The End Of Pax Americana?

by Shelt Garner

As of late 2023, it definitely FEELS like we’re fucked here in the United States in regards to some sort of MAGA counter-revolution. There is an air of inevitability to the return of Trump to the point that anything that prevents it from happening will be jaw dropping — by definition.

Maybe Blues should become Blue Meanies.

Should Trump return to power, it will market the official end to the post-WW2 liberal order. The US will probably leave NATO, South Korea and Japan. We will probably align ourselves with Russia, Hungary and Turkey. All this will happen just as the wealthiest, most powerful nation in human history suddenly becomes very, very, very unstable.

Trump will try to rule Blue portions of America as King Trump I, while ruling Red parts of the country as more of a traditional autocrat. At least 1 million smug liberal Blues will leave the country, dramatically transforming global culture. Just imagine how a steady flow of well educated, well trained Americans being pumped into nations like Canada, New Zealand, Australia, The Philippines and a lot of Latin American nations could change the global order.

I don’t know how much Mexico will benefit from the collapse of the United States, but I could see Argentina, Chile and Brazil seeing so many Americans flood them that their general standard of living improves rather dramatically and abruptly within a few years.

And that doesn’t even begin to account for how Europe will change when many, many Americans flood to cheap places in the Balkans — it’s already happening.

This is where there are people on the MAGA Right who will roll their eyes and say none of this will ever possibly happen. Trump won’t be a king, he will bring peace and prosperity to all Americans through a combination of being an “alpha male” and rainbow unicorn farts.

I dunno. I guess we won’t know for sure one way or another until, well, they call the 2024 election. Good luck.

We Are Lulzing Ourselves Into Autocracy

by Shelt Garner

It’s clear we’ve given up on liberal democracy in the United States. At the moment, at least, it seems as though Trump will win a second term and I will end up in a camp — if I’m lucky. I dare not think what would happen to my sorry broke ass if I’m not lucky.

All of this is happening in broad daylight. Trump has made it clear that he wants to be an autocrat — specifically a military dictator. And yet the mainstream press can’t even trouble itself to frame the debate around Trump’s pending re-election in the right way.

Meanwhile, I find myself having arguments with conservative relatives about over how it’s a “free speech” issue when it comes to trying to not give Nazis a platform online.

It definitely seems as though our only shot is to hope enough chaos erupts in starting in 2025 that the country becomes so unstable that the military stands down and maybe even deposes Trump. (I AM NOT ADVOCATING ANYTHING.) If that happens, then maybe we could refound the republic and have a Third Republic take the place of the failed Second Republic.

Something, something like that.

But I have my doubts. I think this is it. It’s over. The US is just going to slide peacefully into a Russian-style autocracy and that’s it.

The Late Great Second American Republic

by Shelt Garner

Oh boy. Are we in trouble. As I often do, I used my far, far more conservative relative as something of a one person focus group. And, yet again, what I learned startled me. They key take away is that there is way too much slack in what Tyrant Trump could get away with before this relative — whom I love dearly — would sit up and take notice.

This is not the first time that I’ve realized this, but as we lurch closer and closer to the end of the Second Republic, my alarm grows more severe. To recap — the First American Republic was founded by George Washington, the second, Abraham Lincoln.

Now, we’re at a crossroads. Either we somehow found a Third Republic or we collapse, at last, into autocracy. Either we have a moment of crisis and then national renewal….or we’re very fucked. I just don’t know which option we’re going to pick at the moment.

It could be that this is it. We’re just going to slide peacefully into autocracy and won’t look back. The Era of Democracy will be over once and for all and I will never again live in a “liberal democracy.” Ugh. Or, of course, I may somehow escape the country and finish my six novel project in some other nation.

I just don’t think we’re prepared for how many smug Twitter liberals are going to flee the country the moment it becomes clear Trump is going full tyrant. It’s going to be quite jarring. All us Poors are going to have to fend for ourselves. Also, I still struggle with what group will serve the purpose of the Nazi SA in our transition into autocracy.

So many known unknowns.

MAGA As American Nazism

by Shelt Garner

The most recent Pod Save America is really great. But I do find it interesting that the PSA guys seem to have a blind spot when it comes to what’s going on with American politics. They keep wondering how it is that we find ourselves in this situation and how we can deal with Trump.

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Dalton, Ga., on Jan. 4, 2021.

The problem is not only is America now an anocracy rather than democracy, there is a sizable portion of the population who hates democracy and crave an autocratic white Christian ethnostate of blood and soil. There comes a point when you have to accept how existential the 2024 election is going to be for the fate of the United States.

If every election a democracy has is existential, then you’re really not a democracy anymore. We have to accept that a lot of white Christian conservative (males) feel disenfranchised to the point that they would rather we throw up our hands and give up on our founding principles.

I just don’t have any hope anymore. We have to prepare for some sort of monumental events to happen starting in late 2024, early 2025. I have no idea what might happen, but things aren’t looking great at the moment. In fact, they look rather dire.

There are no easy answers or solutions. I do believe that MAGA will one day be viewed as just as bad as the Nazis, with all the foreboding and evil that that assumes about what they will do the next time they have power.

Is 2023 a New 1788?

by Shelt Garner

As I grow more and more alarmed about what is going to happen in late 2024, early 2025, I think I’m going to add more books about the French Revolution to books that I buy then wait years to read.

It seems to me that because of income inequality, the United States may burst into civil war and revolution as part of the 2024 presidential cycle. And, honestly, sometimes I think it’s just a matter if its Blues or Reds who are going to be the ones who get fed up and bolt the Union. (Spoiler Alert: it will probably be Blues.)

But the United States is so huge, diverse and powerful that if we collapse into civil war and or revolution, it will one of the biggest events not just in American history — but human history. The only thing I can compare it to would be the 1789 – 1799 French Revolution combined with the American Civil War.

The world really will be turned upside down if the United States should buckle – it probably would prompted WW3. The entire global order would be thrown up in the air until everything was sorted out one way or another. And just because Blues might leave the Union to start their own center-Left nation doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t be mission creep and, ultimately, there would be a global conflagration that would totally re-arrange the entire global framework.

But, before I go down that hysterical path TOO much, remember — I’m always wrong. I think, in the end, that DeSantis will be elected and initially, any changes in the United States will be rather subtle. It won’t be until 20 years of DeSantis consolidating power that we’ll endup invading Canada to overthrow the “woke cancel culture mob” there.

Or, put another way — I’m probably full of shit and why are you even listening to me at all? Wink.

‘What Constitutes a MAGA Republican?’

by Shelt Garner

A MAGA Republican is a fascist. And what does that mean? Well, in this particular case, it means they not only have absolute fidelity to dingus Trump, but they are racist and misogynistic in the extreme. They hate the browning of America and the rise of economically liberated women.

Often they frame what they believe in the context of the “woke cancel culture mob” wanting to ruin their lives for “just for being conservative.” There is an intense sense of aggrievement on the part of MAGA Republicans, to the point that they are willfully blind to the complete lack of popular policies on the part of MAGA Republican leadership in the name of “owning the libs.”

In fact, that is the central tenant of the MAGA Republican movement — owning the libs. They will believe any lie, follow any conspiracy to its logical extreme and ridiculous conclusion as long as they feel the warm glow of there having been libs “owned.” MAGA Republicans are so consumed by the culture wars that they have no policies other than whatever Trump rants about at any particular moment. Their fidelity to Trump is as absolute as a Christian’s to Jesus.

Another important element of the MAGA Republican movement is they no longer believe in democracy. In fact, they go out of the way to make it clear that the United States is NOT a democracy at all, but rather a constitutional republic. They say this because they know the more people vote, the less likely it is they win elections. MAGA Republicans also believe that, by definition, any election they lose is rigged against them.

MAGA Republicans want to establish an autocratic, white Christian ethno state in the United States. They are growing to see violence as means to a political end. And, ultimately, should Trump either go transactional or his second term’s radical policies be too much for Blue States — there could be a civil war.

And, typically, pick the most extreme Right wing hot take on any subject and that’s what MAGA Republicans believe. MAGA Republicans also believe that their Dear Leader Donald Trump is, by definition, above the law and even if the authorities have him dead-to-rights with it comes to {name a law} then it’s all a Deep State conspiracy to get him out of the picture. They believe this to the point that there is a good chance that Trump could be cooling his heels in prison and he would STILL win the 2024 presidential election.

The endgame of all of this is still very much up in the air. On one hand, the United States could stagger into some form of autocracy. This works on the assumption, however, that Trump will somehow get out of the way so a more palatable political figure, like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, can be America’s first autocrat.

But, as history has shown, Trump is a fighter and, as such, he is a political monster who refuses to get out of the way, long after he has served his historical and political purpose.

So, it’s at least possible that Trump, unto himself, could cause a civil war and destroy the most powerful democracy the world has ever known. Good luck.

Is The United States A ‘Constitutional Republic’ or A Democracy?

by Shelt Garner

It’s becoming MAGA Republican orthodoxy to dress up their autocratic desires — and to own the libs — by being very adamant that the United States isn’t a democracy, but rather a “Constitutional Republic.” That Republicans quibble over nomenclature like this is a tell — they have very unpopular policies (such as there are) and rather than change them to win elections in a liberal democracy, they would rather destroy America’s democratic birthright.

There’s a lot to unpack here.

One of the signs to me, at least, that the United States is probably going to slip into autocracy is my Traditionalist relatives, who should know better, parrot this MAGA talking point. What they’re really saying is not so much that they believe that the United States is a Constitutional Republic, but rather they don’t believe in traditional liberal democracy anymore.

They hate it when people vote because they know that the more people vote, the less they win and the more pressure they feel to maybe, I don’t know, change with the times? What they want is to be able to play the more obscure, undemocratic elements of the Constitutional to ensure that they, at a minimum, establish an “illiberal democracy” like there exists in Hungary, in the United States.

And my Traditionalist relatives are all-in on this canard. They talk about how democracy is “mob rule” and how Alexander de Tocqueville warned about the dangers of democracy. (Which, I think is a disingenuous or even downright wrong interpretation of what he wrote about the United States.) And, what’s more they even say shit like the Founding Fathers didn’t want democracy and you’re not doubting their wisdom, are you?

This is all bullshit. The reason is, while, yes, we are a Constitutional Republic also, at least until recently, a very stable Western democracy. There were democratic norms and, in general, the general movement of American pollical life was towards more democracy and a broader definition of who could vote. So being a Constitutional Republic is not mutually exclusive with being a democracy.

All of this, of course, is a cover for how desperate white angry Christian (men) are to establish a white, autocratic Christian ethno state in the United States for various reasons. They are afraid of the browning of America, the rise of economically liberated women and a growing secularity in the country. They point to things like the “woke cancel culture mob” because that is lot easier to sell on a political basis than, “I want to take your democratic birth right.”

The rise of Republicans believing that the United States is a Constitutional Republic is a clear sign that we’ve lost Traditionalists and, as such, we are careening towards an autocratic state the moment — any — Republican becomes POTUS. That’s all she wrote. If someone like DeSantis becomes president, then we’re going to have A Very American Autocracy and we’re going to wake up in 20 years and wonder why he’s still POTUS.

Millions of wealthy liberals will leave the country to the point that the “liberal brain drain” will replace “scary brown people at the border” as a boogie man for the American MAGA Right. On paper, all things considered, that seems to be a foregone conclusion.

And yet, there is a wildcard — Trump.

Trump is such a fucking malignant chaos agent that he could, personally, start a civil war in a variety of ways between now and, say, spring 2025. I’m not saying he will, but there is definitely a greater-than-zero-sum chance that it will happen.

Anyway, I just don’t think we’re prepared for how bumpy the next few years will be. MAGA Republicans have all the political momentum — despite their snowflake bellyaching — and either they get what they want, which is an illiberal democracy, or we have a civil war of some sort.

Figure out what you believe in the real world and what you’re willing to suffer for. Or just leave the country, if you can.

Trump, Indictment & The Potential For A Second American Civil War

by Shelt Garner

I don’t know anything about anything. I’m often, if not usually, wrong. But here, nonetheless, is my hot take on the question of the moment — “Will Trump be indicted?”

No. I don’t think he will be. I think, in the end, this will be just another Bad Thing that is baked into the cake when it comes to Trump. I say this because it’s clear that Republicans have done a gut check and since the base is fired up about what happend — and not in a good way — they have decided to hunker down and cling to Trump even tighter.

Now, remember, Trump is a very complex historical figure because not only is he just an avatar, a vessel for white Christian rage, he also refuses to get out of the way to DeSantis can finish the job he started. What’s more, even if he did get out of the way, then, like I said, we’re doomed in a different way. DeSantis (or someone like him) will become America’s first autocrat and that will be that. We’ll wake up in 20 years and wonder why DeSantis is still president. We’ll also wonder why we have to use VPN to watch the BBC talk about how horrible things are in the United States.

The other alternative, obviously, is civil war. And if Trump is the 2024 Republican nominee then the likelihood of a National Divorce grows dramatically because he always says the “quiet part out loud.” He will cheat to win the 2024 election, even if he doesn’t have to. Trump is such a chaos agent that there are not one but three ways he could start a civil war.

If he got indicted, I could totally see him go transactional and demand Red states begin the process of leaving the Union. Texas’ autocratic state government already talks like it has one foot out the door as it is. Just by calling up a Secessionist Convention, Texas would spook the Federal government to the point that they would ultimately shy away from doing anything with Trump criminally.

Meanwhile, there remains the lingering possibility that Trump will demand to be the Speaker of the House should Republicans take Congress in the fall. Even though I’m notorious for overestimating Trump’s mental abilities, even with his political grunt tendencies, I could see him use the threat of Red States leaving the Union as a bludgeon against Blue Senators when the inevitable impeachment trials of Biden and Harris happen.

The third way Trump might personally start a Second American Civil War would be as part of the 2024 presidential cycle. Either he so brazenly steals the election that Blue States begin to leave the Union or his second term agenda is so radical that that, unto itself, is enough to push Blue states — starting with California — out of the Union.

So, no, I don’t think Trump will be held accountable in any way for stealing America’s top secrets. We’re careening towards a very, very dark fate of either civil war or autocracy and this particular severe crisis will be just among the top five or so worst things Trump has done since 2015.

Good luck.

Biden Needs To Call MAGA Straight Up Old Fascists, Not ‘Semi’

by Shelt Garner

The case can be made that if Biden frames the 2022 elections in as start as terms as possible — fascism versus democracy — that we might see an unexpected upset in November. I have extremely low expectations at the moment. And I’ve already begun to game out how dark the period between January 2023 and January 2025 will be in the United States.

We all may be anti-fascist soon enough.

But if we can somehow hold the line against the rising tide of MAGA tyranny, then we will definitely be in a little bit of a better position going into the massive clusterfuck that will be the 2024 election cycle. I can not impress upon you enough how potentially dramatic and violent the 2024 presidential cycle might be. I just don’t see it being a free and fair election because the entire point of the Republican Party at this point is to steal the 2024 election. That’s all they want. All they want is to establish an autocracy in the United States. And all they have to do is gain power once — once! — and that’s it.

The key issue to remember is we can’t punt the existential crisis America faces down the road anymore. Everything is coming to a head in late 2024, early 2025. By definition, if a Republican wins in 2024, we’re going to go down the path of autocracy. If we’re lucky, we settle somewhere around Hungary or Turkey. If we’re not so lucky, we endup somewhere between Russia and Nazi Germany.

Things are really that dire.

Barring a Unity Ticket for 2024, however, I do think that if Biden begins to articulate why the MAGA New Right is old school fascism, that that will really help to clarify in the minds of voters an general unease they probably are feeling already about the extremism of the Republican MAGA New Right.

Things are so volatile when it comes to the Republican Party, even if Democrats were able to miraculously win the 2024 election fair and square Republicans probably would either steal the election or grow extremely violent. What happen on January 6th would pale in comparison to the amount of violence we will see if Republicans lose — or aren’t able to successfully steal the 2024 eletion.

Those motherfuckers really are out for blood, I’m afraid.

Trump’s Big Boy Crime Of Espionage Meets The ‘Stormy Daniels Playbook’

by Shelt Garner

For a number of years, since 2015, we’ve been trying to “get” Trump for any number of alarming things. And, every time, to date, he’s managed to escape because of what I call the “Stormy Daniels Playbook.” This Trump “floods the zone” with bullshit long enough for Republican leaders to touch base with MAGA voters and realize that they do, in fact, still support Trump. As such, to date, at least, Trump has known that trying to hold him accountable is much like trying to get any sort of sensible gun control passed after 20 little kids are murdered.

Trump just wants us to get past the shock of whatever the bad thing he did. Once we are able to get past the cognitive dissidence of him paying off a porn star right before an election, or making a “perfect call” to get dirt on Joe Biden, or separating families at the border…he wins. The MAGA base has such absolute fidelity to Trump on a political basis that there is never a point where the people in Republican leadership demand Trump leave the public sphere.

Here are some reasons why we may have a civil war over and above the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

The Stormy Daniels Playbook has served Trump very, very well since at least the Access Hollywood Tape and, as such, it’s inevitably the thing he leans into the moment he realizes whatever it is he’s done wrong isn’t just a PR problem but a Big Boy Crime.

And so, we find ourselves with yet another Big Boy Crime that Trump has committed — espionage. This is so serious that two extreme things of equal value are now careening towards each other at an alarming rate. The absolute fidelity of MAGA to Trump is rushing towards the absolute need for the Justice Department to finally, finally hold Trump accountable for something so absolutely bad that it’s inexcusable, even for political reasons.

We all may be Antifa soon.

As such, if we really do “catch” Trump this time — which I find extremely unlikely — literally anything can happen. I fear we’re underestimating not only the fanatical fidelity to dingus Trump MAGA has, but how unstable the country is in general. To me, it seems the key issue is — if Trump, in a panic, demanded Red States leave the Union in his usual dog whistle way, would they actually call secessionist conventions?

Is that even really within the realm of possibility?

I honestly don’t know at the moment. I do think a state like Texas might do it if Trump demanded it, then once that began to happen, all eyes would turn to South Carolina to see if they would be the one to actually be the first to do it. And, yet, because of race, there’s a chance that some sort of extra legal method would have to be used in South Carolina if that state wanted to leave the Union. But I could maybe see Texas, South Carolina, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi begin to seriously consider leaving the Union if Trump began to rant about this possibility because he was actually going to be held accountable. There are a number of other Red States that would probably leave the Union as well, but those are just the ones that I thought of off the top of my head.

Florida would be would be a very interesting situation because Ron DeSantis would have to figure out if he wanted to risk destroying his very viable path to being America’s first autocrat to playing second fiddle in the new state of Trumplandia.

All of that is very fantastical. I think, in the end, Trump is going to get away with even espionage. We’re going to punt this grievous, severe crisis down the road until 2024 -2025 and it will be Blue States who have to do a gut check about if they want to bend a knee to dingus Trump or not.

Good luck.

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.

New York
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.