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Yes, duality and separation have been around as long as there have been people. I believe that duality and separation are inherent and inescapable properties of our universe. We don't have to go looking for them... they will find us all on their own.

And I suspicion it has a whole lot to do with "why we are here."

Pretty good assessment Michael; I would only add that not only have Americans been a violent people but humans in general for millennia have been argumentative, territorial, combative and most often murderous. Tribal allegiance has until recently been a way of human life with skirmishes and wars between tribes almost occurring as constant background noise. There are few, if any cultures in the world where this has not occurred.

I don’t think that any other animal is as violent and hateful toward its own species as humans are. Obviously other species don’t have access to weapons of mass destruction to inflict as much pain and misery as humans do. A tooth and claw battle usually does not result in many casualties and animals have no compunction with just running away from a fight.

I don’t know what a civil war in the United States of America would be like in the 21st century. Certainly protests and riots might continue to occur and increase with serious outcomes but for the reasons you mentioned above who would be shooting at whom? Some group or groups would have to be identifiable. (This has occurred in the 1930s and 40s in Germany.)

I see a more orderly, sophisticated, legal battle occurring in the United States of America with one or more states withdrawing from the Union and going out on their own. Or, by mutual agreement the country might be divided into 4, 5 or more territories where people of like philosophies would gravitate with their own group. If that occurred then the new American territories or countries would be very vulnerable to attack by other countries, such attacks likely to provoke a war pulling all of the states or territories back into a union again.

There is nothing like a common enemy to bring people together. - AOD

I don't think we'll descend to the point of shooting each other, but I fear that the United States - and perhaps the world - is becoming so polarized that compromise or working together might become impossible. In just the last year alone, I've sometimes fantasized about certain politicians and their followers spontaneously combusting, melting from the inside out, and enduring other horrific ways of dying, fantasies that I've never had before. But as you said, Michael, politics brings out the worst in people, and you can only tolerate the vitriol, hate, and propaganda being spewed out twenty four hours a day from all sides for so long before you start wishing everyone would just shut the hell up.

On my worst days, I wish I could just finish my purpose, leave this plane of existence, never come back, and laugh while watching humanity self-destruct through our endless greed, selfishness, and desire for control and domination.

Well, time to go dig into the ice cream tub again.

I am one of those that thinks there is a real possibility of a civil war. Yes, it would be neighbors killing each other at first. Once the purging - via killing and people fleeing the killing - is complete, it would be the conservative interior of the country versus the liberal/socialist coastal cities. The interior would "win" because they have guns, have the means of food production,are dispersed across huge territory, can isolate the big coastal cities and starve them out (all cities can be controlled by choke points - bridges, roads, etc) and, importantly, because most of the military and police share the values of the interior people and would side with them (also the interior people tend to respect the constitution that the military and law enforcement are bound by oath to protect).

Here's an example from history that I grew up hearing about from family that were survivors - The geography currently known as "Turkey" was, circa 1900, populated by Turks, Kurds, Armenians and Assyrians and a smattering of Greek exponents.

The Armenians, Assyrians and Greek exponents were Christians and the rest Muslims. Life for Christians was a second class citizens in some important ways, yet the Christians still thrived. They were actually respected by the Muslim citizens, if less so by the government, as successful, industrious and generally, better educated. This is also somewhat like the Jews in Germany in the 1930s.

Christians and Muslims lived side by side as neighbors, especially in the cities. In fact, Armenians tended to be the doctors, engineers, bankers and the mid level government officials that got things done.

Periodically, there were small pogroms against Christians in certain regions and the Turks would allow the Kurds to pillage Armenians without repercussions, but this was all in the countryside and not in the cities.

Then came WW1. The Turks saw a chance, with the Brits and Euros distracted, to change the nature of their home base in the Ottoman Empire. "Turkey for the Turks!" was the new motto.

A massive propaganda campaign was unleashed which depicted Armenians and other Christians as unclean subversives, against Islam, etc (think of Nazis' descriptions of Jews). After a year or so of the propaganda, the Turks were able to begin massive deportations and killing. The key is that the everyday Turks had come to see the Christians as evil. They had been thoroughly demonized.

What followed was horrible. 1.5 million to 2 million Armenians were killed outright. Another 2 million driven out of the MENA. That's out of a population of about 6 million. The Assyrians were just about totally eliminated as a people. And this occurred in the cities too where Christians and Muslims were once neighbors (again, like the Jews in Germany).

Armenians couldn't fight back because, under Turkish law, Christians could not own guns. That is different than America, at least so far.

What is concerning to me is that the media is setting up a similar situation in the US. They literally lie constantly so as to demonize. For example, Trump says that there were fine people on all sides at Charlottesville and explicitly says he doesn't mean the neo-Nazis, and the media reports that he said Nazis are fine people. Over and over. Trump wants to stop illegal immigration, but still allows 1.5 million a year to immigrate legally, and he and his supporters are demonized as vicious racists. When Trump and his supporters are demonized as just about the worst kind of excuse for humanity, then it becomes psychologically easy to kill them.

Of course the right also demonizes the left. A few radical new congress people become "the face" of the democrat party (though there's some truth to that).

But the larger point is that 24/7/365 all we hear is angry demonization of the other and that is exactly how you architect societal upheaval and make it possible for people to kill their neighbor. Who wants to live next door to a Nazi that wants to exterminate Hispanics (latest lie from the Left) or a Soros funded America hating socialist that wants to shred the Constitution and turn us into the Soviet Union?

Everyone need to turn off the fake news - which is all of the news. Do your civic duty by going to the candidates' official websites and read, for yourself, what their policy positions are. Research the ramifications of those on your own. Come to your own conclusions. Then vote based on those conclusions, understanding that someone that has a different conclusions or different interest isn't evil.

Do not let paid professionals tell you what is happening or what to think. They are all lying. All of them! And they want to divide and they are not smart enough or moral enough to understand or care about the ramifications of their hyperbolic BS.

As Michael says, life is pretty good in the US. None of the policy positions that media, as whole, is freaking out over are the existential crisis that the media makes them out to be. Don't be fool/don't be a tool.

\\"I don’t think that any other animal is as violent and hateful toward its own species as humans are." Amos//
-----------------

Chimpanzees go to war and can be pretty darn hateful to their neighbors. They tear each other apart. Have you ever watched any videos of chimpanzees when they go to war? I'm pretty sure we inherited our aggressive and warlike tendencies from the common ancestor we share with our chimpanzee cousin.

Chimpanzees at War:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQn1-mLkIHw&t=77s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoS1Yi61Nuo&t=19s

Very good comment, Eric. - AOD

Most people have absolutely no desire to wage war during normal times, but we all have our tipping point. Dark side, shadow, whatever you want to call it, we are all capable of things we would never dream of.

I remember a reporter covering the early days of the Syrian civil war. An otherwise peaceful merchant had seen his family butchered by Syrian forces. He was preparing to fight back.
His statement to the reporter sticks to me to this day - "Thank you Bashar al-Assad for awakening the monster in me."

We all have a sleeping monster inside.

Very interesting and thoughtful comment, Eric. You wrote, "When Trump and his supporters are demonized as just about the worst kind of excuse for humanity, then it becomes psychologically easy to kill them.

"Of course the right also demonizes the left. ... But the larger point is that 24/7/365 all we hear is angry demonization of the other and that is exactly how you architect societal upheaval and make it possible for people to kill their neighbor. Who wants to live next door to a Nazi that wants to exterminate Hispanics (latest lie from the Left) or a Soros funded America hating socialist that wants to shred the Constitution and turn us into the Soviet Union?"

Yes, I take your point, and that's why I think this election season will be brutal, vicious, and ugly. But here's where I disagree: I think the vast majority of Americans don't take these demonic characterizations seriously. Unfortunately, we don't hear from that majority. They are not the people that TV news crews are looking to interview. They are shouted down online, if they even try to comment.

As an experiment, I tried commenting on the right-wing Ace of Spades blog after the admin posted an article saying the time has come for a "national divorce." I said that there's not going to be a national divorce/civil war, and that fanning the flames is unhelpful. Those who responded told me I was a Soros-paid troll, or simply a moron. There was no point in my carrying on a conversation; they wouldn't listen. My point is that most people probably agree that a civil war is improbable, yet they are not heard online, because if they speak up, they are shut down.

Maybe I'm wrong, and most people have been brainwashed into blind, unreasoning hatred. But I don't see it, outside of some paranoid-schizos on the Internet and frothing-at-the-mouth cable TV clowns and echo-chamber enclaves like Twitter, which has been abandoned by most moderates and centrists.

I think Americans are just not that into politics. How many people watch all the cable news networks combined? Two million? That leaves 323 million who don't watch. How many people obsessively follow political news? Most Americans are more passionate about sports and entertainment. They can name all the Kardashians, but not a single member of Trump's cabinet.

In short, I think the Internet and cable news are insane, but the country at large isn't. And rather than being driven insane, most people just tune out the political craziness. I don't see Americans attacking each other in the streets over political positions they don't care about that much. If a given policy poses a direct threat to them, they will react in some way, but otherwise they'll just shrug and muddle through.

Michael,
I was largely being the devil's advocate; or perhaps, more accurately a spokesman for the downside. Not because I want it to happen, but because I think there is a real, but small possibility.

I agree most people aren't that caught up in politics. At least they don't appear to be. You never know.

I'm in a rock/blues band. One of the guys is an old buddy from way back with whom I'd lost contact for decades and then discovered lives in the same area that I do. I never talk politics in social settings unless someone else brings it up and we at least mostly agree. So my buddy and I talked about all kinds of things for about a year and then one day he just started talking about how pissed he is that he is being asked to pay for all kinds of illegal immigrants, etc - basically a Trumpian platform. It was tax time. I think that brought it out. Then we found out we had mutual deep sentiments about politics. Or rather I found out. He already knew from my FB that I'm a conservative. He just assumed I knew he is too. He said something like, "What? Do you think I'm a flakey idiot?" or something to that effect when I noted my surprise.

Another guy in the band is a school teacher. I know he's a liberal because he's a teacher and because of a few comments he's made here and there, but we get along just fine. I got to talking to his wife (also a teacher and a dedicated liberal) about my time working for the BLM in AZ. She had done some kind of internship as college student in S. CA for the BLM. She totally assumed I was on board with the most liberal policies regarding immigration. It was only when I smiled politely and changed the subject after mumbling something about having participated in the arrest of many illegal border crossers that she realized I wasn't. IMO, her social group is so thoroughly entrenched in liberal beliefs that she can't imagine anyone thinking differently.

Sometimes when I'm bumming around or doing manual labor on the farm I wear an old military cap with a school patch on it. If I wear to it the bar or the feed store, hardware store, that kind of place, people immediately open up about their feelings of the direction they think the country is going (usually conservative perspectives). If I go to similar places dressed a little better without the cap, much less so and usually not at all.

Point being, I think that many Americans are into politics, but they keep it quiet unless among others that they know - or think - are of the same mindset.

At least that's my experience.

I should add that I know some very conservative veterans who's attitude is that the Left is deliberately seeking to destroy this country (I agree) and will succeed if not checked. They understand that conservatives would easily win a civil war (I agree). They also think that it is inevitable and should commence as soon as possible before things go too far (I disagree).

I also know some liberals that think a revolution is in order, but they think that they will do it by demographic replacement, social shaming and bribing the electorate.

It doesn't take a majority or even a large minority to set off a civil war. It only takes about 10% of dedicated people. Everyone gets swept up in the mess and has to take sides just to survive. That is from US military training and studies.

Someone has to calm the radical voices or this really could boil over. The way to achieve political goals is via the rule of law. What the Russia collusion hoax did was convince a lot of people that the left won't respect the rule of law. Very bad thing to convince the guys with the guns and training of. Mob psychology is scary as is revolutionary psychology.

Very good post, I'm basically in agreement. Though I do think Trump is different, and not in a good way, as I'm a Liberal. I'll leave it at that with regard to the politics...

But no, there can't be a Civil War 2.0, and the reason why there can't is obvious from Civil War 1.0.

We all know it started with the South firing on Fort Sumter. OK, why were they firing on a fort that was in the South? Because the North was holding it. OK, but why was the North holding it? Because the unitary Federal Government, despite the Southern states' seceding, wasn't about to give up its military bases, hardware, etc.

There's no way that the US can break up into two parts, each of which keeps some of the aircraft carriers, nukes, etc. Nor would either side tolerate being the side left without such things. As a Liberal, would I want to live in a Blue State Paradise (ha!) with the "bad guys" keeping all the military power? Not a chance. Nor would those on the right tolerate us pinko socialist types grabbing all that stuff either.

So, the idea of a peaceful divorce is 100% off the table. Nor is it possible that we could have a civil war that would result in two states. If we're going to fight, then one side is going to win.

"But wait," you say, "that's exactly what I think could happen!" Well, I wanted to eliminate the obviously impossible first, but I don't think a true Civil War is possible either. Let me explain.

Civil War 1.0 was possible because the country was much less geographically unified and military strength mostly took the form of men with guns in their hands who remained in the states that seceded. Fort Sumter could not prevent secession in 1860. The equivalent of Fort Sumter today--air and sea power not tied to any particular state--definitely could and would prevent it. Moreover, the military would quickly quash any type of burgeoning civil unrest in which it was not involved.

Thus, a coup or secession effort of some sort is theoretically possible, but if it did not have the backing of the military, it wouldn't go anywhere. The federal government would simply declare such a thing illegal and illegitimate and arrest anyone trying to make it happen. No Civil War. If, on the other hand, the military backs such a secession effort, then the effort would succeed. A big mess, to be sure, but still no Civil War. (Though that doesn't mean there couldn't be pockets of violence, etc.)

The only way in which a true Civil War is possible is if the military fragments and the opposing sides both have significant military support such that one side is not immediately defeated. That seems incredibly unlikely to me.

Further, I don't think the military would back any such effort at all, whether it came from the Left or the Right. If one side or the other tried to ignore a major election or declare martial law or whatever, I think it would be quite messy but not bloody. Such a thing would be fought in the courts, the court of public opinion, the media, and so on, but without the participation of the military, nothing particularly physical would happen.

That's my take on the issue. I welcome everyone's thoughts on the above!

Eric wrote,

||I am one of those that thinks there is a real possibility of a civil war. Yes, it would be neighbors killing each other at first.||

How would you know whom to fight/kill? I'm a Liberal, but I don't wear a t-shirt that says, "In the event of a Civil War and you're on the right, I'm your target."

And I'm sure as hell not going to kill anyone.

The examples you gave involved clearly defined ethnicity and the government's support in effecting the pogrom. That's totally different than the left/right divide in the US which doesn't depend on such a distinction. There would be no uniforms, so to speak, and no one would know what to do.

So strange how we can meet around spiritual issues in this blog, yet -sadly and discouragingly - be so divided and stubbornly entrenched into our own worldviews when it comes to politics.

As someone who retired from the military I think I can offer a few insights. In my experience with the army it is secular; socialist ( we do have universal services for ourselves) right leaning, with a libertarian streak. That doesn't particularly play well for either side when all is said and done. It certainly would not have much patience for the right wing theocrats or extreme leftists. Basically we do not like " morality" police or religious fundamentalist. We do accept the idea that government can solve problems. We strongly support patriotism. I think people get the picture.

I do not think the left would be a pushover in any event. The left controls the richer parts of the country including most IT. It has far more hospitals ( where exactly are wounded right wingers going to go). It is younger.

Yes the right does grow the food but who picks it? Illegal immigrants. Gee who would they support?? Especially if you offered them right wing land if they sided with the left.

Of course I think the idea of a civil war is nonsense but I think the idea that it would be an easy win for either side is also nonsense.

Eric wrote, " I think that many Americans are into politics, but they keep it quiet unless among others that they know - or think - are of the same mindset."

I still think only a minority of Americans really get worked up about politics, but it may be a bigger minority than it appears. Even so, if people are reluctant to express their views for fear of creating social unpleasantness, they're probably unlikely to wade into a street fight.

Military veterans, with their special training and background, may overestimate the willingness of average citizens to get themselves bloodied. Most of us, myself included, haven't been in a real fight since grade school. And I suspect that a lot of keyboard warriors on both sides, who claim to be looking forward to the opportunity to take it to the other side, would be the first to run away at the sound of gunfire.

There is one scenario that probably would lead to the widespread resistance that approximates the beginnings of a civil war – namely, if a president tried to suspend the Second Amendment by declaring a national emergency, then sent military personnel to conduct house-to-house searches for firearms.

There have been hints of this from Democratic politicians and pundits. Kamala Harris has talked about expanding federal power over firearms with an executive order and enforcing this power with searches of people's homes. Others have talked approvingly of Australia's mandatory buyback of certain classes of firearms.

However this may have worked in Australia, I think that in the US a policy of outright confiscation would lead to something like the Bundy Ranch standoff ... times 10,000. Whole communities would resist; even local sheriffs might stand against the feds. It would be a disaster. But in that event, I suspect the federal government would quickly back down.

More to the point, I don't think the policy would be implemented in the first place because of its obvious risks, and if it were, it would quickly be challenged in court and possibly struck down.

That's pretty much the only scenario I can envision that might lead to a real meltdown of our social order, and even then, I think it could be contained by a prudent reversal. So I'm not too worried. Not yet.

Kamala Harris's remarks:
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/kamala-harris-willing-to-send-cops-to-peoples-homes-to-confiscate-banned-firearms

Australia's mandatory gun buyback:
https://www.vox.com/2015/8/27/9212725/australia-buyback

"How would you know whom to fight/kill? I'm a Liberal, but I don't wear a t-shirt that says, "In the event of a Civil War and you're on the right, I'm your target."" - Matt

Well, I didn't say it would be clean or nice. I think the Spanish Civil War is the model for what could happen here.

It was "Nationalists" versus "Republicans". The war jumped off when a coup failed. That was the final straw, but it is recognized that the underlying cause was a politically deeply divided nation and an unwillingness to comprise with the "other side".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Civil_War

There were some protests, riots and small scale violence in the early days. Then some assassinations and attempted assassinations and then reprisals for those. All of that then escalated into more widespread violence until it was a full fledged shooting war.

None of the factions were divided cleanly along geographical boundaries when the war started, unlike the North and South in the US CW. Rather, the factions seized territory in much the manner I described in my early post.

The military itself split along political lines and each military faction went its own way and fought the other.

Civilian volunteers then joined the military faction associated with the politics that they most agreed with. Other civilians donned insignia, etc that identified which faction they were loyal to.

The rest of the civilians just got caught up in the destruction. Certain cities were known to be heavily inhabited by citizens with tendencies to be loyal to one of the factions, and those cities got bombed or otherwise attacked by the opposing faction. No one was thinking, "Hey a few of our friends might be in there". This would be like our red/blue maps.

Another thing about the Spanish CW is that people came from all over to fight in it. Even men like George Orwell (who was wounded in the neck).

Kris,
"As someone who retired from the military I think I can offer a few insights. In my experience with the army it is secular; socialist ( we do have universal services for ourselves) right leaning, with a libertarian streak. That doesn't particularly play well for either side when all is said and done. It certainly would not have much patience for the right wing theocrats or extreme leftists. Basically we do not like " morality" police or religious fundamentalist. We do accept the idea that government can solve problems. We strongly support patriotism. I think people get the picture."

I agree.

A few comments;
1. As you are aware, combat arms MOSs in the Marines and Army is going to be more heavily weighted towards the patriotism and heavy handed reaction to perceived threats to the Constitution than the rest in uniform. So we really can't speak of the military in general terms
2. The right is not totally lacking in IT capability. How much IT did the Vietcong or the North VNs have? How much do the Taliban or jihadists in Iraq or Syria have? How will IT function when the power grid comes down?
3. The heartland of the country is not dependent on illegals to harvest food; especially not in a time of war. Even if it were, the illegals would be made to harvest food at gun point.

I know that you're way into the liberal side of things and I don't want to argue any of that. I'm not going to. However, I will observe that a lot of folks do believe - with good reason, IMO - that there was a real attempt to pull off a coup d'état with the now debunked Russia collusion nonsense. The democrats are still trying to impeach a lawfully elected president. That is not helping the imagine of the left in the eyes of many who swore to defend the Constitution. Just saying.

I also agree 100% with Michael's assessment of the effects of a left wing attempt to confiscate guns. In fact, I am very certain that would spark off what would become something very similar to the Spanish Civil War.

There are already police forces that refuse to comply with state level govt laws concerning guns; just as there are municipalities and a few states that refuse to cooperate with federal laws concerning illegal immigrants (even ones with felony criminal issues).

It's a tinder box. Violence could easily be avoided, but it could also easily be set off.

I am not sure how she plans on getting anyone much less assault weapon owners to register their guns as everyone knows registration is a necessary step for confiscation. It would simply be stupid for any gun owner to do that. Just vote out the Democrats and vote out the stupid law.

As for seizing guns it seems to me Harris is discussing seizing guns from people who cannot legally own them. Now if a government knows such an individual has a gun it should be confiscated as this is a felony. However they still have to follow due process.

As for declaring " assault weapons " to be illegal and mass confiscation that is simply a progressive fantasy. By law active duty military cannot be used in such a manner ( posse comitatus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act) and even the National Guard could not be used by the Federal Government to do such a thing as if the Federal Government activated them they would fall under posse comitatus. You would have to use State Activation to side step this and I don't see many red states doing that. Most cops would not have the specialized training necessary to seize " assault weapons" and this could become very bloody very quick for the police. I kicked in many a door in Iraq, trust me dislodging a determined gunman sucks.

Also the vast majority of police and military are pro second amendment. So who is going to do all this?

My last major deployment was to Kosovo and I returned in September of 2012 after spending almost a year there. Around November of that year I was visiting a gun shop in Georgia and we started discussing which is better: AK47s or M16s and which one should you bring with you if you had to go to a 3rd world country.

Seeing I was in the army and familiar with both I explained that the AK47 is more reliable, and that ammo is far more readily available for it in 3rd world countries. I then explained that the M16 is far more accurate but it requires more maintenance and that it is rarely used outside of 1st world countries.

So everyone then said bring the AK then. I said no you take the M16 to the 3rd world country. They then asked me why because based on what I told them the AK is the 3rd world country gun. I casually told them the reason you would bring the M16 is because it is more accurate and with that accuracy you would easily kill someone with an AK and then you got both.

I was very matter of fact. After I said that you could have dropped a pin in that gun shop and heard it loudly. Finally one of them coughed to cut the tension and said I was right. The others agreed.

Those people I shocked into silence were all gun owners who enjoyed shooting. But they had never trained to seriously think about how to efficiently kill. So when someone casually said how to do it shocked them and it shocked me too. That moment I truly realized military has a radically different mindset from civilians.I was shocked too.

Many of these tough guys online would never hurt someone if given the chance. They have not learned the ruthlessness to do it. They are like the gun owners in that shop.

Eric

There is a huge difference between Mueller refusing to indict Trump based on DOJ policy and Trump being exonerated. It is simply a fact Russia meddled in our elections and the Trump campaign received assistance from them. Certainly a president accepting assistance from a known hostile foreign power in order to win an election is not thrilling either to patriots and constitution minded people. I know plenty of people in the military who absolutely loath him. We also loath him as a draft dodging coward. If Trump had not been elected he certainly would been indicted for this.

I started off as an 11 series. It might be more "hardcore" in general than the non 11 series military but it's attitude is the same as the rest of the military.

Simply put at the end of the day the military is not going to be an obvious ally of the civilian right and certainly would never side with the religious right.

The right has major weaknesses in the event of any civil war. It is out numbered. It is older. It lacks support from the IT field and scientist ( 92% of scientist identify as democrat). I think those two groups would cause right wingers a lot of problems in any long conflict. Rivers flow from North to South so they could be chocked off by the Northern Blue States before they flowed into Southern Red States. The right is dependent on illegals to harvest food who could easily be convinced to join the left in exchange for right wing property after the war. The right can enjoy it's insurgency and famine.

You also have the divide between the religious right and the secular right. How thrilled do you think the secular right is going to be when the religious right starts executing homosexuals, reviving witchcraft trials ( seriously do you think some Christian right wingers if he had power would tolerated neopaganism or parapsychology. The latter is you) and trying to regulated the sex lives of their secular right allies. That is a nasty divide that the left simply would not have.

In a short war I think right wings ( all the guns) but the moment it becomes protracted the left wins ( larger population, IT and scientist advantage, territory advantages and the they can flip the illegals)

"and even the National Guard could not be used by the Federal Government to do such a thing as if the Federal Government activated them they would fall under posse comitatus. You would have to use State Activation to side step this and I don't see many red states doing that."

Kris. I agree with everything you have said - not just the above, but everything else. I would add that among the NGs are many owners of guns on the ban list. They'd have to raid themselves first! And then their brothers, fathers and neighbors.

However, I don't see any of that defusing the possibility of civil war. You'd have red states defying a federal edict. The next move by a democrat POTUS would probably be to attempt to coerce the red states into compliance by denying federal funds for roads, schools, law enforcement, ect.

The red states might then respond by refusing to pay federal taxes (what's the point? It would be taxation without representation). At that point red states would decide they might be better off making it on their own; that being part of the union no longer makes sense.

Many conservatives think we're almost at that point as it is with the democrats calling for open borders and incentivizing the immigration of potentially hundreds of millions of third world people to come here by giving them free money, housing and healthcare - money that comes from tax payers already here.

The possibility of civil war really depends on how much the left wants to push its radical agenda and the lengths they'd go to demanding compliance.

But yeah, the idea is to vote down bad ideas and people, not shoot your fellow citizen. Hopefully we can have a fair election and the tech companies don't unfairly influence things.

Kris,
I want to address killing separately - I somewhat agree with you about key board warriors and the gun enthusiasts in the store in your anecdote. However, keep in mind that there are 22.5 million veterans in country. 2.5 million of those were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Some of those never in the service and never had law enforcement training would respond to the leadership of veterans when in combat. Yes, some - perhaps many - would do stupid stuff when the shit hit the fan and some would get killed as a result and yes, some would be generally ineffective in combat because they wouldn't have the mindset to kill and keep moving, but some would adapt.

Also, many of that type would be needed in support roles. An insurgency would require, IMO, about a 10 to 1 support to combat ratio. IMO, they would perform just fine in support roles and they could gradually adapt to combat, as combat would find them from time to time in this type of war.

Furthermore, I see drones playing a big role both in intelligence gathering and in combat itself. Witness that even the Yemenis are using drones effectively as are some of the various jihadi groups. It's not rocket science. Your gun store types could learn to kill by starting with drone attacks that give them the psychological distance to be able to perform the mission.

IEDs would be another major factor in controlling choke points. Your gun store folks could build and plant IEDs.

There's a lot they could do to further the cause while receiving training from veterans to be prepared for more of a direct combat role. 3 months of basic training +/- in rebel held territory and then AIT for another two months with some hands on experience and a lot of these people would be squared away/good to go.

So far I've been talking about veterans. As mentioned before, in a Spanish Civil War type situation, the active duty and reserves military itself would split. So that adds maybe a million or so potential trained fighters to the situation.

I am not saying that is what will happen. I'm just commenting that it is more feasible than you're making it out to be.

It all comes down to perceived need to do it and the development of the will to do it.

What troubles me is that we have reached a point where - as in the Spanish Civil War - the political camps are so polarized that they can't talk to each other or compromise. It's a zero sum game at this point with demonization of the other. THAT is the underlying danger.

A few points.


If the red states stopped paying into federal taxes and stopped receiving federal benefits that would be a net benefit to the blue states as blue states as basically supporting red states https://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-least-dependent-on-the-federal-government/2700/

It's welfare for those who scream against welfare. Not sure how red states could make it own their own though after all they are dependent so much on the blue states for financial support.

Last time I looked it was largely conservative business owners who bring over illegal immigrants as they are willing to work for less than minimum wage in the meat, farming, restaurant and construction industries. If you actually created a decent background check system and started sending to prison the Republicans engaging in this underhanded hiring practice you could up end all illegal immigration. Of course this will happen when pigs fly. Illegals are here because certain industries want them to be here as scab labor.

If you are serious about wanting to prevent civil unrest why not create a universal system of healthcare like the rest of the first world uses. It would end a lot of civil strife throughout this country. Heck create more assisted housing too . People who are basically secure are rarely revolutionaries. Truth be told it seems radical not to do the above.

Using the National Guard for gun confiscation would be stupid as basically you are calling upon them to raid themselves and their friends. That simply won't happen. And that would be scenario in the Blue states. Red states simply wouldn't activate theirs period. If their guard was activated by the Federal government then it couldn't be used to confiscate guns for reasons already explained.

Among that 22.5 million veterans you mention are a bunch of old men in retirement homes. They are also old men who want nothing to do with war anymore. Even among that 2.5 million current veterans you have a mixed fruit and plenty who simply don't want a darn thing to do with war. I am retired from the military. I am working on my teachers retirement. I own my house cars etc. I am married with a kid. Why in blazes should I go out to war again....

Your insurgency will be a blood bath, mainly against them though. I remember when I was in Iraq we quickly killed all the stupid insurgents. Only the smart ones survived in the end but it was a costly lesson for them.

I have seen insurgencies and deployed to a country torn apart by a civil war ( Kosovo). These things get ugly quick and no one really wins them.

You never really answered my basic point of your would be ally in the Religious Right. Do you really think they are better for you than the secular left? I just want a tax increase on the wealthy to fund things such as universal health care. If given power the Religious Right would want to persecute homosexuals and religious minorities. They would be every bit as bad as the morality police in Saudi Arabia. Is all that worth it to avoid a tax increase??

Seriously what becomes of you visiting mediums if the Religious Right gets to make the laws??

I do see one thing that could trigger not maybe a civil war, but lots of civil unrest. That would be if Donald Trump lost the election and then refused to leave office. We know he doesn't like to lose and he would see a loss as a huge humiliation. It's entirely feasible he'd get shysters like Rudy Guiliani and Bill Barr filing lawsuits, and "tweeting" that "hordes of immigrants illegally voted," or some such nonsense. What if he literally refused to leave the White House even though he clearly lost?

Kathleen wrote, "What if he literally refused to leave the White House even though he clearly lost?"

I think that scenario is very unlikely, but if it happened, there are plenty of legal measures available to remove someone who is unlawfully occupying the Oval Office. And the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power is so deeply entrenched in our country that any president who defied it would lose most of his support. He would also forfeit his place in history, which matters to politicians.

My hope is that, however the election turns out, the vote will be lopsided enough to forestall either side from contesting the result.

Lisa wrote:

||So strange how we can meet around spiritual issues in this blog, yet -sadly and discouragingly - be so divided and stubbornly entrenched into our own worldviews when it comes to politics.||

I can only second this as a european long-term follower of this blog - with the term ‘socialism’ being applied as if anyone in either the US or Europe thinks we should restore the Soviet Union just because in Europe health care is tax funded for everybody, and someone in the US thinks that’s a good idea.

Kris,
Based on your last comment - which was a jumble of non-sequiturs and liberal talking point "factoids" that I'm not going to debate even though I totally disagree with their veracity, I think you have concluded that I am correct about how it could play out, from a military standpoint. You see that it is, indeed, feasible.

Your main surviving argument seems to be that it couldn't happen simply because it would be too bloody. I agree that it would be bloody. Did bloodiness stop the wars in the regions you deployed to (one of the a civil war). Did it stop the French revolution? The American revolution and civil war? Did it stop the Hutus and Tutsis from slaughtering each other (many with machetes nonetheless)? Did fear of blood stop Nazi Germany or the communist Vietnamese? I could go on all day long with examples. Indeed, was there ever a war started that anyone imagined wouldn't be bloody (aside from the crap we were told about Iraq).

Leaders and followers get caught up in the dark spirit of these movements and the thing takes on a life of its own.

Mobs are not rational. IMO what we have in this country is increasingly a mob psychology made possible by ubiquitous social media that we don't know how to handle. The USA was never meant to be a democracy. Rather a constitutional republic. The many checks and balances, the law of the land, and filters of the house of reps and then the senate was supposed to mitigate the urges of the mob. What I see is that all of these bodies are becoming subordinate to the mob. That is a grave danger.


A related note on gun confiscation - Every time the idea of gun confiscation or a ban of certain types of guns comes up, sales of those guns spike way up; sometimes right up off the charts. Millions of additional guns are purchased during these sales spikes.

I'm pretty sure people aren't buying those guns just so they can waste their money and hand them in within a year. Instead, it tells me that people intend to stash the guns and, perhaps, to sell them on a black market once they're banned. This does not bode well for liberal plans.

What are they stashing them for? The people I know that are doing the stashing say that's for the possibility of a coming civil war.

Eric

I never once doubted that the right could fight a war against the left, what I strongly doubt is your ability to win a protracted war. At best it could win a fast war and that is assuming the left folds which is a huge assumption.

Yes you could be insurgents in blue territory. Blues could be insurgents in red territory. Big deal. Way to conclude the obvious. Yes you could train people to be soldiers. So can the blues. Big deal.

However when all is said and done logistics wins wars and that favors the left.

The left outnumbers the right and is younger. Physical fitness and health is a major component of warfare. I am not sure people with portable oxygen tanks will be much of a battlefield asset.

Hospitals tend to be in urban areas. Therefore the left could treat it's sick and wounded far more easily than the right therefore bringing them back on the battlefield.

The majority of industry is in left territory.

The majority of tech is left controlled.

The vast majority of scientist are leftists, look up the Manhattan project if you cannot understand that advantage.

Rivers flow from North to South. Northern Blue states could and would choke off water to the Southern Red states. Last time I looked you need that water for your farms.

Red states do have more gun owners and they do own the farms. However they still have a lot of problems.

A civil war would not simply spring upon the country; if it became more and more obvious leftists would arm themselves accordingly. The gun owner advantage would easily be neutralized.

Secular right wingers simply will not like their religious right allies once the religious right starts getting to enact it's policies. If anything secular right wingers will probably quickly discover they have far more in common with the secular left very quickly.

Seriously Eric what do you think your religious right allies would do to you if they discovered you went to mediums?? Ever heard of Salem??

While the right owns the farms their labor tends to be immigrants who have much more in common with the left. It would be very easy in the event of the civil war to simply tell the immigrants if they side with the left they can have all the right wing territory that they seize and if they killed right wingers in the process of gaining control of the land well that would be lamentable but it is war.

Enjoy your famine, insurgency and diseases ( remember almost no hospital access)

Of course even if you lost you could wage a very annoying insurgency but it would have no chance of success as it's opponent has no intention of leaving the country.

However I see no need for a civil war. Demographics is destiny in the end demographics favors the left. We simply have to wait for the old right wingers to die. I for one am glad I am a younger guy and will live to see that day :)

Yes, thank you sbu for understanding. The spiritual discussions here are often uplifting, sometimes perplexing and yes, a bit scary scenarios put forward at times, but the political ones are depressing for real.

Lisa, I actually tried to make this post as nonpartisan as possible, and of course its message is that an American civil war is very, very unlikely. That seems like an upbeat message to me.

I suppose it’s inevitable that partisanship will find its way into the comments thread, along with wargaming the civil conflict, but the latter is just daydreaming and the former has been with us forever. (Again, see Jefferson v. Adams, 1800.)

As for the harmony of our discussions of the paranormal, you evidently weren’t here for the Nanci Danison wars!

Michael, you're right, of course. And I guess it serves as some kind of reminder that we can share at least some aspects of life and death, although not all. Still one of my favorite blogs of all times, glad you kept going, thanks!

To try and add a spiritual viewpoint to this discussion, I've wondered over the past three years if those of us alive right now in the United States might be reincarnated citizens from Germany during Hitler's rise to power, who have come back to try and prevent history from repeating itself. I hope we can.

Kris wrote, "Demographics favors the left. We simply have to wait for the old right wingers to die."

It’s broadly true that conservatives skew older than liberals. However, it doesn’t follow that once today's senior citizens die off, liberals will take over. The reason is that liberals are aging at the same rate as everyone else. As they get older, they’re more likely to develop conservative tendencies that would have been anathema to them in their youth. People with kids, mortgages, and IRAs are generally going to be more conservative than college students. And as we age, we often become more skeptical of the innate goodness of our fellow man and the wisdom and prudence of government leaders.

I do think the general drift of the country will be leftward, if only because of the pressure of academia, media, and immigration, but it's not as simple as just waiting for the Korean War generation to become extinct.

"To try and add a spiritual viewpoint to this discussion, I've wondered over the past three years if those of us alive right now in the United States might be reincarnated citizens from Germany during Hitler's rise to power, who have come back to try and prevent history from repeating itself. I hope we can." - Ian

Maybe Trump supporters are reincarnated Native American Indians. We saw how unfettered immigration worked out for us in our past life ;-)

...Or maybe Trump supporters are reincarnated Russians from the Soviet era. We know where socialism leads and we're trying to save the country from all of that ;-)

These reincarnation/karma hypothesis are fun. They're like an ink blot test.

Eric,

Good point about the Spanish Civil War. Quite the interesting conflict--one I don't know a whole lot about.

My point about the military choosing sides still stands, however. I think it is too monolithic for anything like the Spanish Civil War to happen in the US.

Another point that has yet to be addressed is this: we can't assume other countries would stand idly by in the event of Civil War 2.0. I think it would be very likely for major powers like the UK and France to pick a side in the event that the US military had become fragmented in its support for one side or the other.

Maybe Bernie Sanders supporters are reincarnated Trotskyites ...

Come to think of it, Bernie is probably old enough to actually be one of the *original* Trotskyites. Do we know where he was in 1917?

I'm pretty sure Elizabeth Warren is a reincarnated Cherokeee. Just look at those cheekbones!

And Jerry Nadler appears to be the reincarnated Mayor of Munchkinland. But I'd better not pursue this line of thinking. It leads to Nancy Pelosi saying, "And your little dog, too," in a previous life.

We could play this game forever. :-)

P.S. Just funnin' wit' ya. Make satire, not war.

"I think it would be very likely for major powers like the UK and France to pick a side in the event that the US military had become fragmented in its support for one side or the other." - Matt

I can see Mexico, China and Europe siding with the left and Russia and Israel siding with the right. "siding" would mean some materiel and funding.

I can 100% see the left calling the UN to enter the fray to include troops landing on US soil (Obama toyed with such a possibility).

However, I do not believe that the UN would be effective. There aren't enough of them, they suck as troops, they have commitments elsewhere in the world and they worry about protecting their own countries.

But if they tried to do something, Russia could put some pressure on them (troop build ups along Russian borders, etc).

IMO, Russia and the US are natural allies and especially Russia and conservative Americans. Russia is the last protector bastion of Christianity and Western Civ. Europe will be totally cucked out to socialism, rampant homosexuality and effete gender confused whiners, declining white birth rates, third world savages and Sharia barbarians in a few short years and the US will follow a few years later if the current trend continues. The leftwing POTUS candidates who are white must - and have - apologize for being white to the racist people of color (rampant racism on the left - another factor in increasing the potential for a civil war).

Between open borders/unlimited immigration, free everything for everyone with feet on US soil + reparations + forgiveness of debt + destruction of $trillions in equity in the healthcare, energy and real estate sectors. If a liberal is elected POTUS and gets a majority congress, the economy will destroyed in short order (yet another factor in starting a civil war).

BTW, I like Russians. If I was younger and starting a family, I'd probably move there, rather expose my offspring to the demented leftist school system and larger society.

For the record, I don’t share Eric's favorable opinion of Russia, which strikes me as a backward, authoritarian country whose people are forever looking for a strongman to lead them. Putin's Russia is essentially a kleptocracy ruled by a cabal of mafia-style bigwigs who use assassination and intimidation to maintain their grip on power. How many journalists and politicians hostile to Putin have met untimely ends? I wouldn’t even want to visit Russia, let alone move there.

Also, i don’t think the economy would be "destroyed" if the Democrats came back in power. Growth rates would probably slow to what they were under Obama, but on the other hand, the end of Trump's trade-war rhetoric would help import-export firms and might stabilize the increasingly volatile financial markets.

I don’t want to get into a big discussion about "rampant homosexuality" and "third-world savages," except to say that this kind of language does nothing to make Trumpism look good.

I think this discussion has been relatively polite, all things told.

But yeah, Eric, I think you are a super-smart guy but wholly on the wrong track politically with what you wrote in your last post. That isn't Conservatism, which I can respect. That is something altogether different.

That said, you remain a highly intelligent, spiritually attuned person in my eyes.

Eric said,

"Western Civ. Europe will be totally cucked out to socialism, rampant homosexuality and effete gender confused whiners, declining white birth rates, third world savages"

I’ve been following this conversation from the sideline and will continue to do just that. (Unlike the “Danison War,” LOL, in which, in another lifetime, I was a chief combatant.) But I can't help but notice that the biggest Trump supporter in the room is the one who introduced the idea of a civil war to the conversation and has shown the greatest appetite for discussing it.

As I see it, Trumpism is *about* division, and appeals to those who, for whatever reason, would rather glorify separation than seriously consider the alternatives.

I ended my last comment with the word "alternatives." Strike the plural on that, because there's really only one—it starts with a fundamental acceptance of each other.

"except to say that this kind of language does nothing to make Trumpism look good.

That is what Trumpism is all about in the end though. At least Eric is honest about it.

ugghh...7 months of being polite and reasonable on the internet...and I trashed all that progress in a moment of weakness after reading some of Omar's and Tlaib's anti-Semitic rhetoric, after reading about some immigrant knife attacks in London and talking to a buddy who's fat lazy useless stepson will begin wearing a dress and make-up to school. The school, apparently, encourages it and has a club full of kids who do this. I do not think such people would be effective fighters in a civil war, but that's just me.

As for Putin, I wonder what Jeffrey Epstein thinks about all of that. How about Peter Strzok, Clapper and Brennan?

This new crop of liberals would not just slow the economy to Obama levels. You cannot destroy $trillions in equity and impose massive regulations and start giving freebies to unlimited millions of people flowing into the country and have a functioning economy.

Apologies, Signing off the thread.

Kris wrote, "That is what Trumpism is all about in the end though."

Well, some of us like Trump because he's cutting taxes and regulations (especially regulations). I know a small business owner who was getting killed by Obama's incessant barrage of regulations. Trump's rollback of federal regulations has saved that guy's business and probably many more.

A lot of the other Trump stuff leaves me cold, but presidential politics is binary. The Democrats have moved radically to the left, pushing ideas like open borders, reparations, prosecution of "hate speech," 57 genders, and socialism. If it comes down to a choice between Trump and a socialist or quasi-socialist, I'm going to vote my interests and my conscience (which happily coincide in this case). But if "the other side" wins, I won't regard it as the end of the world.

The context given the term “socialism” is meaningless here—conflating national health insurance and graduated tax systems with a government takeover of the entire economy.

stereotyping 400 million people as “totally cucked out to socialism, rampant homosexuality and effete gender confused whiners, declining white birth rates, third world savages” does also come across as slightly uninformed to be honest.

Still I think Eric is right that no major power in Europe will follow the US into a new millitary adventure in e.g. the Middle East under the current US leadership.

The Russian Collusion o nonsense was nonsense. There was the matter of the Clintons and Russia,the uranium etc. There will be no civil war but it could get a bit like Belfast during the troubles only much much less violent. If that starts up then you will have surveillance cameras everywhere.
"the Democrats have moved radically to the left, pushing ideas like open borders, reparations, prosecution of "hate speech," 57 genders, and socialism. If it comes down to a choice between Trump and a socialist or quasi-socialist," AMEN

Europe cannot even save itself from hordes of migrants who hate in many cases Western civilization. There could be a Civil war in France. I pretty much agree with Micahel's thoughts. I like something Trump does but not him to be honest.

If the Iranians cut off oil in the straights I don't think Europe can or will sit by. AN invasion no but a navel attack most likely.
It really is not oour business anyway we are now oil self suffice. I wold much rather see jus partner militarily with Poland and Hungary to help them prevent a Russian adventure and let the Nato countries protect themselves. Anyone who thinks the military would side with leftest in America ,does not know the military

Donald Trump is a brash very rich alpha male with a young beautiful intelligent wife, with five healthy, handsome, competent children and several mansions to luxuriate in. He probably has everything his heart desires. And, he is President of the United States of America to boot! What is not to hate here!


I didn’t vote for Donald Trump in the last election; I voted against Hillary Clinton. But I think that Donald Trump was a man meant for the times. What other man or woman could have ferreted out and stood up to the deceit and intrigue going on in Washington D.C. and the media. That is a huge undertaking. Donald Trump has opened the eyes of the average American. Most of us never imagined the corruption going on in our government especially those of us who remember when Americans fought the enemy as one people.


Personality seems to have become a major factor in a president. He or she has to look good before the cameras, say all the right things, never mis-remember anything, never make a ‘gaffe’ and never offend anyone. He must hide his or her true feelings and beliefs and always smile. He or she has to support all of the fad behaviors and change the laws if necessary, even though the people promoting those behaviors are only a minuscule number of the American population and, he or she has to offer to provide free everything to everybody including non-citizens.


President Trump is a ‘stout-hearted man’, a man preordained to lead the country back to honest politics and civility. He is hated by many, ‘just because’ and probably not really loved or truly respected by anyone.


History will be the judge.- AOD

Good points, AOD. Some jobs require a delicate touch, while other jobs require a blunt instrument. Trump is a blunt instrument, perhaps not unlike Andrew Jackson or Teddy Roosevelt. I don’t love him, but I do respect him, except when he gets into spats with B-list celebs on Twitter.

I don’t support all of his policies (a 2,000-mile border wall can never work and is pretty ridiculous), but at least he’s trying to push clear of the conventional wisdom that’s brought us endless Middle East wars, anemic growth rates, the politicization of the IRS and the FBI, and politically-correct craziness that has biological males competing in women’s sports while our elites assure us that testosterone is not a factor in athletic performance.

Nobody’s perfect, least of all Trump. I was more of a Mitt Romney guy. But voters rejected Romney as boring and too much of a Boy Scout. Well, Trump isn’t boring and he sure ain’t no Boy Scout! So I guess he’s the man for our times. 😬

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