a presidential policy agenda that is so radical that they can’t bear to stay in the Union anymore.
Logically, there won’t be a civil war because millions of Twitter liberals will vote with their feet and flee the country as it becomes clear that the United States is finally transitioning into an autocracy. As such, the very people would might agitate for a “National Divorce” won’t be around to do it. The United States will simply drift into fascism and 20 years from now we’ll all be wondering why President DeSantis is invading Canada.
And, yet, any discussion of the potential for a 2ACW has to address the cold hard fact that Trump, unto himself, could single handedly start a civil war for a variety of reasons. I — and a lot of other people — are notorious for overestimating Trump’s political acumen, but there is a greater-than-zero-sum chance that Trump could start a civil war to save his sorry ass. Or he could say “the quiet part out loud” in 2024 to such an extent that some Blue States simply can not bend a knee and we have a civil war.
So, I don’t know. I just don’t know if we’re going to have a civil war or not. It’s very possible we might have one, but just not very probable. And in the end I think it’s pretty much up to Trump if we have one or not. He’s such a singular figure in American politics and history that he, himself, could be the additional pressure on the system that causes the whole thing to collapse.
But I think for the time being we would be better worrying about who his veep pick will be because whomever he picks will be America’s first autocrat.